2 comments on “Memory Lane Moments Part 3- A Different Take On Time Travel”

Memory Lane Moments Part 3- A Different Take On Time Travel

What if I told you that there actually is a such thing as a time machine? Would you my reader believe me, or would you think I am going crazy? Would you want to know more, or just write off what I am saying because it seems far fetched? My friends, I submit to you that time machines are real! I know they are, because I have seen them with my own two eyes! I have heard them with my ears! I am not going crazy here, please stay with me as I take you on this journey down memory lane.

When I was a child growing up in the 1980’s and 1990’s, I could distinctly remember certain places, people, and events easily in my youth. Fast forward to 2018, it is not as easy as it use to be to remember those things. As we age we still have our memories, but our mind generally is not as sharp as it used to be. Sometimes I forget what I was talking about 5 minutes ago, yet I can remember an event from 25 years ago through one particular vehicle, or as I like to call it, time machine.

I will not make you my reader wait any longer. The time machine I am referring to is the vehicle of music. Yes my friends, music is a time machine in which I use to travel back down memory lane to remember specific details of life. Below are a few examples of specific events I am reminded of, every time I hear these songs.

  1. screenshot_2018-05-12-12-32-45-1208133503.pngStevie Wonder’s “Another Star”– When hearing this beautifully crafted piece of music, I instantly travel back to 2 different era’s of my life. The first is 1996, sitting with my brother Julius in the back room of my parents home talking about life and eating Hot Pockets. When this album played, my brother did not realize the values he was instilling in me that had a long lasting positive effect on my life. He was molding me in several subjects, from how to handle my business as a young man, to how to impress girls when I went to high school the next year. He taught me to be smart and not get caught up in the system, all while Stevie was playing in the background. The second era was 2001. This was my freshman year in college at Winston-Salem State University sitting in the stands watching the Durham N.C. Battle Of The bands. Virginia State University’s marching band marched out to “Another Star” and it sounded amazing! They were a primary rival of my school at that time, but I must admit I loved the way they played this song. I joined the marching band at WSSU the next year, partially to battle VSU because of this event.
  2. screenshot_2018-05-12-12-34-52-11921006611.pngJames Taylor’s “Shower The People”– When hearing this song, I instantly think of my father and warp back to my childhood. The year was 1988. I was 5 years old at the time. I remember that being the year my parents had a sun room completed in our home. I remember my dad playing this beautiful song on his guitar and the whole family would sit and listen. Then we would go outside right after and play. My dad would continue to play and sing, while me and my 8 year old sister Tomeka made mud pies. I was young, but I remember the message of this song because it was full of emotion. The lyrics were so powerful back then and now.  In the second verse of the song, James passionately sang, “You can run but you cannot hide, this is widely known, what do you plan to do with your foolish pride, when you’re all by yourself alone? Better to shower the people you love with love.” -Classic
  3. screenshot_2018-05-12-12-31-13-1-2125786138.pngNas’s “The World Is Yours”, leading track on his classic album “Illmatic“- Ah spring 1994, I will never forget. I was almost 11 years old and definitely not supposed to be listening to hip-hop music, but tell that to my 5 older brothers! I take this time machine back to that spring, walking with my older brother’s Westly and Julius to Greg’s house, their best friend. I distinctly remember playing Sonic The Hedgehog 2 and Mortal Kombat on his Sega Genesis, when I heard the piano cords at the beginning of this song before Nas started rapping. I turned the TV down to hear what the rapper was saying. Even at my young age, I was taken away by his words and descriptions of the living conditions in the infamous “Queensbridge” Project Homes of Queens, New York. The lyrics that rapper Nas stated on the second verse were incredible to me. He stated, “They aiming guns at all my baby pictures/beef with housing police, release scriptures that’s maybe Hitler’s/ Yet I’m the mild, money-getting style, rolling foul/ The versatile, honey-sticking wild golden child/ Dwelling in the Rotten Apple, you get tackled.” Nas had incredible talent, because he has the ability to make you feel what he saw everyday. That is what great artists do, in my opinion.

