There’s No School Like The Old School

At the end of July, two things happened. One, we bought a new car: a 2011 Chevrolet Traverse. It had been 4 years since I traded in my 2003 Pontiac Montana minivan for a 2007 Pontiac Vibe, and frankly I missed having a larger car. (Now, don’t get me wrong, the Vibe is a great car, especially for putt-putting around town; and it did the job getting us to the Maritimes and back in the summer of 2007. But the kids are bigger now and not as easygoing about being packed in like sardines for even the shortest of car rides.) DH’s 10-year old Chevy Cavalier was having mechanical problems that were beginning to look mighty expensive to repair, and at 315,000+ KM on the odometer, it owed us nothing.

Me and my Pontiac Vibe, the first car I ever owned as an individual, on the Cabot Trail in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia (July 2007)

Coinciding with the purchase of the Traverse came the second treat of the summer: I discovered the wonder that is XM Satellite Radio. It was factory-installed in the car. Since the first time we drove the car off the lot, I now think I can count the number of times I’ve listened to mainstream, commercial-filled radio on the fingers of one hand.

“So how”, you may ask, “does that tie into the title of this blog post?”

Oh honey, come sit by me.

In my car, I now have reasonably unfettered access to the music that allows me to escape into my groove, namely ’60s and ’70s Motown, ’70s R&B/disco, and ’80s R&B/pop. (I say “reasonably” because DS13 still tries to change the station back to CHEZ 106 or some other Hair Band channel if he’s within arms’ reach of the dial.) When I think back to my childhood, there were two men in the world of entertainment, last name of “Ro(d)gers,” who were particularly influential, if you like, in my development. One of them, first name of Fred, passed away in 2003 after losing his fight with cancer.  The other, first name of Nile (last name, Rogers with a “d”), is currently fighting his own battle with cancer, and is about to release his long-awaited biography this coming October; he also literally made my weekend last week when he sent me a direct message in reply to one of my Tweets.

Lest I begin sounding like a squicky fan girl, it is my opinion that the best music of the ’70s and ’80s has Nile Rodgers’ and Bernard Edwards’ stamp on it in one way or another. That of course includes their musician and production work for Duran Duran and its spin-off super-group Power Station, and I would well deserve to be stripped of my Durannie status if I did not point that out. My old vinyl LP’s now long gone, and having no way of finding a lot of it on CD, I can revisit the “old school” songs and others anytime I like by switching between “’70s on 7,” “’80s on 8,” and “Studio 54” on Channel 15. All our new car needs is a mini-fridge and a bookshelf, and I could live in there quite happily, I think. (Yes, I know I can subscribe to XM radio and have it play inside my house. But remember, gentle reader, I am a road-tripper at heart, and my kids really have no idea of how close I come to literally packing a bag and driving away for an entire weekend, by myself, just to get a break from the whining and the squabbling.)

So now, if you will excuse me, I am about to unleash my inner soul diva and belt it to whatever happens to be playing on the car stereo while seeking out the nearest 24-hour supermarket for eggs, milk and bread for tomorrow morning’s breakfast.

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