Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Fantastical Dream Come True...

As a young boy I'd occasionally have a dream that I either suddenly came into or already was the owner of some astounding, heretofore undiscovered cache of enviable booty - which for me was either records or musical instruments, although toys and sweets also made their appearances. Massive, king's castle size collections of albums, 45s, 78s, pianos, drums - whatever. Usually it was the last dream before waking up - to the hard truth, and some logical, consoling thoughts: "that was magnificent, but such things only happen in dreams."

Cut to the year 2012. I've done my fair share of crate digging over the years; recently, more than I can keep up with. So when a student's mom called me 2 weeks ago to tell me she'd found a thrift store in Flagler Beach with 2 shelves of records - I was highly pleased, but decided some restraint might be needed. On the way there a few days later, I asked myself "Why am I going?". I concluded that I needed to get out of the house, and that maybe there'd be one or two gems that would truly give me some pleasurable moments. The call from the friend and the trip there had a distant sense of 'destiny' to it.

As I shuffled into the shop I heard the owner making generous bargains with another customer for some knick-knacks - "half-off today only". I thought nothing of it. Finding the records within microseconds, I was hunched over going through the bottom shelf. The sign said "Records $1 each; or take them all for $30. Bring Your Own Totes".

one of the jump blues 78's I was eying...

In minutes I had chosen 2 or 3 jump blues 78's from the 1950's, and was really just browsing from that point on. The selection was unusually refined. With the unearthly speed of an angelic messenger, a pair of man's shoes and khaki shorts were suddenly in my eye-line, and a calm, confident voice heralded the offer to cart off all the vinyl for $30.

I had considered it; but not that seriously. I wheeled around and told him "I would if I had the room for it". I thought I had declared that with a solid sense of finality. But Charlie (co-owner of Charson's Treasures) also knew it was destiny, destiny for him to gain some serious shelf room for an upcoming purchase of his own! He then gave me one of his obscene discounts that, frankly, the Scot in me was in no condition to refuse - all of the records for $15. The deal was sealed; I gave him $20 because I thought it was just too low (the Frenchman in me?) and began hauling armfuls of albums into my poor little Taurus for one of two trips home.

the first trunkful - those piles are about 70 deep.
front seat...

back seat... wait - is this a song?

From the rest of the evening I was in a foggy, blissful state: somewhere between "I can't believe this is happening", "this is not happening" and "you are one lucky dog!". An hour or two later I realized - this is the sort of thing that happened in those dreams I had as a boy. "It's a dream come true!" Needless to say I got around to thanking God for the crazy-sized blessing, and for remembering.
2nd trunk full - before  the trip home

I'd conservatively put the addition to my collection at about 500-600 lps and 25 78's. There is a healthy percentage of easy-listening in there, so my dad is set for life. The rest is mostly classical, well kept with one annoying exception, the owner was very free with a magic marker. There's a good chunk of classic gospel (including Shirley Caesar - probably my favorite) smattering of rock (Yes, Strawbs, Rick Wakeman) and the wonderful dash here and there of absurdities- my favorite!

one of two Jonas Mazurkas 10" albums -
you can never have enough mazurkas...

looking forward to getting with this one...
 I didn't even look through the collection for a day or two, and then only a little at a time over the next week. It was kind of like having a thrift store in my piano room. "Let's see what we have today". When I decided to have my first listen - I went for the Nonesuch release (of course! see this) of some Couperin harpsichord music. Next were some of the ones pictured below. "Hog Heaven" would be a good description of how I feel each time I look at the new acquisition. No rude awakening this time! - KM
oh yeah - that painting in his shirt is embossed on the
cardboard - Freddie Hubbard & Milt Jackson on this 'un.

my choice for 1st listen from the massive stash...
nice relaxin' baroque harpsichord with some humor...

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