These are only 3 examples of many others where music is the vehicle to travel back in time. I can see almost every detail. Music is so powerful. It is a form of art that brings back many feelings and emotions for the masses. I would love to know how many of you agree, and what songs specifically allow you my reader to travel back in time. It is a great feeling, because we are all just trying to figure out this thing called life. I highly suggest that at some point this weekend, pull out a few of your old time machines and take a ride down memory lane. They come in many different forms. Back then there were only 8 track, vinyl, and cassette time machines. Today we have CD, MP3, and Digital Streaming time machines. No matter the format, pull them out, push play, and fly away. This is Vintage Retroman, signing off for now.

V.R.

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0 comments on “Vintage Retro Online Store Apparel”

Vintage Retro Online Store Apparel

Hello everyone! This is just a friendly reminder that the Vintage Retro Store is always open for business! I always keep retro apparel, toys, and games for sale at great prices, all with free shipping in the continental U.S. If you see something you are interested in, feel free to let me know. I keep all products in great condition and they all have a vintage or retro theme. They all have the PayPal and Credit Card buttons for quick and secure transactions as well. Use the search button at the top of the page to search for a specific item as well. My only goal is to make you feel like a kid again! Love, peace, and happiness to all!

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V.R.

0 comments on “TMNT Poem- The Tale Of 4 Heroes In A Half Shell”

TMNT Poem- The Tale Of 4 Heroes In A Half Shell

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Listen up everyone i have a story to tell/

About 4 heroes, who happen to be in a half shell/

Their names for short are Leo, Mikey, Donny, and Raphael/

Turtles that are teenage mutants from the sewers that smell/

 

We met up with April O’ Neil who reported that crime/

Is sharply increasing, because of this group called the foot clan/

Led by the infamous villain Shredder who in space and time/

Is trying to capture New York City and rule it under his hand/

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Master Splinter, we need your help in fighting the goons on these streets/

We need your training, your mental toughness and expertise/

Sure you’re a rat and we were mutated by toxic waste/

Let us have courage, leave the training base, and fight crime with haste/

 

To our nemesis’s, Rocksteady and Bebop you will see a disaster/

Also to Mr. Stockman, the fly creature with the first name Baxter/

Your luck has run out, Shredder since you are not the master/

Run from the presence of the turtles or we will finish this faster/

 

The T stands for teenage not that it matters at all/

The M for mutant, the bigger they are, the harder they fall/

The N stands for Ninja, fighting crime until it will cease/

The T for turtles, unlikely hero’s to restore the world’s peace.

V.R.

5 comments on “Mayday Mayday! It’s going down!”

Mayday Mayday! It’s going down!

May 1st, 1983 a king was born. As I look back reflecting on the events of my life the past 35 years on my birthday, I cannot help but feel grateful for the people and experiences I have encountered for my own personal growth. Many of you know that my dad passed away in March this year, and it left me searching for answers in many area’s of my life. What is amazing, is that I woke up this morning on my birthday feeling different. I had the deepest feelings of peace and gratitude as I sat out at the lake with my wife eating breakfast before work. I thought back to my childhood, and how I used to love going to the lake with my dad. I looked over at the picnic tables and thought about how myself, my 7 brothers and sisters, and my parents would enjoy the natural beauty that God almighty created. With all of those thoughts and emotions, I wanted to take a brief moment to express them through an original poem. It is entitled: MayDay. I hope you all enjoy it!

