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Lace and Dust

I remember my grandfather taking me to the thrift shops where he would find remains of dresser and dolls and whatever else he could bring home to turn into sculptures and knick-knacks. I'd usually follow him around for a bit until I was distracted by porcelain or yellowed LIFE magazines from the 40s and 50s and would eventually make my way to the music section.


There, I could flip through a thousand records in twenty minutes looking for familiar names on unfamiliar covers. Searching for LPs was much more like going out to check something off your bucket list: a hunt to search for something that you sort of know you want out of a long list of things you'd like to acquire in a lifetime but, quite honestly, you probably will return home with something wonderful that was entirely unexpected instead. I was never a big risk taker when it came to LPs... not that buying a bad record implies any sort of impending doom or anything, I just had a highly curated sense of what I wanted. The exploration of my little corner of the thrift stores would be in the boxes of 78s and 45s, the land of unwanted toys in vinyl. Most of these were hits records, some recognizable and some not. I loved looking at the labels, most of which aren't around anymore like Kama Sutra records, and how much more there was to those brands when looking at their designs. I wonder if labels meant to streamline by not replacing these pieces of their aesthetic that surrounded the home-listening experience or if they just forgot. Either way, I usually took this opportunity to slim down the overwhelmingly tall piles by label design and then artist, and making my own small pile of promising surprises.

This year a lot of those stores closed to make way for more polished collections. I miss the thrift store that was more of a junk yard filled with forgotten things. I miss the vacations I'd take to all corners of the planet and back decades on a Sunday afternoon as I got to fulfill my own wanderlust through illustrated cigar boxes, lace shirtwaists, and dust.
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