1960s, 1970s, 1980's, 1990s, affiliate, covid-19, nes, Nintendo, retro, retrogaming, sega, snes, Uncategorized

I Celebrated my 4 Year Blogging Anniversary on 01/15/2021! Happy 4 Year Blog-A-Versary To Me!

Vintage Retroman in January, 2021

Greetings friends and fellow bloggers, it’s me C.P. The Vintage Retroman, YOUR Neighborhood HOPE Dealer! It’s so hard to believe that it has been 4 whole years since I started my blog, http://www.vintageretroman.com on 01/15/2017! I started this mission with a vision: To bring the cultures of the past to the present, to spread hope and encouragement, and to educate and entertain through writings, poetry and songs. I am happy to report that despite the challenges of life, God has sustained me to still be here in 2021!

Recently, I have been thinking alot about the future. My children are now 17, 14, 11, and 9 years old, so much of my time has been invested in making sure they have everything that they need. With the current turmoil going on in the United States, I am hoping for a better future for my children. With that being said, this past year with COVID-19 we have connected on a level that we have never been on.

My family, New Year’s Day 2021

During the time I was working from home, I introduced them to a lot of classic music from the 70’s and 80’s, and I started making my own music and using samples from the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s. All of my music is on my YouTube channel, free of charge! (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCllZ2c5bmKo_qwoHbzLguJQ) I believe that my kids have gained a greater appreciation for the cultures of the past. I know I have. Sometimes it is an escape from what we have to deal with.

My wife blessed me with a Nintendo Switch for Christmas 2020. It’s funny, because I have found myself playing more of the older NES and SNES games in comparison to the newer games. It’s something about the way they make me feel. They take me back to a simpler time in life. A time before hardship, before responsibility. A time when I didn’t have to be a serious teacher of youth called my children. A time when my biggest fear was if I would get picked on by girls for my haircut, or my parents buying the wrong video game because it was cheaper in price!

One big change this past year was the birth of my nickname, “YOUR Neighborhood Hope Dealer!” I got this name from the Friday night Christian Hip-Hop parties I was hosting on Facebook live from April 2020- August 2020, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in the summer. I started thinking, “People need hope like fiends need dope”, so I ran with it! It has really caught on well! My audiences on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube love it! I love music of all types, so I am glad that God blessed me with a gift to help people with it!

I will end this blog post with some original lyrics from one of my songs, entitled “Some Real Talk” ft. my oldest daughter Zaria, aka Z Bank. ๐Ÿ™‚

“Cause’ Hindsight’s 2020/ I’ve got the Spirit of God that’s flowing right through me/ I know my worth when the enemy is lurking/ I push up, hands in the air, so they call me burpee!/ and surely, by now yes you know what I’m all about/ Your Neighborhood Hope dealer coming out the south/ A hybrid of hip-hop, the old with the novel/ A fusion of the past and present, call me time travel!”

If you would like to listen to “Some Real Talk!” ft Z. Bank, here is the link: https://youtu.be/QrcKJeoMLRA God bless you all in 2021! ๐Ÿ™‚

Original Christian Hip-Hop by me and my daughter, 2020

1960s, 1970s, 1980's, 1990s, nes, Nintendo, retro, retrogaming, sega, snes, Uncategorized

Watch “A Feeble Attempt..(New Song 2021) ft. Adele (Adele โ€œAlwaysโ€ Sample Credit to Psychosoundsbeatz)” on YouTube

Have you ever felt like you don’t measure up? Check out my new song “A Feeble Attempt”. I hope this new song touches the people. -Your Neighborhood  Hope Dealer

1980's, 1990s, nes, Nintendo, retro, retrogaming, snes

How Legends Are Made Part 3 of 3- Destiny Unfolds (Remastered)

The smoke cleared, the dust settled. A triumphant Link mounted Epona his horse, with the battle-tested Master Sword now resting in his sheath. It was a hard fought war in the land of Hyrule, with the evil Gannon finally destroyed and the three Triforce fragments united. Peace had once again returned to the land. As he rode across the lush green pastures of Hyrule Field, the warrior only has one subject on his mind and that was his queen, Princess Zelda, the daughter of Hyrule Kingdom.

As he made his way to the outer courtyard of Hyrule Castle, he stopped by the market and found the largest heart container necklace he could find for his queen. The man in the market asked him, “Are you sure that is the one you want Link? It cost $500 rupees!” Link responded to the store owner, “A wise old man once told me, It’s dangerous to go alone, so I’d better take this!” Both Link and the man erupted in laughter. That store owner was actually the grandson to the old man in the cave when Link first set out to save the Hyrule Kingdom.

The storekeeper said “Alright Link, I will tell you what. If you promise to always be faithful and always do right by Zelda, I will give you a 20% future king discount. After all, once you marry Zelda you will become king of all of Hyrule Kingdom.” “DEAL!” Link shouted and pulled out $400 rupees from his wallet and paid the owner. She has to agree to marry me first though! They both laughed intently as Link walked away with the beautiful piece of jewelry.

