Some may find it outdated or think someone is trying to be a hipster if they have a record player, but I’m a true vinyl lover. I love the nostalgia of using a piece of technology from the past. I love that I can experience music the same way my grandparents did, especially my grandfather. My grandpa is 86 years young and loves music with all his being. He has quite an extensive collection of records and many of my memories as a little girl involve him putting on one of his favorites on the turntable, lifting me off the ground and dancing with me.

As I grew up, I guess he saw that his love of music rubbed off on me because he recently gave me quite a few of his old records and money to buy my own record player. I was extremely excited and honored that he gave me something I know he treasured. But something happened this past summer that made that record player mean a whole lot more to me. He came to visit me, saw a new record I bought with all the Big Bands (which he loves) and asked me to put it on. Then we sat down on my bed and talked for hours. He looked at the record sleeve and reminisced about many of the songs. About how when he was in the Army he would go out dancing at the USO almost every day. About how his favorite song was ‘Stardust’. About how he fell in love with my grandma and how when no one is around, they still put on their records and dance together at night in their dining room. Near the end of our conversation, he sighed and with a tear in his eye, deep in thought he said, “I love music. Music is a part of living. It makes you feel awake. It makes you feel young.”

And that my friends is why I love my record player. Without it, I would have never had this beautiful conversation with my grandpa that I will never forget. I would have never learned his favorite song or that he still dances till this day. I would have never truly known just how deeply he loves music and what it means to him. So to me, my record player isn’t just something that reminds me of the days of old or something to raise my hipster cred, it’s a connection to someone I hope to be like some day. Listening to music and dancing in the dark with the one I love, feeling young and alive.

You can read more from Melissa Shores on her blog.