Talking it up

Talking about BooM Boxes Star Wars and playing Army in the Glen behind our houses!

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Tony Randazzo : It’s hard to speak your mind these days. voicing your opinion is tough and a climate where you’re either seen as an ultra conservative or a bleeding heart liberal. But what about our perspective? What about the Gen X perspective? Hi, I’m Tony a latchkey kid from the 80s and 90s. Now I’m in my 40s wearing cargo shorts, collecting Star Wars figures and reminiscing about the days before my first cell phone. The Gen X perspective is for us caught somewhere in between boomers and millennials for we see things a bit differently. I’m tired of staying silent. It’s time to rant, discuss, unload and debate join Tony and his guests as they tackle the topics of Pop Culture, Sports, religion, and yes, even politics. If life’s a Rubik’s Cube, we’ve got the experience to tackle it. Well Come to the Gen X perspective with Tony Randazzo. Hey, how’s everybody doing today? Well, here we go off on another adventure in podcasting. So I’m I woke up this morning thinking quite a bit aboutwhat is the dealwith boom boxes now let me give you a little perspective so I got my collection of you know 80s toys and stuff I got a rotary telephone, some Star Wars stuff, just kind of you know nostalgic things in my my home studio office that I got around, that’s not appropriate to have at my regular job because all my staff would probably give me too hard of a time. But I started thinking, gosh, I want I want to have a boombox right. I remember when I was a kid, I carried one around all the time. It was a huge deal. It was the most important thing in my teenage life for sure for a while, was music and this boombox. So I thought, well, you know, I’ll get on eBay, see what’s out there. Find something, throw it up on the shelf. More than likely, you know, if the tape player works, that’s a bonus. I got some tapes later on. It’d be nice to throw a couple in there just to see how horrible they sound. But figure, well, let’s just pick one up. It’ll be easy. Has anybody looked at what it costs to buy a 30 year old boom box on eBay? Oh my god. Even the ones that don’t work are 50 bucks. Because they’re selling them for parts, right. So there’s a whole community of Have boombox old radio people. And if you want a boombox that’s got a tape player that works. And it doesn’t look like it, you know, got thrown down the stairs, which all of them pretty much do because we all destroyed them. You’re looking at like 100 bucks and up, and that’s for a crappy one. If you want like mint condition, somebody put on their shelf and 1981 end it never saw sunlight. And the kids actually never touched it like an adult bought it and just put it up on a shelf somewhere. You’re talking five or $600 for a freakin radio that’s old, that you’re lucky that it works. It’s crazy. It’s not like this thing’s a piece of China. I mean I can start going off on Star Wars figures and what the Gen Xers are willing to pay for that stuff as something else as well that I discovered in my adventures and wanting to you know, have a collection of a couple pieces. I wasn’t wanting to fill up an entire room full of toys, but I thought it would be really cool to have, you know, some of the highlights around things that just kind of brought back some great memories. You know, the Millennium Falcon and Luke Skywalker and Han Solo toys are fingers and I’m not talking to pristine in the packages, I want to be able to touch them and move them around and look at them and not have them behind glass but even that stuff is crazy expensive. I can remember being a little kid going into the it would have been Kmart probably at the time with my mom shopping and going in the toy section and spending what felt like Ours just staring and touching every toy in there while mom was doing what mom does with a cart buying stuff and then begging for that one figure or that one, whatever it was, and remember mom saying it’s too expensive and looking at the original price tags on some of that stuff I mean, I use that excuses apparent as well. It’s too expensive for sure. Right? Oh my god. What they’re getting for toys that arguably are antiques are collector’s items now is crazy money. I mean, I was perusing this morning kind of looking at some prices, brushing up on what things are selling for these days before I got on this morning and you’re if you’re looking at like more of the random stuff like Like, well, our 2d two in the package original, right? And it’s been graded with the grading professionals and the people that do all that stuff. Two grand for something you can’t even get your hands on because it’s in its original packaging in a sealed plastic box on top of it. So it’s something that sits on a shelf or it’s collected and traded or I know there’s a whole world there of these collectors and people that do this stuff, but wow, you can never even touch it. So I thought if I ever ran across, ran across stuff like that, okay. If I was