by Ann Colford
Crosley Portable Record Player ($162 at Cabin Fever, Sandpoint)
Back in the days of the Greatest Generation, music didn't come via MP3 or even CD. Years before the advent of vinyl, Americans danced and romanced to tunes played on flat discs of brittle shellac resin played on a turntable at 78 revolutions per minute. A lot of folks over age 65 probably have a stack of 78s hidden away somewhere, unplayable for years because most turntables built in the last 30 years don't play 78s. Now, Crosley has reproduced the classic suitcase-style portable record player from the 1960s, updated with a belt-driven turntable and diamond needle, but capable of playing at 33, 45 or 78 rpm. Listen to Bing Crosby and Harry James as millions originally heard them; through the hisses and pops, you'll hear the sounds of history.
Your Very Own Biopic ($280 and up from Biography Films at www.biographyfilms.com)
You've seen Ken Burns' films on PBS and watched those biographies of notable people on A & amp;E; now, let Paul Merchant and the crew at Spokane-based Biography Films create a five-to-eight-minute biographical sketch of your loved one - or you. Using still photos, music and filmed interviews, Biography Films captures the key stories of a person's life in a heart-felt video tribute. Your film comes on a DVD (or VHS tape) and longer film packages are available, too. The company believes "there's no such thing as an uninteresting life," so go ahead and put 'em to the challenge even if your favorite action hero is Walter Mitty.
Milson & amp; Louis Paisley Shawl ($60 at the MAC Museum Store)
It's a classic stereotype, Grandma in her woolen shawl, but this flowing paisley wrap will confound all ill-conceived notions of crone-hood. Woven of lightweight 100 percent wool, this rust-hued creation glints with subtle beading that highlights the swirl of autumn tones. The generous 78-by-28-inch fabric can be worn like a cloak, wrapped as a dramatic scarf or even draped over the holiday table. Grandma will be stylin' like never before.
Publication date: 12/09/04