Last time I was at the bookstore in the mall, I saw the strangest thing — records.

You know, what the kids and Wall Street now call vinyl.

I was paying attention because I happened to see an “Abbey Road,” the vinyl — excuse me, the record — the last Beatles recording. Just $39.99. I noticed the cost, too, because I remember getting my copy in the dollar bin at the now long-gone Hested Department Store in my hometown.

Yes, a dollar for what I thought was one of the best produced albums of all time.

Other folk must have noticed the “vinyl” section, too, because I just read that vinyl sales topped CD sales for the first time since 1986. Not a surprise since we bought a record player — with an actual working turntable — after we discovered a treasure trove of forgotten “vinyl” packed way back in the bowels of our overpriced storage unit.

Right on top, when we opened the box, was “Abbey Road” with the Beatles captured forever in that iconic photo. Yes, Paul McCartney really was barefoot. Underneath “Abbey Road” was “Every Picture Tells A Story” with Rod Stewart singing “Maggie May.” Creedence Clearwater Revival. Janis Joplin. The Supremes AND The Temptations together.

I was reliving my teens and twenties as we flipped through those albums.

I can see how streaming is important. It accounts for most of the music “sold” now but you just can’t beat slipping the record out of its sleeve, placing it on the turntable, precisely positioning the needle onto the clear edge just before the grooves begin.

Listening to a record just seems richer, fuller, warmer — a religious experience amplified by reading the notes on the back of the cover and then admiring the artwork on the front.

And a “religious experience” may be what we need to save our teeth — really!

We have been clenching our teeth in the last two years and dentists have noticed. The Omaha World-Herald quoted a local dentist who said he has seen a 10 percent increase in the number of patients complaining of jaw pain and it is all because we’ve been clenching our jaws or grinding our teeth.

The more anxious we are — think the pandemic, politics, shootings, racial strife — the more we clench and that, those Nebraska dentists claim, leads to headaches, jaw soreness, even fractured teeth.

The dentists say bad posture from slumping over your laptop on the dining room table causes problems, too, and, in one Nebraska dentist’s view, adds up to the perfect storm — stress, posture issues, grinding.

The solution?

Take Advil or Motrin if the doctor says it is OK. Avoid chewing gum because the chewing motion can make your teeth feel worse. Modify your diet with softer foods that don’t require a lot of chewing. Check your posture. Get your dentist to fit you for a mouth guard so you don’t “grind” all night.

And, of course, find a way to relieve your stress.

Hmmmmm. Sounds like a little Dr Pepper (or wine for those who imbibe), music you like on that new turntable you just bought, and an evening scrutinizing those liner notes and album cover. Lying on the living room floor, of course.

Since this is our last issue — and my last column — for 2021, I must thank you for looking this way every four weeks. Your eyes have many choices, and we all compete for your time, so I strive to make these Tales interesting. Even if they are not, I am still grateful that you took the time to peek at Lake Houston’s only locally owned news source. We’ve got photos and articles about happenings in Lake Houston that nobody else covers.

You can always join the group that emails me what they think, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Tom Broad
Author: Tom BroadEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Columnist
Besides being a proud graduate of The University of Nebraska-Lincoln and, therefore, a Cornhusker, I am retired from Memorial Hermann. I am a correspondent and columnist for Lake Houston's hometown paper, The Tribune, as well as a director of the Lake Houston Redevelopment Corporation, a member of the board of the Humble Area Assistance Ministries, and Volunteer Extraordinaire for the Lake Houston Area Chamber.

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