RECORD STORE TALES #909.5:
It Was Back in the Summer of ’83, There’s a Reason I Remember It Well
AUTHOR’S NOTE: To enjoy this supplemental chapter, please be sure to have first finished reading Record Store Tales #909: It Was Back in the Summer of ’83, There’s a Reason I Remember It Well!
We both loved and feared when cousin Geoff came to visit. So full of energy. Much more than me. We had great times, but usually tinged with a hint of destruction. This is a kid who gave himself the nickname ‘Alligator’.
Geoff’s visit in the summer of ’83 launched with a trip to the lake. My Aunt Lynda loves the cottage and so it was a special place for her too. The photos tell the stories. As a kid (and adult) I was obsessed with lighthouses, and my Grandfather made this amazing example. It had lights inside and opening doors. But you can see, we kids just treated it as another toy! It appears that Geoff knocked out one of the windows, which is hanging from the edge.
You can see us playing Star Wars at the lighthouse. I can identify my Bossk figure dangling from the top. Kathryn and Geoff were right there with me, with their figures. I look like I’m just immersed in that world. A galaxy far, far away yet in our back yard. You couldn’t have found three happier kids.
After returning from the lake, the main part of our adventure began.
Geoff’s grandparents on his dad’s side owned a huge piece of property in the country with a swimming pool, and the most amazing landscape to explore. Grassy fields gave way to trees, and I don’t think we ever hit the end of the property when we went walking. It simply went on forever. Any time we went there, it was a treat. We spent a few days at the property that summer, swimming and running pretending we were Jedi or superheroes.
I’m glad that we have some pics of that place. Not a lot. Mostly the pool. None of the sprawling real estate and endless fields behind. None of that cool organ they had in the living room. None of the steep cliff, with stairway and landings, that that went from the house down to the pool. But we have lots of the pool. Imagine “Sister Christian” playing behind as you swim.
It always came back to Star Wars. Return of the Jedi was brand new. When Geoff was visiting, we wanted to see it again in the theatre, but as explained in the story, we were vetoed by the adults. We saw Superman III instead. (Be sure to read the full story.) And, as described in many previous chapters, you couldn’t just watch a Star Wars at home like today. So we had to use our imaginations. I can easily see what we are reading in this picture.
The lightning from the Emperor’s fingers gives it away. That is the read-along record/book set for Return of the Jedi. It was the best way to enjoy the story at home. Look at the three of us reading along, lost in that world, oblivious to the camera.
The record itself is spinning on my parents’ system behind us, the very system that I later made my own. It seemed so huge then; not so big in the pictures. All of our records — mine and my parents too — would have been in that cabinet behind us! Also barely visible just behind me is my beige Fisher-Price mono tape recorder. That thing was indestructible.
The three of us sat there, listening and reading as Darth Vader turned back to the light. In a few short years, everything would have changed. The decor, the media we listened to, and the entertainment we consumed. Star Wars was on its last legs and the next record to enter that cabinet was not Star Wars. It was not from a movie at all, although it certainly tried to be. A band called Styx would soon be replacing John Williams on the platter. Who could have guessed that this picture of us enjoying a Star Wars record together would the last time?