When I was about two years old, my father bought a vintage Wurlitzer 1100 jukebox.
He had some work done on the mechanicals to make it work properly, so you could play records and didn't need to insert a coin.
It plays 78 RPM records. My father had about 3,000 78s. We still have about 300.
I grew up with this behemoth in our living room. I used to sit on the floor and watch the glowing lights slowly revolving in the front panels. I grew up listening to the Andrews Sisters singing "Hohokus, N.J." and the Crew Cuts doing "Carmen's Boogie" and my personal favorites, Slim and Slam's "Dunkin' Bagel" and Phil Harris's "The Thing."
As time went on, the other outrageous arcade gallery paraphernalia in our house slowly disappeared -- the pinball machine, the vintage Coke machine -- but the jukebox remained. Dad and I couldn't bear to part with it.
When we were getting ready to leave Brooklyn, Dad started talking about selling the jukebox. I put my foot down and informed him he was not allowed to sell it. I vouchsafed my own living arrangements against it. "I will take the jukebox as soon as I have my own apartment," I announced.
It took until I was 28, but I did bring it home.
I'm nearly 40 now. I live in a house that I'm delighted with, but which (by design) really doesn't have enough room for this monstrosity. It lives in storage, awaiting a final resolution. I'm writing to collectors to drum up interest in buying it. My son begs me tearfully not to sell it, and daily comes up with new clever plans by which we can bring the machine home.
If anyone knows of someone locally who might be interested in buying this crazy thing, please put them in touch with me.
Because as long as I'm selling it, it would be nice to keep it in the family. You know what I mean.