High Fidelity

By: susan peterson stamis

Jan 03 2022

Tags: , , , , ,

Category: Uncategorized


Early on, I developed an appreciation for a wide range of music, from Alternative to Zydeco and pretty much everything in between. When Dad came home from work, music followed him through the door and he spent countless hours categorizing his numerous albums, recording his favorites on a reel-to-reel tape recorder. His tastes leaned to swing, easy listening and classical; and on early weekend mornings, he rousted us from sleep with dreaded opera.

When anyone asks me what my favorite band is, I unhesitatingly reply, “The Beatles” and I was 13 when their first single was released in America. I Want to Hold Your Hand played on the rock stations of the era and every teenaged girl clutched a transistor radio tightly to her chest in the hopes that the deejay would play that song.

One Saturday, Mom had shanghaied Dad and me for our weekly chores of waxing the linoleum floors and swabbing the dust from the slats of the hi-fi speakers. I Want to Hold Your Hand began to play on the radio! I cranked up the volume and hugged the hi-fi, but my dad, not realizing how deeply enamored I was of the shaggy new band and their new sound, began to mock the music while dancing around the room with the mop.

I begged him to stop (the song was only 2 minutes and 24 seconds long and who knew when it would come on again?) but he persisted until I blew my stack and told him to “shut up.” Well…Mom gasped, Dad almost keeled over, and I nearly swallowed my tongue.

I still love Beatles music, exclusive of many of the recordings they made as solo artists after the breakup, and the mere mention of Yoko Ono gives me a stomachache. In my 40’s I gained a new appreciation for opera when I randomly heard O Mio Babbino Caro on the car radio, and burst into tears remembering my own dear dad.

10 comments on “High Fidelity”

  1. This is so cute!! I’m married to a Peterson boy who not only loves his music 🎶 but adores the Beatles (as do I!) Happy New Year❣️🥳

    Sent from my iPhone


  2. Happy New Year to you, too! ❤️

  3. I was so excited to see your new mnemonic retrieval! It did not disappoint! I felt right there in that room waxing that linoleum floor and listening to the Beatles with you and your father. What a memory! ❤️❤️❤️

  4. What I would give to have that hi fi player!

  5. Very sweet memories, Susan, thank you.

    Wishing you a Happy & Healthy New Year,


    Marta Fuchs, MLS, MFT Speaker, psychotherapist Author, Legacy of Rescue: A Daughter’s Tribute Co-producer, “The Soldier’s Uniform” http://www.MartaFuchs.com

    Sent from my iPhone


  6. My dad must have gotten your dad’s music memo—Saturdays were all opera!!

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