Sunday, July 19, 2009

of fisher-price and show tunes

A few years back we were having dinner over at some friends, and Jimmy had just moved his stereo out of his study and into the living room. He was spinning vinyl all night. When we got in the car, Ava, then 6, asked me what those super big CDs were. Boy! She had never seen a record player before. Never heard music through the click and scratch of the needle. I don't even think that we need to be all retro to appreciate the beauty of playing your favorite album on a record player. There really is something nice to setting it up and watching the thing spin. Just a couple of years ago some other dear friends got a record player and though the ipod is generally on in that house, when the kids want to spin some tunes, they do, and it's sort of an activity in and of itself. Everyone is drawn to it and music you would normally avoid on your playlist just sounds better. I can even tolerate holiday music on a record player, but sort of try to avoid it otherwise (humbug?).

Sooooo, there is this awesome free table that I actively try to avoid at the magazine. I have a problem. We have too many books because of it. But, it is right next to the craft room and sometimes I simply get drawn over against my will. Well, good thing, because look what I scored! Mint!

So, after the kids had an evening of using it as a spinning art thing that makes cool marker rainbow circles on paper plates, I took them to the Salvation Army and we chose one album to see if it would actually play music. Well, it did. Perfectly. Now, all we have to listen to is this:

It seemed like the best choice at the time. Help me!

We are heading off for our annual Cape Cod camping trip. The forecast is for some big 'ol weather. Today's beautiful weather has made me feel quite optimistic for a sudden change. I figure optimism can't hurt.


  1. I just stayed at the Ace Hotel in NYC where every room is equipped with a record player and a small but varied collection of vinyl. There's something about the warm sound of a record that's just so pleasant.

  2. You can find the best records for so cheap at Goodwill and random tag sales.
    One of Eli's activities is pulling the records (of which we have many, as you know) off the shelf in our living room. I think it's the plastic sleeves that attract him. And one of my favorite activities is predicting something about him based on the records he "picks". Butthole Surfers? Flaming Lips? Billie Holiday? Hmmmm...

  3. After playing with kids and a Fisher Price special I find myself wondering why some entrepreneurial person doesn't figure out how to make new platters for those gizmos (craft project???).

    Also, it seems like you should keep your eyes out for two other items to complete the trifecta: the little VW beetle toys that had a needle on the bottom and you'd set them on an album and they'd play it (I think it came in other car models as well) and the two-set Samsonite looking luggage where one opened and was a record player and the other two speakers. For a time in my twenties I had a workspace in a large walk in closet at a friend's house and bought that set up at a thrift store to have warm crackly tunes in there.

  4. ooh - remind me at the next family gathering and you can have my few from previous goodwill trips. I've been needing to get rid of them, since I do not have a record player. Also in the show tune vein, but I loved those as a kid...

  5. Marc- I don't think I ever saw the VW Beetle toys, but they sound fab. I had one of those record players that looked luggagey, though not like a samsonite. Mine was meant for kids. Red, white, and blue, it was.