Judging from everything I’ve ever heard about my Grandfather and all the pictures I’ve ever seen, he was one seriously stylin’ and dapper man. He was either sporting a fedora or his hair was perfectly styled and glossy. There was either a cigarette between his fingers or a pack in his front pocket. I’ve seen him pictured wearing sharp coats, flashy bow ties and behind the wheel of classic American automobiles. He had a huge collection of swizzle sticks from very swanky lounges and I know that the set of tiki mugs I inherited were his. Unfortunately, these artifacts and photos are all I have to go on, since I was just 3 years old when he died.
Fast forward thirty-something years, and almost everything I love and cherish has a “retro” or “vintage” slant to it. I swear I was born in the wrong decade. I love making old-school treats like popcorn balls and fudge, and of course — I’m obsessed with a lot of vintage music. And in the most perfect timing there could’ve ever been, my newly-retired father has decided to clean out the garage and give me access to boxes of vintage vinyl, just a month after receiving my record player.
To say that I am amazed by all of the records I keep finding in these boxes would be an understatement. They are not all my Grandfather’s — there’s a huge collection of gospel that undoubtedly belonged to my Grandmother, a smattering of ’70s easy listening which appears to be my Mom’s, and of course, the extensive Barbra Streisand catalog that absolutely belonged to my Dad. But all the records that keep catching my eye and have me anxious to play all have my Grandfather’s name on them. Yes, even the prized Johnny Cash record found deep in that box has an address label stuck to the center declaring it owned by Mr. E.A. Facey.
Skeeter Davis, Johnny Cash, Petula Clark … 45s, 78s and LP’s … so much stuff I love and so much stuff that would’ve been amazing to talk with him about. Right now, its all of his records that seem to be what I’m interested in collecting. It’s hard to explain the feeling, but I do know I’m finding out so much more about my Grandpa through these boxes of records. To think that decades later, I am appreciating the very same music he appreciated enough to curate such an impressive collection of is not only super cool — its pretty moving.
I’m enjoying getting to know my Grandpa better through these records, and I smile when I think he might get a kick out of all this old stuff I keep finding — especially the honky-tonk! I’m pretty sure if he were alive today, I’d be hanging out with him. But even though he’s not here, I still think he’s one of the coolest guys ever.
I wonder what he’d think of me?