My favorite high school teacher (European History & English) parted with his vinyl collection some years ago, giving it all to a classmate of mine, who then passed on all the Steely Dan albums to me. Taking it out of the sleeve, dropping the needle, hearing the warmth and wear, I feel a connection to a younger version of the man who was already in his forties when I first sat in his classroom — a connection I can't imagine getting any other way.

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