Known Johnson

December 18, 2006

The final farewell

Filed under: General — Tom @ 5:51 am

I hit Tower Records for the last time Friday – for real, this time. I had Amanda with me, as I had picked her up from Alissa’s parents and was on my way home and just felt compelled to stop. I had seen one disc there a few days before and had stupidly passed it by, an import that usually would be prohibitively expensive and somehow it slipped my mind to actually pick it up. I knew Friday was my last chance, so I grabbed Amanda up in my arms and we made our way through the open-air walkways of Desert Ridge mall in north Phoenix for one last, quick visit to Tower.

Signs on the door made it obvious that this was it – 90% off CDs, “final 2 days,” etc. Inside it was actually depressing – the shelves, already growing bare in visits past, were growing many bare spots as people picked up things they had been casually interested in and wouldn’t mind losing a few dollars on. I headed for the Bs and picked up one of two remaining James Dean Bradfield (the lead singer of Manic Street Preachers) copies of his album, The Great Western, an album marked at $27.99 that would only set me back $5.60 today. I made a quick survey of the store and spotted two more discs, Wayne Shorter’s Speak No Evil and Lee Morgan’s The Sidewinder, both of which would set me back $2.60 each. Surprisingly, they had dozens of copies of each of these in endcaps facing the front of the store. Why so many, I can’t imagine, nor can I imagine why none of these were selling – they’d been there for weeks.

Amanda grew restless, grabbing at things when she got near, so I took that as my sign that it was time to leave. Just under $12 later, I was out the door for the last time. I didn’t even look back, or even really think about how it was the last time, so absorbed was I in entertaining Amanda with the Christmas sights on display in the mall around us. We stepped out the door and the doors closed behind us, permanently. It’s hard to feel much sadness for this loss when I have someone like Amanda to show the little wonders like a giant wreath hanging over the entrance to the mall, and it’s impossible to look back when she only wants to point to the things that entertain or pique her curiosity. This is nothing to her, of course, and when she grows up, things like Tower Records will just be something old people like me will be talking about, but at least she can say she had been there now.

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