ever to buy it, and I don’t think that I would, I would have to buy one of each. So I’d have to have everything one that I can have out and my grandson can touch and we can play with and look at Then one that sits behind glass. I mean, yeah, we have a set of China in the dining room that we don’t touch or use that was my grandmother’s and my wife’s grandmother’s and you know heirlooms that have been passed down through the family. But the toys surely weren’t passed downthrough the family their well by definition their toys. And I find it really fascinatinghow expensive this stuff is every week on Sundays, pre pandemic, we would have a flea market up at at our farm and winery, and, and people would bring their garage sale stuff, that’s what we’re really pushing for. We didn’t want just crafters or just new stock kind of stuff we wanted people have Kind of all walks. So bring your stuff out of your garage, you know, bring your collections, bring your whatever’s in, come sell it, throw it out in the yard, everybody comes to one spot. You know, when we have a lot of people that come up, you know, 4050 people will come sell stuff on a Sunday. And you walk through and look at this stuff. And it’s really interesting. Depending on where you are in the country, and how close you are to big cities based on the price of things. So like, what got really popular, this season was a lot of old wood, because people were starting to do a lot of home hobbies and stuff at home. And they were working with wood. So old wood got really expensive and really popular and was in high demand. Some of the other things that aren’t in demand, at least in the area that I’m in is anything that had to do with that could be construed As racially insensitive so any old antique and I’m saying antique, original or old, ancient MoMA stuff, Uncle Ben stuff, anything that was that currently now is considered racist or racially insensitive. Those things which were collector’s items and they still are in their own right kind of vanished people weren’t selling them anymore. It wasn’t appropriate. There were even some shops that I kind of caught wind of that were asking different people that were selling that may have had some of these things to not sell them or have them anymore and have them out just because it’s so it’s such a racially charged topic or thing right now. So it was easier to either destroy them, give them away, throw them in a box, forget about them for now. But that Stuff got really taboo to have. And before it was highly collectible, because there was so much of it in and it had been around for so long. Again, nostalgia for people, I guess. But it’s just interesting how that perception changes from collectible to taboo. Overnight now, I’m not gonna get into the ins and outs and why it’s just an observation. The other thing that’s really fascinating about where you are geographically in prices is especially, I mean, it could be anything but even toys. Where we are I’ve had a lot of people. We get a lot of summer residents from bigger cities and they come in and they buy this stuff and they’re amazed at the prices how good the prices are, and in talking With some of the more professional pickers and Junkers, that it’s all based on geography, so they might come up here and buy old fishing lures were on the St. Lawrence River. There’s a long history of fishing here. So they might pay a bunch of old fishing lures here for pennies on the dollar, and they might buy him for a buck apiece. But if you take those and you take him down to New York City, or you take them to California, or you take them to Boston, anywhere where there’s a larger population, the price sometimes we’ll go from a buck up here and that’s all they’re worth all day long. To $100 a lot of original old stock like even the small tins like the small, like Coca Cola tins and gas station tins, and I mean small ones, like the size of your computer monitor kind of stuff. Small that would hang up. I’m not talking about the big giant ones that you see on TV that they, they do for for big money, I’m talking little itty bitty signs, you know, maybe a foot by two foot and up here, again, you can find themyou know, 20 bucks, 25 bucks. You put those things on eBay or you take them to New York City and you’re talking 100 200 bucks. It’s really fascinating kind of how that whole market works and, and based on kind of where you are and what was really popular. So some of the cities where some of the original toy companies were manufacturing toys. That’s where the treasure trove of unopened unpackaged original toys are found more often than not like where Kenner might have been producing and where their employees were in their employees collected them. And storage units are in their basement and never opened them because they had basically open access to them. So you take those out of the dusty attic or basement and they’re worth the freakin fortune all of a sudden. really fascinating stuff. And I don’t know if I have any good answers, but it definitely was around about the price of