Crackle and Pop

It was sunny when you left home, so you didn’t take an umbrella. An hour later, you’re caught in a torrential downpour. You run into the first store you can find — it happens to be a dark, slightly shabby antique store, full of old artifacts, books, and dust. The shop’s ancient proprietor walks out of the back room to greet you. Tell us what happens next!

This reminds almost reminds me of watching Stephen King’s Needful Things.  The ancinet (literally) shop owner comes out… “Hello… How can I help you?”.  

It was a Monday.  Of course, it is always a Monday.  At least it feels that way.  I decided to take a walk around town.  I made it near downtown when I hear the sound of thunder.  It brewed up rather quickly, and within a minute or two, it was raining.  It had to be a Monday… Ugh.  I looked around at what was left of downtown trying to find some place interesting to spend my time while it rained.

I grew up in this town.  This area was always a favorite to go.  There used to be a movie theater and a drug store and even a video rental shop.  They always had some sort of thrift shop here though.  I looked around until it caught my eye.  “Bingo!”, I exclaimed (obviously, because there is an exclamation point) as I ran into the shop.  A bell at the top of the door jingles as I came inside.

*JINGLE JINGLE JINGLE* That’s the sound manual door bells make, right?  I sure hope so.  Anyways… i’m in the shop.  I’m out of the rain.  I feel a little better.  “Ahem… Can I help you?” came a voice from behind me… (Interrupting my internal monologue…Thanks).  I turn around to see a man… possibly in his 60’s… with a big friendly grin on his face.  “Oh, well… I’m not really sure.  It started to rain and I just picked a place at random and made a run for it.”  “Oh…” He chuckled for a moment… “Take your time.  Take a look around.  We’ve got plenty of interesting stuff in this old place.”  “Thank you, I think I will.”  “I’ll be over here”  (Discussions with random people can be pretty mundane sometimes).

I looked around for any signs of interesting things.  There were old chairs, tables and hutches.  They were nice, but I wasn’t really interested in furniture.  In a back corner there was a big wooden box.  I walk over to get a closer look.  It was sectioned out just a bit.  The top folded up to reveal… a turntable.  The needle arm was a thick bent piece of metal.  It looked like one that you would see in a gramophone on a cartoon.  The piece below opened up to reveal vacuum tubes and a transmitter.  Beside that, a cabinet opened to reveal a nice speaker cabinet.  This is a good find, I think.  

“That’s a nice stereo back there”, I tell the man.  “Oh, it works very very well” , he replies.  

“Is there any way I can test it out?”

“Sure, we have plenty of records in that corner as well”

I take a look at the selection.  Through all the dusty covers, I found a glimmer of hope.  They have Leo Kottke’s “Greenhouse” album.

“This will do the trick”

“Give it a whirl” (I assume this is how people talk about records… Right?)

Record in place.  Needle in the groove.  It starts to spin.  Out of the speakers, Kottke’s powerful intro to “Bean Time” starts up.  The percussive strumming leads into the main theme of the song.  I have only heard this song on a cd, so the warm crackles and pops on the record make this a slightly different listening experience.  “Tiny Island” comes up next and his trademark “Geesefarts on a muggy day” voice sings about the loss of a friend.  I spend the next ten minutes or so listening to Kottke’s guitar (and occasionally his voice), before the rain starts to let up.

“I wish I could stay and listen to this all day, but I’ve got to be on my way.”

“Come back any time” he replied

That now familiar jingle of the bell above the door sounds as I walk back out into the now wet heat of Texas.  For a few moments, I was transported.  Listening to music will do that to you though.  “Where will I find myself next?”, I wondered.  I walked off to my next (unknown) destination.


6 thoughts on “Crackle and Pop

  1. I really enjoyed this post. I especially liked your use of humor throughout it.

    This was my favorite, I think I actually, laughed out loud…

    “Bingo!”, I exclaimed (obviously, because there is an exclamation point) as I ran into the shop. ”

    I also have to admit, I didn’t know who Kottke was. Your post made me want to google him and listen to “Tiny Island” so I did. I enjoyed that too. Thanks 🙂

    • Thank you so much! I’m glad you enjoyed it. Kottke is one of my favorites, so I am always trying to plug him in there somewhere. I’m glad you enjoyed his song too. Thank you very much for stopping in!

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