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Dad's Weekly Shopping Habit

When I was young, my dad had an amazing hobby: every single payday he would stop by the local record shop on his way home and buy every new 7'' release that he liked. He would spend about an hour or more at the counter and have the sales clerk play every new track for him. Anything that he liked, or thought that I would like, he would buy two copies of, and bring them home. One copy would be his and one copy would be for me. My earliest memories of my dad giving me a stack of new 7" 45s is from when I was about 4 or 5 years old.

Of course, I didn't know that he was doing this until much, much later. He only ever gave me a stack of singles now and then. It wasn't until many years later that I realized there were pristine mint copies of my favourite singles hidden in the basement. Since I started listening to vinyl records at a young age, I was always pretty careful with my records. it was always engrained in me to be careful not to scratch them and to treat them properly. Nevertheless, as anyone who has ever been around a child can attest, I managed to scratch, break, crack, warp, and otherwise mangle most of my favourite records when I was a pre-teen.

So when my dad presented me with a stack of my favourite out-of-print singles in mint condition a few years later, augmented by some of his and mothers favourite singles form when they were teenagers, I was over the moon! That said, they didn't all survive into the 21st century.

When I went to college and moved out of the family home, most of my record collection remained behind or was sold off (regretfully) as the world switched formats to CD. Those that did survive are among my most cherished possessions and include such obscure titles as "I Want You to Love Me" by Susan Jacks, "Sugar Town" by Nancy Sinatra, "Chick-a-Boom" by Daddy Dewdrop, "It's Hard to Be Humble" by Mac Davis and "I Can't Control Myself" by the Teenbeats.

There are also a few really sentimental ones like my father's original copy of "Runaway" by Del Shannon, my aunt Darleen's copy of "Everyday People" by Sly and the Family Stone, My aunt Lynda's copy of "Spanish Eyes" by Al Martino, My aunt Christine's copy of "Lover's Concerto" by the Toys, and My mom's "Ritchie Valens single with "Donna" on side A and "La Bamba" on side B!

Those that were too badly scratched I have since replaced (not cheap, I might add) but quite a few of those original 45s are still in my possession and have made the intercontinental journey to reside here with me in Asia. Needless to say, whenever I play any of them, I always think fondly of my dad.