Betty Barr Boilesen

Memories of the Phonograph and Other Stories




My name is Betty Barr Boilesen.

I was born in Elba, Nebraska in 1924 on a 650 acre ranch by a river and lots of cottonwood trees.

My second grade teacher, Miss Hildred Karre, gave me my first experience with music on a phonograph which was a portable suit-case style. You opened the lid and inside was this wonderful little record player. Our opening exercise was a special time. We listened and also played games to the music such as the Farmer in the Dell and Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush. However, my favorite part was watching Miss Karre wind the crank. She wore silver bracelets which cling-clanged when she turned the crank.

My two nieces were in kindergarden in the same room. We played school and imitated the real school. Of course, you must have a phonograph. So I put my Dad's razor blade sharpener on top of a grocery-store box, and with the rubber jar rings and gold Mason jar lids on my wrist I was ready to wind the crank and jingle-jangle.

  Kriss Kross Stropper Razor Blade Sharpener, c.1927

None of our neighbors other than one family had a phonograph. They had an elegant floor model. When we visited them, sometimes during the evening we would all go to the parlor and listen to a few records. What wonderful phonograph memories.


Other Betty Ann Barr Stories

Say "Good-night" to your kitchen and your kitchen will say "Good-morning" to you

The "Barr Goodbye"

"Shuffle off to Buffalo" - Risque music on the Phonograph

The Hour of Charm

Life is a Gift - Enjoy the Present

Cottage Cheese - "Don't take it all!"

"Put My Little Shoes Away"

The Christmas Dolls

The Blue Hat - Going to the Picture Show

Manley Miller Barr, Horses and the Nebraska State Fair

Manley Miller Barr, my Dad

Betty Ann's Wedding

Axel and Betty Christmas Traditions

Betty's Christmas Cookie Recipes

More Stories in Memory of Betty Ann, October 26, 2000, a Friend of the Phonograph's


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Betty Ann (on right) c. 1929 holding the hand of her niece Marjorie Ann Erickson, (August 23, 1927 to September 30, 1935)