Friday, May 12, 2006
Flashback Fridays: Colatown / MotownBy Josh Lamkin
Columbia, South Carolina. My hometown. Hmmm....
I can't say I'm particularly proud to be from Columbia. I'm not ashamed either. It's just one of those places to be from that you can't really say much about, ya know? There's not like a perennially kickass sports team, or famous theatre group, or superb music scene, or unusually large ball of twine that would keep people talking about Columbia and coming back every year. I mean, it's the state capital so the capitol building is there, but that's not that special--every state has a capitol.
I'm going to Columbia tomorrow so I guess I'm thinking about it a lot today. Also, I was listening to The Four Tops all this morning, and there's something about old Motown stuff that makes me think of Columbia.
My parents listened to old Motown records all the time when I was little. I remember running around the house as a little kid singing "You're more than a number in my little red book / You're more than a one night stand...." (All six-year-olds know the words to that song, right?) When we went to football games or on picnics we opened up all the doors to our crappy little Toyota and played The Four Tops, The Drifters, Smokey Robinson and The Miracles, Marvin Gaye and all that kind of stuff while everyone else around us was listening to Skynyrd or whatever. I guess I'm lucky my parents had such good taste in music, or I could be in a Southern Rock band right now--not that there's anything wrong with that.
When I was in high school I found my parents' record collection hidden away somewhere and went and bought a needle for the record player that they never used anymore and listened to all those records again. I used to sit around for hours and lie on the floor listening to all those old records, just spacing out with the warm crackle of "I Heard It Through The Grapevine" coming out of the speakers. I hadn't listened to them in so long. It was great.
I think I was bored a lot growing up. Columbia kind of bores me, you know, in the way only your hometown can bore you in that been-there-done-that kind of way. My brothers and sister always wonder why I don't come back home more. I guess that's why. But I guess if there's nothing else to say about my hometown of Columbia, SC, at least it's got a cool soundtrack.