Friday, March 8, 2013


"Victor" is a small-ish framed mirror with an ad for RCA Victor painted on its surface, the old Victrola with the bemused dog peering into the horn over the legend "His Master's Voice." It appeared in an antique store in Peterborough, New Hampshire, when Laurie and I were vacationing nearby one summer.

Since the 1950s, Laurie had loved any gadget for reproducing sound. While still in high school, he found an old record-player in a second-hand store, the kind that would play records with a thumbtack if you didn't have a needle. He paid the minimal price asked and triumphantly lugged  the machine home on his back. He always regretted another old record player and a collection of 78 RPM records that he came upon later in another establishment but lacked the wherewithal to buy. The enviable sound reproduction system he had during our marriage was the  culmination of many such over the years.

     Laurie came upon Victor in Peterborough and fell in love at first sight. Uncharacteristically, he decided he couldn't spare the $25 they wanted for it. He showed it to me with delight, I admired it appropriately, and Laurie regretfully said goodbye to it. I sneaked back and bought it, and hid it until Christmas.

     In our condominium in Medford it hung from the top of a low cabinet, concealing two shelves of blank audio disks and related oddments. It now languishes in my office in a bag of framed photographs waiting patiently for homes to be found for them. I wish I knew an audiophile or electronics aficionado old enough to remember "His Master's Voice," who would appreciate Victor and give it a home in remembrance of Laurie.