stuff. Getting back to that boombox, I still haven’t got one. I’m pretty convinced now based on the same thing. So go on eBay and they’re worth 500 bucks for a working brand new boombox, that would end up sitting on my shelf that I would turn on a couple times and it would collect dust. I’m gonna search around here in my rural community in upstate New York, and look around and see where I can find a freakin boombox that doesn’t cost a fortune. And guess what, more than likely I’m going to be able to find one I’ll let you know when I run across one and get it in. See how it works and what it looks like but it’s just crazy stuff like that. And it just some of it just doesn’t make any sense in the world. It’s just totally crazy. So with that being said, I think that will continue to shop locally for such antiques. And it’s an antique which is even crazier to say. It’s a freakin radio. No, it’s an antique now cuz I’m an antique apparently getting in my up in my upper 40s 47 to be exact. And it’s, it’s crazy. I don’t know, I don’t know, just nuts kind of stuff. Sothinking abouttrying to come up with something interesting to talk about every week. Now that is quite the treasure trove. And I thought in talking about antiques and old stuff and toys, which we did earlier here in the segment that I wanted to talk about when we were young, and really that kind of spark of freedom that we had for me and my friends, and I’m talking about seven years old, to 10 this is before girls, before music really. And this is you know, big wheels hanging out in the cold sack, playing kick the can kind of stuff. And growing up having that freedom to spend hours upon hours outside playing, and kind of having that freedom, especially in the summertime really thinking back to you know, mom didn’t know what to do with you dad was at work. So you know, out of the house, you went So that soap operas can ensue, and mom can clean and do whatever she was doing because mom was still at home. At least when I was that young, I didn’t become a latchkey kid until probably 11 when my parents got divorced, and mom went back to work, and then I was left to my own devices, but we’re talking pre all of that craziness happening. So, you know, go outside, be home, you know, by the time the streetlights Come on kind of stuff. And all the things that we used to do, there was probably a group of 10 of us that lived in the neighborhood. And we would bounce around from house to house. And then you know, from time to time, whoever’s mom and dad it was would boot us and send us down to the next house. You know, we had one friend, the burgers they had a trampoline in their backyard. And that was awesome. For for a long time. And then we had another family too. Down the street that had a pool. We weren’t allowed there as often. But when we were with adult supervision, of course, we would all go swimming and go crazy there. And then next to our houses was this area called the Glen. And it was kind of this free open area. The woods, the Glen, there was a stream and thinking back on it now it was probably more run off. And we probably had no business being down in there, messing around, but we were and we would go down there and we would do things like play army, or war. At the time, you know, the Vietnam era was over, but those movies were kind of popular and being kind of infused into our culture. Rambo was maybe not quite out yet but a movie called uncommon valor, which as a kid was probably totally inappropriate for me to be watching but was arguably probably one of my most favorite movies as a kid and really shaped my imagine In my playing outside was this movie called uncommon valor. You should look it up. It’s a great flick my buddy Ryan, who I still follow on Facebook, we haven’t talked in years. We definitely went two different directions in our life. I believe he’s a nurse now and still a hippie from the best I can tell which is awesome. That summer we spent all summer watching that movie I don’t know how many times and running around in the woods with our toy guns, playing Vietnam or war and, and kind of living this Fantasy Life in imagination, right? You got to remember no computers, no cell phones. Video games were just starting to kind of creep in. But it wasn’t anything we were allowed to do for hours on end for the love of God. Most of the TVs we couldn’t even plug the damn things in. So we were outside. our imagination was what was driving this whole thing and I just remembered Frank and, and, and, and I want to say her name was a pillar pillar maybe was another friend that was kind of running around with us when we were kind of in this Vietnam uncommon valor stage in our lives and and we would spend our days running around in the Glen in the woods. You know, at that point it was begging mom and dad to take us to the army surplus store so we could buycamouflage pants and hats and be able to run around in the woods and be army guys. And and that went on for a summer. Or at least it felt like a summer it could have been longer shorter. But