Sunday, March 12, 2006

Where have all the record players gone?

I bought this book (published in 1964) at a flea market last week for $3 (if my husband had been with me, he would have probably gotten it for $2, but bargaining is not my forte.) And except for the beat up dust jacket, the book is in excellent condition.

I had an interesting exchange with the vendor who sold me the book...
Vendor:“There are some records in the back with bird songs”
Me: (after opening the book and seeing a folder holding six 45 rpm records) “I don’t have any way to play those”.
Vendor: (astonished) You don’t have a record player???
Me: (even more astonished at her surprise) “No”.
Vendor: "Well maybe you have a friend that has one."
Me: (doubtfully) "Yea, maybe".

Now I'm certainly old enough to remember 45rpm records and record players, but I haven't owned either one in a long time. I've asked a few friends (my age and older) if they still own a record player - nope. Tonight a new friend came over for dinner. When I asked her if she owns a record player she gave the usual reply - "I used to, but not anymore". But coincidentally when I showed her the book, she said "I used to have that very same book!"

Anyway, I’m finding the book “charming”. The introduction included a very cute story written by Melville Bell Grosvenor ,the president of the National Geographic Society (now deceased): When he was 11 years old, his bird-loving father would pay him to make nest boxes for the wrens on their property (25 cents for each box that attracted a nesting pair). Melville noticed that their martin house with it's many compartments would draw many nesting pairs, so he figured if he did something like that for the wrens, he'd be rich! He built a box with 18 compartments - $4.50 worth. Just one problem - only one pair of wrens moved in. So, that's how he learned the difference between the colony nesters, like martins, and the very private wrens.


John B. said...

I'm in my late 20s, and I remember when I was much younger that records were still used to some extent. In fact some of my younger siblings have owned and used turntables since records of good music could be obtained very cheaply. But I myself have never owned a real turntable.

Anonymous said...

Try consignment stores for a player or vintage places. I also noticed the other day that Curcuit city had turn tables. I was really surprised. I am in my late 20's and we have one and love to shop consignment for records.

LauraHinNJ said...

Recently cleaned out my dad's house after he passed away. In the basement were boxes and boxes of albums - of course my brothers decided I should be the one to find room for them at home - but my excuse was that I had nothing to play them on!