Check out my newest song “I Do This For The Culture! (New Song Released by Vintage Retroman on 02/20/2021), produced by JTBS productions” on YouTube
Be encouraged from this short song everyone! I hope everyone likes the Super Mario Bros. sample in the music! Remember, God loves you!
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.” 🙂
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. 🙂
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. 🙂
New generation! Je’well, our youngest, with Brandon’s daughter Brailyn.
Signing off for now,
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 smartphone? 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 get the picture.
It wasn’t always like this. In elementary school in the 1980s, 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 of 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 8-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.
From retro themed poetry to moments scrolling down memory lane, I truly love what I do as a writer. When I started http://www.vintageretroman.com, I began a journey of self realization and creativity through writing. I am aware that I do not think or operate like many people. I enjoy everything from Christian Hip-Hop to Pac-Man. I like to wear masks and costumes. I am entertained by everything from Nascar to Marching Bands. Most importantly I love the vintage and retro cultures of the past.
I never would have thought that 100 people would actually see my vision. For many years I did not showcase my writing ability because I simply thought that it was not good enough. I purposefully try to surround myself with other bloggers who are much better than me. It keeps me humble, and I learn so much from them. As I continue on my mission to provide the best content possible for the masses, I want to take a quick moment to hit the pause button and say thank you.
To my 100 followers on my blog, and almost 1000 followers on Instagram, I genuinely appreciate your support. I have been through so many things this year that were negative, but my blogging community has been a true blessing in my life. When I lost my father in March, you have been there. When I was in the hospital 2 weeks ago, you encouraged me. Thank you for being patient with me. Thank you for understanding me. I may not be the best at many talents, but rest assure with me you will always get sincerity and authenticity. It is how I live my life and how I will continue on.
Thank you for every like, every kind word, and every thought and prayer. You are appreciated. Please remember, my only goal is to make you feel like a kid again. Operate with passion. Structure your heart with love for others. Remember not to take life too seriously. Lastly, never let life dictate how far you can make it! On to 200 followers! 🙂
Ok vintage retro fans out there, time for another retroquiz! Let’s test your soul music knowledge and see if you can name that singer/group!
- They convinced the whole world that “ain’t no woman like the one they’ve got!”
- They pose the question, “Could it be we’re falling in love, with you baby?”
- This soul singer compared his woman to a “starship”, which happened to be the name of one of his biggest hit singles.
- If you are looking for “sunshine on a cloudy day” this group feels this about their girl.
- This soul singer stated that “Love and Happiness” will make you do wrong or do right.
- This soulful duo asked “Sara” to smile.
- This particular group asked the question “Have you seen her?”
- According to this group, “La la la means, I love you.”
- In the 1970’s, this legendary singer made us all question “What’s going on?”
- According to this singer’s perspective, things are finally going his way “For once in his life.”
- This group was so excited about their ladies, they couldn’t help but sing “Betcha by golly wow! You’re the one that we’ve been waiting for, forever!”
- “What you won’t do for love?” That is the thought provoking question that this soul singer probed his audience with.
- She expressed her secret crush via song by stating, “If you only knew, how much i do, do love you.”
- She stated that she only wanted one thing from her significant other, which is “RESPECT”
- This soul singer did not feel respected in his home. Therefore he made the classic hit, “If you think you’re lonely now” to express that men feel used sometimes as well.
Well folks, that’s all for this quiz! Don’t forget to post your comments in the comment section below, as well as see the answers. Until the next quiz my friends, God bless!😊
Answers: 1) Four Tops 2) Spinners 3) Norman Connors 4) The Temptations 5) Al Green 6) Hall and Oates 7) The Chi-lites 8) The Delfonics 9) Marvin Gaye 10) Stevie Wonder 11) The Stylistics 12) Bobby Caldwell 13) Patti Labelle 14) Aretha Franklin 15) Bobby Womack