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Retired sheet metal worker finds outlet for love of ‘tinkering’ with restoring juke boxes

TOPEKA, Kan. -- Darrel Rosebury has been tinkering on things since he was a kid.

He started on toys, then lawnmowers, then motorcycles. He loves all things mechanical.

Now as a retired HVAC sheet metal worker, Rosebury has found another outlet -- and you don't need to look any further than his living room, and his kitchen, and yes, his basement.

Rosebury tinkers on juke boxes -- a lot of juke boxes -- shipped from all over for him to repair and restore or juke boxes he's found on his own.

"Yeah, I kind of created my own monster," he said, laughing.

His home near Topeka is jam packed, and he's a walking encyclopedia of every piece in that home -- whether it's a disco-era juke box or an old movie projector or a phonograph.

Sure Rosebury makes money at it, but mostly it's his love of working on mechanical things that give the user so much pleasure.

"It's something about sitting there, waitin' for you," he said. "You drop a coin in it, and it works for you."

And restoring the sound is just as important as the shell. Rosebury prides himself in making the old juke boxes work again, and then either shipping them back to their owner or selling them to other enthusiasts.

He doesn't expect to ever stop "tinkering."

"I like to be busy," he said.

Thankfully, for those who share his love of mechanical music boxes of the past.