While rummaging though the heaps of stuff in the dusty loft of my husband’s warehouse, I discovered quite the treasure! “Is this my grandma’s stereo cabinet?” I asked my husband. “Yes, your dad put it up here after your grandma died and it’s been sitting up here ever since.” He answered. It was one of those 1970s stereo consoles that looked like a piece of furniture with a record player and radio inside. It was filthy but I had to have it. It didn’t deserve to be up there.
You see, I will never forget as a child, making the annual trip to Grandma’s house for Christmas. We all piled into the family station wagon (complete with exterior faux wood paneling) and made the trek from Denver to Kansas City. I remember being so excited, anxious, and ready to annoy my two sisters sitting next to me in the middle row. The drive was long, but we happily endured because we knew what would be waiting for us at the end of the journey! A small Christmas tree with silver tinsel would be twinkling in the front window. Warm hugs from Grandma and Grandpa would greet us at the front door. Heaping bowls of homemade Chex mix sat waiting to be devoured. And last but not least, nostalgic Christmas music would be playing from the stereo console in the corner of the front room. We kids didn’t have a clue who Bing Crosby was. But the cheerful carols and soothing sound of Little Drummer Boy blended perfectly with everything to make Christmas Eve so cozy every year.
My grandmother passed away in 1996. I estimate the stereo console sat in the warehouse for 18 years. The dust had actually solidified into some sort of weird hard dirt. (Yes, it was gross.) Yet, there it was, in all it’s glory, in this blanket of weird hard dirt screaming “Get me out of here!”. So we brought it home. I proceeded to clean every swirling crack and crevice, gently poking and scraping each beveled seam with toothpicks. Finally, with some mild soap and countless Q-Tips and paper towels, this plastic faux “made-to-look-like-wood” beauty was coming back to life! In need of mechanical repair, it does sport a few cosmetic flaws. (Yet, what some may consider beat up, I consider character!)
We have had Grandma’s stereo cabinet on display in our front room for a few years now. It is still in need of mechanical repair and I intend to get that accomplished now. It’s time that I have the nostalgic Christmas music playing when everyone arrives at our house on Christmas Eve. I want to create new memories for my own family and relatives. And while this old family heirloom is not worth much money, to me it is priceless. I love it. I cannot wait to play records on it – and not just at Christmas but all year long.
I am also adding this to my Heirloom Vault. Heirloom Vault is the place you can organize and document your family heirlooms. It’s easy to use and getting started is free! Learn more now