As he mounted his horse, he heard a soft and seductive “Hello Link”. As he turned around he couldn’t believe his eyes! “Wait, are you…..Sa…Sa…Saria?” She paused for a minute to give him a chance to catch his breath. “Yes Mr. Link, it’s me, Saria your old friend from the Kokiri Forest. How have you been?” Link was speechless, he hadn’t seen her since he was young and she was all grown up now smiling at him. Flashbacks came back into his mind of the time when he was first called to leave the forest when he set out on his journey to save Hyrule.

They were best friends and grew up together in the forest. “We have got to catch up Link! I heard that you saved Hyrule, and because of that, the veil was lifted that kept us in captivity in the Forest. For the first time in my life, I was able to leave that place. You were the first person I thought about when I left Link. I am so glad I found you!” Link responded, “Wow Saria, I am glad to see you. Look at you girl, you look amazing! I can’t believe it!”

Link slipped the heart container necklace he had purchased for Zelda into his pocket and said to Saria “Wow, it’s been so long! How are things in the forest? How is your family? Is your cousin Mido still as mean as he always has been?” They both started laughing. “Oh Link, everything is just fine now, thanks to you!” Saria ran up and not only embraced Link with a heartwarming hug but threw herself onto him as they both laughed together with childlike glee. She gently caressed Link’s face with her soft hands and looked into his eyes. “Thank you for being the man you are, Link.” **It is important to note that Saria was unaware of Link’s ties with princess Zelda and oblivious to the entire situation that Link was about to enter into with her.**

At that exact moment between the town and the gate of the castle, Princess Zelda watched from a distance roughly about 15 yards away. The position of the Temple of Time blocked her from view so they could not see her. “Do my eyes deceive me?” Zelda said to herself. She looked on intently. Link was embracing Saria, who she also remembered from their childhood. Zelda mentioned in her last letter to Link (see part 2 of this series) about how she felt concerning his friendship with Saria from the forest. She ran back towards the castle weeping bitterly. Since Link had just saved Hyrule, the King gave her permission to actually leave the security of the castle and wait for him inside the gate. A homecoming of a sort, that now felt like a homewrecking party. Zelda ran past all of the palace guards, into her room and sobbed by her window.

Meanwhile, back in the town after about 30 minutes of conversation, Link had a moment of reality to sink in. He was in love with Zelda. His heart sinked, his countenance changed. “Saria, I have something to tell you.” Saria smiled innocently as she waited for Link to ask her out on a date. She happily asked, “What is it Link?” He pulls out the beautiful heart container necklace from his pocket and explained to Saria “Do you remember when we were kids you told me that you just wanted me to be happy? I have a confession to make.” “What is it Link?” she stated as she looked worried. “Saria, I am in love with Princess Zelda and I am about to propose to her. I didn’t know if I’d ever see you again and…” Saria frowned and said “oh” and looked down as if she had lost her whole world. “I understand Link, thank you for being honest. I’ll be heading back to the forest now.”

“Saria wait! I never meant to hurt you!” Link exclaimed to her. “You didn’t Link, I hurt myself and because I love you, I have to do what’s right. Take care, my friend.” At that very moment, Sarah was led by her guardian ferry back to the forest. Link just stood there for a minute, shocked and still in disbelief. He cared deeply for Saria. He couldn’t believe that his desires led him away to another woman, even if it was just a conversation. Being a man, he took a moment for self-examination and then took action.

“Come on Epona! It’s time for me to go see my queen! I’m coming, Zelda!๐Ÿ’—” As Link rode up to the castle entrance, he received nothing but cold stares and hostility from the palace guards. “Seize him!” One of the guards yelled. At that very moment, a group of the royal police officers took Link and threw him in the lower courts of the castle. Link was shocked. It was there where he was confronted by an angry and heartbroken princess Zelda.

“How DARE you betray me Link! I have waited for you through everything. I saved myself for YOU and remained a single woman! Do you have any idea how many other princes I have turned down from other kingdom’s waiting for YOU? I wrote to you when you were battle-tested and weary! What do you have to say for yourself? I’m gonna tell you right now, It will be Hell in all of Hyrule before I let you or anyone else take advantage of me! You must have forgotten who the Hell I am! I told you before I am Princess Zelda, and I am no damsel in distress! If you want one of them, you better go find that little forest tramp I saw you all hugged up with! I forget her name, but I remember her from our childhood. Now, you are allowed to address me!”

“Zelda” Link very carefully said. “Nothing happened between Saria and I in the market. It was the first time I had saw her since we were kids, and all we did was play catch up. Yes she hugged me and we embraced, but that is only because she didn’t know about us. The moment I told her that I was in love with you she backed off and went into the forest. It was my fault for letting it get that far, but I promise it is not what you think Zelda”

“You expect me to believe that sir! I’m not as dumb as you look Link! I’ll be calling the guards to escort you out and take you to Death Mountain sir. The Goron rock people can have their way with you for all I care! You don’t mess with royalty, sir. GUARDS!” As the soldiers closed in on a terrified Link and grabbed him, a voice came from the front of the room. “That won’t be necessary.”

Zelda angrily yelled, “Who are you to disobey my direct orders!” Suddenly Saria appears, escorted by the guards. Link and Zelda both looked puzzled. Zelda ties her golden locks into a ponytail and stated: “I’m about to handle this myself!” As she angrily approached Saria with clinched fists about to wail on her, Saria at the last moment pulls out a stunning heart container necklace. “Hey Link, you dropped Princess Zelda’s necklace in the market. You left the price tag on it. $400 rupees is a steep price to pay so I can tell you must really love her and don’t want to lose her.” Here you go! She gave the necklace to Link and looked into the eyes of a perplexed princess Zelda.

