What’s that picture of a band printed on cardboard doing there?

I’ve spent most of the summer working, to my dismay. I went camping for one night, and that’s been it for vacation. However, I have a new house that I love, and so I’ve been holding meetings here which is lovely. Sometimes we sit in the sun.

Last week or so a grad student with whom I’m working came over for a meeting, and she brought two of her children. They had the yard, some crayons, their computer — and they played happily while she and I worked for a couple hours.

As they were getting to leave, they noticed a picture I have yet to hang up. It’s actually an album cover, with the album still inside — the first band I ever saw live, and one of two records I saved from a largeish stash that mostly went away when I moved. The Ramones, Subterranean Jungle.

The girls, 7 and 9, asked what’s that? when they saw it propped on a table against the wall, waiting for me to figure out how to hang it. “It’s a record album!” I say. They stare at me blankly. “Do you know what an album is?” The younger admits she doesn’t know. The older one hesitates. I feel very old. “So, you know what a cd is?” “Yes.” “Okay, so this is what music came on before there were cds,” and I pull out the album and they come over and ooohh and ahhh (literally) as they look at the grooves and the hole in the middle (what’s that for?) and the thick cardboard covering. “That’s *so* cool” they say.

And I go check for gray hair in the mirror.

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