thinking back it felt like it was forever. And it was some really great fun times. And of course life catches up with you and I ran across Ryan on Facebook a couple years ago and we reconnected He’s still out on the west coast. I’m out east now. And it looks like he has an amazing, fabulous life. And I don’t even know if he thinks of that stuff. I don’t think I ever brought it up to him when we reconnected originally, but it was some of the greatest times in my memory in life was that snapshot of that summer or that year that we were kind of friends and these guys were like a block away from where I lived. So they weren’t my kind of core group of neighborhood kids. They were the neighborhood kids from kind of the next street or to over. And we just became fast friends like you do when you’re that age and, and the rest is history, so to speak. And it was just a really fun time to be crawling around out in the woods and imagining that you’re somewhere else and doing something else and, and then, here we have today where kids imaginations are more tied into televisions and technology and video games, at least from my perspective, and what I see out there. And it’s just kind of a shame then that it changed. Now, with that all being said, you know, we still had these groups of kids and friends, we would all ride our bikes. There was a 711 that felt like it was 10 miles away. I think it was maybe a half a mile that we could ride our bikes to, and get slurpees those of you who know what a 711 is, know what a Slurpee is, and, and we would go get those. We were maybe maybe not allowed to go that far, but we always would. And we were just kind of allowed to run amok. For the most part. I mean, there was no way for mom and dad to know where we were. Unless they took us and dropped us off at the mall. Totally different discussion, the malls but you know, when we’re on our bikes running around town, we were kind of left our own devices as long as we were home. One time, and kind of some parent knew basic direction of where we were going. And one of them always, I think, knew we had pretty much freedom to do whatever we wanted to do. And that was I think, really important for kind of independent thought and being having that independence and not being scared all the time. And, you know, nowadays mom and dads are so scared, and have so much control over every moment of where their kids are. Now, that might be a good thing or a bad thing. You know, I’m not. I don’t know how to judge that or grade it or have an opinion about it, I guess. I mean, I feel like it’s a shame that kids don’t have that freedom like they used to have, and even those parents talk about, you know, I remember when I was a kid, and I had all this freedom and it’s just not the same nowadays. You just can’t do that. So either it got more dangerous. And even in rural communities, it’s gotten either a more dangerous or parents have just gotten crazier. I don’t know what it is, maybe it’s a little both. But, again, that is definitely a different subject to have to bring up and talk to, maybe we’ll get a professional in here on some kind at some point. And we can talk about why why kids don’t have the freedom that they used to when they were younger, or why they don’t have the same freedoms that their parents had. generationally speaking, I guess.So. I don’t know. With all that being said, I guess. It’s just really one of those things where kind of as I’m talking and starting to remember what it was like to be a kid. And, and I’m starting you know, again, back six, seven years old. Pre girls pre boombox pre hanging out at the mosque kind of stuff, that freedom that you had, that life would just never end in that in that joy that you had laying in the grass in the front yard or the backyard looking up at the clouds and as an adult. I challenge all of you. Think about it for a minute. When was the last time you laid in the yard or laid in a park and looked up at the clouds. You didn’t have your ear buds and you didn’t have a radio on you weren’t texting on your cell phone and you were just imagining what life was all about. And watching those puffy clouds go by. I highly suggest going and doing that. It might be good for you. They did say that people are rediscovering the outdoors nowadays because they can’t gather as much indoors. And that’s not a popular thing these days, but it might not be a bad thing to do. The other thing recently that I did is I dusted off my mountain bike and got my fat ass on that. And that incredibly painful boy, if you don’t ride a bike, and hadn’t in a long time, and you go get on it.Wow, talk about pain in parts of your body that you didn’t know. could hurt very quickly. Yep, that’ll happen. So I suggest that as well. hurts a little bit more than laying in the grass, looking at clouds, but anything to get out there and start experiencing the outdoors and life again. Through a different set of eyes. I mean, really try to recapture I think, what it was like when you were a kid, you know, I mean, and granted all of our experiences