Happy National Record Store Day!

After my recent excursion in the hospital (see my post from April 16), I’ve thought a lot about self-care. Frankly, that is an area I have not excelled at in recent years. I love ministry, but I do occasionally need someone to tell me to go home and enjoy the sunshine – which is what happened when I went into work the day after being released from the hospital.

Then, I heard about National Record Store Day – a celebration of independent music retailers. I am a vinyl fan, and saw this as a great opportunity to make a date with myself. There are several record stores in Greenwich Village and the weather forecast was fantastic. So, this morning, I set out for a day of wandering and spending copious amounts of money that I don’t have without caring.
My day started with two discoveries I had not expected. One was to finally find a coffee importer that would spare me from drinking grocery store drek, and the other was a marvelous little book store called Unoppressive Non-Imperialist Bargain Books. The owner was a delightful woman and she had an amazingly good selection of books for even more incredible prices. My son has suggested that I read On the Road for some time, so I decided to buy the new edition that is the original scroll that Kerouac created for his first draft.
Then, it was off to the quest of the day – records! First stop was House of Oldies (Petula Clark’s Downtown and the 2-LP Doobie Brothers Farewell Tour). The owner told me that he had been in business for 40 years. I can only imagine the changes he has seen in that neighborhood since the Summer of Love. Next came Bleecker Street Records (Theolonious Monk Quartet with John Coltrane at Carnegie Hall, Stephen Stills’ Just Roll Tape April 26, 1968, and The Young Rascals). I also picked up The Pretenders’ special 7″ red vinyl disk made for National Record Store Day.
Next, I stumbled across Strider Records. The owner, another long-time retailer, presided over a crowded space packed with 45’s and LP’s of all types. I relieved him of two original John Coltrane albums (Crescent and Sun Ship). Then lunch at The Slaughtered Lamb Pub. I had been sitting for some time, enjoying the open window and my shepherd’s pie before I even noticed the life-sized sculpture of the werewolf and his bride, pictured to the left. In a gaudy, Madame Tussaud’s way, it was actually kind of cool. Speaking of food, I forgot to mention the insanely decadent chocolate concoction I ate with my morning coffee. I honestly felt sorry for the other people sitting in the park, watching me caress the delightful dessert.
Last was Generation Records. Although here I was interested in CD’s, since these groups (Evanescence, Lacuna Coil, Sirenia, and Epica) do not produce vinyl releases. My bundle grew heavy as I strolled through Washington Square Park (which BTW has the cutest little dog park I’ve ever seen). I figured that I had pushed my body about as far as I could and headed for the subway home.
This week, I looked at my life through a different lens. My goals remain the same. I want to become a minister, a great preacher, someone who inspires and rocks proverbial boats. I want to be a cool grandfather someday. And, whatever form it takes, I want to love greatly. National Record Store Day let me declare that I will not allow money or any other trivial reservations keep me from being happy and from living life.