Those Wonderful Christmas Toys

I suppose everyone remembers a special Christmas gift or two, and this was one of mine. While not precisely a toy, this Steelman record player served me well for several years. According to a 1950 issue of Billboard, the Steelman Phonograph and Radio Company, based in Mt. Vernon, New York, had begun producing three versions of its portable, luggage-type record changer in that year, including this three-speed version in a leatherette case. My parents splurged a bit; the player was priced at $29.95.

I remember the case, although at the time I paid no attention to the Steelman name inside the cover. In 1950, I was four years old, reading well enough to be following lyrics, and falling in love with my ‘music machine.’

Today, music machines have changed a good bit, but one of my favorites requires neither AC current nor batteries. While there aren’t any lyrics to follow, it hardly matters. The sight of the sound of this ‘toy’ is enough.


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The Arts of Spring

Rockport, Texas City Cemetery ~ March 7

 

This spring as it comes bursts up in bonfires green,
Wild puffing of emerald trees, and flame-filled bushes,
Thorn-blossom lifting in wreaths of smoke between
Where the wood fumes up and the watery, flickering rushes.
I am amazed at this spring, this conflagration
Of green fires lit on the soil of the earth, this blaze
Of growing, and sparks that puff in wild gyration,
Faces of people streaming across my gaze.
And I, what fountain of fire am I among
This leaping combustion of spring? My spirit is tossed
About like a shadow buffeted in the throng
Of flames, a shadow that’s gone astray, and is lost.
                                      “The Enkindled Spring”  ~  D.H. Lawrence

 

 

 

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