Garage Sale Blues
April 1996 – A small house, bulging closets and a move coming up meant a garage sale would take up another Saturday and possibly Sunday in an already time-crunched household. In the guest bedroom closet 300 almost mint vinyl record albums, The Untouchables, waited to be admired and flipped, front to back, back to front. Each album would conjure up memories of impromptu Friday night parties, wine by the jug, young loves and old friends just hanging out listening to music, eating munchies, smoking and rapping. Not a worry in the world.
Album cover design was a big part of the vinyl record experience. In its 12-inch square format, album art was creative, colorful and groovy. In fact, if you couldn’t remember the band or song, a description of the album cover would get you by in the record store. We loved our vinyl records for the music and the covers for the visual stimulation we craved.
The week before the garage sale we worked our way through the collection. Only the keepers would stay in the crate. The first fight started when my husband moved Bette Midler’s “Devine Miss M” album and Joni Mitchell’s “Blue” to the sales stack. I retaliated by putting two of his in the stack; Eric Clapton’s “Just Enough” and Leo Kottke’s “The Best”, two albums he would fight to keep. After several more skirmishes we changed the rules: each of us could keep 50 albums.
Tables loaded with treasures of all sorts lined the driveway and garage. The Untouchables for Sale were in crates on table 4 and 5 in the garage priced at $5 each or 5 for $20. Vinyl was not as popular in the late 90s as it is today sales were slow. While my husband took a break, I revisited the stacks and removed a few albums. My husband, clearly seeing an opportunity, did the same. At the end of the day we sold about half of the albums the rest were put in crates for the move.
The moving company arrived as planned and the truck filled up quickly, among the smaller items were the Untouchables. In our new home we thumbed through the albums again and talked about playing some of them when we found the turntable. Lined up on the fireplace mantel was Abbey Road, Born to Run, Endless Summer, Dawn of Creation, Just Enough and Blue. They looked great together.
It might have been the wine, the bare walls, the excitement of a new home, our emotional attachment to the albums, or the Woodstock poster destined for the game room that got us thinking about framing some of the albums. Album art, why not? We reasoned as long as we could still play them, framing would be cool. As it turned out, finding the right frame pre-Google was a lot harder than we thought it would be. But, that’s another blog, working title…It’s “Groovey” with an “e”.