Tuesday, December 26, 2023

Jukebox Hero

I didn’t have a good childhood, so I have few good memories. But the jukebox IS one of the absolute best memories of my life. 

 When I was little, my Pap Pap gave us a 1951 Seeburg 100 Jukebox. My dad said we got it in 1968 and believes my Pap Pap got it from a vendor. I have no clue; I know it was in our basement in my childhood home before my parents divorced. 

 My dad rigged it so we didn’t have to put coins in it to play songs. So, my brothers and I would start hitting buttons—A1, A2, C4, K5 and so on. It held 50 records and could play both sides. Hence Seeburg 100. It was filled with songs by Elvis Presley, Patsy Cline, Tammy Wynette, and even the Chipmunk’s song and Rock ‘n Robin. 

I had a rocking horse on a stand and would ride that horse and pretend I was riding over a hillside and through the woods. Typically trying to get away from “bad guys.” I also had a fake gun on my hip. 

 When my parents divorced, the jukebox moved with us to Millvale, where it sat in the damp basement for years. After David and I got married and bought our first home, I took the jukebox with all intentions of having David refurbish it. It sat in our garage for years. Then, I gave it to my brother Danny, who kept it in his garage until March 2020. 

During the lockdown fiasco, my brother and his son Seth took that jukebox to a man in New Wilmington who refurbished them for a living. My brother tells the story of how the man said he was thinking of retiring so Danny could buy one already done and how Seth said, “Dad, Aunt Pammy will know, and she’ll be mad.” (He knows me well!) Then my brother told the man about the history of the jukebox. 

Our history. 

At the end of the history lesson, the man said, “I’ll do this one for you.” 

Over three years later, the jukebox is done. And it’s beautiful. I visited my brother, and he played some 45s for me. A1, A3, K7 —just like the old, old days. 

I don’t cry often. I don’t show a lot of emotions in general. I’m more stoic and hold it inside. But Patsy Cline belting out She’s Got You tugged at my heart and flooded me with fond memories. 

 Thank you, Seeburg, for the good times you gave me. The fun I felt riding that horse to the beat of your music. And thank you for the contentment I felt listening to all those songs and dreaming. You are a Jukebox Hero in my heart.



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