Friday, October 19, 2012

stereo console, the way to go

I don't remember when we got it.  It was just there amid my childhood.  Our stereo console was docked in the dining room like an aircraft carrier.  It was a big piece of furniture.  Our console had an AM/FM radio and record player. The amp and speakers were built into furniture. To access the stereo equipment, all one had to do was flip up the hood.  There was even a concealed cubby for our record collection.  I don't remember the brand or make of the console. I don't remember dad or mom using it much.  I do know that all the Finlayson kids enjoyed playing our 45's on it.

We had a Burle Ives folk music LP that I enjoyed listening to.  We had a Civil War album that featured Ralph Bellamy.  I listed to that a lot.  There was a Disney album that had songs from the movies Peter Pan, Son of The South, Jungle Book (and more).  I was first introduced to the story A Christmas Carol on that console.  Someone had produced a dramatic reading and I was fascinated by the tale and how it was told.

Somewhere in the seventies, these consoles no longer were the thing to have.  We learned a lesson about consoles, if one part dies, like the radio, all you've got is this huge unit housing only a record player.  By that time we had a smaller record player and didn't need an aircraft carrier sized record player.  The funny thing about these stereo consoles, is once everything breaks or burns out, you don't really want to throw it away because it's like throwing away a nice looking piece of furniture.

When it was time to get rid of it, Dad had me take a screw driver to it and salvage the screws, braces, the wood and wot-nots.  Dad liked to salvage hardware, store it for future workshop projects.  So for years the wood from the console leaned against the wall of the garage for years.  Eventually our stereo console faded from memory - until today.

As the eighties rolled around, I had my own cool component stereo system.  I didn't want to hide all the buttons and knobs and switches.  It all stacked on top of each other and I liked laying there listening to the music with the lights of each component...watched the LED pulse to the rhythm pumping from the power amp.

These days I've come full circle.  I don't want to look at electronics.  I'd prefer my sound equipment out of sight.  There are people these days who hunt down the old stereo consoles from the 60's and work them to house new sound reinforcement technology.  A turntable is a must, AM/FM (of course), a CD player, USB docking station for MP3s.  It would be a great place to put a charging station for many of the other electronic devices we use today.   I think it would be real nifty to have the best in tech enclosed in something retro.

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