This week I recently got a new boombox, and figured this would be a good time to take a look back at some of the previous boomboxes I have carried over the years.
When Elliot and I traded off carrying the boombox we carried a really beat up 80’s Sony. The back plate was missing so we had a piece of cardboard covering it up and duct taped it all around. We couldn’t move around too much while carrying it since the batteries would jingle loose. This was also during the time where I had to make mix tapes and themes for the boombox, which was done by my very ad-hoc studio. We carried Boxy around put it through even more wear and tear through our crazy adventures. These were the humble beginnings of the boombox guy.
When Elliot left, he took his boombox with him, and I was faced with a tough decision. Was the boombox just a one semester fluke or was it worth carrying on? After thinking about it and remembering all the laughs that it had brought to people I knew I had to carry it on. I knew it was going to be tough going at it alone, since there were a handful of people who did not like the boombox guy. Worst of all, I had to find a place that sold cheap D batteries!
Dismissing the haters and the power supply concerns, I set forth to find a new boombox. Digging through stuff at my parents house I ran across a slightly newer Sony boombox. It was black, twice as loud, and twice as heavy. I liked it because it better represented my personality at the time. I deemed this one Boxy 2 / “Blacky”. I continued to make mix tapes, had theme days, and carried on the pursuit of spreading a little bit of humor around campus.
I carried Boxy 2 through my sophomore and most of my junior years as an undergrad. Sensing I needed a change, I went searching for a new boombox. Boxy 2 had served me well but it was time to retire it. I scoured through thrift stores, flea markets, and pawn shops to find a new one. Despite my searching, I came up empty until my parents went to a strange flea market near the mountains. They talked to a strange old man, who just so happened to have what I had been looking for. Christmas that year they gave me Boxy 3 / “Boxy the Third”. This Emerson boombox was slightly shorter but taller, older but sounded better, and was densely built. This boombox became my companion through the rest of my junior year, my entire senior year, and through most of my pursuit for a masters. This was also the one I was filmed in the interview for HDNet becoming the first boombox I had been televised holding.
It was around this time I stopped making mix tapes, since they were becoming increasingly harder to find, and decided to modernize with running a mp3 player through the boombox. This turned out to be a great decision as I could now make playlists on the fly.
Nearing completion of my matsters, it was about time to retire “Boxy the Third”. I then found an 80’s Magnavox which was very promising. This one was slightly larger and louder, and was a beauty. Easily this was going to be Boxy 4. However shortly after taking it out and about, the line in for the mp3 player died, and the tape deck’s motor was busted. It was a good radio, but couldn’t fulfill the role of a boombox.
As strange fate would have it, around this same time my parents went to that bizarre flea market in the mountains and talked with that weird, little old man. He just so happened to have another boombox. For my birthday, my parents presented me with Boxy 5 / “The Beast!” It was big, twice as heavy as the last, twice as loud as the last, it was a beast! Also for some strange reason it took 9 D batteries instead of the standard 6 or 8. This boombox became the most photographed of all of them. From the “Garnet and Black: Have you seen Boombox Guy?” to “Rock Out with your Gamecock” to performing at “Runaway Runway” to being on the news here and there, I have been seen with this boombox more than the rest. Thus became my signature boombox, and continues to serve me as one of the best boomboxes.
Being as heavy and cumbersome as it was, I then needed to find something a little smaller for other uses like kickball games, pub crawls, and other shenanigans that wouldn’t get in the way. This is when I discovered Boxy 6 / “Skinny”. This was a light weight, and surprisingly skinny GE boombox. It was a perfect companion for a lot of nonsense I got into as I could easily run with this one.
Now we come to the newest boombox, Boxy 7. I do not yet have a name for it, but so far I like how good the sound quality is, how it hearkens back to the retro boxes but still modern, how light weight it is, and most of all it has a strap! It’s funny to think I have went from 80’s boomboxes where we had to make mix tapes and repair it with duct tape to something a little newer, but still has all the character as the ones before. Where do I go from here? Who knows maybe I’ll build my own one day BD>