Cassette Tapes Can Comfort

After saving my tips for 3-4 months from my restaurant management job, I embarked on the boldest journey in my life. I promised myself I’d go on a cross country road trip to broaden my horizons. My original goal was either Boston or Montreal where I would attempt to find a job and a new life. It was imperative to get out of my comfort zone and try to take up residence elsewhere. Off into the great unknown.

Prior to 1998’s road trip I had barely escaped the great Pacific Northwest. It was time for me to meet new people, discover moi, and visit family and friends living east of the Rocky Mountains. I had second thoughts about leaving since I met a very wonderful woman in mid July of 1998. The two of us hit it off really well, spending our weekends together despite the 160 mile gap.

The relationship progressed quickly, compounding my anxiety about this journey. As my planned trip neared, my girlfriend (yes, it’s Mrs. Lessinges) sat me down and encouraged me to do my road trip, stating how proud she was that I would carry out this road trip. It’s precisely what I needed to hear.

On a quiet Sunday morning in Portland, she boarded a train headed back to Seattle and I got in my car and headed east towards Boise, Idaho. The capital city of Idaho was my first planned stop for the first leg of my road trip, finishing in Monticello, Arkansas to visit friends and attend a wedding in Memphis.

The first day of driving was rough. I was in tears listening to wonderful mix tapes Mrs. Lessinges made especially for me. It was such a bittersweet feeling. It doesn’t take long to leave the city behind once you hit the interstate heading east out of Portland. There wasn’t much to see for the seven hours drive. I arrived in Boise ahead of dusk, found a cheap motel, collapsed on the bed with a map sprawled out next to me. Day one complete!


About lessinges

Seattle native, discovering life! I like ice cream, cold cereal, and The Amazing Race.
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19 Responses to Cassette Tapes Can Comfort

  1. ms chica says:

    So what was on the mixed tape?
    Exploring the world is always a good idea. Broaden your views, and learn to read a map at the same time.

  2. meno says:

    and this is just the beginning….

  3. Mix tapes are awesome. I loved the ones my ex gave me and listened to them while doing nothing at all just so I can “feel” the songs, as weird as that may sound.

  4. Gwen says:

    Mix tapes? Aww, you guys are so cute, I could just vomit.
    In a good way.
    Wait. Is there a good way to vomit?

  5. thistle says:

    this looks like it could be epic…and the time warp contrast! from the latest tech stuff in the last post to reminiscing about cassette tapes in this one…so many interesting layers to this blog…

  6. JLee says:

    That is very sweet. I don’t remember if anyone ever made me a mix tape? WWAHH haha
    Can’t wait to hear the rest…

  7. churlita says:

    Yeah. I want a playlist for the mixed tapes. I still don’t have a CD player in my car and my girls and I listen to mixed tapes that I made in the 90’s too.

  8. egan says:

    Ms Chica – yep, first you are. Weekend posting I am.
    Ms Chica – I will share more about the tapes over the next six weeks. I’m sort of a tease. For the most part it was chick rock and I happened to really like it. Travel is very good on so many levels. Too bad it costs money.
    Meno – correct, this is only the beginning of my trip. I’ll mix in stories from ten years ago over the next six weeks and share photos when I can. This will give me a great excuse to scan them.
    Essentially Me – not weird at all, music conjures up so many memories. Good, bad, ones you don’t miss.. whatever, music is life.
    Gwen – a good way to vomit is when someone holds your hair back or cleans up for you. That’s good vomit. We’re so stinking cute.
    Thistle – I like your comment, thank you. This road trip is heavy on my mind these days. Strange to contrast what I did ten years ago and how it would change if I did it today. I sure as hell wouldn’t be bringing a pager and pre-paid calling cards with me.
    JLee – cool, I’m glad you’re game for the next six weeks of storytelling. It was so sweet of my wife to make the types and her journal. Crap, I need to find my travel journal from back then.
    Churlita – our Subaru only has a tape deck so I listen to many of the tapes my wife made for me in that car. Brings back some great memories. Now do your girls make mix tapes?

  9. Amanda says:

    Ah…mix tapes. It really took so much effort for people to make those. They’re full of meaning. I still have many of my old ones but my player has broken now.

  10. Chris says:

    I still have a bunch of old cassettes. It’s hard converting most of them to DVD because C-90 are longer than the 80 minutes a CD-R will fit (TGFMP3 format I guess).
    I dig that story.

  11. SM says:

    Too bad you’re not into Broadway musical…I know a great song about mixed tapes.
    I’m glad you’re starting to document this stuff.

  12. Pants says:

    I love the story of the beginning of mr and mrs lessinges!

  13. brookem says:

    oh i like mixys (and not just cocktails).
    how come this post is in italics? a journal entry?

  14. egan says:

    Amanda – funny you should mention a broken player. I was going to share what’s on the mix tape, but I have no way of playing it at my desk. I’ll take notes the next time I’m in the car.
    Chris – who bothers converting tapes to DVDs? I guess that sounds like something right up your alley.
    SM – this is a fun topic for me to document. It’s kind of like when you did your Italy trip. Brings back some great memories.
    Pants – it’s hard to believe it has been a long ten years since we met. The humble beginnings seems like a distant memory. Man, I’m old.
    Brookem – the post is in italics because it’s like a journal entry. It’s not an actual entry because this is how I’m recalling the experience ten years later.

  15. Chris says:

    People who wish to delight in the joys of the mixed tape mix without having to reconnect a tape deck to the stereo system.

  16. egan says:

    Chris – couldn’t you make a Playlist with some audio player though? I know I can make Playlists in iTunes and it’s quite simple and fun. I’m just saying.

  17. sari says:

    I used to be the queen of the mix tape. I think I’ll take it up again with cds, they’re so fun to make.
    I love reading about your trip!

  18. Chris says:

    Oh yes, the playlist…how foolish of I. I do like the CD idea for much of the same reason I liked the cassette idea, that is to have something physical. There’ve been times where I’ve made mix cd’s and completed the project with very specific artwork and created a cd booklet and the sorts. However, for lsitening purposes only, the playlist is a splendid idea my rational friend.

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