Here is a picture of me at Tonto National Forest when I was around eight or nine. Just so you know, those shorts I was wearing? Yeah, they were terry cloth. Mmm hmm.
When we lived in Mesa, I had neighbors who were from Tonga. They used to do Polynesian shows at hotels and their parents just gave them all the money they made so they could blow it all on candy and pop, which is exactly what they did. Vai, the oldest spent most of his on 45's. Back in the 70's, 45's were our music vehicle of choice. In junior high we'd discover the beauty of 8-tracks, but when we were younger, we had mini-turntables that produced crappy sound and we bought as many 45's as we could. Vai also used to try to replicate that novelty song "Mr Jaws" by taping bits of all of his records.
Since we were poor and not very exotic. (I guess some would think Irish Catholics were pretty exotic for Mesa, Arizona. We just couldn't figure out how to make any money off of it) I only had a few 45's. I was trying to remember the first one I bought, but I think I got two at the same time. Cheech and Chong's 'Sister Mary Elephant" and Bobby 'Boris' Pickett's "Monster Mash". Apparently, I was really fond of the novelty record.
Back in the seventies, we had what they called record day. It was usually Friday afternoon and we were allowed to spend the last hour of the school day, playing the 45's we brought. That's when I saw my first colored record. One of the girls brought her Grand Funk Railroad's "We're an American Band" and it was a translucent yellow disc. I was hoping it would start a trend and all the records would be cool colors, but it didn't seem to take.
One day, walking home from school with all my 45's in my brown suede, long strap purse, I discovered that I could swing my purse around and around really fast and my records wouldn't fall out. It felt like I had a super power. Swing, swing. I could defy gravity. As I headed down the street, I thought about what kinds of crime I could fight with that kind of power. Uh, um...Okay, maybe I could just go do shows like Vai and his family instead. Swing, swing. I'd go on before they did their fire dances and show people how my bag could go upside down with no records falling out. I would be rich and finally be able to buy, Olivia Newton John's "Have you Never Been Mellow". Swing, swing. I might even get a Close-and-Play. I made it almost all the way home, swinging my purse around my head, when my friend, Skip called me. I stopped and turned around to see where he was and slowed my swinging down. All my records fell out of my purse and broke around me on the sidewalk. My super power was flawed and I would have to wait another six months in order to trade stuff with Vai's sister, Linetti for the Olivia Newton John 45.