Thursday, December 6, 2012 :: On Tuesday afternoon I was driving home –if bachelor squalor can be called that - past a curious shop in Cypress Park that had caught my eye.
There was an open parking place out in front. It wasn’t raining. I grabbed it - an omen.
The door is a wormhole to another glitch in spacetime. The shop is truly curious, a hodgepodge of thrift store finds: furniture, art, vintage clothing and an astounding collection of old eyeglass frames. The proprietor is into all of this – the storefront an emporium of his own collections. He is selling bits of his own dream.
I explored and chatted, making note of this curious man and his curiosity shop. Maybe I’m jumping to conclusion. Maybe the man at the counter is not the owner. But I think not.
I browsed and bought nothing, making mental notes – putting an item or two into the database of something that may be bought later. My life is altogether too complicated by my own stuff. The soundtrack – Was it the radio or a mixtape? – A cut from jazz compendium? – was Brubeck’s “Blue Rondo a la Turk”. 1959 in 9/8 time. Eisenhower giving way to Kennedy. The threshold of the brief shining moment. Boomers stirring in our cocoons. The tune defines the shop, familiar and complicated: “Remember this?” As I stepped back onto the street and 53 years back to TuesdayI made an offhand remark to the shopkeeper that it was OK not to stand for that particular version of the National Anthem.
On Wednesday Dave Brubeck was gone.
Brubeck was of my parent’s generation. He didn’t define the Greatest Generation in music – Dorsey and Miller, Miles and Mingus did that – Sinatra and Ella and Lady Day – but Brubeck anchored the rhythm section and showed the Boomers the way onward.
2638 N Figueroa St.
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