I grew up in Queens Village, New York and I always went with my parents to Jamaica Savings Bank (now Capital One). This bank was interesting for several reasons; the lighting was warm because most of it came from their huge windows, the tellers were separated from the public with very thick bullet proof glass, and the most importantly, their computers.
That’s me on the side of Jamaica Savings Bank in September of 1989.
There were a few desks and on each was a DEC Rainbow 100 computer. Which consisted of a monitor and keyboard. I didn’t realize until years later that there was a console attached because it was always out of sight. Under the desk perhaps?
I loved the shape of the monitor – the angle at which you looked at it mesmerized me every time I walked into the bank. My curiosity would always get the best of me and I found myself drifting over to a desk that no one was working at. I would stare at the set-up, dreaming of having a Rainbow 100 for myself. Now that I collect computers, I think it’s just a matter of time before I get one in my collection.
If that computer looks familiar, there’s a good reason for it; it was in a lot of movies. Beverly Hills Cop, The Philadelphia Experiment, The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension and Ghostbusters.
The set up here is almost exactly what I saw in the bank minus the printer & console.
If you’re wondering about that wacky looking disk drive, well, this video will explain.
With 2016 all but at an end. I’m sure like many of you there is a sense of fatigue – a welcoming of the closing of the year. Which is certainly why I felt it best today to avoid the negative. Embrace not the cynicism – however easy that option is but instead talk about what The Retroist means to me.
You would think that for a person that can write over a thousand words on Dr. Doom it would be easier. On the contrary trying to put my feelings for The Retroist site down is proving rather taxing.
The first thing that comes to mind when I think of The Retroist site is – acceptance. Moreover how I found a community that embraces the very things I cherish. Movies, video games, cartoons and more.
An all-encompassing understanding that what I might find extremely neat. Will in addition ring true with many of you as well. I hadn’t realized I was missing this in my own life until I was allowed to join the site back in 2010. Certainly my friends would listen about my love of things past but they didn’t have the same yearning to discuss it. It was when I began sharing on this site, I learned I wasn’t quite as alone in my appreciation of things nostalgic as I thought.
One of my first articles for The Retroist was a review of the Atari 2600 port of Nintendo’s Popeye. In fact it was the wish for an Atari 2600 version of Kolchak: The Night Stalker that landed me a spot here on the site!
Friends, back in 2009 I had decided to throw my hat into the blogging ring. I came up with a place on the internet entitled In my youth, victory was a power pellet. The whole point of the blog in fact was a place to avoid clogging up the e-mail of my friends. Like sharing my excitement over Brickshelf’s LEGO Predator bust!
Image courtesy of Brickshelf.
Thanks to a post on my blog about that non-existent Kolchak: The Night Stalker Atari 2600 cartridge, the Retroist invited me to write for the site. No demands where made on what I could discuss beyond it being a family friendly site as well as having something to do with things retro. I’m not sure I can properly describe the joy I felt at being welcomed by not just the readership but my fellow writers. Many that I would quickly become friends with and still chat on Facebook to this day.
Equally important was how the Retroist treated me when I joined full time. I was absolutely naive, friends. No one had taken the time to explain that you should give credit when sharing artwork or videos. And how overwhelming it all seemed back then. I didn’t know a thing about embedding videos or adding links and such. Every single day, the Retroist would patiently explain the way a blogger should behave. Not once did he lose his temper with me nor anyone who was contributing to the site.
But what does The Retroist mean to me? The Retroist is quite simply my extended and global online Family. Without a doubt the community here is one of the best. Appreciating the joy of simply sharing the things that are of interest from the past. I cherish it, I truly do. I’ll never be able to properly thank the Retroist for letting me experience that.
Without the Retroist paving the way with his 202 podcasts. I never would have had the guts to attempt Saturday Frights, Retro Radio Memories, Projectionist’s Sinister Tales of Terror, or the Diary of an Arcade Employee podcasts. Every step of the way…the Retroist was there to guide me. Along with others, helping to craft the podcasts so that The Retroist site had more to offer.
At last count there were 14,312 posts on The Retroist. Just between you and me, I believe the Retroist himself has been doing some pruning. As I recall a couple of months back it was in the 20,000 range. Furthermore I’ve been fortunate enough to contribute 3,001 of those posts. Not one time has the Retroist asked for help covering the costs of paying the server fees.
What The Retroist means to me!
I’m kind of rambling here. But in all honesty The Retroist feels like my home – where I belong. Thanks to the site I have found my place in the world where I can be creative…and myself. I think you will see from the earlier posts today by Allison Venezio, Gary Burton, RetroArt and the Nerdy Blogger. They all feel the same. I want to thank them for agreeing to this little tribute today to The Retroist site. As well as to all of you for visiting every day – enjoying what all of us writers have to talk about and share.
Most importantly I want to thank the Retroist. For his mentoring but more importantly for his friendship and letting me be much more than I would be if I wasn’t writing on The Retroist. Thanks for six wonderful years, my friend – I’m looking forward to what we the site holds in 2017.