After five years of religiously working a well-worn thrift store circuit during my lunch hour, I had unearthed and polished thousands of black vinyl gems. But the crown jewel continued to allude me. Don McLean’s magnum opus American Pie was not among the thousands of LPs on my shelves. And while I’d snagged plenty of choice picks from the malaise of substandard standards that comprised the predictable thrift store record selection, I’d never flipped to that unforgettable thumb.
My father had long since bartered his (and Peter’s) records for two months’ rent at the antique mart where he maintained a stall. So, that fateful copy was out of reach. I could easily buy it from an auction site or record shop, but that would be sacrilege. The vast majority of my records were strays rescued from thrift store bins. I washed them, cleaned the dust jackets, removed the price stickers, repaired the split seams, and stored them in archival sleeves to be enjoyed forever. Someday…I would save the record that saved me. Acquiring it any other way would be pointless.
Excerpt from Finding Fidelity, a forthcoming novel from Blake Charles Donley