Friday, July 27, 2012

1994: 40 Thoughts in 40 Days

As I've been writing these past few weeks, I've been taking a second each day to google news headlines and popular music of the time.  It's my way of waking up my brain and refreshing my mind for the time period that I'm writing about. 1994 was no different...except I looked at the list of music released in '94 like it was written in a different language.  What was it about 1994 that made Top-40 songs - the stuff that was played on the radio - so...forgettable?  Or at least forgettable to me!

The simple reason I don't remember pop music from that year is because I wasn't listening to it!  By that time, I had moved on from my short "career" in educational music to a job at the local Christian bookstore.  Let me just preface the rest of this by saying...Greatest job ever!!  I was a bookworm...and now I was surrounded by books.  The hubby and I had spent the last 8-10 years of our separate lives listening to our favorite Christian musicians...and now I got to unpack all of the new music as it came in!  Safe to say, a LOT of my paycheck went right back to that store.

Taking a quick second to reminisce - some of the music making the top 100 of that year were:
  • Bruce Springsteen - "Streets of Philadelphia" (to me, this just lets me know that was the year the Tom Hanks movie came out.
  • Sting, Bryan Adams, Rod Stewart - "All For Love" (Remember Kiefer Sutherland in The Three Musketeers?)
  • Elton John - "Can You Feel The Love Tonight" (Of course!  Disney's The Lion King!)
Basically, if it wasn't on a movie soundtrack, I most likely missed any kind of radio top-40 songs that year.  I also missed it if it was country music.  I quit listening to country music years ago.  (Except for that one weekend, not too long ago...it involved a big truck, and the smell of livestock, and I was transported back in time for just a brief moment...)

But anyway - yes, safe to say, I was in my Christian retail bubble and I was happy being there.  Ask me anything about Dove Award winners, Michael English, Steven Curtis Chapman, 4Him, Two Hearts, Guardian, Out of the Grey, Rich Mullins, Ken Tamplin or Billy Sprague (to name a few...)I'll hook you up with whatever you'd like to know.

DaBrat, Urge Overkill, Stone Temple Pilots, Crash Test Dummies...who??  They sang what??

Here's what I did know:  Baptism gifts up here by the window, wedding invitations back on the platform, Sunday School gifts (ugh) are at the back of the store, would your children like to watch a McGee and Me video while you shop?  I could tell if you were a KJV, NASB, NIV, or Message Bible reader as soon as you walked in the door (Please don't ask me to perform this feat now, I'm out of practice.),  and I was there for the beginning of the Left Behind series by Tim Lahaye and Jerry Jenkins...and yes, I've read them all faithfully.

At one point I was given the opportunity to put together folders of info for all of the local churches in the area - basically letting them know who we were, where we were, and how we could help them with whatever supplies they might need for their services and Sunday School.  I then had to deliver all of these folders personally. (Apparently my employers thought I enjoyed my previous personal interactions with music directors, and thought I could now handle ministers and church secretaries.)   All I can remember is three days of driving all over northwest Ohio...and also that there are A LOT of churches in northwest Ohio.

Eventually our bookstore merged with the company's office supply division and we welcomed a whole new crew of people into the mix.  I had to become "familiar" with all basic office supplies, inks and toners, writing instruments, typewriters (yes, we actually sold them way back when) and then there was this rare breed of guys who worked at the back of the store.  The computer guys.  If a customer came in with a computer tower in their arms....just keep on moving...all the way to the back...do not stop at this front counter, I can not help you.  Not entirely sure that these fellas knew what they were doing either (Kevin Baxter), but as long as I wasn't the one who had to replace any hard drives or upgrade the memory on a machine, it was all good.

I genuinely liked this job, remaining employed by Russ and Evelyn Wyse, up until hubby and I made the decision to move out of state...but that's a story for another year, and another day...

For now - here is an example of what I was listening to in 1994...



C.

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