“Girl, Link loves you. He is in love with you. You can think what you want to think about me, but I promise nothing happened. We only caught up on old times. I know women of your caliber typically look down on girls like me, being from the forest and all. I know, you are royalty. I have heard all of the stories from people in my village. That is fine Zelda, but don’t punish Link for your insecurities. He is too good of a man for that. I’ll be headed back to the forest now. Link, do the right thing.”

“Wait!” Zelda yelled as the guards walked with Saria to escort her out. “Join us for dinner in the royal ballroom so we can talk.” Saria responded “No thanks. Not really my thing. I’m a simple girl. Goodbye” At that moment the guards escorted Saria out. Zelda was stunned at the turn of events. As she slowly turned around and looked into Link’s disappointed face with the palace guards around, she very lightly apologized to him. It was a crossroads moment for Link after all his actions were not perfect in the situation either. He realized that he needed her grace and understanding just as much as she needed his. His conscience and guardian spirit convicted him of his behavior.

screenshot_2018-09-10-22-38-22-11579506108.png

“I am sorry as well Zelda. I am sorry that the container that holds your heart was for a moment split into 4 pieces. Allow me to collect them and put them together again.” At that very moment, Link pulled back out the beautiful necklace, put it around her neck, and asked Zelda, “Will you still marry a foolish, imperfect, Hyrule warrior like me?” *This type of proposal was the standard in Hylian culture.* Princess Zelda responded with a resounding “YES! Only if you can still marry an insecure, strong-willed, broken woman of power like me!” Link responded, “Nothing would make me happier my queen!”

zelda_and_link_by_marieannnomsonyou-d39mbtc~2.jpg

The guards erupted in praise as they left following the newly engaged couple! They both mounted Epona and rode all around the Hyrule Castle town! The king of Hyrule ordered a decree and the Royal Guard sounded trumpets for everyone to stop working and meet in the courtyard for the engagement celebration! What a beautiful wedding that would take place in this very courtyard in a few months and the Royal Family was notified. As they celebrated, Princess Zelda whispered something in his ear and he said with a smile, “That’s a great idea, but only if you are sure………”

(Fast forward 9 months in present tense)

As Link stands in front of the Great Deku Tree, he is holding back tears as he waits for his bride to be. He cannot believe that Zelda and the King actually agreed to having a destination wedding in his home town of the Kokiri Forest, and not at the Hyrule Castle. This was a huge break in tradition and custom for the Royal Family. This meant so much to him. As he waits patiently and the wedding party is being introduced, he can’t believe his eyes! Zelda was humble enough to ask Saria to be her maid of honor! She slowly walked down the aisle, smiles at Link, and takes her place on the stage. “Congratulations, Hero. You deserve this. You have a great woman in Zelda. Like I told you many years ago, we will always be friends. Now, go get your blessing sir.”

7e065a3fd6d53d679b71e94d8852892f~2.jpg

The moment is now, Zelda is showing her dress to the forest crowd. She looks truly stunning! All of the forest people are astonished at her royal beauty. As she walks down the aisle crying, Saria is humbly playing “Zelda’s Lullaby” on her brown ocarina, the song that Link had written for Zelda back when they were kids. Link’s eyes are welled up with joy. This, my friends, is how legends are made. I know it to be true, because I, Vintage Retroman am currently at the wedding ceremony watching it all happen with tears in my own 2 eyes. They just said, “I do” and the rest is history.

The end of the 3 part series (I hope you all enjoyed it)

V.R.

1980's, 1990s, nes, Nintendo, retro, retrogaming, snes

How Legends Are Made Part 2 of 3- Playing Zelda’s Heartstrings (Remastered)

Dear Link,

Wow, I’m speechless! It amazes me that despite the fact you stay so occupied from the harsh realities of battle in Hyrule, that you still make time to write me. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for making me such a priority in your life. Your last letter was filled with so much affection, I already feel as though I am inadequate to craft a correct response, but I will try.

First and foremost, right now things are going relatively well here at Hyrule Castle. For once we feel as if some peace has been restored to the town center, thanks largely to you Link! The palace guards haven’t reported a threat of Moblin’s or those huge evil Tektite spiders in over 2 months! That is great news, considering the fact that at one time we were getting multiple reported incidents of attacks weekly. The most that we have seen recently is an Octorok or two shooting rocks outside of the palace gates, which I typically handle myself from my top window in the castle with either my bow and arrow, or your old slingshot. By the way Link, yes I still have that great aim to take them out right between the eyes, like you said in your letter. You taught me well my warrior. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Anyway, my father is good! He still goes on and on about being the King of Hyrule, as if I care! He makes me laugh because he acts like such a big shot, but as soon as my mother commands anything it’s “Yes Queen, No Queen”. He is a good man though, so I don’t pester him too much. Other than that, things have been pretty boring around Central Hyrule. The king of the Goron’s did stop by last week and had a sizzling rock steak dinner with my father and they talked business. I am happy to report that our alliance with the Goron rock people are stronger than ever. We need them to help keep the Death Mountain region of Hyrule neutralized from the evil Gannon and his armies of minions. It seems as if Death Mountain is always a hotbed of resistance, no pun intended. We feel that any support we can give you in that area we will invest in, because we know the resources help you.

