I was an avid shopper at the Danville, VA thrift store circuit throughout the nineties. Love's Closet, D.A.V, Salvation Army, Ye Old Book Store, and Goodwill. Each store had its own unique offerings. Love's had the best deals. D.A.V had the best t-shirts. Salvation Army had the best jackets. Ye Old Book Store had the best (you can guess) books. Goodwill had a media section that was unparalleled. It was loaded with records, tapes, atari games, and electronic nick nacks left over from the now dated eighties. After my weekly search for the perfect Lou Barlow-Esq cardigan and vintage T commenced, I would typically walk over to the media section and flip though the records and tapes. It was just like one would imagine. Piles of Herb Albert, Bee Gees, and Jesus Christ Superstar albums. Despite the garbage, I would always flip through all of the albums hoping to find discarded college rock.
Occasionally, I would walk away with an R.E.M album or something of that nature. The local record store had abandoned vinyl, so this was my only outlet other than road trips to Chapel Hill.
On one particular visit I stumbled across an LP that looked sort of like the 7 inches I had been purchasing at punk shows. It was black and white and liked like a copied cover. The album was the Texas based band The Judy's, Washarama.
I was extremely disappointed with their striped down new wave sound. So NOT punk. I wasn't one to sell music, so the album hit the shelves.
Fast Forward to SIXTEEN years later.
It isn't uncommon to find me and Lightning's Girl grabbing a coffee, stopping by Deep Groove for a record fix, and trying on vintage clothing at Halcyon on a Saturday afternoon. It is pretty rare that I walk into Deep Groove and not buy a record or ten. I never take a bag, so my albums are normally exposed to the public. This has proven to be a great conversation starter as people seem to be shocked that records still exist or excited that I am holding a record they love.
We were on our normal route yesterday. By the time we were on the way to Halcyon, our coffee was gone and I had two records in my hand. We had a tip from the Halcyon proprietor that some shirts had arrived that we would be sure to love. The day was already shaping up to be a good one.
Enter Halcyon. A customer immediately noticed the art of one of the records I was holding. It is the best kind of predictable. She made a comment about the good old days and walked off. Me and LG went about shopping and after a little while made our way to the counter to pay for our vintage prizes.
Another customer made a comment about the records in my hand.
Customer: "There is a record I really want but I doubt anyone has..."
My internal dialogue was predicting the her next response. "I bet it is some stupid 70s record. Better yet, an 80s band that you can find at any used record store in the country."
Me: "Oh yeah, what is this record you speak of..."
Customer: "It is this little known Texas band called the Judy's."
I couldn't help but laugh.
Me: "Is it Washarama? If so, I have the record you are looking for. If you want it, it is yours."
In the time/space continuum of record buying and trading I couldn't be more jazzed about the situation that occurred yesterday. I don't know how long this person had been searching for The Judy's album. I do know that it has traveled with me through 13 moves. It has been sitting in a Pepsi Cola Record crate ever since it was purchased in 1994. Was it my job to buy this record so one day I could gift it to a random person in the year 2010? That I will never know.
The whole tale warms me heart. The real question is:
Will she ever call me and actually come pick up the record?
Who knows. It is sitting in the J section of my records waiting on her retrieval.