Sunday, March 22, 2009 was a really good day. No, I did not win the lottery. Nor has the disease that has plauged my body almost all of my life suddenly gone into remission: I am still bald. Instead I finally found what I have been looking for. I have been on the trail of this item for more years than I care to think about. Antique stores. Garage sales. Flea Markets. Ebay. Craigs list. Only twice have I seen this priceless item and each time it was way overpriced for the condition. If I was going to spend the money, I wanted it to be worthwhile. On Sunday, with nothing else to do, I had driven to Platte City, MO - about 30 miles north of where I live to go to an antique sale in the local high school. Nothing there even remotely tempted me. A few miles further North was an antique Mall that my wife and get to about once every three years or so. The only things I really look for are items relating to the Peanuts comic strip and old record alblums. But I am fussy about what I buy. It has be unique and, more importantly, cheap. really cheap. I did see something there that tempted me. It was a box of Peanuts stationary, complete with envelopes. Only problem was the price: $19.50. That may not seem like a lot of money but to me it was. So, I just sucked it up and walked on.
When I look at record alblums, I normally only look at the first 3 - 5. That pretty much tells me what type of music the rest of the records are. I know, I could be wrong and over the years may have overlooked some real gems. But I don't know that. I also don't look at alblums that are piled one on top of another as that causes ring wear. Anyway, I stopped at the first booth that had records. It looked a bit promising with some records on the wall. As I thumbed through the first row, my heart starting to thump a little faster. There were alblums there by the artist I had been searching for but I already had those. But just to find any by him was a rarity. And then, as I flipped through alblum number 5, there it was: The Crown Jewel. The Hope Diamond. The Holy Grail.
At first I could not believe it. I thought: "There must be something wrong with it". It was encased in a plastic sleeve for protection and the jacket itself was still bright and shiny. I pulled the record out. It was just as beautiful as the day it was produced. No scratches, mars, fingerprints, etc. Just Pristine. I had purposely avoided looking at the price because I just knew it was going to be way more than I could afford. But, I had to find out. By now my heart was beating so fast I thought it was going to fly out of my chest. I took a quick peak: $75!! Whoa. Way too much. But then my eyes focused and the $75 turned into $15! That was doable. I grasped the alblum tighter in my hand, tried to walk calmly to the front desk where the cashier was located and asked her to hold that for me while I continued shopping. But in my heart I just knew that when I checked out the cashier was going to tell me my alblum had been mismarked and the real price was a gazillion dollars. But that did not happen. $15!!! Unbelievable!! And by the way: The record is titled "PERSPECTIVE" by Rick Nelson. It completes my collection. Like I said, it was a really good day.