• Mathura Hawley

cheap

Updated: Aug 2, 2021


They thought my enthusiasm was funny, so after my fifth or six purchase, they brought out a cardboard box of vinyl record albums. “These were our son’s. One dollar for the whole box.” "

I was raised upstate in a family that had garage sales, so I also spent a lot of time in other driveways around town, going through other people’s junk, trying to find cheap treasures I couldn’t live without. Tables of used drinking glasses for a nickel, boots that no longer fit growing kids, chipped ceramic ashtrays and garden tools. When you are a 13 year old poor kid, being able to get a painted rooster cookie jar for 25 cents makes you feel as if you had better grab it quickly before someone else realizes how awesome it is. There was an elderly couple, who I didn’t know, several streets over, getting rid of an attic full of stuff, and I went back and forth on my bike again and again, bringing back whatever I could carry. They thought my enthusiasm was funny, so after my fifth or six purchase, they brought out a cardboard box of vinyl record albums. “These were our son’s. One dollar for the whole box.” It was the late 1970’s, and I didn’t recognize any of the music, some of the albums still in plastic, never opened. With a bundle under my arm, I rode home and went straight to my room to play the mystery music. One had a yellow cover, a drawing of figures I didn’t recognize, with a border of flowers around the outside. I put the needle down, a pretty melody played and voices started singing over and over, “Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare….” I played it over and over again, singing along. It made me feel happy.



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