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Re: [ARSCLIST] Record Store day (April 19)


I can't add to the recent discussion of record stores being dead or not, eBay 
taking their place or not, but would like to relate the actual experience I 
had on Record Store Day.  First, I learned of it from the ARSC listserv over 
Saturday-morning coffee (thanks, ARSC).  We got the sudden desire for a day trip 
to a record store.  Living in the rural southwestern corner of Michigan, 
where there are no record stores, I knew that such existed in Ann Arbor and 
Detroit to the east and Chicago to the west, with drive times of up to several hours 
on boring and often crowded interstate highways.  Searching 
www.recordstoreday.com revealed a small chain of indie record stores in Fort Wayne, Indiana, 
Wooden Nickel Music, a couple of hours away by old-fashioned national highways.  
Their Web site (www.woodennickelmusicfortwayne.com) featured the Record Store 
Day logo and promised live music sprinkled throughout the day at each of 
their three stores.  We jumped in the car and headed out.

When we arrived at the store we picked, Record Store Day LP's emblazoned one 
wall and musicians were setting up at the rear of the room.  The room was 
stuffed with browser bins, many of them full of used LP's; there was some new 
vinyl at the front.  The featured band was the five-member Possum Trot Orchestra, 
an "old-time music" aggregation local to Fort Wayne and headed up by one John 
Minot, professor of folklore at Indiana University/Purdue University Fort 
Wayne.  John had a new book available, 78 Blues, Folksongs and Phonographs in the 
American South.  I liked the comment in the acknowledgments, "This book is 
lovingly dedicated to my wife, Linda, and our daughter, Janet, who have learned 
to live most graciously with someone who puts records before real life," and 
therefore put John's book in my stash, along with a number of classical, jazz 
and pop LP's I had already found at reasonable prices.  The band's music was fun 
and engaging, introducing me to a kind of music not at all familiar to me.  
Store owner Robert Roets was video taping the performance, for putting up on 
the store Web site.  He found plenty of time to speak with us about his 
business, a main part of which was his passion for music and records.

While I was pleased with what I had found and heard at Wooden Nickel, the 
people I saw in the store rustling through and picking out vinyl presented the 
most rewarding experience.  In my mid 60's, I was perhaps the oldest person 
there!  Two sets of much younger folks caught my attention in particular and 
became photographic subjects for my digital SLR camera.  I have no hard evidence 
for all of the detail in the following descriptions but this is what I imagine I 
saw: (1) a young black fellow, perhaps 12 or 13 years old, going through LP's 
with his mom, each separately but commenting on each other's choices, and (2) 
a young man in his 20's, whom I later saw going through vinyl with what had 
to be his dad and a blonde lady who was either Dad's second wife or girlfriend 
(pardon any overactive imagination), all participating.

So in the end, there is perhaps hope for a record store, fueled by the young 
people I saw at Wooden Nickel Music.

Jim Long
Baroda, MI

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