Non-fiction & memoir Writing

A Vinyl Revival

(originally published @ PANK Magazine)

an essay by James David Patrick

[Roxane Gay / July 15th, 2011 / This Modern Writer ]

It began innocently. These things often do. A Zenith turntable/8-track/cassette combo player rescued from my grandmother’s house in Wisconsin as we sorted through valuables and priceless non-valuables before the estate auction. I took a few of those records (leaving the crate of worn Roger Whitakers), a box full of 8-tracks and her guitar, a guitar that had always just been a piece of furniture. It wasn’t until after she died that I considered the significance of that guitar. Though other tchotchkes collected dust the guitar never did. Unfortunately these things often wait too long. Now that guitar sits, propped up against my own bookshelves and I still can’t help but wonder: What was her connection to music? And then, inevitably: What is my connection to music?

Non-fiction & memoir Writing


(originally published @


The date was ingrained in our heads. April 23rd, 1985. That was what they’d told us. We had to wait until the 25th – the day our truck made the delivery.

It was red and white and waxed up just for the occasion. When it turned into the driveway we abandoned our back-porch lookout, littered with empty Dr. Pepper cans and Cheetos, and ran outside to mount our pedaled steeds.