A conversation piece, indeed:
Dutchy and I chanced upon this shop again where they sell old-school turntables (fabricated to look like antique, with bluetooth). I gushed. This has been in my bubble thoughts for a long time!
Now- He and I have a verbal pact to unclutter our lives that began two years ago since we renovated house: “Unclutter, declutter, throw and/or give away things that contribute to clutter!”
In short, one should throw away something from the house that hasn’t been used for a year BEFORE bringing in a new one. (Who do you think has more kitsch between the two of us?)
And so- I have this Akai turntable and a hundred LPs that survived “The Big Kitsch Purge.” He wanted me to throw all of them away and thankfully, I ruled in this one. I can’t bear to throw these few remaining memories from my parents. Thanks to them, my 6-year old self knew Henry Mancini, Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass Band, Sergio Mendes & Brasil ’66, Barbra Streisand, Santana, Lena Horne, The Sandpipers, Mantovani, Burt Bacharach, The Mamas and Papas, The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Nora Aunor, etc.
I also can’t bear to throw an important part of me, discovered one chilly autumn afternoon in San Francisco, a few years back: I walked the whole length of Haight-Ashbury Street and Haight main avenue and browsed through LPs in weekend open house garages. I was like a kid in a candy store who can’t contain her joy upon seeing the labels and titles. I mouthed so many exclamation points while picking my records. Happiness has a price and it’s $1 per LP.
Upon reaching my San Jose family, my beshie Joy Cristobal Mamaril and I counted 75 (jazz, classical, rock, funk, and theatre collection LPs) to bring home to the Philippines, to join the ones I got from my parents. We packed and shipped them via a Balikbayan box to Subic.
You should try that one time, wherever part of the world you may find yourself alone: Look for old bookshops or vinyl record bars. You’ll be surprised with feelings that might be awaken inside your child-self.
(In Manila, I go to this small haunt in former Marikina Shoe Expo in Cubao called Vinyl Dump Thrift Store. Aside from it, I discovered there are a number of stores owned by vinyl afficionados. Check http://www.spot.ph/shopping/55803/10-best-vinyl-record-stores-in-manila
Now, let’s go back to Dutchy. Emerging from that vinyl shop I said: “I want to sell my turn-table. It’s working, right? We fixed it.”
Came the sheepish grin. “Uh-huh. You’ll sell it so you can buy that new turntable.” he said. A statement not a question.
I laughed. I was trapped. I said: “Yeah! You know, it looks so cool to have that new one, and it’s portable. It is going to be a conversation piece, darling.”
He said: “Yeah-yeah, and I’m going to buy a horse to go to work. THAT is a conversation piece.”