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MayDay by Vintage Retroman

Everyday is a holiday, everyday is a blessing/

Even when it does not seem like it from constantly stressing/

Take some time to enjoy the beauty within the struggle/

Like the butterfly in the cocoon while the leaves rustle/

Life may seem like a challenge, the only thing constant is change/

Have you ever felt how good it feels to dance in the rain?/

Have you ever seen the trees, the grass, or mountains complain?/

Don’t get me wrong I understand the reality of pain/

Hang in their soldier, you are almost at the finish line now/

And as the curtain calls and the show ends, only then take a bow/

Until then, live life to the fullest while you work hard and pray/

My only wish is that you enjoy the experience of this Mayday/

V.R.

8 comments on “The Disconnect Of Being Too Connected”

The Disconnect Of Being Too Connected

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Sometimes I just wish for a day that we all could go back. I am talking a time machine and warp back to the past, even if only for a day. As I stare at the small 3.5 x 5′ screen I can’t help but wonder, have I became a zombie, a servant, a slave to the rectangle device we call a smart phone? I am not trying to be one of those “Holier than thou” type people. I love my phone as much as the next person. As I stare waiting for the next update, the next like, the next comment, I get a small fix of the drug I like to call, technocodine. Ok, I just made that up but you my reader gets the picture.

It wasn’t always like this. In elementary school in the 1980’s we played outside and loved it! Rarely did we have technology in our hands except maybe a Nintendo controller for a short time after getting home from school. I remember the days of passing notes in class to my 1st “real” girlfriend, trying to catch her attention and hide from my geometry teacher at the same time. At the bus stop in Middle and High School our status updates were who we called last night on a landline phone and what the conversation consisted of. Prank calls were the best and we all knew to be ready for the wicked “3 way call of doom.” There were no screenshots. The worst that could happen was leaving an embarrassing message on someone’s answering machine!

Where I grew up, if you had a feud with someone you might end up in a brawl after school in front of a small crowd, but regardless of who won or lost guns were rarely a factor. Today, when arguments break out it quickly goes viral on social media and kids are killing other kids over opinions, ideas, and emotions that are not even real. I have never seen anything like this. I worry about our younger generation. The same technology that grants so many opportunities if used correctly, has also caused so much harm to homes, families, and communities.

I know what you are saying, who does this guy Vintage Retroman think he is? He is so self righteous. How dare he address this subject with his audience while he uses technology to do it? Truth be told, I am preaching to myself as well. I am addicted to technology. It is the disconnect of being too connected at times. It’s quite troubling actually. I used to go to the beach to sit out and enjoy the warmth of the sun, the sound of the crashing waves and all the beautiful sights. Now when I go to the beach, I have to capture every single moment on film. I am not saying that there is anything wrong with taking beautiful pictures. What I’m saying is, if taking the perfect picture to capture the beauty or the moment becomes more important than enjoying the moment, that is a problem.

Here is an idea for you, my reader. What if for one day, the world had “International No Technology Day”. Literally 24 hours. Would the world stop spinning? What if there was one day where everyone had to actually have a conversation with another person face to face? Picture just one day, where we talked to our kids and spouses about everything in person. What would it look like, considering we’ve been conditioned to be slaves to technology? Once again, I am not trying to make anyone feel bad. I am trying to make us all think.

I say all of this, as I type my article on my laptop. My smartphone just went off so I will be checking the latest news and social media updates just like you in a minute. Then, I look over at my wife and kids and they’re doing the same. Oh sure we’re all in the same room, so I will justify my actions by saying we are all spending time together. It’s easier that way right? I am sure that my sons would enjoy what they are doing on their phones or video games way more than me tossing the football with them in the yard. My 6 year old daughter doesn’t want to have a tea party with me for sure. Well, maybe they would like that, maybe not. One thing’s for certain though, there’s no way my daughter who plays on her high school softball team wants me to go out in the yard and play pitch and catch, right? Yeah, that’s right, she’d much rather watch softball updates on Twitter or the College Softball World Series?