So in your last letter you talked about when we were kids. Of course I remember all of the times we shared together! We had so much fun at the Lon Lon Ranch and Lake Hylia! You were and still are the best fisherman I know Link! I would always get excited when you would let me try, even though I wasn’t that good at it! By the way, how is your horse Epona? I feel like she is a big part of this family. Such a splendid stallion she is! Truly a special horse you were blessed with. Please pet her a few times for me. ๐Ÿ™‚

I think it is so funny that you mentioned your Ocarina in your letter, because I truly believe that when you first got it, you hated it when we were kids. You rarely played it at first. You said it reminded you too much of your old whistle, which played the same exact tune every time and only transported you to the entrance of dungeons, which you absolutely hated. But as you continued to practice you became better and better. I distinctly remember you playing “The Song of Time” and “The Song of Storms”, which I loved those melodies.

Then you learned my lullaby. When you perfected that song, my heart melted. It may have been that song that made me want to be more than just your friend. I started to fall in love with you Link, but I couldn’t show it. We were too young to fully understand, or so I thought. I would watch you play so intently, and I loved listening to you. It made me so happy that you found something that brought you such joy. I want to share something with you that you probably never knew. It’s hard for me to be vulnerable and open up, but here it goes.

When we were kids, I remember when you first told me about your Kokiri friend Saria from the forest. I never showed it back then because we were just friends, but I was so jealous of your friendship with her. You would talk about Saria and I would simply cringe inside Link, but outwardly I would wear a big smile because I knew that she was a nice person. The fact that you two spent so much time together in the forest bothered me, because I was royalty and she was not. In retrospect though, I am grateful for that experience, simply because it humbled me and helped me not take you for granted. Please promise me in your next letter that you two were just friends. I need to know that nothing happened. I don’t want to get my heart broken Link because I love you. I don’t want a piece of your heart, I want the entire heart container.

When I see you, I want to jump on your raft and take a ride down Zora’s river just you and I. I long to snuggle under you as you wrap your strong loving arms around me and we drift down the river under the stars. I miss our deep conversations about life, our dreams, and our goals after the conflict is over, and peace is restored to all of Hyrule. You have always been so patient with me and you listen to me, even when I am difficult to deal with. I can’t wait to look into your strong determined eyes which pierce my soul like the arrows in your quiver. I want you to gently caress my tender damp skin amidst the sweet smelling soft dew along the river bank after our raft ride. Yes link, I cannot wait for you to grab me, look into my eyes, and kiss me under the florescent moonlight. I know that it gets very difficult for you daily in battle, and when I get the opportunity I promise to help you heal every wound and make it all better sir.

I don’t want to take up too much of your time Link. I just want you to know that I miss you so much. I care about you and I love you baby. Just think Link, one day we will be the king and queen of this castle with our children running around getting into mischief. I hope and pray that if we are ever blessed with a son, that he will be half as brave as you are, with a green tunic and all! Take care of yourself my Hyrule Warrior. I attached this picture of myself just so you’ll remember exactly what you have to look forward to when you get home.;)

princess-zelda-costume-1-1069439568.jpg

Until then, take care of yourself.

Love,

Zelda, Princess Of Hyrule

**Stay tuned for part 3, as this story takes an unexpected turn** Thanks for reading!

V.R.

1980's, 1990s, nes, Nintendo, retro, retrogaming, snes

How Legends Are Made Part 1 of 3- Link’s Love Letter (Remastered)

To my dearest Zelda,

I sincerely hope that this letter finds you well. Please give your father my greetings and salutations at the castle. I pray that things in central Hyrule are going well for you and the royal family. Also, please accept my deepest apologies, I intended to write you last week but a situation came up in Death Mountain that kept me occupied in battle. Yet and still since I missed an opportunity to write you back from your previous letter, I am sorry and I promise to make it up to you later.

I was thinking about you last night as I took an evening off from battle and slept at the Kakariko Village Inn. In your last letter you asked me the truth about how have things been? Honestly my situation has been a challenge. I feel as if things will never change here in Hyrule. My nemesis Gannon and his minions are relentless in their pursuit of the Triforce. Those golden triangles and the power they possess have been a constant source of conflict throughout the decades. It is an ongoing struggle, because it seems that his support is so large and widespread in this region. By no means am I giving up the battle, but I cannot show weakness in front of my people or the enemy. I am glad I have you in my corner because things can get a little lonely out here. I feel as if I am a bounty hunter, consistently acting alone in my fight to protect this land from evil.

On a brighter note, I want to share with you what I was thinking. Do you remember back when we were kids Zelda? I remember you were the best at hitting those Octoroks square between the eyes with my slingshot! ๐Ÿ™‚ I think we were around 10 years old when I first found my Ocarina. You would sit outside the gates of the castle and I would play for you, sometimes for hours. Your favorite was a song I created just for you, and I called it “Zelda’s Lullaby”. We would snack on Deku seeds and drink that delicious ice cold milk from the Lon Lon Ranch! Let us not forget how mad the ranch owner Talon would get when we would sneak in at night and fill up my bottles with that milk! We would run off laughing, because he was so slow he could never catch us!

