Little Memories and Insignificant Details from Long Ago
OK, lets try almost the beginning. In the spring of 1970 me and my 2 younger brothers lived in Pocahontas at a children’s home, however (and luckily) when school let out for the year in May 1970, we moved back home to Blytheville with Mom. We lived at 115 E. Vine Street and that residence held a LOT of memories until it burnt earlier this year (sad). It was at this residence that our life of young responsible adults truly began as well as our reunion with Mom and our family back together as one…some truly great memories were at this house.
Moving Back Home
Right after moving back to Blytheville, I had a radio. YES, a radio. I would listen to it every night and it even had a sleep button on it. But I remember the radio really well, because in Pocahontas I didn’t have one, much less the ability to listen to music till I fell asleep. But this radio was also a clock radio with a cloth front and was made by Motorola. I don’t know why I can remember all those details…but I do. I also remember fondly…falling to sleep listening to a couple of different songs (maybe I’m remembering a specific night…I don’t know)…but the songs I remember specifically was Linda Ronstadt singing, “Long, Long Time” and the other song was, “Cracklin’ Rosie” by Neil Diamond….I loved those songs.
Naturally after we moved back home to Mom, she felt she needed to go above and beyond in her love for us boys because of where we spent the last 3 years (See this link for that story)….so when Christmas came around we got some pretty awesome presents. Mom ALWAYS made sure we got what we wanted or something close to what we wanted. For Christmas of 1970 she gave me a portable record player with detachable speakers along with 3 albums from the A&W Record Shop (Main Street Blytheville). She bought me the Jackson 5 “Third” album, “What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong, and the “Bread” Album. I played the hell out of all 3 of those records! I kept that record player from the Christmas of 1970 until June of 1973 when I went into the Navy and then I don’t know whatever happened to it after joining the Navy.
And that brings me to now. Although the internet has a few annoyances, for the most part it has allowed many of us connect with old friends and make new ones, but it also gives us a tremendous resource when it comes to research. With that said…there have been 3 things I searched for over the years. One was my Navy Boot Camp Yearbook for which I have been searching for close to 25 years (literally everyday), but over the past 3-5 years I was also searching for the RADIO I listened to as a 15 year old and also the Record Player my Mom bought me for the Christmas of 1970. After all these years…I found both of them and both within just a few weeks of each other. I also found several websites that SPECIALIZED in restoring old radios and old phonographs and have made contact with them. You can still get most of the parts for these old radios, phonographs and even TV’s.
The first one I found was the radio on eBay. And I remembered it from memory only, but as soon as I saw it…I knew it was the one, NO DOUBTS whatsoever. Not only was it the way I remember it, but after researching it, it also fits the timeline. I purchased the radio fairly cheap and in working condition and it is presently being restored to LIKE NEW condition as I type this article. I am hoping to have it back home within the next couple of weeks.
Finding the Record Player
I had a vague memory of the record player I had, but I could not remember as many details. I recalled that it was a “suitcase” type record player and that the speakers were detachable…and that’s about it. But unlike the radio (from memory only), I found an old picture from 1973 of my room(see picture) …and sure enough, in the photo was a picture of the stereo. I asked the experts in the restoration websites if they knew what kind it was and they identified the record player as a Voice of Music VM-335, which at the time was a pretty high quality record player (thanks Mom). Now I had to find one somewhere that was in decent shape.
I put feelers out to these restoration sites and finally last week someone finally contacted me that had this player. I’m in the process of trying to purchase it now and then I’ll also get it completely restored. It’s a lot to pay for something that is not nearly as technologically advanced as say an iPhone, but I don’t care…it will have some great memories (little memories) attached to it.