"Crap! I wish I hadn't seen Ricky on the sidewalk."

"You will be fine for 31 minutes. You will be dead in 32 minutes."

Sunday, April 27, 2014


I've had pretty good luck lately, finding things of interest. 

Sometimes I'll see something I already have and wonder if the copy I own is as good as the copy in front of me. It's not easy finding older books and records in pristine condition, but it happens. With records, there's always the added attraction of liner notes or inserts. With books, you never what someone will stuff between the pages. Newspaper clippings and letters are fairly common, but I've also found photographs, check stubs, and plane tickets.

The other day, I found this Elektra folk sampler from 1958.

Folk Sampler 5 (Elektra SMP-5)

I'm a sucker for early Elektra vinyl and I already own several of their samplers.  What put this particular $3 record over the top wasn't the presence of Theodore Bikel or Josh White, or even the version of "Day-O" recorded by Lord Foodoos. 

It was the tiny printed songbook tucked in the sleeve.

I've never thrust my fist in the air and shouted "score" when I find something nice, but I've seen others do it and I'm almost always embarrassed by it. Instead, I quietly walked up to the counter and paid for the record. 

Hot on the heels of the Elektra sampler, I found a copy of Margaret Crosland's biography of Jean Cocteau. 

I previously purchased a copy of the book in Denver, but this one contained a copy of Cocteau's obituary from the San Francisco Examiner (October 12, 1963). 

If you've forgotten that Edith Piaf died the same day as Cocteau, and that the news of her death supposedly triggered Cocteau's fatal heart attack, now might be a good time to brush up.

Here's the quote, according to the newspaper article:

"I have an awful fever and the death of Edith Piaf chokes me up," he said. "Piaf had genius, she was inimitable, there will never be another Piaf."  He lay down on a couch and was dead when a doctor arrived.

The book was just one of several things I bought at Goodwill on Saturday morning. There was a signed copy of Robin Lampson's epic verse novel of the California Gold Rush:

A Modern Library version of Women in Love that I don't already own:

And a dirty novel by Gil Herbert, published by Midwood:

I paid for the books and peeled off all the Goodwill stickers while I sat in the parking lot. Then I whispered "score" and drove away.