As we got older, I remember how you would join me fishing at Lake Hylia. Oh how I loved the crystal blue waters of that lake back then! You were around 16 or 17 when I caught that 20 pound Hylian Bass! It took us forever to reel that fish in. Then you and I would saddle up on my horse Epona, and ride off into the sunset. Things were so much simpler back then. I know we were so young, but I think consistently of the memories.

Zelda my love, I miss you so much. I long to look into your beautiful eyes. I miss your sweet perfume and how it’s scent would radiate off of your soft skin. I can’t wait to see your gorgeous smile and hear your sweet high pitched giggle. I cannot wait to kiss your soft tender lips and hold your beautiful warm frame next to me. Honestly babe, to hold you at this particular moment would heal my deepest battle wounds. It’s so difficult, because i can see you, yet you are not here with me.

Well my love, the blacksmith is almost done forging my Master Sword. After that Epona and I have to head over to the Water Palace. I received a call from King Zora, leader of the fish people. Danger awaits me there, so I ask that you pray for me that my courage and stamina will exhort themselves, and I will defeat whatever evil awaits me. Zelda, please know that I miss you. I adore you my Hyrule Princess. I love you my sweet queen. For any reason that I don’t make it back, please see the attached letter. It has specific instructions of a stash of rupees and spoils of war i have collected through the years. Think of it as my insurance policy taken out on you, but I have every intention of making it home to you alive. This is the life I chose Zelda, and I hope that you can understand. This is what legends are made of my love. Until our next communication, take this as a token of my undying love and affection.

Your’s truly,

Link

**Stay tuned in for part 2, Zelda’s response**

V.R.

1960s, 1980's, 1990s, nes, Nintendo, retro, retrogaming, Uncategorized

Memory Lane Moments Part 6- The Beauty Of The Blend

Legacy…to make a lasting meaningful impact on people, spanning throughout several generations. To leave a legacy is one of the single most important experiences many of us dream about. Presidents talk about legacies, as do athletes, musicians, and celebrities. We should all make it our ambition to leave a lasting legacy for our children, family, and friends. I have heard that as important as success may be to some people, significance is held to a higher standard. To be significant is a key ingredient in leaving a legacy.

I think back to growing up in the 1980’s and 90’s. My dad on a very limited budget did his best to leave a legacy for our family. I am not speaking about money in this case. He left us a legacy of fun memories that no amount of money can buy. He and my mom sacrificed everything for the few things we did have. That is why my Nintendo NES and games meant so much to me. 1 game console for a family of 10, picture that!

When I look at my children, I try my best to emulate the same spirit my dad had towards us. I am blessed to have a blended family. Sure we have our struggles. My wife and I constantly talk about how there really is not a blueprint for all of the issues that come along with a blended family. We are doing our best to leave a better financial legacy for our children than our parents were able to. With that being said though, the most important values we are trying to instill are God, family, and fun.

Blended families many times are looked at with a negative connotation. When kids are products of a divorced home, there are typically issues and pain that traditional homes don’t have to deal with. I believe when my kids struggle with the emotional impact of their past, they strive to loose themselves in video games. My sons play Minecraft, Terreria, and Brawlhala among other titles. I believe they sometimes find peace between the joysticks. When I talk to them, the conversations remind me of my childhood.

Of course I don’t have all of the answers. Legacy is one of those concepts that is mostly subjective. It means different things to different people. But I do believe it is important to leave a legacy for future generations, regardless of wealth or prestige.

The moral of the story: What do you want people to remember you for? If you have kids, do you spend enough time with them? Do they know you? Do they only know your victories, or do you also share your struggles and failures with them? I’m only asking because these are issues I struggle with, and I want to make sure that I am not alone in my struggles.

For my situation, there is beauty in the blend. I want nothing more than to see my 4 children, 10 years from now talk about how much fun they had in their childhood. I pray that they love each other, and discuss their memories with one another. There is so much nostalgia in the phrase “Hey, do you remember back when…?” I hope and pray that you all focus on building and leaving a legacy that lasts for your family. If you don’t have children, legacy is not just limited to biological kids. Kindness to a younger sibling, compassion for foster kids, empathy for the next generation falls under the same umbrella. May we go forth in 2020 and do our best to leave a beautiful legacy for the next generation. -V. R.


1970s, 1980's, 1990s, Nintendo, retro

Memory Lane Moments Part 5- Capitalize On The Close Ties

It is so rare to find true friends. If you were born in the ’70s, 80’s, or 90’s, think back to how many friends you had growing up. Now link that to today. What type of correlation do you see?

Truth be told, lifelong friends are a rare commodity. Our experience sends us through many twists and turns. The stresses of life can make people numb, and living in a very individualistic culture automatically disconnects us. What are we to do?

I have thought much on this subject. Today, I truly have one best friend I call my brother. From the days of 8th grade, I remember it like it was yesterday. The year was 1996, October to be exact. My parents had just moved across town and I left all of my friends behind at Mineral Springs Middle School and transferred to Wiley. As a 13-year-old boy, I was crushed. I had so many friends at MSM, and to leave in the 8th grade? What were my parents thinking?

