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“I just felt I had to write and express my complete dismay…”

23 March 2011

Store date: 29 November 2007

After I announced the imminent closing of Laser’s Edge in an e-mail sent to the customer base on 1 November 2007, I received a flood of e-mails that I later stashed away in a folder.  Most of these form a chorus of “Say it ain’t so!” and I can easily become wistful scanning through them.  One letter, in particular, always gets me.

I remember reading this letter when I first received it in my inbox over three years ago. It moved me deeply. I don’t know that I had ever received such a heartfelt note; I certainly hadn’t received one written with such grace.

29 November 2007

Fred:

You will not know who I am by reading the name at the end of this message though I suspect you would recognize my entire family if (and when) we step into your store. I just felt I had to write and express my complete dismay at the closing of Laser’s Edge.

I am truly at a loss to know where I will go to get my music “fix.” Perhaps I am partly to blame as I/we are a Napster and iTunes family but those will NEVER replace the rush I feel when I walk through your doors and through some conversation with you or your staff find some really great and usually overlooked gem that turns out to be a must-have.

Even more than the sadness that my husband and I feel, my real concern is for my kids, ages 5 and 11. I have just assumed that Laser’s Edge would be where my 11 year old would get his first part-time job, or at the very least would be the place he would spend much of his allowance and free time once he was old enough to ride his bike to your store. He has been a true music lover since he was very young (as opposed to his ripe old age now) and several times you or one of your staff has taken the time to talk with him about the latest with the Strokes or what in the world Christian Punk is when he went through his Hawk Nelson phase. His music education will be lessened with the closing of Laser’s Edge. He too feels the loss and has been upset to hear the news.

As for my 5 year old, who I must admit tends toward the Kidz Bop side of music at the moment, there is also an impact. The last time we were in the store she had the headphones on and was listening to Bruce Springsteen’s latest. She had those oversized headphones on her little face and was rockin’ out and said “Hey mommy, this guy is good!” Because I too wanted to listen to a sample of his latest I had to force her off the headphones so I could get a listen. The only way I coerced her off of Bruce was convincing her she would enjoy Bettye LaVette’s latest. So there we were, me listening to the Boss, my 5 year old listening to Bettye LaVette while my 11 year old was deep in conversation about John Mayer with the gentleman behind the counter. A true and unique “only in Homewood” experience.

And though I cannot speak for my husband, I know that he will have one less place to go to find me that little gem of a birthday or Christmas gift that I have not heard of and that he probably bought based on your recommendation, and that I always love and appreciate. Last year it was Hem. So I thank you for that!

So this is just the impact on one small family in Homewood and I know there are many more stories such as this that you may or may not have heard since you announced the closing of Laser’s Edge. I will miss your store, your weekly e-mails and mostly your true appreciation and love of music that you have been so willing to share with my family over the past 8 years.

Good Luck to you. You will be missed.

In musical respect,
The [——–] Family

A couple of weeks after I received this e-mail, Mrs. [——–] walked through the door of my shop. Inventory had become noticably thinner, and frames were beginning to come down off the wall. She looked right at me and smiled warmly before the door had even shut behind her. “Did you get my e-mail?” she asked. I immediately knew who she was. Though she accurately said at the start of her note, “You will not know who I am by reading the name at the end of this message though I suspect you would recognize my entire family when we step into your store,” I knew this kind person could only have been referring to one e-mail. No one else could have written it.

And, for the record, I remember having that conversation about John Mayer.

~

This post originally appeared in slightly different form at Spitball Army on 15 October 2010.

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4 Comments
  1. Tish permalink

    It’s a gift to know that you have touched people’s lives in some way. Many of us live our whole lives without knowing we have made an impact.

  2. upset permalink

    I have to admit as one who grew up going to Laser’s Edge, I was terribly upset to find that it had closed. I knew it was a local store, but it seemed to always do so well with a great taste in music. It reminded me slightly of that movie Empire Records except without all of the immature teens running amok. My mother would only shop there, we would spend hours on road trips listening to different samplers from the store. I had always assumed that it was just going to be an institution considering all of the acclaim and music it brought. I was surprised to see it gone when I came back to town for the Holidays and I decided I needed to see where it moved to. Only now am I discovering that it is no longer, and I must say that the world of good musical taste has eroded slightly.

  3. Hey, Jeb (and a belated “Hey!” to you, Tish).

    Thanks for your thoughtful message. I’m glad to know that you keep memories of the store. I’m carrying a few, myself.

    Fred O.

  4. jody dubois permalink

    Fred— Miss you. Jody

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