Vintage Things, like my Dad

Vintage is something that gets thrown around a lot and people have lost respect for the classic association for Vintage. I was talking with some friends and they were talking about the vintage quality of music from the ’90s. The 1890’s? No, the 1990’s. What? That isn’t vintage, that is last year. Vintage could be associated with vinyl albums, I’d allow that. But not CD’s that is ridiculous. You can still purchase CD’s in Wal-mart at the check out in the impulse purchase section, so that doesn’t count.

White Album
White Album  would be a Vintage Album

Vintage books mean books that pre-date 1960 and NOT A PAPER BACK.  Later then that are called “out of print” or “used books”. Still perfectly lovely but not Vintage.


Vintage fashion is designer based. Something classic that has staying power like Chanel or Givenchy. Your granny’s $1.49/yard fortrel pantsuit she made for church is not. That is called “second hand” or “Value Village find”. I love second hand shops. I often find silk for 25 cents, but it does not make it vintage.


I use to have a mother-in-law who thought of food as something that was vintage. Her pantry was a virtual museum of old brands and an odd assortment of canned goods that pre-dated World War II. In this case, yes this was Vintage packaging but she found it perfectly fine to serve Vintage food. I never indulged and was usually the one who never caught the ‘flu’ after eating at her house.


Vintage alcohol can be the answer to good time, but this also comes with some caveats. Wine and scotch yes, beer and coolers no. Make your own wine left in the plastic bathtub, no. Frozen beer then thawed beer, no (for the uninitiated, it goes skunky and flat. Not good ever) I have not had the pleasure of drinking a very old very expensive scotch, but I will one day and I can bet you it will be divine.


I am watching the Hockey game (yay hockey is back!) When I say watching the game, I only ever mean MY team. The Edmonton Oilers. (For the record The New York Rangers are my Eastern Team – I fondly refer to them as Oilers East). The Oil are playing Columbus (who?) and they are wearing their 3rd jersey. It is in the classic original 6 vintage style. It is a really nice looking jersey, but… That’s right I said it, BUT…

Columbus Bluejackets have not earned the right to wear a Vintage Style Jersey. I don’t even think the Oilers have earned that right. 3rd Jerseys should be Vintage only with teams who have Original 6 Designation. That means I would proudly wear New York Rangers Vintage jersey. Suck it Leafs and Habs.


My Dad is about to become Vintage this year. I am in the process of collecting 65 cool vintage things. Mostly they will be cool vintage toys, Bobby Orr or Gordie Howe vintage jersey (both original 6 – the proper vintage) hockey cards from his youth and Pez with no feet, but VINTAGE not yard sale old. I am hoping to find some of these things in a yard sale but that isn’t the qualifying concept that makes it Vintage.

Vintage is a word that has class, style and panache, my dad does not appreciate being called the ‘old man’, ancient or decrepit  He is a man who had live well and seen lots. The adjective that describes him should reflect that. So, I will call my father Daddy. Anyone with a 45 year old who still refers to her papa as Daddy, can’t be such a bad guy,  he isn’t all that old.


Throw Back Thursday: DOS Sierra games


Last night I was talking with my kids about typewriters, their dad told them he has an old one kicking around at his office. Both kids jumped up as exclaimed, “Can we have it?” So I asked the obvious question, “Why do you want a typewriter?”


I got the nerd look and was told typewriters are cool. Seriously? I told them about my experience in Typing 10 and they laughed and said they took typing in Elementary School. Suddenly I felt vintage.


I grew up in the era of Atari and Intelevision. I played Frogger, Donkey Kong, Galaxia, and all those games you can now play on your iPad because there is an app for that. Never made the transition well to Xbox and Playstation because I suffer from motion sickness those games create for me. I can last about 10 minutes then I am laying on the floor hoping not to hurl. This is unfortunate because I would kick ass at those games…just saying.


Then one day, somewhere around 1988 when I was 21, I bought a computer. This is how stupid I was, I let my  -then Boyfriend, keep it (stupid stupid stupid). There was no Windows in those days but there was DOS, and I became quite efficient in that language. Basically that computer was a REALLY expensive type writer for me. When Windows came along my boyfriend wouldn’t upgrade because he deemed it to be a “fad”. The best I could hope for was Dos Shell, which prettified the screen and made it yellow and blue. Basically it was still just a very expensive type writer. Then I met a gal who owned a computer game that didn’t involve a deck cards.



Sierra Games came out with a series of games where you typed the actions for the character to do. This was all on several floppy disks – not hard floppys-the real floppy. This was called Police Quest. I was obsessed with this game. I would talked to other gamers to discover secrets so I could access new levels. This was before the Internet. I met these other gamers at comic shops. That’s right, I was a vintage gamer geek long before it became the new cool. My boyfriend didn’t understand my interest. I spent hours trying to crack the code. I would type different lines in hopes the police detective would check the wallet. Lines codes went something like this:


  • Open brown door
  • walk through doorway
  • turn right
  • walk straight ahead
  • pick up wallet
  • move wallet
  • open wallet
  • push wallet onto floor


I tried a 100 different ways for the detective to look inside that wallet. Then one day I met a guy  – who later ran from the Weed Party of Canada – he knew the code. You had to walk behind the table and turn the light on first before you had access to the wallet. I remember messing up and having to restart the level. SO FRUSTRATING, but so satisfying if I figured it out!


Watching Wreck it Ralph brought that all back to me. Poor Ralph lives in a vintage game celebrating his 30th anniversary. Those were the type of games I played! I felt comfort, empathy and excitement! Then there was a reference that I didn’t get. Glenda bla bla bla Huh? Apparently if I played Portal I would have understood that reference. I HATE being out of the loop!


I have high schoolers talking to me about retro geekdom from Star Wars to Star Trek, from Atari to Hand held NFL football (I loved those red led players!) All I have going for me is I was a cool geek before geeks were cool. I have finally become someone who needs to rest on her laurels. I need to download Police Quest or Leisure Suit Larry and show off my mad typing skills.