I distinctly remember it being mid-October. There was a slight crisp coolness in the air. As I rode on the vintage style school bus, I was a new teenager surrounded by fresh faces, scared to death. As the bus stopped and I walked off reluctantly, I heard a kid yell the F… word out of the window. This is my first day at my new school, I thought? I’m going to hate it here!

As I walked in, the school setup was completely different. In the mind of an 8th grader in the 90’s, I hated seeing the hallway crowded with students at their ivory white half lockers! I was used to the safe whole blue lockers of MCM! I mean come on, I can’t even get a whole locker? Look how inflated my backpack is? Those were my thoughts.

As I headed to my classes on my first day, I surprisingly met a few nice people that I hung on for dear life. After all, this was middle school. My identity was partially wrapped up in my associations. Sure they were nerds, but I didn’t care. They were nice!

Then a transition happened after lunch. I was apparently being watched by a group of kids. The “cool” clique. The kids wearing the Boss, Phat Farm, and Enyce shirts and jeans at that time. These kids were so cool, they listened to 2pac, Puff Daddy and Nas on their Sony Walkman’s and could rap all of the lyrics! They knew all of the latest entertainment news, gossip, and what happened on the last episode of any 90’s sitcom!

Somewhere between Mrs. Cunningham’s history class and Mrs. Nail’s math class, a young lady from “the cool kids” walked up to me and asked, “why didn’t you sit with us at lunch?” I had no answer for her, so I just shuddered. She said, “Well, you are welcome to sit with us tomorrow.” ๐Ÿ™‚

What a pleasant surprise! I was so excited. Her friend that walked over with her smiled at me and I fell in teenage love (or in other words, infatuation). It ended up being short-lived though because she had a so-called “boyfriend” that went to another middle school. I hated him from a distance.

Then in Mrs. Cunningham’s class, I met my best friend Brandon! Have you ever met someone you just instantly clicked with? As we sat and joked about Mrs. C’s “bulldog-like” jaws and how to mean she was, every day we left class laughing. All throughout High School, Brandon and I developed a brotherhood. Everyone called him B for short. I caught on. We were great students grade-wise, but our conduct and candor were questionable.

We talked to many females, and had our fair share of rejections. Yet simply by the law of numbers, we had plenty of success stories with girls too. I am happy to say that myself and many members of the clique were cool all through high school, college, and beyond. ๐Ÿ™‚

As the years rolled by, life happened. People got married, some got divorced, some got both like I did. People having children, some getting multiple degrees. Some working, some moving, some living a second childhood doing the same exact things they were doing in the ’90s.

B and I remained brothers. Fast forward to 2018. He and his wife have a beautiful family and home, living in the lush green hills of the great state of West Virginia. Me, my wife, and our 4 beautiful children live out in a rural area of North Carolina. Though it all, the secret formula behind lifelong friendship is easy. Give each other space and grace!

Space- Understand that life happens. Don’t be so immature if weeks or months go by and you don’t talk much. I appreciate the small text messages and calls. Give your friend(s) space to grow as people.

Grace- Understand that your friend(s) are human just like you. They need love, acceptance, and forgiveness too. Never be bitter, be quick to forgive. Don’t be selfish. Be humble and help them.

This is my experience. I hope that this helped somebody. We are all human. We are all trying to just figure out this thing we call “life”. Thank you for reading! I can say I know my brother Brandon thanks you too! Why? As my reader, just know that he is my co-administrator on http://www.vintageretroman.com. ๐Ÿ™‚

New generation! Je’well, our youngest, with Brandon’s daughter Brailyn.

Signing off for now,

Vintage Retroman

1960s, 1970s, 1980's, 1990s, nes, Nintendo, retro, retrogaming, snes

The Official Vintage Retroman Video Game Story

In year 23xx, the world as we know it was peaceful. After decades of war, bloodshed, and tears the planet Thothar was finally at peace. The robot apocalypse was over and humans finally began to rebuild their broken world. A world once ruled by depression, anxiety, mental illness, and evil was no more. Also, the ways of the past had been completely forgotten.

As the Robot Generation now lived at peace with the human race, rebuilding took place faster than ever. Several members of the Robot Generation were advanced architects, and the quickly created new infrastructure. The leader of the Robot Generation was creater Dr. Yvonne, who made them to be an asset to the humans. All was well, until one day there was discovered to be a software glitch that stemmed from a virus manufactured by the evil scientist T-Mac the Terrible. She created these viruses during the tech boom of the 1990’s, but because they were dormant for so many years people simply thought they were destroyed by 1st and 2nd generation anti-virus software.

One day as Dr. Yvonne was at an event unveiling a new generation of peaceful robots, it was sabotaged when T-Mac glitched her new line of “Super Droids” or “SD’s”, an elite lineup of ultra bots with drone capabilities. The Super Droids were comprised of the following robot leaders, each equipped with the power of their name to use against humanity:

1) Depression Man

2) Anxiety Man

3) Fear Man

4) Jealousy Man

5) Hate Man

6) Slander Man

7) Addiction Man

8) Confusion Man

The Robot Generation was almost completely destroyed by the power and actions of these evil beings, partially due to the fact that humans couldn’t work with the Robot Generation because their minds and emotions were controlled by the Super Droids power. Terror ran amuck in the southern region of Thothar again, and Dr. Yvonne knew she had to do something or the world would be destroyed.

