The other way we communicated was the compilation tape, later called the mix tape. Making an excellent tape required a lot of thought, planning, records and free time, and once you got a good one, you copied it and shared it around as much as possible. Again, instead of studying or doing something productive, I made dozens of these things in my 20s. Having finally given up on the idea that all my old vinyl would make it into digital form, I decided that copies of the tapes, deteriorated as they may be, would be better than nothing at all, and would finally free me to move these otherwise unplayed tapes out of this house. (I mean, who else still has a tape player AND a minidisc deck as part of their main stereo setup? And neither one has been used in ages, at a time when my vinyl has been getting a major workout.) In the box with all those old postcards? At least two dozen cassette tapes, on their way to history. It was time.
Back in the days before texting, kids, we kept in touch by something called "postcard." Piece of paper, picture on one side, room for a quick note on the other, and it cost a few cents less than a letter to send. In any year in the '80s, I sent and received literally hundreds of postcards; I had a box of them that I carried to work so I could write out postcards at lunchtime. I kept a list of what cards I'd sent to whom. The picture didn't matter, though the campier the better. It became a mania for me, and I ended up collecting hundreds more postcards than I could possibly use in a lifetime. And I kept every one of them. And last night I just got so tired of it all and went through Box 1 of 2 and tossed out 90 percent of them. Box 2 goes today. Time to move on with life.
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