I am a hypocrite in every sense of the word. I wrote this article for me. I have diagnosed myself with the disconnect of being too connected. Can someone please teach me how to hold down that little red semi circle button that says “Power”? Can someone please help me remember the conversations with my mother around the table while eating a delicious meal? Will someone please let my wife know that I am so sorry. I know that we used to have really long, deep conversations about life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I must admit here recently that the quick text conversations of “Hey, how is your day?” “Oh good, that’s good” and “I love you” get just a little old after a while. To my reader, while you are explaining things, please let my children know that I love them and that I promise to learn how to put the laptop, phone, and games down for a little while. I can’t be the only one infected with this disease. Just remember that it is not the devices themselves that are the problem. They are only inanimate objects. We only get sick from the actual disease when our thoughts, motivations, and objectives become subject to over connection. To my reader, I would never judge you. I am simply a fellow traveler trying to get back to using technology for good in its proper context. Let us take this trip together, one step at a time. Signing off for now.

V.R.

2 comments on “Nerdy & Squirdy- The Retro Relationship Gone Right! An Official V.R. Review”

Nerdy & Squirdy- The Retro Relationship Gone Right! An Official V.R. Review

One is Nerdy, the other is Squirdy. Their name itself made me want to inquire more. The dynamic duo of delightful gaming, The power couple of retro fun, Yet when you look deeply into their content they are so much more than just casual gamers on YouTube. They have something special to aspire to. That something special is more than just Nerdy’s pixel Link shirt or Squirdy’s glass of wine. Stay with me.

One day as I was searching along my Instagram page, I came across Nerdy and Squirdy. I immediately thought, this is a pretty interesting and unique couple. I quickly hit the follow button because I loved the idea of a couple having fun with a retro theme. As I scrolled their Instagram page and later their YouTube channel, I admired the title screens and thumb up, thumb down reviews. The facial expressions they gave on certain games make me laugh, because they are so passionate and animated about the content. Just read the profile description below from their Instagram page. It speaks volumes on who you are about to follow, and the entertainment you are about to receive!

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One of the many characteristics I admire about Nerdy and Squirdy is their work ethic. They really put so much passion and effort into carefully creating quality content on their site and channel. I respect anyone who’s able to genuinely connect with their audience though any type of media because this is truly a gift. They grant reviews, run quality livestream video’s, contests and giveaways, and so much more through their channel. I also love the highlighted days like #FanFridays, where the viewer has the opportunity to pick the game in which they review. Pretty awesome!

Although I have shared some great qualities about the work of this couple, those qualities are not the “special” characteristics I referred to earlier in this review. What makes them special in my opinion is the love they share. You can tell that they are best friends in life! It’s authentic and shows on the screen in their videos. Just think, when the camera turns off, there is life, work, kids, and everything else just like there is with all of us. When we heard Squirdy speaking about dropping the kids off at school, my wife and I could relate! Through the daily hustle and grind, we each have to remember that life is short and we need to live each day to our fullest potential.

I highly recommend that you check out Nerdy and Squirdy’s YouTube channel, even if you are not a gamer. With this couple, you get so much more than just game content. They talk about life. They present underlying messages of family, fun, and friendship. In my eyes they are a power couple because they stay true to their passion and purpose. May we all find our calling, put in the hard work and knowledge to obtain it and live life to the fullest. Signing off for now.

V.R.

0 comments on “Pac-Man Poetry By V.R.”

Pac-Man Poetry By V.R.

Pac-man

I’m like a yellow pizza pie with one slice taken out/

I flow around eating pellets and making sounds with my mouth/

I hit the arcade’s with much success in the 1980’s/

I’m so successful that that my sequels we’re starring my lady/

Who has that pretty bow in her head but don’t let her appearance fool you/

When it comes to clearing stages her goal is to rule you/

Oh sure both me and my wife we’re chased by those pesky ghosts/

But if I swallow the big pill, they better run or else they are toast!/

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When the black screen blinks, I power up, the ghosts turn a shade/

Of blue I’ve never seen before with their faces disarrayed/

In this maze, I eat cherries and strawberries gaining extra points/

If played in arcades, be sure to bring plenty of coins/

Because I’m truly a retro classic, even in modern times/

And to the ghosts, my foes named Blinky, Pinky, Inky, and Clyde/

Although we’ve been at odds for years trying to get the upper hand/

I thank you, because without you there would be no Pac-Man!/

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V.R.