She started working on a top secret project codenamed CDZJJJ, or project CD for short. Along with her fellow comrades ZB, NickZ, CounterFlordan, and CoolieJ, they worked nonstop under the most intense conditions underground. With most of the human race destroyed, Dr. Yvonne fused the human DNA of former Robot Generation lead programmer Cornelius Calhoun with an elite lightweight robot armor and named him Vintage Retroman, or V.R. for short. The named was developed because Cornelius loved the retro culture of his youth and spoke frequently about it.

As V.R. went through strenuous training, he gained strength and eventually set out on a mission to defeat the Super Droids! He knew that along with the strength of his armor, it was essential for him to be mentally ready to face the challenges of each Super Droid. As he battled and defeated each SD, he was granted their power! Power over depression, power over anxiety, power over fear, and so on! He would then take the power of overcoming these weaknesses and not only use them against his other enemies, but also grant strength back to the remaining humans in Thothar and give them courage.

Eventually V.R. defeated each leader and it was time for his final showdown with Dr. T-Mac. With his armor weakened from battle inside of a great fortress stronghold, T-Mac was a formidable villain. As hard as Vintage Retroman fought, Dr. T-Mac had years to plan and prepare for this. Every negative attack thrown at V.R. deeply penetrated his armor and damaged him. As T-Mac prepared to destroy him, in the 11th hour she felt weakness from within and her stronghold shook violently. What was happening she thought?

Dr. Yvonne remembered that T-Mac’s stronghold had a weakness. She remotely cracked into T-Mac’s computer system and disabled all of her weapons. Vintage Retroman mustered up enough strength to grab his blaster and deliver the final blow to T-Mac the terrible and the evil empire!

As the team that created the CDZJJJ project searched for Vintage Retroman, they eventually found him. He was beaten, battered and scorn almost to the point of death. They picked him up and carried him back to the lab.

As Dr. Yvonne removed his burnt up cracked armor, she look into the eyes of Cornelius Calhoun. “It’s finally over sir, you did it Cornelius. You saved Thothar!” As he looked up at her he stated “We did it Dr. Yvonne” with a slight smile. As he rested his head, Dr. Yvonne slowly reached down and kissed him in his weakened state. “I hope this gives you strength” she said with a smile. Cornelius was pleasingly shocked and said, “I didn’t even know you liked me.” Dr. Yvonne responded “Well, i couldn’t admit it because as you know i am no damsel in distress. I’m just as much in the fight against evil as you are. Now that the fight is over, let’s rebuild this world, and our lives together!” Cornelius responded “I’d love that!”, and they held each other and enjoyed the peace for a change. This is my story. Signing off for now,

V.R.

1980's, 1990s, nes, Nintendo, retro, retrogaming

Celebration 2019

As we enter 2019, where are you mentally, emotionally, spiritually? Are you optimistic about a new year, or plagued by issues of your recent past that maybe didn’t quite work out. Let’s be honest for a second, 2018 was a rough year for many people. I think about how many people i know that struggled with what i call the 3 D’s: debt, death, and disease. I won’t get into my own situations, but let’s just say 2018 was a year of struggle and growth for me personally.

Now, take a minute to reflect back in your mind. Close your eyes. Remember a time of the simple celebration of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness! I remember 1987, i was 4 years old. My pops use to throw these house parties with the best food. I was the youngest of 8 children, but i remember the fun we had celebrating New Years Eve! My dad had the vintage big tall wooden sub-woofers with the tunes of Frankie Beverly and Maze’s “Joy and Pain”. Oh when that baseline came on, the floor shook! Picture us with afro’s, half fro’s, and Jerri-curls! For my coming to America fans oh yes, we indeed let our “Soul-Glo”.

We didn’t have much money growing up in the hood of East Winston, but we would celebrate like we did. Yeah there was some smoke in the air at times. I said that was just a machine. I saw a bottle or two that look like root beer but was missing the word “root”. As we would get down all night dancing like the Jackson-8, my mom would let the smaller children hook up the Nintendo and we would play Super Mario Bro’s, Duck Hunt, Megaman, Contra and the other classics. I’m talking 8-bit and pixels!

Anyone from my generation knows what i am talking about, and don’t even start on that Tecmo Bowl! It was always Joe Montana and the 49ers vs Bo Jackson and the Raiders. Anyone else remember how Bo Jackson use to just have people bounce off his back on that game? It wasn’t even fair!

It’s hard to believe that was 32 years ago. It still feels like yesterday to me. To our youth, y’all wouldn’t believe how much of us we see in y’all as you grow. I love the excitement that you bring. Don’t get me wrong i love my old school music, but if you catch me on the right day, i might be listening to some Lecrae, Kendrick Lamar or J. Cole, I’m just saying. ๐Ÿ™‚

I told this story because celebration is about much more than a party. For the Christian, celebration is the younger sibling of worship and praise. It is a direct response, not necessarily to a situation or circumstance, but to gratitude for God giving us just one more day. Even for the non-Christian, celebration releases endorphins of euphoria as we enjoy those we love and cherish, even if they are no longer physically with us.

