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September 22, 2010

The Record Player

The parents were divorced for about a year when I received a Christmas present from my father. He had not sent a present for a holiday or birthday so this was a new experience.

My gift was a small record player. A little box with a handle and a fastener to open the box. The lid lifted up and the record player was inside. It would play 33s and after setting the attachment on the spindle it would play 45s.

There weren't any records with the record player but I had some babysitting money saved so I walked to the store for my first big purchase. I bought 45s. Hound Dog. See You Later, Alligator. Rock Around The Clock. Peggy Sue. Wake Up Little Susie. Bonie Moronie. I get goose bumps just thinking of the fun songs back then.

My record playing days and dancing in my room were short lived. A few months after Christmas a bill collector removed my record player and my records from the house while I was at school. Evidently my father never made one payment. Even back then I had to laugh at how typical that was for my father. A grand gesture that lasted a short time. I think he meant well but he was not working and he moved around from state to state and sometimes in Mexico in his alcoholic, destitute life. Of course I was disappointed that my record player was not really mine after all. But I still had my radio.

42 comments:

anne h said...

Yikes!
They come and get the stuff!
Thank goodness they don't do that these days.
Talk about a Hound Dog!
Bless your sweet heart, TechnoBabe!

LL Cool Joe said...

50's music will always be one of my favourites. I loved that you mentioned Larry Williams "Bony Moronie". I think my favourite track by him was Dizzy Miss Lizzy.

I had the opportunity to meet Jerry Allison the drummer with Buddy Holly and the Crickets a few years ago and we talked about how his drumming on Peggy Sue just blew me away!

Oh I could go on and on about 50's music. :D

MikeWJ at Too Many Mornings said...

That sucks, plain and simple. And it must have hurt at the time, even if you've gained some perspective on it since then. Alcoholics make terrible parents, although some are worse than others.

I'm glad you had the radio. Me, too, by the way.

Opaque said...

That's sad. I agree, music in those times were genuine and beautiful!

Brian Miller said...

oh man...yanking at my strings with the taking of the record player...i feel for you for having thought it yours...and for him as well for wanting you to have it and not being able to give it otherwise...i miss the cracks and pops of the record player...

Jillsy said...

as they says...it's the thought that counts!

Lori said...

How exciting that must have been for you to get your first record player. I remember when I got my first one too. And then to have it taken away in that manner. Life is sure not fair for a lot of kids. XX

Reading this does bring back lots of memories of playing records...so fun. :)

Jeanie said...

A very bitter-sweet recollection for you. I'm familar with those grand gestures from a father that never quite panned out.
I still love those old songs.

CherylK said...

Those songs were the best! And I think it speaks volumes that there are so many "oldies" radio stations playing them, still.

So sorry you lost your record player...

BTW, I emailed you about Sandford's book signing...maybe it's in your junk mail.

DJan said...

Oh, those 45s! I also remember playing them, my sister and I dancing the bop. I am sorry to hear how tough it must have been to go through that with your dad. And the sense of betrayal and loss comes through. Hugs to your young self.

deb said...

ugh.
how brutal.
you know, I always thought the inconsistency of the dysfunctional family thing would make me more attached to things , more possessive or driven to have,
but actually it's the opposite. It's almost like deep down I still wouldn't think of it as mine or permanent.

hugs,

and 45's were awesome.

Big Dave T said...

I remember my sister having one of those record players too. My college roomie as well (at that age though, it's a bit strange).

Too bad about your father. It's too bad that many fathers are like that, too many really.

Ina in Alaska said...

I remember record players like that. Mine was in our basement and I had ONE 45, Elvis Presley's It's Now or Never. Played that record over and over and over. Loved that song and still do to this day. Weirdly, I remember the smell of the playroom and the lineoleum floor, all the rage in the 50's. xoxoxo

Momma Fargo said...

Thanks for sharing your story. Very sad. You write so well, I felt the heaviness. Hugs.

Kazzy said...

I am stymied over and over by the struggles you faced as a youngster. Yikes.

Mama Zen said...

This breaks my heart.

Everyday Goddess said...

OMG, I feel the roller coaster that must have been your life!
Be well my friend!!

TALON said...

Oh, but those records brought back memories! It was fun music! I'll be humming "Wake up Little Susie" all day today :)

I'm so so sorry you didn't get to keep the record player.

Kristina P. said...

