It has been snowing for thirty-one hours. Maybe it stopped while we slept, but the weight on my shovel this morning suggested otherwise. I’ve shoveled six times. Three times yesterday. Three today. A few were easy, but this is heavy wet snow. I am tired!
I just watched I Need That Record (a documentary about the loss of independent record stores). You know the story without watching the documentary, but it is pretty poignant nonetheless. One owner closed his shop, hung out for about six months, considered baking for a living, didn’t, and then got a job at Trader Joe’s. A very different experience for him, to be sure. He was still laughing, though. Some people are wired to laugh. My grandmother used to laugh when she got confused. It worked brilliantly. Time to turn the album over.
OK. The record store owners, all of them, lamented the loss of community formed around their shops. That hit me (as I sit in a big empty house alone–thank goodness for Frida). I buy stuff online all the time. Often from little stores that someone can go visit, but not stores I can go visit. The folks who frequented the independent record stores were unique folks. When their local shop closes, where do they go? Do they stay home? Probably.
I worked at an independent record store as a kid. They had three locations in town and I rotated among all three. My memories are loving ones. I loved the stores. I loved my co-workers. I loved the customers. I loved the music. There had to be things I hated, at times, but when I got the job I felt like I had won the lottery. I knew the stores were special. Not special compared to any other independent records store. Just special because they were ours. I had been going to them as I grew up and thought the employees were gods. Then I was behind the counter! Helped me see that the employees were not gods, I sure wasn’t, but it still beat the stuffing out of sacking groceries. They are closed now, but I see an alumni page here.
I go to my local record store about four times a year. Always leave with a few things. Picked up a couple of Johnny Cash records last time. Sun Records! Also a Joy Division CD box set. Always something there for me. I should head there tomorrow. I don’t get much of a sense of community when I go there. Probably more my fault than anything. Still, it is nice to get out. I hope they are open!
Have a good one, friends!