Day 14 SOLSC: The Ski Tape

Starting when I was in about seventh grade my mom drove my brother and to the mountain every weekend and dropped us off in the parking lot to go skiing with our friends.

We drove up to the mountain every Saturday and Sunday, plus vacations, plus snow days (and I think even some school days that my mom felt should have been snow days).

Somewhere along the way, we started listening to a cassette tape of Talking Heads Stop Making Sense every time we drove to the mountain.

Every Saturday and Sunday, plus vacations, plus snow days (plus a few school days) we listened to that album in its entirety, singing at the top of our lungs the entire way.

I still remember what the tape looked like. It was a clear Memorex tape with a neon design on it, with a strip of masking tape on each side labeling it. I had made the tape by recording it off of my dad’s vinyl version of the album.

We listened to that tape for years, riding with my mom. Then, when I had a car of my own, I continued to listen to that tape every time I went skiing — which was a lot.

I swear — I am not making this up —  we listened to that tape so much in the car I had in college that it played even when the tape wasn’t in the deck. This is real. I can’t prove it. But it is real.

Then, at some point, I lost the tape. Maybe it’s when I moved away from home and didn’t get to ski as often any more. Maybe it was lost during one of the many, many moves from one apartment to another in New York. Who knows?

The tape has been lost for years, maybe a decade. I had all but forgotten about it.

But for some reason, today, as my daughter and I were driving to the mountain (it was a snow day) the song Psycho Killer popped into my head and it with joy I realized that with the magic of Spotify, I could play the ski tape for my daughter.

I told her all about it, shouting over the music. She rolled her eyes and complained, “Mom, can we listen to my music now?”

This, by the way, is exactly something my father used to do when we were kids. So I did what Dad would do.

I forced her to listen to two songs, hoping that she too would understand the pure joy of the ski tape.

I told her how my brother and I didn’t ever really learn the words (even after all those years) because we always, always, made up nonsense words to tune of the real song – singing them at the top of our lungs.

She wasn’t impressed.

I sighed.

I resigned to try again next time.

I put Hamilton back on. Well, at least she’s got good taste, I thought.

Join my coauthors and I at Two Writing Teachers for the March Slice of Life Story Challenge!

6 thoughts on “Day 14 SOLSC: The Ski Tape

  1. LOVE Talking Heads! Did you see the film, Stop Making Sense? Maybe the film will help them listen to your ‘snow tape’. Isn’t funny how music transports us to that special place and special feeling. Fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-far better.


  2. Heehee! This is great. I’m a bit older than that so our ski tape was an 8-track of Tom Jones. I don’t hear Tom Jones much anymore, but when I do I am right back in the Travelall heading up that mountain and singing “She’s a Lady” at the top of my lungs. Thanks for the memories!


  3. I love, love this album and listened to it a lot in college. I even remember one night watching a concert tape of it. I also love the humor and joy behind the story you tell. I could just picture you and your family singing at the top of your lungs.


  4. This post made me smile. I remember listening to cassette tapes in the car, singing along at the top of my lungs, along with my family. Some tapes were very controversial, as we were at different ages/stage in life, and some tapes, like recordings off the vinyl version of Les Miz and Phantom, were crowd-pleasers. I think Hamilton would be, as well!


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