10 comments on “Memory Lane Moments Part 4- Coming From Where I’m From, The Beauty In The Struggle”

Memory Lane Moments Part 4- Coming From Where I’m From, The Beauty In The Struggle

I was born and raised in the great state of North Carolina, USA. Being a black child in the southeastern section of the United States, or as we simply call it “The South”, I was exposed to many different experiences in my youth. I remember growing up in the 1980’s in my hometown of Winston-Salem. My family would ride down the streets and smell the scent of southern sweet tobacco from the R.J. Reynolds factories. Summers were hot and humid. The city was bustling back then, with one of the most gleaming skylines in the state.  When my father decided to move in the late 1960’s from Danville Virginia to seek better opportunities, he decided that Winston-Salem NC was the place that he wanted his future family to call “home”.

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My family in 1985. The toddler hoisted up on my brother’s back is me

Growing up in the eastern section of Winston-Salem in the 1980’s and 1990’s was not easy. Some called it “the hood” back then. We did not live in public housing, but in a high crime neighborhood of single family homes. Sure we heard gun shots. There were no known organized gangs that I can remember, but plenty of smaller “cliques” of young men and women trying to “prove” themselves. As a young man, I saw my share of drug activity. We saw plenty of fights and were involved in some as well. My father and mother worked hard to provide the best life for our family that they could, but opportunities were limited like it is in many inner cities in the United States.

As the youngest in my family, I have always respected and paid homage to my older brothers and sisters. I knew what some of them were doing, but they did their best to shield my innocent eyes and help mold me into something great. Since my father worked so much, my mother took care of us and tried her best to keep us out of trouble. Even still, we were a hard headed bunch. Our family was so large, we ran the neighborhood. I don’t say that lightly. My dad was well respected in the streets and everyone knew Edward Price aka “Dino” aka “Lil Dintsy”. My dad had rules for our family when it came to the streets. He stressed things like “If one of you fights, all of you fight” and “Take God with you everywhere you go.”

Although there was bad, I honestly saw a lot of good in our neighborhood though. It was truly a community, where neighbors looked out for one another. Many families in the neighborhood may have had a lower income, but the camaraderie that we shared with other families created so many positive memories! You haven’t played basketball until your hoop is made out of a clothes hanger! 🙂 Other parents looked out for us, and our parents looked out for other kids all of the time! We would walk to the candy house and played football in the street. It was a great time and place to live, to be honest.

My brothers had the big flat top haircuts with the sharp part back then. A couple of them had the gold chains and nice clothes. I knew that my parents couldn’t afford those things, so as a kid I asked myself questions like “Why did mom and dad get that stuff for just them, and not all of us?” I started to figure out that a couple of my brothers had other sources of income, lol. You can read between the lines. I didn’t fully understand until later on in life the reasoning behind my brothers doing some of their extracurricular activities. They grew up in the 1970’s, so they had a whole different experience that I secretly envied yet admired.

Yet I can truly say, they always did their best to shield me from the streets, and I appreciate that so much. A large part of why I fell in love with video games back in the 80’s was the fact that they used Nintendo to keep my focus away from the outside world. My brothers would play Megaman, Super Mario Bros, The Legend of Zelda, and many other titles with me and I loved it. I didn’t know that secretly, they used gaming to keep me in a child’s place. I also believe that it helped them remember that life is not supposed to be serious all of the time as well. My brothers and sisters were some of the most hardcore NES gamers that I have ever met! Double Dragon and Contra, you don’t want to challenge my brothers Tim or Julius, trust me! 🙂

As I got older, in particular my pre-teen and teenage years, my siblings exposed me to more. I remember around 1993-1994, they took me out riding around the city and introduced me to different people and experiences. Siting on housing project doorsteps of friends and cousins that lived there at that time, I learned some of the most valuable lessons that stick with me to this day. I also fell in love with Hip-Hop music during this era. In that big yellow “hoopdie” car, my brothers would listen to everything from OutKast’s “Southernplaylisticcaddilacmusik” to Dr. Dre’s “The Chronic”. I was young, and although it wasn’t the best music for a young man’s ears, it was part of my experience that I learned many things from through those songs.

By the time I reached 13 years old in 1996, my parents moved out of East Winston-Salem to the Ardmore neighborhood, which was a nicer mixed family middle class neighborhood. Lower crime, better schools, and more opportunity which are all great things. One thing I noticed though, was that the sense of community was very different. Most people in the neighborhood were very individualistic. Parents really did not want their children to come out and play. People were relatively nice, but more distant. This is where I learned that racism and class warfare still existed. It was not out in the open like it was back in the 1950’s, 1960’s,and 1970’s. It was very subtle and discrete, but I felt it and experienced it. Yet still I was blessed because I had a mother and father that were actively involved in the civil rights movement decades before, and they taught me that love and communication changes environments, not hatred. They also taught me how to handle myself and not be weak, timid, or naive either. It was a good mix of the two.

