Saturday, August 15, 2009

On the Flip-Side

By Keith Fisher

In my editing this week, I found a spot where my group didn’t understand what I had portrayed. My character sat alone by a fireplace, and she did the, on one hand or on the other hand, routine. Of course that’s clearer than the way I wrote it.

Simply put, I meant, when we have a hard decision to make, we say, "On one hand, this will happen. But on the other hand this . . . In Fiddler on the Roof, the protagonist uses this method of decision making all the time. Eventually he is faced with a decision that rips his heart out. "There is no other hand!" he says.

In thinking about this, I was reminded of a common saying some people born in the eighties don’t understand.

In the fifties, and sixties, (the heyday of vinyl records), music in the home, mostly came from the radio or three kinds of records. 78’s, LP’s, and 45’s or singles as they were called. 78’s were a bit smaller than albums, but they played at seventy-eight revolutions per minute (RPM). LP’s were albums, containing several songs. In order to be able to get more use out of limited space, the record played at thirty-three and-a-third RPM.

The third kind, the 45, played at forty-five RPM. It had a larger hole in the center to facilitate playing on a Jukebox. It was called a single, because it had a single song on each side.

During this time, radio station personalities (Disc Jockeys), almost never played 33’s. The record companies sent singles to radio stations, hoping for airtime. Songs became hits mostly because of program managers scheduling, and disc jockeys playing them.

Because of that, record company engineers put the best song on the "A" side of the record. Since they wanted to make money they put a lesser song on the other side, or flip side. If they had another great song, it would go on another record. That way, they could sell two records.

Occasionally, the second, or "B" side of a record became a hit too, but that almost never happened. If, (heaven forbid), the "A" side got ruined. Because of scratching, or a little sister played it so many times it wouldn’t play any more. Then the fan either threw the record away or turned it over to listen to the flip side.

So, today, if you hear a speaker refer to the flip side of an issue, now you know what he/she means.

Often, we’re given choices in our lives, and we usually chose the best course. We spend our time building, making a hit out of our life’s choice. Then something happens that devastates us. Something takes away our hit. It forces us to either throw it all away, or look at the flip side. We must turn our record over and try to make the best of the "B" side.

I believe God takes an active part in our lives, and if we’ll only trust Him, He will show us how to make a hit out the flip side. This blog isn’t about writing today, but it’s for those who struggle. And to those who make hits out of their life by building others, May God bless you.

Good luck with your writing---see you next week.


Nichole Giles said...

Thanks, Keith. You're a great friend.


Karlene said...

Loved your post. And yes, I'm old enough to know what the flip-side means. :s

Terresa said...

Inspiring post and trip down memory lane. I still have a box of 45's and LPs that I can't part with, all 80's records that I kept collecting while my friends were buying those new CDs.

Cindy Beck said...

Making a hit out of your flip side ... what an ingenious thought.

And thanks for the trip down memory lane with the records. :)