Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Family, Music and Pool

Hi Bill

When I started thinking about writing to you this week, I was reminded that Pat and I do some very strange things that I’m not sure many other people would do. However, we are who we are, and we accept who we are. Anyway, last week was a very busy week that took me to Fargo twice, Pat and Rayna each to Fargo once, and brought Zeb back to South Dakota for a week.

On Friday October 23rd Rayna and I drove to Fargo to attend the Fargo Record Fair on Saturday with Zeb who (you probably remember) lives in Fargo. When we arrived it was around 5pm and I checked into a Holiday Inn Express near West Acres Mall. Zeb had to work until 8pm so Rayna and I went to Schlotzsky’s, one of my favorite fast-food sandwich/pizza places. Then we walked around the Fargo Mall for a while before going back to my hotel room. Unfortunately I was sick with a cold and didn’t feel like doing much. Therefore we waited in the hotel room until Zeb got off work at 8pm and arrived at the hotel. After a short visit in my hotel room, Zeb and Rayna left, and Rayna stayed at his apartment for the night. I crashed in my hotel room and tried to breathe through all the gunk in my nose and throat. It was a long night.

However, I was up early on Saturday morning and ready to go vinyl hunting at the Fargo Record Fair. Although I still didn’t feel well, nothing was going to prevent me from the vinyl treasure hunt. I had a big breakfast in the hotel, as I always do at hotels. Then waited until Zeb and Rayna picked me up. The vinyl fair had been moved to a larger venue near the airport, but Zeb was able to find it easily. There were lots of cars and a big crowd of people that we joined inside the venue after we paid our bargain $3 entrance fee. Then the fun began.

Fargo Record Fair promotional photo

Fargo Record Fair promotional photo

It’s hard to describe our attraction for acquiring great (subjectively speaking) music for a cheap price.  Even though the drive to Fargo and my hotel room cost much more than I saved by buying vinyl records at mostly cheap prices at the event, the fair was still a great experience. The huge crowd of hopeful and devoted vinyl fans, the camaraderie and conversations with fellow vinyl hunters, and discovering unexpected and wonderful music proved to be very fulfilling. It was delightful to flip through thousands of vinyl albums, with hundreds of other vinyl devotees, trying to find some great music to enhance my collection. We spent a couple of hours at the fair and I ended up with 10 vinyl albums new to my collection. Of course, there were some titles on my desiderata that I could not find. However, I discovered (and acquired) several titles that I hadn’t even thought of while compiling my list. Rayna and Zeb also had a very enjoyable and productive experience at the record fair and we plan to make it an annual event for us.

Rayna and I about to begin the vinyl hunt

Zeb and Rayna beginning the hunt

Vinyl Prospectors

Vinyl Prospectors

Vinyl Prospectors

After the fair we ate a late lunch/early supper and then left for Sioux Falls with Zeb. He used vacation leave from work to visit us, staying with Pat and I. He had visited us for a couple of days a month or so ago, but this time he stayed with for a week. Rayna also took a few days off work to spend some extra time with Zeb, Pat and I. It turned out to be a wonderful week for our family.

Pat and I were very happy to have the entire family back in the area for a week. Zeb spent lots of time with Rayna out and about in Sioux Falls. Of course, Pat and I joined them at times. We also got together to watch some movies on DVD and in the theater. In addition, we continued our hunt for vinyl music in Sioux Falls at I-29 Antiques, Last Stop CD Shop, Ernie November, and Total Drag. We all bought mostly used vinyl, which is my preference (it’s good for the budget). Of course we also ate out a few times in Sioux Falls. Perhaps my favorite times were late at night, when Pat, Zeb and I talked and listened to music, while Zeb and I played pool in our family room until about 1-2am. It was a great week.

Although all good things come to an end, Pat and I decided to extend the visit by accompanying Zeb back to Fargo. We actually like Fargo very much (strange but true). Therefore we drove to Fargo with Zeb and spent some time at the Holiday Inn Express (again). We enjoyed visiting Zeb’s apartment and checking out some of our favorite Fargo eateries and retail establishments together. It was great to spend more time just hanging out together, and amazingly we didn’t detect any frustrations between us (although that could have been everyone working hard to maintain good behavior). We ended our visit with our traditional brunch at a restaurant before leaving town.

It always makes me sad when our visits with Zeb end, because I don’t know how long it will be until we see him again. However, we are very proud of him and Rayna. They have grown into two wonderful and responsible adults.

Please give our love to your family and take care.

Me wearing my Fargo Record Fair shirt



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