Franklin’s Tower

There was something about a music box that always made me…want to wind them up and listen to them wondering what song they would play and watch what they would do.  Last year, I went to Philadelphia, but it was closed.  Sorry, I got off topic thinking about W. C. Fields who used to enjoy insulting Philadelphia and he composed this inscription for his tombstone, “Here lies W. C. Fields.  I would rather be living in Philadelphia.”  I guess just about anyone would rather be in Philadelphia than being dead.  OK, back to the story, Philadelphia was open that day and everywhere I went I kept running into Ben Franklin.  I couldn’t get away from him in the city of brotherly love.  This city is loaded with history and Ben Franklin’s name and image are everywhere you look, and he probably deserves all of this attention, because he was a great man.

I saw pictures, statues, signs, bridges and towers all dedicated to him and even the Liberty Bell is associated with him.  I walked into this antique store which had this enchanting and charming music box with a bust of Ben Franklin on it, but it also had a sign that said, “Do not touch”.  I asked the clerk in the store what song the box played and if it did anything special.  He told me that it played the Youngblood’s song ‘Get Together’ and then he sang, “Come on, people now, Smile on your brother, Everybody get together, Try to love one another right now”.  He said that Ben Franklin’s head would move up and down and spin around in circles while the music was playing, but the box was very old going back to 1970 and that it was not to be touched, unless it was by a serious buyer because it was very valuable.  I asked him how much it cost, because there was no price tag on it and he said $3,500 and I told him that it is a very nice song, but that was too much for me.

He noticed that I was wearing a skull and roses tee shirt and a steal your face hat and then he said that there were other music boxes in the back room and there was one in particular that I might find to be irresistible.  We went into the back room and he showed me this music box featuring the Liberty Bell and he said that this one plays the Grateful Dead song ‘Franklin’s Tower’ and he asked me if I would like to hear it.  We listened to the music playing as the Liberty Bell swung back and forth and it was completely captivating for me.  When the song was over, I asked him how much he was asking for this unique and fun toy and he said that it sells for $2,500, so I pulled out my credit card and told him to wrap it up, so I could go home and listen to the music play.

Written for Fandango’s Story Starter #19.

21 thoughts on “Franklin’s Tower

  1. Did you have an authentic cheesesteak? I’ve never been to Philly, but always figured if I do go, that’s one thing I want to do for sure. I’ve seen on TV where there are stands across the road from each other that both claim to be the original “real” one. Wouldn’t mind trying them out.

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      1. I went there on a disaster recovery detail for a company I worked with….I really enjoyed the city. It was too early for baseball…I wanted to go see the Phillies.

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