I have so many "things" around my little place. Tchotchkes, knick knacks, waste of money...call them what you will, but when I walk in my door at night, I walk into my own little museum that just screams "Georgia".*
*well not literally "screams", that would just be creepy.
My collection...at least a small part of it.
One thing that was always missing, though, was a functional record player. For some reason or another, that's always been something that alluded me. I remember buying my very first record player as a teenager from Savers (an amazing department store thrift shop that only exists in my dreams now).
It was one of those cabinet types built in the 70's, and worked perfectly in the store, but when I brought it home and laid my first record down on it (Dead Kennedy's Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables)...nothing.
That's kinda been a theme for me and record players: they work perfectly in the store, I get home and excitedly put a record on, and am met with silence on good days, awful screeching and warped noise on bad days.
That's not to say that I don't have a large record collection despite the fact that it was a rare occasion I'd get to play any of them. For those of you who don't understand the draw of owning "vinyl", I guess it's just something you had to have grown up with and held as a badge of coolness as an adolescent to fully understand.
For me, having a solid collection was dire, and many of my high school classes were blown off in order to drive to Huntington Beach for record shopping at Vinyl Solution...a store name I didn't realize was offensive and borderline anti-Semitic until later in my 20's.
Enter my dad's record player. It was the first thing he bought himself after my parent's divorce, as the story goes. That would have been 1985, and this little beast has worked perfectly ever since. No, this is not a tale of this record player's demise as soon as it was gifted to me in my later teens, as it is still in perfect working condition to this day. It's a story of my stupidly giving it to a friend when I moved in with my boyfriend and his "superior" record player some eight years ago.
After that relationship's demise three years ago (possibly due to the fact that said superior record player never materialized???), I have been working every angle to get that friend to give me back what is rightfully mine (or, not really mine since I gave it to her fair and square). My begging and pleading finally paid off a few weeks ago (thanks Annie!!!).
And that, my friends, is how I ended up with a fully functional record player. I swear, hand to heart, that it will never leave the possession of a Hardstark again. Perhaps one day I'll pass it on to my nephew, along with those old Dead Kennedy's records I, of course, still own. Either way, this record player is what has made my one "bedroom" apartment feel like a "home".
Oh, and as if getting my beloved record player back wasn't enough, that same week my big brother gave me all his old cassettes. I remember these fondly from my youth, and I love that his familiar scrawl is written on the home-made tapes.