Options Aerial View: Playlist from September 30, 2014 Options

Aerial View was WFMU’s first regularly-scheduled phone-in talk show. Hosted by Chris T. and on the air since 1989, the show features topical conversation, interviews and many trips down the rabbit hole. Until further notice, Aerial View is only available as a podcast, available every Tuesday morning. Subscribe to the newsletter “See You Next Tuesday!” and find tons of archives at aerialview.me. (Visit homepage.)

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Options September 30, 2014: The Trip To Lindenhurst
Last Monday, September 22, I took what should be my final trip to my hometown, Lindenhurst, NY. I don't know what reason would bring me back again now that my mother's house has sold. My friend Glenn Katz (see below) joked about doing a nostalgia run out there but I've never been all that nostalgic. Nostalgia, to me, implies seeing the past through sepia-tinted glasses. Even as a kid, though my eyesight was poor, my vision was unblinkered.

The drive out to Long Island was brutal, as usual, with traffic bogging down many times along my chosen route and my old diesel Mercedes acting like it, too, didn't want to make the trip. I had no time to do my customary drive down Wellwood Avenue, the main drag in Lindenhurst, and instead headed straight to the house. I was a bit shocked by what I found. The house was still full of stuff. Even after the estate sale, after my brother and sister and I took what we wanted and threw out the rest there was still crap in every room. And I mean "crap". Sewing machine parts for sewing machines long gone. Office supplies for a nonexistent office. Cutlery that would never see a dinner plate.

My sister rented a big van, to move two china cabinets and a few other items. I filled three or four boxes with a computer monitor, a shelf stereo system and some other electronic odds and ends. The big item, for me, was the Victrola cabinet my father turned into a stereo hideaway. It hadn't sold at the estate sale and I didn't want to see it put on the curb. I manhandled it into my trunk and bungeed the lid down.

We spent hours filling up fourteen contractor-size garbage bags, leaving them lined up in the driveway along with some "curb alert" items I put on craigslist. Before long, my brother was off to work and my sister headed back to Rhode Island, leaving me there by myself. I had my recorder with me and I went room to room saying goodbye to the place and all - good and bad - that happened there. A certain numbness descended on me... the rush of memories was threatening to overwhelm and I needed to gird myself for the long trip back to New Jersey. I got in my car and made it to the end of the block when I decided to get one last meal at Southside Fish & Clam, "Home of the Twin Lobster Dinner".

Southside has been on the corner of Montauk Highway and South 5th as long as I can remember. My family used to eat there once a week. We'd either walk down the block or one of us would go and pick up an order and bring it home. One of my first jobs - I was probably fourteen - was as a general clean-up help there. It's also where I took my first electric guitar to destroy it.

I went in and got some grilled scallops with creamed spinach and mashed potatoes. I was enjoying it until I saw someone else dig into their twin lobsters. Then I reminded myself I wasn't in the mood to crack open one lobster, never mind two. I finished up and missed my second chance to do a circuit through town, checking out the old landmarks and saying goodbye. It was already late and I didn't know what to expect from the car. As it was, I almost got stranded on the Wantagh Parkway. There was a grade heading toward Northern Parkway and I thought for sure I was going to slow down to the point I was going backwards. It was like some force was literally pulling me back, refusing to let me go. If I believed in such things, that is. As it turns out, my mechanic says the likely culprit is a clogged fuel filter from algae in the tank.

Tonight, let's talk about your hometown and mine, and what became of the house in which you grew. Call 201-209-WFMU and let's go home again.

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Artist Track
Metallica Chris T.  Welcome Aerial View Home   Options
Ike Turner  Going Home   Options
Tom Ruh  A Child's Song   Options
The Stooges  Fun House   Options
Tom Waits  The House Where Nobody Lives   Options
Roxy Music  In Every Dreamhouse A Heartache   Options

Listener comments!

Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 9/30/14 6:06pm dale:

some time you need to post where all these soundbites came from. i recognize the dick van dyke show...
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 9/30/14 6:07pm Marcel M:

Hello all! I'm back!
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 9/30/14 6:10pm dale:

turn signals only are a courtesy. not required on most tri-state roads.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 9/30/14 6:12pm dale:

that may be a mercedes, but it sounds like all the sound insulation was long ago carried off by mice.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 9/30/14 6:15pm Chris from LI:

Traffic I spell it L O N G I S L A N D
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 9/30/14 6:16pm dale:

my childhood house looks like hobos moved in. not that it was ever a mansion...
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 9/30/14 6:17pm dale:

chris, if you want a good cry listen to tom rush's 'a child's song.' all about one last walk through before moving on.
  Tue. 9/30/14 6:17pm Chris T.:

Dale. what you're hearing is a combination of issues. The floorplan needs to be replaced. The central exhaust is shot. And the fuel wasn't pumping properly.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 9/30/14 6:19pm dale:

do what i always did - some canvas and roofing tar on the underside.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 9/30/14 6:20pm Marcel M:

I always felt bad for the Long Islanders.... have to navigate the city to get anywhere. Being from NJ was nice, could zip in and out of Manhattan, and get away from the city no problem.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 9/30/14 6:24pm Todd76Pct:

I bought the house I grew up in, stripped out all of the carpet and made repairs and repainted. After 2 12 yd. and a 6 yd. dumpster being filled and several garage sales, some parts of the house are still jammed with family stuff. My work studio is in the old living room and the old 'back basement' is a music practice room. It's a little weird to be here but you could do much worse for a place to live.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 9/30/14 6:26pm Marcel M:

My parents moved out of NJ a few years ago and moved way upstate. I've been in NYC for a while now and its strange to think that my house there is occupied by others, but it didn't really bother me as much as I thought it would. Its much more of a pain to visit them, but I don't have any real sadness about the house being gone.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 9/30/14 6:28pm dale:

......but your old childhood home will be someone else's childhood home. they'll probably grow up to be douches, but hopefully they'll be chipping in for your social security check
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 9/30/14 6:30pm steve:

since i was born my parents have lived in four different houses in the same two square mile town in Bergen County. they're still there. not too bad to get there from the city by njtransit train. i consider myself lucky.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 9/30/14 6:31pm Marcel M:

Yes Steve I remember those days...such an easy trip. My parents now live an hour and a half from Canada..... I shudder thinking of the journey...
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 9/30/14 6:32pm Mike East:

We are living in the house I grew up in now, trying to take care of it and my mother who is losing her mind. I don't really want to be there, but don't want to leave my mother in a big house by herself. Dealing with her declining mental state is a complex struggle that I haven't quite figured out yet...ah, life.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 9/30/14 6:33pm Marcel M:

Gotta run will listen in the car bye guys!
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 9/30/14 6:37pm Mutant:

Shout-outs to Succasunna
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 9/30/14 6:40pm Mutant:

Speaking of homesteads
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 9/30/14 6:42pm Greg from Bloomfield:

This is a great idea for a show Chris, except for the part where I realized I'm going to have to do this one day.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 9/30/14 6:43pm Mutant:

I did the "knock on the door of the old house" when I was in high school. It was a mistake. Hard to get over how uncomfortable people are when you are walking around their house.
  Tue. 9/30/14 6:45pm Phil from CA:

GREAT SHOW! The road rage made for great radio. Sorry it happened, but we all must make sacrifices for our art. I just hope it doesn't take you like some day. ... But it if does, please make sure it reaches the air.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 9/30/14 6:46pm dale:

a woman came to my house who's father rented her in 1937. NINETEEN THIRTY SEVEN. she told me how the landlady (who's husband died in a tractor accident) took in tuberculosis patients to make ends meet. we have nothing to bitch or feel sad about, really.
  Tue. 9/30/14 6:46pm GeesyCreesy:

Oof. This is one of Waits's that always gets to me.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 9/30/14 6:48pm dale:

the one where he describes all the stuff at the dead guy's estate sale is a good one, too.
  Tue. 9/30/14 6:52pm Ten4:

ChrisT gets freeform. A++++ show my man
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 9/30/14 6:54pm dale:

geesh, what the hell do you do with someone's ashes? put em on the rose bush?
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 9/30/14 6:57pm dale:

this roxy music song is cuz you had an above ground pool?
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 9/30/14 7:01pm Mutant:

Great show
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 9/30/14 7:01pm steve:

this has been a great show, thanks Chris
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