It really is amazing how completely well you turned out.

Rock Chef said...

Hm, I had most of those when I was a kid - my mom's collection of 45s (and 78s!) became mine at some point. I remember those old record players as having a special smell, warm wood and plastic or something.

Gary's third pottery blog said...

God, they took a little girl's record player too?

Gail said...

A bittersweet story, TechnoBabe. Glad you enjoyed your record player while you had it. I had a "hand me down" record player, very similar to yours. We called it Sid. It did great service being passed from one to the next!

The Absence of Alternatives said...

I wanted to say I am sorry that such a disappointment happened to you, that these things happened so often in your childhood that you probably weren't surprised. BUT. All these made you into who you are today, and I am grateful that I happened upon your blog. {{{hugs}}}

p.s. WOW. Nice new look here! Love it!

lisleman said...

so when you hear those great songs does bring back good memories? I think many memories are mixed.
I remember those little clip in circle things to play the 45 on the 33 spindle.

Stickup Artist said...

They actually came to the house and took a record player? Today they'd just ding your credit. How traumatic. It's so touching that you took it in stride. It's amazing the things kids can get used to and have to put up with.

Bernie said...

I'm sorry this happened to you, but I am sure your father meant well. His disease robbed both him and his family of so much......:-) Hugs

Shadowthorne @ Ramzu Zahini said...

If the record player you had is the same as in the picture, then I've held it too.

But it was broken, and I found it in my grandma's attic. My grandfather had a great collection of music records.

I wondered where all of them went...

Julie said...

This is another powerful true story, Technobabe. I think it should be (and could be) printed in a magazine. I'm sorry for the pain you experienced, but again, I'm impressed by your strength to overcome and forgive.

I also think it's awesome that you think of the positive...the music and the good intentions. That is beautiful.

P.S. - I love the new look of your blog!

Wandering Coyote said...

That is so cold...

I'm glad you could laugh at it at the time, though, but still...I know I would have been hurt.

I have written an email to the authors of Runaway Devil, by the way; just not too confident that they'll write back...

Steve Julian said...

I remember the music, the records, the suitcase players. The little yellow disks so the 45's could be played. Or the pop up centre piece in the record player.
Ah our memories... sometimes to cherish and sometimes melancholy. Can we truly bury the harsh and bring out the joyful thoughts easily. Or do we have to work at them? Wishing you some good cheer.

Joanna Jenkins said...

I remember buying my first 45-- Sweet Caroline by Neil Diamond-- I didn't own a record player but I had a record.

Sad story Techno. Big sigh.

xo jj

Maggie May said...

That is so sad.
All the records you mentioned were my favourites too!
I think you'll find that it is good therapy to write all these let downs from childhood onto your blog.
Maggie X

Nuts in May

Tammie said...

ah, what sounded like a special moment ended sadly, they even took your hard earned records! Some how these tender experiences do shape us and perhaps you were inspired by these experiences.... at least to not repeat the behavior?

Vinny "Bond" Marini said...

But why did they take the records????

tattytiara said...

I had one of those record players! Well it was mine after it had been passed down through about a dozen cousins or something, but it still worked great. Simple technologies have fewer things on them that can go wrong, I guess.

Fragrant Liar said...

Okay, that was a totally sad story for a number of reasons, but I choose to focus on the loss of your phonograph. I had one just like it! That picture really sparked some memories.

I remember my parents getting the phonograph ready for me on Christmas eve while we were supposed to be sleeping; and I peeked out the bedroom door to see it. I can't tell you how THRILLED I was, knowing I was going to get it.

Next up: my foray into go-go dancing. I have to say I rocked that . . . Bet you did too, right? I was all about anything Lesley Gore sang. It's my party, baby!

Kulio said...

Your attitude is amazing!

Syd said...

I had one of those record players too. I inherited it from my cousin. I don't know what happened to it. But eventually I got a stereo system and thought that was the greatest thing ever.

secret agent woman said...

How'd they get away with taking your records if you'd bought those?

Jerry said...

Your song list brought back a lot of great memories. It truly had to suck being in such a relationship with your father.

Mrs4444 said...

I'm glad you at least had a lot of fun for a while. I can relate to the short-lived fun; my dad had moments like that, too. We just enjoyed it while we had it and barely batted an eyelash when we lost it.

Marla said...

You have the most posi.tive life outlook. I love that about you