Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Aden: Random Memories 10: Steamer Point

For me Steamer Point was Aden. It is probably the area I liked the most (apart from the beaches and swimming pool at Khormaksar). Most shops were on The Crescent and in the cool of the evening, lights enticed one inside. Here my parents bought a transistor radio from an electrical shop run by Indians (I think they were Sikhs). Until the old thing fell apart from much wear and tear, especially in its latter years when it went with me to college (my parents having upgraded to something more modern, reliable and not falling apart!) it was our radio set. Things were built to last in those days!
Steamer Point was also a commercial centre, since the harbour landing stage was there. Among all the shops, one of my favourites was a book shop, where I bought my own pack of de la Rue Patience playing cards. I also bought some books there, including a Puffin paperback ‘The Little Grey Men’ by the strangely named author ‘B.B.’ I loved that book. Now it has probably fallen apart and is rotting in a landfill site somewhere, if it has not suffered the worst fate of a book, being burned.
‘Melody Corner’ was a record shop. It was an Aladdin’s cave to me. Even to this day I love to seek out good record shops, even the online variety. I loved the sight of the LP covers.  The size of the CD jewel case does not stand up to the larger canvas offered by the LP sleeve to a graphic artist’s imagination. I’m not saying every LP sleeve was a work of art, but I doubt if the many CD covers will be celebrated in 50 years or so in quite the same way.
Presents from there for me included a Chipmunks’ Album. ‘Ragtime Cowboy Joe’ was a favourite track of mine as Alvin rode from one side to the other. The magic of stereo came to life in our new Black Box record player. It was so sleek and up to the minute and now we could buy stereo records and listen to them properly all the time, or, more accurately, this child could sit transfixed as the sound went from one side of the box to the other while my parents more than likely rued the day they bought the LP and wished I would get fed up with it sooner rather than later.

© 2012 Gwailo54

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