Bears and Boomboxes! Are you read for two more odd random reviews?
I’m so glad that Yvonne brought her teddy bear to the review party. And despite being well loved, he is still one handsome bear. Yvonne recently lost her best pal, Rascal, to old age, and I like to think her teddy is comforting her through this difficult time.
The teddy bear is named after President Roosevelt, who showed a bear compassion on a hunting expedition. A candy shop owner in Brooklyn, New York, saw a newspaper cartoon of Roosevelt and the bear and had an idea. He took two stuffed bears that his wife had made and asked President Roosevelt if he could name them “Teddy’s bears.” The president agreed, and the rapid popularity of these bears led the candy store owner to mass-produce them, eventually forming the Ideal Novelty and Toy Company.
Teddy bear collectors are called Arctophiles.
In our second review, Irene shares her boombox as an item that is near and dear to her heart. Let’s press rewind and take a look at the boombox’s contribution to American musical history.
The boombox was introduced to the American market during the mid-1970s, and soon they were all the rage. They made music portable, and they weren’t too expensive. Young inner-city kids lugged them around, and kids in the suburbs kept them in their cars.
They weren’t just portable tape players with the speakers built in. You could record off the radio, and most had double cassette decks, so if you were walking down the street and you heard something you liked, you could go up to the kid and ask to dub a copy.
The popularity of the boombox led to the Walkman being introduced in the 80s, which people were quick to embrace because it was more compact, and with noise ordinance laws being introduced and enforced, the Walkman’s headphones made it possible to listen to music without blasting it into the community. Of course, music lovers still passed songs around, but the trend was moving towards online sharing.
In 2014, all most all our music is downloaded through online sites. However, Irene must still have some well-loved cassettes/CDs and enjoy doing what the boombox first made possible—taking music on the road and sharing it out loud with others
And now a word from our reviewers.
Submitted by Yvonne:
Reviewed By: Ivana Inkling
This. Bear. The person that belongs to this bear is soulful and wise and sentimental and possesses a kind heart. He/she understands loyalty and integrity and is not all that concerned about outward appearances but is deeply moved by what lives on the inside. He/she would be more inclined to choose a well-worn antique chair as opposed to something new and shiny. This bear’s friend loves comfort food and cozy beds, big sweaters and old book stores. They are more quiet in nature and thoughtful in conversation. They understand that life is sometimes messy and are usually the first to say “I’m sorry.” It would do them well to receive more hugs.
Reviewed By: Fuzzy Wuzzy
Uh-oh. I feel a rhyme coming on.
This bear is barely there, he has no hair, he’s mostly air! To be fair, he needs care, and maybe a chair. I wonder what fare was paid at the fair where, under the glare of flares, he was snared. As the music blared, you put things square – a rare affair around there. A booth where, a grimy man, eating a pear, said “take your chances, if you dare!” And you did dare, winning the prize bear now in need of repair. He was chosen over a mare, a hare, and a pair of other bears. From their midst he was snared, the answer to any bear’s prayers. Though he might show signs of wear, he’s always been there, from day care to times square, everything you are he’s shared. Therefore, do not despair, though this bear may rip or tear, forever you’ll be a pair.
A far better wordsmith than I once sang, “In the end the love you take is equal to the love you make.”
A beatle knew that, so must a bear!
Reviewed By: Winifred
Aww! A Teddy! This looks like a well loved and well used friend. I bet this bear has many secrets and will never tell any of them. A trusted friend as well as true family. Much like the velveteen rabbit in the story, this bear has earned the right to be real.
Submitted By: Irene
Reviewed By: Amal Shookup
Holy cow! Is this an actual boom box?! This is an actual antique. I can’t really tell from the picture but this looks like a later model that plays CDs instead of the original models that played cassette tapes. It also looks like it can be used as an alarm clock but I’m hoping the owner doesn’t use it as that since the time is 3:14AM.
But I digress. This person has carefully selected a classic piece of Americana to represent themselves. And it appears to be a classic from about 20 years ago. I think I can hear the Nirvana CD playing as I type this. I see this person as one who does not follow the latest trends. They like the tried and true not the newfangled contraptions that pop up and disappear in the space of a week. They are practical and probably have a cross-stitched pillow somewhere that says “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.”
Reviewed By: Shelby Released
If I was an old school, fifty pound boombox (remember them?)
Would you hold me on your shoulder, wherever you walk?
Would you turn my volume up in front of the cops
And crank it higher every time they told you to stop
And all I ask is that you don’t get mad at me
When you have to purchase mad D batteries
Appreciate every mixtape your friends make
You never know we come and go like on the interstate….
The boombox owner cries out”…call me old-fashioned, call me a traditionalist, call me a throwback, call me whatever you want, I don’t care. I love my boombox. It’s the real me.”
Tell the truth. How many times were you busted for exceeding the noise ordinance? Because we all know that a boombox is made to boom that bass. I bet this boombox continues to blast out music from the Beetles, the Rolling Stones, and Fleetwood Mac, just to name a few of the artists it saw during its heyday.
Oh, the stories this boombox might be able to tell about the rides it took to the beach or the park, belting out “our song,” accompanied by hot and heavy breathing in the background.
I am going to guess that this American icon’s owner is loyal and trustworthy and has rhythm. He or she doesn’t sit on the sidelines and wait for things to happen; they get moving and make things happen.
Or maybe they are just frugal, and if it ain’t broke, they see no reason to buy a new one.
And the random connection between the Bear and the Boombox? Jerry Garcia (Grateful Dead) joined with David Grisman (bluegrass/newgrass mandolinist and composer of acoustic music) to created a down-home, Dixieland version of this classic Teddy Bear Picnic Song back in 1993. It was included on the album Not For Kids Only. A cassette was packaged in the back of the picture book version of everyone’s favorite picnic in the woods.
Joe Cole received a copy of Teddy Bear Picnic book and he just loved it. Dearly departed Joe would pop the cassette into his ancient boombox and a father and son sing-along would commence.
Big THANK YOU to our super submitters and Odd reviewers. I’ll be back to share more reviews. But in the meantime don’t forget to leave comments, questions, and observations to win a random prize from the drawing that will be held at the end of all the reviews.
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