Monday, February 18, 2008

the stereo console

We had a great discussion on Sunday, Feb. 17th at The Ranconteur in Metuchen NJ, sharing "Our Stories, Our Stuff". One of the topics that we spoke about was the process of releasing and how it made it a little bit easier when we could find a "home" for the items that we were ready to release.

Even though we were talking about inanimate objects, somehow, we realized that we have connected with things on another level that defies logic; things which have been part of our lives at some point and have a special meaning for us. And which others around us have absolutely no clue and cannot understand why we have this sort of attachment to our "stuff".

I shared the story about how I found a listing for a stereo console on Freecycle about 2 years ago, which I was very interested in. Some background info: I grew up playing albums and listening to the radio on a stereo console, made in Germany, which was built like a beautiful piece of furniture, with a lid that lifted up on the top to display the turntable and radio dials. It had the old style tube amp, which gives that rich bass sound that you just can't match anymore. I have great memories of it. In fact, I think that's how I developed the interest in becoming a disc jockey when I was in college. To my dismay, my dad ended up throwing away our beloved stereo several years ago. I wanted an old fashioned stereo console of my own to enjoy and have my kids enjoy too, like I did when I was growing up.

When I saw the Freecycle listing, I sent an email to the person offering and they replied back saying that it was mine if I wanted it. It belonged to a couple who was retiring to Florida and didn't have the space or the desire to move it. They purchased it in the 1970's and their kids grew up listening to and playing the stereo too. For the couple, they were thrilled that their stereo was going to a new home, to a new family who would enjoy it and take care of it. I could tell that the husband was genuinely happy that another generation would grow up enjoying the music played on their stereo. When we got it home and in place and plugged in, the sound that came from that stereo was even better than what I imagined it would sound like.

I've since received some older LP albums from another Freecycle member, and my children and I have enjoyed listening to those old records, complete with all the pops and clicks, and that big "bomp" sound that you hear (and feel) when the needle of the turntable arm is first lowered and lands on the album.

What's your story? What do you own in your life that has a story or special meaning behind it? Email your original story and pics to and I'll post it here (keeping it family-friendly please) and will consider it for inclusion in my upcoming book, Our Stories, Our Stuff.

Thanks for joining us and sharing.


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