Stuff I Did in the '80s
American Top 40
American Top 40

My parents always had music playing, either from the radio or the record player. Dad had a stereo cabinet stacked with the mandatory hardware for rock n’ roll: receiver, turntable, cassette player and a fancy equalizer. His record collection was “hands off” until I came of age and my respect and knowledge of his audio equipment was at a level where I could receive an honorary degree in broadcasting.

There was a ritual to playing a record—from cleaning the vinyl to adjusting knobs and dials in hopes of achieving the perfect sound. I’d listen to an album in running order and in its entirety. The best LPs took you through an auditory journey of emotions and ideas. Lyrics and artwork printed in the 12” sleeves added to the experience and your imagination filled in the rest. Listening to dad’s records galvanized my love of classic rock and I was excited any time he added a new album to his collection. Once I was employed I’d go to Moondog Music, Spec’s or Peaches and spend an entire paycheck on vinyl. Considering the average price of an LP record was $7.50 it wasn’t long before I had a music collection of my own. My first record that I purchased was Elton John’s Too Low For Zero.

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Introduction Half a Boombox I’m Not a Member I was Simon Le Bon (For Fifteen Minutes) Motown 25 Watch Whatever, Whenever Snowblind You’re the One That I Want Call Me Your Kiss is on My List Electric Boogaloo Dear Daryl Hall and John Oates Where Shopping is a Pleasure Dialect of a Decade I’m Alright The Sunshine State Shazam! It’s Just a Fantasy I’ve Got a Secret Sunday Funnies Impeachment American Top 40 License to Drive Risky (Show) Business Jumping Someone Else’s Train Yakety Sax I Want to be Elton John When I Grow Up Hit Me With Your Best Shot: Tetherball, Dodgeball & Flag Football Sk8 or Go Home Roll a Saving Throw vs. Velour Piano Man The Duckman Cometh Money for Nothing Waiting for the Bus More Than Meets the Eye The Legend Begins Whip It When You Care Enough to Send the Very Best Master Chef Muppetmania I Want to Ride My Bicycle WW III My Octopus Teacher Some Like it Hot Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs Dare to Be Stupid Keeping the Faith
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Never Abandon Imagination Tony DiTerlizzi: Never abandon imagination.

Imagination is a world of possibility that exists within each of us. It is what makes us uniquely human. It is our creative fingerprint that touches and influences the world around us. Imagination is essential to art and science; to innovation and prosperity. It gives us hope, calls us to action and leads to change.

Whether it’s fairies, dragons, robots or aliens, all of my children’s book characters are siblings born of my imagination – an imagination strengthened through years of encouragement from family, teachers and friends. While so many others abandoned it during their transition from childhood to adulthood, I fiercely held onto mine, hoping for a day when I could share it to inspire the next generation of dreamers. Innovators. World changers.

Imagination empowers us to envision and create a reality of what could be. We must hold it dear, foster it and never abandon it.