I had a Fisher Price View Master projector. Had it from the time I was about five years old.
I had a collection of faded yellow cartridges you inserted into the projector, then turned the crank to make the movie play in front of the old lightbulb lightsource.
I had old Disney movies, a few Looney Tunes cartoons, couple National Geographic nature films.
It was junk. I couldn’t sell it on ebay or Craig’s List or any other web-based auction site. Nobody wanted it. Not much love for a nolstagic item replaced by VCR’s, then the Internet, YouTube, Snapchat, et cetera, et cetera.
Then this big movie came out, starring a couple actors popular with the tween set. The main character watched his Fisher Price View Master projector while he was pining for his girlfriend who was dying of cancer.
All of a sudden the things were going for hundreds online.
I put my projector up for auction. Someone from Houston won the auction. A clean hundred bucks.
We exchanged a few messages to arrange for shipping and delivery. I liked her tone, the easy way she could make a joke.
We got into further conversations thru email, then texting, then video chat. She was pretty and had nice eyes and a love for 80’s toys and movies and tv shows.
We discovered we both liked Hardcastle & McCormick. The Greatest American Hero. Tales of the Gold Monkey.
I said to her, “I don’t like olives. They look like tiny eyeballs.”
She agreed.
She said to me, “I’ve never seen a Woody Allen movie. He’s always creeped me out. Even before the thing with his daughter.”
I agreed.
I drove to Houston in my hatchback with zero idea of what might come next.
A year later, we were married in the spring. We spent a lot of time laughing and reading the same books and watching old DVD sets of 80’s shows.
She died of cancer about ten months into the marriage.
I still watch the View Master. I turn the crank slowly and watch the old cartoons scroll by and I think of her and smile.