8 comments on “Memory Lane Moments Part 2- The Chapters That Were Never Written”

Memory Lane Moments Part 2- The Chapters That Were Never Written

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Incomplete, inconclusive, fragmented, all words applicable to the past of certain situations in all of our lives. We have all heard the cliche statement time and time again, “Life goes on.” This is true, but sometimes in everyone’s life a certain person, event, or thought may trigger a response of a wide range of emotions. As difficult as these hidden emotions may be to deal with at times, it is necessary for clarity and closure to address such situations.

So question, have you ever hurt someone in your past either intentionally or by mistake? It’s easy to play the victim when we’re on the receiving end of pain but how much harder is it to accept responsibility for pain you directly or indirectly caused another individual? Even then, once you’ve accepted responsibility how do we deal with the guilt? Think about it, in  some extreme cases we’re no longer able to communicate with those we have wronged due to losing touch or maybe they have passed away.

I truly believe our lives are written by God, the author and finisher of our faith. I find peace and comfort in knowing that God knows the end before we start the beginning. What I have a hard time understanding is the correlation between the free will that God gives us to live out the chapters He has already written, verses His omnipotence that has already finished the book. By the end of this article, I hope that you my reader, will receive some insight as well. Stay with me.

I recently had a conversation with a good friend of mine. She shared with me a story of how in the past she unintentionally hurt one of her best friends in college.  She recently ran into him after several years and he was acting noticeably distant.  When she questioned him about his demeanor he finally expressed all the feelings of both love and anger he had towards her.  He told her how it hurt when he had to find out via text message, only one day before the wedding, that she was getting married.  He expressed how at that time it felt as if his heart had been ripped out of his chest yet all he could respond was a reluctant “Congratulations”

Fast forward 5 years and my dear friend is going through a painful divorce. When she finished telling me her story I responded, ‘Have you ever heard the statement, this is a closed chapter in your life? Unfortunately, when it comes to your college friend this is what it is, a chapter closed. She responded, ‘How can the chapter be closed if it was never written in the first place?’ Interesting synopsis, I thought to myself.  I stopped to really digest that question and after some contemplation realized her frustration was not because it was a completed chapter but because there wasn’t closure in one that was never written. So now she is living with thoughts of “what if’s” and “I wonder.”

Some of us have situations from the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s, and 2000’s that are incomplete chapters in our book of life. If we are honest, sometimes regret can creep into our thinking and negative emotions may flare from seemingly missed opportunities in our past. Not everyone has the Peaches and Herb experience of “Reunited and it feels so good”. Some of us have the Katy Perry experience of “The one that got away”. What do we do with those feelings?

I unfortunately don’t have the magical answer for the chapters that were never written. One thing I have learned as a writer though is that the chapters never written have snippets of wisdom and experience that we can use in the current stories of our lives. There is a reason why you are not with that person, did not get that job or promotion, or couldn’t qualify for that home. Could it be that in your story, God is completing an even greater masterpiece of art,such that when others read your story that will draw strength and hope from it?

I challenge you my reader not to run from your past. Give yourself permission to dissect the intricate details of the chapters never written or completed. I know it hurts, and although you cannot go back and write those chapters yourself, learn from them and  use that wisdom to positively impact your story currently being written. After all we are only human, which means we live out what is written. Even the best writers are limited in their creative scope which means that the inspiration to do more has to come from somewhere. Find the beauty in your struggle, and use it in each future chapter of your story as you reflect back from memory lane. Signing off for now.

V.R.