This would have been easy thirty years ago if we had the money we have now. I remember buying three cars in one year back in the 70s and I don't think I spent more than $250 total for the three of them. One was $50. All I really required was that it ran and had a radio. It HAD to have a radio that WORKED, because I have to have music while I drive. These days you can't get a reliable car for less than $2000 without buying a whole mess of someone else's headaches.
This need has often been a source of friction between my current wife and I as she will often ask for silence while she is driving, which isw most of the time while I am in the car with her. Infer what you will, but she feels safer if she drives while we are both in the car. It is a rare occasion that I drive while she is a passenger. But back to the music.
When I travel more than just to work (which is just 5 miles away and hardly worth listening to anything in depth past the radio's offerings, I usually bring music to listen to in the form of mixtapes or CDs. Right now we have borrowed her son's car until we find another so it's tapes (the departed car had a CD player that struggled to play MP3 CDs, so in that sense it will not be missed). That means that later today I will be pulling oh, at least ten for what may be a four hour stint in the car. Now we actually won't be in the car for four hours, but I will bring along enough to cover that eventuality. That means I will gather a selection of tapes from a rack just outside my door leading to the garage where I've been snaking titles from my 25 cassette long boxes.
I have about 5000 cassettes from the mid-80s through the early 90s when I was still accumulating cassettes as they were cheaper than CDs for me at the time. I converted wholly to CDs in the mid-90s but still buy the odd cassette (and vinyl and shellac, but that's a different tale to tell) here or there when I see a title I like or don't have (I hope) in any other configuration. So I have a lot to choose from in my cassette archive. I know I've pulled a couple of my 90s mixtapes and some of the more esoteric collections to the side as I've browsed through the boxes that appeal to me and are deserving of being heard again.
There's something wonderful about controlling the music that you hear in the car. On short trips I'm okay with whatever the local NPR affiliate has on, be it music or talk. We'll be getting close to the 'City' today, so I am sure I'll tune in to the NPR/Americana station for a while, too. But I'm also sure that I will do my best to match the mood of the day, the weather, our ('new' car) expectations and road conditions with something I hope will provide an appropriate soundtrack to our traveling.
This is something most Americans have gotten used to in the last fifty years. In fact, it seems to be almost a Baby Boomer necessity that there is music while you drive. I don't think I've had more than three cars of the fifty or so I've owned that didn't have a radio, 8-track, cassette or CD player on board. We had a rental for three days and I got to use the CD player twice. It was a 2009 Chevy Impala so I was able to not only play a couple MP3 CDs without problem but also experience the next wave of technology by being able to plug my phone's MP3 player into the car and hear it plat through the car speakers for the first time. I know. I am SO solid behind the times.
So I did make a mix for the other day when we wennt up to pick up my stepson's car and drop off the rental (they only give you THREE days of rental when you total the car). I called it "Looking For Some Outside Help". I give all my mixes a title, hoping to define the mood or expectation as to how it will be used. This time I was doing my best to be positive. When I make a mix, often It's a compilation of songs I have recently acquired that allows me to sample what I hope is the best of my choices. That's what this one was on one level, but the other purpose was to soothe and uplift my wife and myself during this time of woe and inconvenience.
HERE also, providing I can imbed the link.