Neal Augenstein, wtop.com
WASHINGTON -- I feel old today, and brought it upon myself.
I walked around the newsroom with a picture of a 45 rpm spindle adapter, and asked young colleagues "do you know what this is?"
Anyone who ever played music on a turntable remembers the (usually yellow) plastic insert in a triskelion motif (thanks, Wiki) that snaps in the middle of a 45 rpm record so it would play without wobbling.
Commissioned by RCA records, the actual name for the insert is The Spider.
Guesses from my coworkers included "a car part -- something having to do with brakes," to "what you steer a ship with," to "reminds me of the pin from 'The Hunger Games.'"
When I told one curious coworker it was a 45 spindle adapter, her answer was "for what?"
As someone with clear recollections of weekly trips to Caldor to spend 79 cents on singles, coworkers whose first music purchases were CDs didn't seem to relate.
One coworker acknowledged not remembering whether the phrase "45" relates to 12 inch records or the 7 inch records that required the plastic insert.
I asked a coworker "Have you ever used a record player in your life?" and got a blank stare.
Slightly panicking, I offered an alternative: "A turntable, you've never played one?"
Sensing my panic and feeling of alienation, he tried to relate: "I have grandparents who have record players."
With the old man dagger in my back, he explained he was well-versed in cassette tapes, had seen 8-track tapes (which I of course clearly remember) but bought his first music on a CD.
He never had to experience NOT having an insert handy, trying to center the 45 on the turntable's rubber pad.
I bit my tongue before launching into any "when I was your age" rants about music, realizing if history repeats itself, the next decades will bring several new music distribution methods.
He'll get his due in twenty years or so.
(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)
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