Originally published on Mon April 23, 2012 9:01 am
How do you measure the value of an experience — one that promises the thrill of new discoveries; the chance to experience, at least vicariously, foreign cultures, new ideas, unexpected emotions — and, at least for a moment, escape? What's that worth?
Probably more than words can express — whatever experience those questions might conjure for you. For me, they're prompted by the loss of an experience — of going to a record store.
Melody Records, on Connecticut Avenue in Washington, D.C., closed on March 9,2012, after 35 years in business.
There is a music store for sale in Los Angeles. It has old, sagging shelves stuffed with hundreds of thousands of recordings, from wax cylinders to 8-track tapes to LPs and CDs. The man who has owned the business since 1962 is Murray Gershenz.
"I wasn't earning enough money to support my family, so I decided to get some extra income by putting my record collection up for sale," Gershenz tells NPR's Scott Simon. "I opened the store, built some shelves with the help of a rabbi friend of mine and, little by little, the music took over."