are different. I mean, kids that grew up in the city. Were Kids that grew up in rural farming communities or in the suburbs. I mean, we all have kind of a different story based on what our experiences but it’s all basically the same. We were all kids, we all ran around, we all had hopes and dreams and lived for the summers and the weekends. I remember, you know, my whole life was about getting to Saturday because you had two hours of cartoons that you could watch. And mom and dad would let that happen before they threw you out of the house for the day to go play with your friends. And you know, and those are just moments in time that you can’t get back that are just nostalgic nowadays. You can watch any cartoon you want and boy go back and visit some of the cartoons that you watched when you were a kid. Yosemite Sam and freakin Bugs Bunny smoking cigarettes and oh my gosh, if they put that stuff out now I mean, you know, granted we got Family Guy and southpark which is more, I think catered to us as adults anyway, but go back and watch some of those cartoons that we watched as a kid. And and if that stuff came out new today, I think they would be run right off the air some of the stuff I mean, talk about taboo and totally inappropriate. It’s really wild. I mean, go back and watch some Bugs Bunny cartoons.You know, check out your somebody, Sam andthe smoking rootin tootin, cowboy cartoons and different stuff that was out there back from the 80s and 90s. And, you know, I won’t even talk about the movies that were out then when we were kids as opposed to what would be appropriate now. Some of that stuff. They’re even censoring where different TV stations and cable stations won’t even play. Some of this stuff I mean, like, I mean, I’m jumping back way too far in generations and I’m going to not want to get on this tangent too much but like gone with the when you it’s not even, it’s being banned and not shown right now because of its racial implications back not at the time, but what it portrayed and how inappropriate that is right now. They, they’ve kind of pulled it, you can’t find it to watch it. And there’ll be a whole nother episode on movies from the 80s and 90s. That will do at some point, but yeah, things are between now and then what was appropriate. As a kid as we grew up as Gen Xers, who our generation, our stuff, our things, we were kind of the were on the cusp of what was appropriate, or what is appropriate today versus what was appropriate for us back then. It’s we were Kind of in that transition? We had we had both we had stuff that was, you watch it or see it or have it or look at it if it’s a cartoon with a cartoon character smoking a cigarette to now where, you know, you’re lucky if you can smoke anywhere and be run out of town to two movies, same kind of same kind of deal. You know what, what was appropriate? or funny? What was funny, that’s another thing. What was funny then is definitely not funny now, and, you know, comedians can talk about, you know, what they can and cannot talk about anymore. It’s totally changed. But, man, we got the pleasure of having the generation where we got introduced to all the changes, the modern day changes. So, again, cell phone, pagers, you know, we all have memories before that stuff existed. What’s accessible? You know, we went through we were born in a track era and records were still prominent, you know, we went through tapes, we went through CDs, and well, now it’s just everywhere. Computers the same way, you know, we were that generation that was exposed to them for the first time didn’t exist exist now. So we still have the ability to have our foot in both worlds as kids discovering now, you know, our Boomer parents, yes, they, they saw the same thing, but definitely a different perspective. They were all grown as a lot of these things are happening. So we have a really unique eye on remembering before and after. So before cell phones after cell phones, it’s almost like a, a line drawn in the sand of how things were before and how they are now today, and how much that’s changed and That’s really wild and crazy. And thanks for spending a half hour with me kind of randomly going over some of these things, and we’re definitely going to get some guests in. We’re going to target some of this stuff. We’re going to talk a little bit more in depth about single topics. As we start getting more episodes up and running and going, and I do appreciate you guys listening to me and, you know, hey, have a fantastic day. Thanks for listening to the Gen X perspective with Tony Randazzo, where we see things a bit differently. Let’s get social. Find us on Facebook by searching Gen X perspective, Twitter at Gen X underscore podcast and on Instagram at Gen X perspective. You can also find us online at Gen X perspective calm and reach out to Tony directly at Tony at Gen X perspective calm to maybe you can talk to strategy on how to beat Super Mario Brothers three. Don’t forget to subscribe to the jennex perspective wherever you get your podcasts. Thanks for listening