See i believe in having a great time? You know why? Because God put us here to have life, and have it more abundantly! Why would our loving God make us in His image, put us here on His earth, and give us His grace and favor, just for us to be miserable? Think about that. In 2019, take that trip (if you can afford it), do that activity, love harder!

Also think about this, people have been celebrating for centuries! In my mind, before the fall, I’d like to believe that Adam and Eve celebrated frequently in the Garden of Eden! All of that good food! Adam had his woman, they were naked and unashamed! Plus the animals were there chilling! Adam could get a tiger ride anytime he wanted one! In my mind, Eve was like “You haven’t lived until you have rode a rhinoceros!” All of that, and they had full access to God! Just because they fell, doesn’t mean God didn’t intend for them to have His best! He intends the same for us, so celebrate! ๐Ÿ™‚

What am i saying? I’m saying in 2019, as you strive for your complex goals, don’t forget the simple celebrations of daily life from the routine and the mundane. In the bible Paul said “In all things i have learned to be content.” Contentment in 2019 doesn’t mean to stop striving, definitely not! It simply means to be thankful for what God has already done in the process as you strive. I’ll close this message with an original poem I wrote entitled “Reset”. I hope that you can hold on to these words for encouragement as we enter into what will be the glorious year of 2019.

“Reset, by Vintage Retroman”

To celebrate this life is to celebrate a treasure/ Because everyday’s a gift so strive to make each day better/ Choose to live your best life, choose to let go of the past/ God’s already in the future, and His plan is so vast/

For your life, and for mine and really all of us should/ Remember that He causes all things to work together for Good/ so celebrate, don’t hesitate because He loves you/ and meditate, on the fact that He put no one above you/

He knows your struggles, pain and all of the things you deal with/ He cares, He wants you to know that He is still with/ You as you journey for your greater purpose grinding/ It will be worth it as you crush it, in 2019! Happy New Year everyone!

V.R

1980's, 1990s, nes, Nintendo, retro, retrogaming

The Giving Of Thanks, By V.R.

Being thankful is so underrated these days. I think back to my childhood growing up. I was an 80’s baby, born in 1983 yet I can remember it like it was yesterday. Thanksgiving at my mother’s house was always a great time. The nostalgic smell of roasted turkey, ham, macaroni and cheese, fresh collard greens, candied yams, cornbread, and so much more fills my nostrils and thus my mental space with goodness, my soul with joy, and my belly with food. ๐Ÿ™‚

My family and I didn’t have much growing up considering the fact that I was the youngest of 8 kids. Many times we struggled, but I honestly cannot remember a single year that we did not have a huge Thanksgiving feast. My parents sometimes planned for months to make sure that one day we ate exceptionally well. Then like most families we would watch football, go outside and play, and ride bikes in the cool weather. Pure happiness and blissful thoughts.

The shear excitement of being out of school, playing Nintendo after dinner, and being with my family the following Friday after Thanksgiving was more than enough. I truly don’t even remember Black Friday being a special event growing up in the 1980’s and 90’s. I’m sure that some commercialization was present back then, but in no comparison to today. I always remembered watching the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and Christmas movies back to back and enjoying my mom’s famous leftover fried turkey sandwiches.

Let me be clear: In no way am I being judgmental or condemning anyone that enjoys the hustle and bustle of Black Friday. I surely enjoy it as well with all of the savings and specials. I just have to ask, have we become so obsessed with materialistic possessions that we don’t even know how to operate within the realm of simplicity anymore? It’s simply a question that I have pondered on while I hypocritically fill my shopping cart with toys, games, and clothes for my 4 children.

As we approach Thanksgiving 2018, I challenge you to focus on the simple things and maintain an attitude of gratitude. Even if your circumstances are not ideal or are just plain negative, their is always someone out there that would love to live the life you have. Some stranger out there would indulge in the pieces of food you find not appetizing to your precious taste buds. What would the child out there living in poverty say about your situation if he looked into the dining room of your home?

My friends the giving of thanks is the key to having a successful Thanksgiving. It’s not the holiday it’self. Be grateful, be content, and be happy everyday. Happiness comes from within a thankful heart. Thank God for another day. Learn to be grateful for your health. If you can open your mouth to eat, that’s a blessing. If you have the means to treat your family to food in general, you have it better than people in various countries around the world! I have a quick story to share with you my reader.

As I complained about a lack of money one day I had an associate tell me a harsh reality. He stated “If you have the type of problems that can actually be solved by accumulating more money, consider yourself lucky.” I was offended because he had money and was very successful. As I reluctantly inquired what he meant by this, I realized that from his response he looked at my situation similar to how I viewed his. He looked at me and said “You don’t know how lucky you are having a wife, 4 beautiful healthy kids, and people that love you. I just moved here by myself, no family, no associations, just me.”

I started to think about a few things. Their are rich people with terminal illnesses. There are successful single people that have no one to spend their wealth on. There are beautiful people that struggle with self esteem because of how they were treated in the past. When I was laid off from my job this past July that coworker ended up moving back home to be closer to his family. This made me realize something that I will share with you all. Put your life in perspective this Thanksgiving, so you can truly be thankful. Don’t compare, it’s all a state of mind. Signing off for now,

V.R. (Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!)