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My family on Easter Sunday, 2017

These are just a few experiences that helped make and mold me into the man that I am today. I am far from perfect and I do not pretend to be. Yet I wrote this as a reminder to find the beauty in your struggle. Coming from where I’m from, I learned many things through bad experiences. You never want to denounce the negative experiences in your life. Think of where you would be and the wisdom you would have missed, had you not gone through your negative experiences. Find the beauty in your struggle, because as  my favorite North Carolina rapper J.Cole correctly stated, “No such thing as a life that’s better than yours. Love yours.” Signing off for now…………….

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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.

6 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 “Follow me on Instagram @vintageretroman”

Follow me on Instagram @vintageretroman

I truly want to make each of my followers feel like a kid again! That is my overall goal. The nostalgic value of vintage and retro cultures makes people feel good! I do not blog for money or prestige. I write and post content for the people to enjoy, whether it’s one person or 10,000 people. This is why i love Instagram!

Instagram is a wonderful social media network that i truly enjoy. I consistently network with others because of my love for people and retro! Above is my page and screen name @vintageretroman. Please follow me. Love, peace, and happiness to all!

V.R.

0 comments on “Kirby, Lit in Dreamland!! A rap by V.R.”

Kirby, Lit in Dreamland!! A rap by V.R.

I’m just a pink puff/ looking to eat lot’s of random stuff/ such an unlikely hero, some people say i don’t look so tough/

But i say, you shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover/ because in Dreamland i promise you will never find another/

Hero/ My name is Kirby and i came on the scene/ in 1993 battling King Dededee on your screen/

So take a trip to dreamland where there is no half steppin’/I eat my enemies like wack MC’s and then take their weapon/

It doesn’t matter if it’s Vegetable Valley or the Grape Gardens/ Or if that tree that i have to battle has all those apples falling/ You can be Paint Roller, Heavy Mole, or even Meta Knight/ I’m lit in Dreamland, i save the world, and then drop the mic……. (Crowd screams)

V.R.

4 comments on ““Game over”, or is it? How to convert something “tragic” into something “fire”- by VintageRetroman”

“Game over”, or is it? How to convert something “tragic” into something “fire”- by VintageRetroman

I remember back on the Holiday Season of 1991. The scene was Hanes Mall in Winston-Salem NC. As i reflect back on some of my favorite memories with my dad, this particular recollection stands out to me. There were two kiosks setup outside of KB toys, a very popular toy store back in the 80’s and 90’s. One kiosk had a Super Nintendo playing “Super Mario World” and the other kiosk had a Sega Genesis playing “Sonic the Hedgehog”. As my sister and i walked the halls of the mall with our parents, we saw the kiosks and ran frantically to the entrance of the toy store where the kiosks were. My sister grabbed the controller of the Super Nintendo for the very first time, and i watched on as she played (another kid was unfortunately playing the Sega at the time, so i had to wait my turn to play the lightning fast Sonic the Hedgehog 1). I was 8 years old at the time, and my sister was 11. As i marvelled at the bright colors and graphical capabilities of the Super Nintendo entertainment system, i noticed that the music and sounds of the 16-bit Super Mario World were so different and unique from the 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). I couldn’t believe how great the sound quality was, and the soundtrack was superb. The clarity of the sound stood out to me the most.

The other day my father passed away, and i was searching through my book of memories in my mind and this one came up. As i looked up video game music and trap remixes to cartoon theme songs with my 6 year old daughter, i came across this remix of the Super Mario World “game over” jingle. I was blown away by this musical piece of art by Phillip Schlosser and Hephesto Music. From the excellent use of the sample, to the dynamic rhythms of the percussion and dynamics, this piece is impressive. I love how smooth and simple the sample loop is. The best part is that the synthesizers are not overbearing, so the piece still manages to maintain its value of 1991 nostalgia, while bringing the versatility of a 2018 hip-hop instrumental. Upon sharing this YouTube clip with my brother, he said something that i felt really sums it up. Since it is a game over theme, my brother texted me and said, “They turned something tragic into something fire”. Wow, that is so true in this musical creation! Then i began to think, shouldn’t this be our goal in life as people? To turn something tragic into something good, or as my brother puts it, fire? Many of us are going through trials, hardships, and tragedy. Many of these negative experience in life are circumstantial. My father consistently had a track record of turning something tragic into something “fire”, or within this context, great! My hat goes off to Hephesto music and their creation. As you listen and enjoy this smooth creative instrumental, my desire is that we all think of ways to turn what is “tragic” in our lives into something “fire” or great! The fire of passion, the fire of purpose, and the fire of goodness to others. Love, peace, and happiness to all.

V.R.