Tough to have eight-track mindset

By Karl Terry: Freedom New Mexico columnist

Sometimes I wonder whatever became of my 8-track tapes.

I’ve wondered, but not enough to go search the closets at my mother’s house to see if they’re still there. The collection, prized by me through high school, but not all that impressive compared to others, was safely nestled in the padded, genuine simulated leather suitcase the last time I saw it.

Cruising in our cars, vans and pickups was my generation’s most important social activity; collecting the music of the day was probably second. The advent of eight-track tape decks that anyone with a drill, screwdriver and a roll of electrical tape could install allowed us to enjoy both simultaneously.

The eight-track sound wasn’t anywhere near as good as the same album on LP played on a good home system, but we added eight-track decks to those home systems too and collected tapes relentlessly whenever extra cash was accumulated.

For those who are a bit younger than yours truly and don’t remember eight-track tape cartridges, they worked erratically, with a loud clack between tracks (songs). Once the end of the tape was reached, it started over automatically in a loop.

A few of eight-tracks shortcomings included:

• Leaving a tape out inside the car in the sun and discovering it in a molten mess on the seat or dash.