Where have all the record shops gone?


Somewhat unrelated urban photo…

I’m sitting in a crumpet shop when I over hear a snippet of conversation. If you don’t know what a crumpet is go to The Crumpet Shop and get one. They’re amazing little butter absorbing delights that I might compare to English muffins except that they are infinitely superior. I’m having mine with pesto and ricotta when a woman starts up a conversation with one of the employees. He’s saying that he grew up in a small town (somewhere in the middle) and moved here because there just wasn’t anything there for him, no jobs, no opportunity. She says she had a similar experience but in a nearby town, Enumclaw. She starts describing it and I can only hear bits and pieces of the conversation. She had reasons for leaving, but it did have this one thing. She said it had this great old record shop she loved. The owner had previously owned a record shop in a city but had moved to Enumclaw and set up shop there. I missed part of the story but she was talking wistfully about the store and how it was so sad that it had closed down.

It’s interesting timing because I just drove through Enumclaw very recently. I was heading out to the mountains with Partner to go backpacking. We drove through and were talking about what an interesting little town it was. Something about it piqued my interest. Just odd little things. Peering into the warm bright interior of a pub we saw a man with an eyepatch sitting at the bar. There’s a beer place called “The Filling Station” for filling growlers. It’s not the sort of place I would have expected to have a well-stocked record shop. But then, I’m clearly not giving the place enough credit. Perhaps I need to let go of my snobby city-person expectations and go find out what Enumclaw is actually like. I think that unexamined assumptions are the death of real learning. So I will drop my assumptions and learn about the little town that gave rise to a record shop that has grown so large in the memories of those who still remember it. I want to know that story.

And so I shall investigate.

2 thoughts on “Where have all the record shops gone?

  1. Some of the greatest stores that I have discovered have come in surprising places. Yellow Springs, OH has a cozy but rich record store, a bookstore I would argue is the best in the United States called Dark Star, and splendid nature preserves. Then the Milwaukee airport has a bookstore in it that rivals Powell’s in Portland, OR! I’d be curious to hear more about this record store.


    • Yes! Record shops are such an interesting cultural thing. I can’t quite explain why I find them so appealing, and yet I do! And I love that there are so many off the beaten track, I’ll definitely be paying a visit to those you mentioned:)

      Liked by 1 person

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