Death came quickly and without warning. She still had energy but just quit moving. I guess she was just worn out.
My Realistic Model CTR-68 cassette tape recorder died last week. She was at work at the time, recording a lengthy hearing in Bettendorf when her motor just stopped turning.
I immediately gave her some tape recorder life support — new batteries. But she was gone.
Since she recorded audio on cassettes, an old-fashioned way of doing things by today’s standards, the Realistic recorder was a bit of a dinosaur. Though she was pricey when new — $80 or so as I recall — that’s a far cry from the $500 state-of-the-art digital recorder I was issued when I worked at WOC Radio News. Rather than cassettes, it recorded its audio on a card like those used in digital cameras.
We’d been through a lot together, my CTR-68 and me. We did scores of one-on-one interviews and covered countless news conferences and public meetings. I never gave her a nickname, but we were like old friends.
This isn’t the first recorder over the years that I’ve worn out and laid to rest. But, like the time I stopped using my trusty typewriter in favor of a computer keyboard, it’s tough to say good-bye.
Copyright 2010 by Phil Roberts, Creative Enterprises. This article was submitted as a column to The North Scott Press, Eldridge, Iowa.