I was looking through some of the pictures I took with my phone and saw these gems from three summers ago. Yes, I’ve been rockin’ the old iPhone 3G (“old” by tech standards at least) for three years now.
I came across this treasure chest through a Craigslist ad, which claimed to have thousands of records in the collection. Naturally, I was skeptical, but I decided to check it out anyway. I got to the lady’s house (she was probably in her early 50’s) and she brought me straight to the backyard, which had boxes full of records, but nowhere near the thousands that she claimed. We talked for a few minutes about the kind of music I was looking for and why I was even interested in records. It turned out that her late husband and other family members used to be major collectors and owned a record store at one point, but she ended up getting stuck with everything and had no idea what to do with it.
Once she realized I was serious about digging, she brought me to the garage that was in the back of the house and opened up a side door, which let in just enough light for me to see a stack of boxes. I thought, “Cool…I should be able to sort through this in about 45 minutes.” But then she flipped a light switch to reveal a two car garage FULL of records. I kid you not…it was just stacks and stacks of boxes and crates, probably around 6 feet high throughout the whole garage. I could barely even maneuver through it so I ended up having to carry most of the boxes outside in order to clear a path for myself.
I asked her how much she was selling them for and she said, “a dollar each.”
They just started trying to organize the records by genre, but that was only one tiny section. For the most part though, it was beautiful chaos. A lot of the records were in bad shape, it was dusty as hell, my back was aching and every once in awhile I would hear the footsteps of a small animal (maybe a possum?) crawling around in the corner…but it was all worth it for $1 per record.
I established a good enough relationship with that lady where I was able to give her a list of artists that I liked and she would call me if she came across any of those records. Since I was unemployed at the time, I would spend a few hours each week just digging in the garage while she went about her daily routine in the house. If I had a job, I would’ve spent a lot more money, but I still bought quite a few records that summer. Although I can’t remember most of the records I came up on, the two that stand out to this day are Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” and “Off the Wall” albums, both in good condition…and both for $1 each.
Sadly though, this good thing had to come to an end once her son, who was around my age, took over. I could put up with his unfriendly nature, but the dude was trying to charge me $5-$10 for records that were in bad condition, and $15+ for ones that were just decent. Sure, I was spoiled by the $1 deal, but this was on the other extreme and I wasn’t about to let homeboy come up on my hard earned unemployment checks. lol.
Good times, indeed.