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Old age ain’t no place for sissies
Bette Davis

Nobody is more surprised than me that I’ve reached the grand old age of eighty-five. Unbelievable really. What it means though is that it’s time to take stock of the worldly goods collected over all these years.

Personal memorabilia is divided among the family, photographs and films from their long-ago childhood; full of wonderful memories. Them not wanting the CDs and DVDs as they no longer have apparatus that can play these antiquated formats. Seems to be only yesterday when they were considered cutting-edge. Oh well!

I’m reading my way through my fiction library starting at A. I’ve already read two Kate Atkinson books, one of short stories the other, “Emotionally Weird”, just that, funny in a bizarre kind of way. A yellow dog is involved, wandering through a motley gang of young university students. And currently, inspiring me to continue with this post, the collection of Patrick Melrose novels: “Never Mind”, “Some Hope” and “Mother’s Milk” by the brilliant English writer Edward St. Aubyn. Exposing the stupidity, arrogance and uselessness of the upper-classes. One of my pet peeves. And just for a laugh the Welsh satirical comedy “The Old Devils” by Kingsley Amis. The library is extensive, collected over a number of years, so it’s not possible to imagine which letter of the alphabet I might arrive at.

Distributing the no-longer-used musical instruments posed no problem, the Hornby Island School auction taking my three saxophones, all apparently gobbled up toot suite – so I’ve been told. A room full of percussion is spread about among various artists to be put to musical and artistic use; a gong and a small selection of Chinese parade cymbals off up north to another island to become a musical construction in a forest, more gongs to a couple neighbourhood drummers and my marvellous sixties Ludwig Oyster Blue Pearl Super Classic drum kit, just like the kit Ringo Starr played, off to a dear friend who has lovingly rebuilt them with all new fittings and skins.

What to do with all those thousands of photographs, negatives, posters, articles, recorded music and my complete collection – spanning fifty years – of Coda Magazines. Well I’ve struck gold and been offered an archive at Simon Fraser University where all this material will be safe and available to researchers in perpetuum. Passing it all along to be continually useful for future generations is the idea. Sheila, my companion for the last – what? half century, did most of the collating, work that needed an organised mind, putting chaos in order.

So that just leaves the shelves filled with CDs and books. Media thought of these days as passed tense. Below are photographs of the CD collection which is available, as are the books to any interested party for a sensible remuneration. Contact me at classicimprov@yahoo.ca if this is of interest.

It is not clear how much longer I will continue these posts as not much of interest arrives these days. I’ve nothing to say about “our” new billionaire king and his joke queen. A good subject for an English comedy. Films, the subject seeming to be boring puerile fantasies digitally enhanced, violence disguised as superhero action figures, not a ‘real”actor in sight. Current popular music forms also of little interest and jazz, as with any number of other art forms, seem to have arrive at a point outside of my interest. Started I suppose with the inclusion of drum machines. Definitely artificial intelligence. None too bright. The rhythm disappearing, replaced by the noise emanating from the windows of passing cars.

And where is Monk, Miles, Bags, Trane, Ornette, Cecil, Albert…? I wonder. Are they to be encountered one more time? Perhaps a front row seat at Bardo’s! And never to forget the lost friends, loved ones, sprinkled among the tables awaiting service.