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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Albums Full Of Musical Memories

Inside the labyrinthine Masonic Temple, the line to get in to the auditorium Saturday morning stretched down a hallway and snaked up several flights of stairs.

“I hope it’s a big room,” said a guy near the end.

Then, right at 9 o’clock, the doors opened for the annual KPBX Recordings and Videos Sale.

A cheerful woman in a blue “Spokane Public Radio” shirt greeted the diverse procession as it filed into the vintage hall. “Thanks for coming,” she said. “Cookies and coffee on the stage.”

But these people hadn’t come downtown on a foggy morning to linger over ginger snaps. Most moved immediately to the categorized boxes of albums, tapes and CDs. It was time to mine some memories.

There wasn’t pushing and shoving. In fact, a lot of people exuded a laid-back uncombed weekend vibe. Still, it was shoulder-to-shoulder around some of the tables.

In the early going, it would have taken a large wedge to get up to the boxes of rock and pop LPs. Some people stood on tip-toes.

A blues song throbbed through the auditorium as the thumbing-through process began. “Lord, please have mercy,” the singer pleaded.

In hardly any time, more than a few of the early arrivals had amassed sizable stacks. And at just $2 a record, why not?

One little girl, who was holding albums for her quietly frenzied dad, struggled to get his attention and then informed him that he had two copies of Jethro Tull’s “Aqualung.”

“I know,” he said.

A twentysomething guy in a green jacket and ball cap held just one record, the Beatles’ “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.”

Another man walked around with a Supremes album and one by Willie Nelson.

It has always been fun to try to get a fix on someone by checking out his tastes in music. And that made the KPBX sale an entertaining spectator event as well as a fund-raiser.

You got to see a blond young man with his hair in dreadlocks holding “Donovan’s Greatest Hits” standing next to a guy in a cowboy hat clutching a Merle Haggard record.

There were too many choices to count … Bob Dylan, Burl Ives, Redd Foxx, Miles Davis, Vivaldi …

“I used to have this,” said a woman holding up a two-record set of Bernstein’s “West Side Story.”

A woman in a jean jacket took a copy of Cat Stevens’ “Tea for the Tillerman” out of its cover and squinted at the vinyl as she tipped it back and forth beneath the lights. “This has seen better days,” she said.

Haven’t we all.

, DataTimes MEMO: Being There is a weekly feature that looks at gatherings in the Inland Northwest.

Being There is a weekly feature that looks at gatherings in the Inland Northwest.

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