Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Miracle! Ring Owner Found!

Oh Great Tidings of Comfort and Joy!

Years ago, my mom found somebody's school ring at BWI Airport (pre-Thurgood Marshall) and, being a dingbat, it didn't occur to her to turn it in where she found it. About five years ago she told me about it, and stuck me with the task of finding the owner. I had no luck all this time (only the first name and initials were on the ring) until I found the school's alumni group on Facebook.

Wayne Fusco, the guy who runs the alumni group for Dunedin High School (in Dunedin, Florida) sent all the registered users of his two alumni sites an email about me and my efforts to track down "Donna" from the class of 1983. The ring my Mom found in some airport. He sent me a copy of the email he sent out, which went out on the 21st.

Dunedin High School in Florida

By the 22nd there was already a second email thanking everyone who contacted him who knew our mystery girl!

He spoke with her that day and she was in shock that it was found, and that someone would take the time to track down its owner!

He sent out a copy of the second email to me as well. It made me so happy! He thanked me in it, but I would never had found her if not for him putting out the word in the emails.

On Christmas Eve, Donna called me, and I learned that her mother lives in Essex! Her mother also called me, and we arranged to meet at Eastpoint Mall, so that I could hand the ring over to her. On the 26th, I met Donna's very sweet mother (with my own mom in tow, who was excited about the chain of events) and gave her the ring. She gave my mom a little reward (enough for us to enjoy a nice lunch at a favorite local restaurant!)

Now I'm relieved, and Donna is happy. And I have a New Year's resolution not to accept any more rings from my mother.

What a great Christmas present!

Related Links: - a free site for Dunedin High School alumni
Lost Class Rings Link - Duneding High School
Found Rings Link - Dunedin High School
Dunedin High School - Facebook
Dunedin High School Alumni - MySpace
Dunedin High School Alumni Site (

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Thrift Scores: My 80s Tape Collection

Reelin' in the Years

The world may be digital, but for this Analog Amy, cassette culture still rules. Though I have to scour yard sales, flea markets and thrift shops for them, I've amassed quite an audiocassette library, especially of '80s bands - my favorite era.

The Alicia D. Cassette Collection
One of my best scores was The Alicia D. Collection I picked up at Govans Presbyterian Church. I call it that because the tapes listed below had "Alicia D." written on them, a permanent brand to let the world know these belonged to her - so hands off, would-be interlopers! Until now, after The Great Alicia D. Tape Disapora has spread her coveted cassette collection over who-knows-how-many flea markets.

Alicia D-lights:

The Housemartins - London 0, Hull 4
This one makes me think of The Rutles' tune "Into the Arms of a Scotsman from Hull". My boyfriend likes it because it's a soccer score - especially relevant this year with recently promoted Hull doing so well in the Barclay's English Premiere League!

Echo and the Bunnymen - Echo and the Bunnymen

The Replacements - Pleased To Meet Me

XTC - Skylarking
My best score! My boyfriend approved, because Todd Rundgren produced it, even though Andy Partridge and Der Toddster didn't get on well.

Other Fave Found Tapes

The Feelies - Only Life

Deee-lite - World Clique

Indigo Girls - Indigo Girls
The debut album with their famous song on it that I always forget. The one everybody knows about "I went to the doctor, I went to the mountain, I drank from the fountain..." Um, "Closer to Fine," that's it

Happy Mondays - Pills n Thrills & Bellyaches
Drug-addled Mancunian ravers. My boyfriend advised me to pick it up since they were the focus-point of 24 Hour Party People.

Crowded House - Crowded House

Gang of Four - A Brief History of the 20th Century

Divinyls - Divinyls

Duran Duran - Decade

Nick Lowe - The Rose of England

Voice of the Beehive - Let It Bee
The one girl used to be in another band in the '80s and the drummer in Madness was married to her, I think.

REM - Eponymous
Got this at a Goodwill.

Yaz - Upstairs at Erics
Another Goodwill score.

Go-Go's - Greatest

Squeeze - Hourglass

Squeeze - Cool for Cats

Squeeze - Play

Depeche Mode - Black celebration

Depeche Mode - Speak and Spell

Depeche Mode - Songs of Faith and Devotion

Talking Heads - Little Creatures

Talking Heads - Naked

Van Morrison - Moondance

Van Morrison - Best of

XTC - Nonesuch

XTC - Oranges and Lemons

Grace Jones - Inside Story

Kate Bush - On Stage

Kate Bush - The Sensual World

The Kinks - Lola Vs. Powerman

The Cure - the Top

Madness - Keep Moving

New Order - Power, Corruption and Lies

Fine Young Cannibals - the Raw and the Cooked

MTV's Amp
a mid -90's collection of electronic type bands

The The - Soul Mining

Public Image Ltd.

World Party - Goodbye Jumbo

The Dream Academy - Remembrance Days

Let's Active - Every Dog Has His Day

The Style Council - My Ever-Changing Moods

Enigma - MCMXC A.D.

The Who - Who's Greatest Hits

Never Mind the Mainstream- Best of 120 Minutes

Annie Lennox - Diva

Dead Can Dance - Spiritchaser

Clannad - Anam

The Slickee Boys - Uh-Oh No Breaks

10 CC - How Dare You

The Grass Roots - Temptation Eyes

Trouble Funk - You Got the Right One Baby
They were poised for great success but never made it. They never broke out of the local scene. Which is why you can find their tapes at flea markets, like me.