I recently strolled through a wonderful antique shop, clearly owned by a dealer of vintage dreams who had a remarkable collection of old radios. A great mishmash of models, arranged in no particular order, spanned decades from the Twenties to the Seventies. Surprisingly, most were plugged in, and a nearby sign read “Whatever you turn on, please kindly turn off.”
With that invitation, I couldn’t resist and chose what I guessed to be the oldest, in a large beat up wood housing. With a click and slight clockwise turn of its power knob, the device hissed static, and I tuned the station knob to locate the only one that picked up, playing a man sweetly crooning “Ain’t Misbehavin.” I swayed for a minute with the pretty melody, then shut off that radio and tried a curvy wood veneered one that got my foot tapping to Glenn Miller’s big band brassy “In the Mood.” Next, a silky voiced female sang “Sentimental Journey” from a sleek metal and wood player, while an apple green Bakelite transistor shot out all Elvis, all the time from every station. An ivory-blonde, handled portable, stained orange from sunscreen, hopped to the Beach Boys “Good Vibrations,” and a simple, black plastic hand-held model nearly dropped off the shelf with the heavy guitar crunch of “Smoke on the Water.”
Excited and overwhelmed by my discovery, I had to buy one, but which? Unable to decide, I settled for the last two because they left me with that feel-good vibe of childhood…and I hoped there would still be magic playing from future vintage models for millennials and generations after to enjoy the same way.
Tea Leaf Tales is a series of original ten-sentence short stories by Marsha A. Moore, relating to photos/scenes that resonate with her.
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