For those of you unfamiliar with 8-tracks.

Remember records?  8-tracks?  Cassettes?  Good heavens, even CDs are obsolete.  The iPod killed ’em all.

The iPod was introduced 10 years ago this week.

It changed the way we listened to music.   It changed the way we bought music.  iMazing.


Rubie Vine died two weeks ago in Florida.  For those of you not of a certain age who didn’t grow up in Connecticut or Western Massachusetts, Rubie owned “Railroad Salvage.”  Actually, it’s not that he owned the stores, it’s that he did his own commercials, and he had a wife he called “Choo-Choo.”  (Not in this commercial, unfortunately.)  I think their marriage eventually derailed, but they are not to be forgotten.


And today is the 25th anniversary of game 6 of the 1986 World Series.  The less said, the better.


About Gerry

I've been covering Connecticut news and sports since 1974. I know, I don't look that old.
This entry was posted in Digital World, Living in the Past, Media, Noticed, Sports, TV Stuff and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

25 Responses to Milestones

  1. Steve L says:

    Milestone 1 – At least with a cassette you always had the fun of rewinding the Doobie Brothers that had been devoured by the cassette player. Can’t do that with an IPod.
    Milestone 2 – We were loyal to Spag’s
    Milestone 3 – I still blame Stanley more than Buckner. Too bad it happened to a guy with a lot of class.

    • Gerry says:

      1. I was so pissed off about 8-tracks, I never bought many cassettes.
      2. Spag’s was a great store. More Central Mass., though.
      3. Totally agree.

  2. Gene says:

    Not Buckner, not Stanley, CALVIN SCHIRALDI.

  3. Kathy says:

    Spag’s was the BEST!!!! Grew up in central MA it was the best place to go and do your shopping. I remember NYT wrote a great article about him and his business plan.

  4. richb says:

    1. seem to recall “ghost tracks” bleeding onto the track you were listening to.
    2. “No bags at Spags” is what I remember.
    3. It still hurts to watch.

  5. Ruby Vine and Bill Buckner in the same post. Wow.

  6. Graham says:

    I still have an apple tree we purchased from Rail Road Salvage about 30 years ago. It’s not looking too well this year, but “maybe next year”, right Gerry?
    Gerry might remember something similar to RRS in Quincy called the Bargain Center. We used to buy paint there with no label. You didn’t know what color you had until you got home and opened the can………..but it was cheap! Great for painting soap box racers and boats built in the backyard. It was like a year round rummage sale. Crazy place.

  7. Kathryn D. says:

    I remember the Bahgin Centa!!!!! My grandparents brought me to Quincy every summa to visit my great aunt. I loved that place!!!!! (They also shopped at RR Salvage, too!) 🙂

    Thank you!

  8. There’s a rumor floating out there that Bill Buckner bought his first baseman’s mitt at Ruby Vine’s store on Route 5.

  9. Natalie Consolatore says:

    I remember Ruby Vine and Choo Choo – and we bought an entire living room set from Spag’s-parts of it are still around and yes we had an 8 track – and Jerry I’m still proud to say I’m from Moosup,,Ct, the home town of Walt Dropo !

  10. Li'l Em-Forchristsakeletitgo says:

    Question for Sox fans: Do you just writhe in self-imposed suffering over Buckner’s Boo-boo, or do you also cut your arms with razor blades, or see how long you can press your hand in a hot skillet?

  11. As I tell my friends who are Mets fans (yes, I know a few of them), The Red Sox have won two World Series titles since then. The Mets have won how many? 🙂

  12. Gerry–

    Call me a stick in the mud (“You’re a stick-in-the mud!”), but when I buy music, I want it on some sort of tangible, physical medium. LPs are sensitive to heat and wear — never mind scratching — and Compact Cassettes are unforgivingly fragile, prone to tangles and breakage Don’t get me started on 8-Track — I bought a friend a component 8-Track player when I worked at Radio Shack, primarily so she could copy her favorites to cassette.

    I went to W.T. Grant’s one day, and they were demonstrating the Compact Disk with an early portable player. They had taken an Elvis album, deliberately scratched it radially with the point of a pair of scissors, and it still played happily until it got near the center, where too much of the foil had been damaged. My brother ordered a player from DAK as soon as he got home — it still works — and I never looked back. I’ll convert CDs to MP3, but I avoid buying music that way.

    I remember Rubie Vine, Choo Choo and Railroad Salvage fondly. I also remember that I never bought a non-consumable item from them that I didn’t end up returning, from boots to a computer printer. I think the philosophy was that RRS filled an important niche between the discount store and the landfill. Bob Kaufman of ‘Bob’s Discount Furniture’ does his own commercials, and back in the early 1990s ran a similar End-of-the-Line discount store similar to RRS. Today, I think everyone’s glad he went furniture-only.


    • Gerry says:

      Dear Stick in the Mud: great comment! Welcome to the conversation, happy to have you.

      • Gerry–

        Now I’m having Shakespeare flashbacks. HAMLET: “How absolute the knave is!” But that line always brings to memory my ultra-literal-minded friend Charlie — but I won’t bore your readers. I’m glad folks liked my little touch about the landfill; even the blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while…


    • Li'l Em-Kel says:

      Neat line about the niche between the discount store and the landfill.

  13. You beat me to the punch, Li’l em. I was going to give kudos to that line. I’ll 2nd it

  14. Rick B says:

    I had a pretty beat up 65 Mustang. I grew up in Bridgeport CT and don’t ever recall actually purchasing an 8 track player through normal retail channels, it was more like from this guy named Rocco or someone like that.It was a given that you would never mount the player under the car dashboard or some other visible location in the car, otherwise you would have to buy it back from someone like Rocco again. The solution was to mount the 8 track inside the glove box. After a while that also became a problem as the glove box was made of a really cheap cardboard. The 8 track always wound up falling out of the back or bottom of the glovebox.The only solution was to use that good old American fix all “ductape” to strap the thing back in place.After that hours of listening pleasure was yours even it involved only a total of two tapes

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