One of the things Raymond and I absolutely love about the Queensborough area is that there are still lots of old-fashioned auction sales there. In truth I shouldn’t even be telling you this, because the more people there are who know about the auctions of Hastings County, the more people there are who will come and bid against Raymond and me when we are hoping to get good stuff at a good price. But it is just so much fun to spend a lazy sunny Saturday at an auction, and with any luck at all come away with some treasures and/or bargains, that I can’t help going on about it. (As I have in the past, here and here for instance.)
I’m not sure if I would classify my most recent auction purchase as a treasure or a bargain, but I think I’ll say it falls into both categories.
It was – wait for it – a box of sheet music. Sheet music! Good lord, does anyone use sheet music any more? Does anyone publish it? Who knows? But back in the day, any popular song would show up on sheet music, so that amateur musicians could learn to play (and perhaps sing) it themselves on piano or guitar. I was never musical, but my sister, Melanie, was, and back in the days when we were growing up at the Manse I remember her buying sheet music (and books of collected songs) at music stores – and I remember they were always kind of expensive.
But not my box of sheet music! No sirree; I got a big overflowing box of everything from classic opera to Beethoven sonatas to the good stuff, the hits of the 1970s – all for the humble price of one dollar. Not that I had much time to rifle through it to see what might be in the box before making the quick decision to give up a dollar for it (oddly enough, no one else wanted it); but when we got home and I had a chance to go through it – wow! My musical past was all right there. Here are some highlights, and try not to be too jealous:
Okay, so we have this awesome vintage sheet music. Now what to do with it? We could frame it, I suppose; a bunch of these in a cluster would look seriously funky on some wall or other. But Raymond (who is going to be retiring at the end of this summer, and so can be thinking about new pursuits) has ventured of late that he’s always been sorry that he never had piano lessons, and wouldn’t mind starting now. And when I was growing up at the Manse, we always had a piano. And there might be a spare piano kicking around among the various members of my family. And I would know right where to put that piano in the Manse living room, for Raymond to practise on. And so that sheet music could then be put to very good use. All for one dollar!
Meanwhile, if you are at all familiar with the execrable yet strangely compelling MacArthur Park, I offer you this pretty funny commentary on it. Enjoy!