I had went to bed while she was out buying it, but woke up the next morning eager to try it out. I was the first one up as I sat in front of the living room heating vent to keep myself warm as I introduced myself to the device; "Hello, tape recorder, we're going to make some beautiful music together". Along with the recorder itself, my mom had also bought a blank cassette. It was a 90-minute tape made by TDK. She had been told by her sister that 120 minute tapes break relatively easy because of their extra-long size.
I tried to put what I thought was the tape into the recorder, but it was too big. I realized, after a minute or two, that the cassette was still in its case. I opened it up and put the tape inside. The first thing I recorded was me saying, "Testing...1...2...3... Testing ...1...2...3". I played it back and, like many, didn't really believe that the way I sounded on the tape was how I came off in real life. That first day, I recorded a number of TV commercials (a Qbert ad, for one) as well as my brothers and sister talking a bit.
The device hit its full potential in the summer of '83 when I recorded an adaptation of the blockbuster movie "Return of the Jedi" with my siblings. As we headed into the second half of that recording, I quizzed my younger brother on Star Wars minutiae: