Small Moments: Analog Memories

Daily Origami is a way for us to record our off the cuff thoughts, feelings and observations about the world around us. Published every weekday, Monday through Friday.

Cassette Tape - Analog Dreams - The Origami L

Jennie here.

My 1995 Toyota Corolla has less than 50,000 miles on it and has [what feels like] one of the last working tape decks left in the Los Angeles area. Oftentimes, I’ll drive home from work and listen to a tape of the Eagles playing live back in the 1970s. They play some of my favorite songs like Hotel California or New Kid In Town.

The other week, I rolled down my windows, felt for the spiky little cassette holes of my favorite Eagles tape, and popped it into the tape deck. As I was driving through the hot afternoon traffic, I turned up the volume just as the intro to Hotel California was coming on. After the long solo intro that I love (and Ivan detests), the song finally begins after two beats on the drum:

On a dark desert highway, cool wind in my hair
Warm smell of colitas rising up through the air


As I was bobbing my head and swaying to the slightly distorted music, I noticed the driver adjacent to me peering into my car and realizing that I had a tape player. He immediately turned to his passenger and said, “Dude, she’s got a tape player!” They proceeded to enjoy the music with me.

No ads, no pauses, just music.

The simple act of playing this obsolete little analog tape makes me nostalgic. I think back to my youth, long car rides with my dad, but more often I think of my grandfather. Last year, I got my car back from my family after moving from Boston to Los Angeles. This 1995 Toyota Corolla was the last thing that my grandfather had given me before he passed away.

Even though this car and its cassette deck is bulky and obsolete, it still calls up analog memories.