The Flea Market’s Tractor Beam

Thankfully the wet season has passed in Bogotá, Colombia. We are now blessed with beautiful Sun-filled days. I took the Sun for granted when I lived in Australia. I really did, until I lived in a tropical climate. The months October, November, April and May experience twice the usual monthly precipitation here in Bogotá. The constant deluges, overcast weather and thunderstorms can get you down after a while. So it came as a great relief when the 1st of December arrived and the clouds parted and the Sun shone in all of its glory and continues to do so…. This reminds me of a great bit from George Carlin called ‘The Sun Worshipper‘.

Any-hows, the other day I was out with my family here in Bogotá basking in this miraculous ball of gas at the centre of our solar system. Truth be known a Sun-shower did momentarily fall while the kids were playing in the park, but I liked how the droplets just brushed against us – ‘don’t mind me’. After the park we found a flea market and low and behold – as we entered I felt the force was strong with this one. It was reminiscent of that tractor beam which pulled Han’s and the whole crew into the Death Star in a ‘A New Hope’.

With the grand majority of artesian-Flea Markets I have no intention of buying, but I felt different this day. I wanted to let my wallet do the talking. At the first stall I bought a packet of grounded coffee cultivated in the Sierra Nevada. Thereafter the tractor beam pulled me further along to a large stall which displayed ‘old LP records’ that had been cut and designed to feature grandiose musical artists and movie icons. I knew this was it and where the tractor beam originated. I regret not having taken a photo with the effervescent vendor and her stall.

I asked the lady if she had a disc of Bob Dylan and she said she did! As she scrummaged through her disks I wondered if this disc was where the force-field had emanated. She found the LP disc which featured two silhouette figures of Dylan made out of his ‘Infidels‘ record. I gazed upon it with a certain unease since the nose of Dylan seemed disfigured and I didn’t feel it was an accurate depiction. What a shame since I was enamoured with the idea of having an original Bob Dylan record cut-out to feature him. The effervescent lady said she would go to work on making a better disk. There’s no doubt I admired her gusto.

So the source of the tractor beam which pulled me to this stall remained elusive. Normally I would have moved onto another stall in light of seeing Dylan’s nose disfigured, but I persisted to scan the large array of discs. I noticed Pearl Jam’s disc, which was cool and I gazed further to the right and then…I found it, finally! What had brought me here. Time really seemed to stand still as I pierced into the epicentre of what drew me here. Da Dadaa!

Truly, I was astounded how someone had thought of the idea of converting an old John Williams – Star Wars soundtrack into a ‘not fully operational Death Star’ as seen in ‘Return of the Jedi’. Not only that, but to have silhouettes of key personages and moments on the ledges and parts in between. I mean…the artist who came up with this …is a f/&ing genius in my book! Hence, this obscenely GREAT montage stands proudly in my living room above my book library. Unbeknownst to me the lady added to the packaging something I wasn’t expecting which also adorns my library. After I entered my apartment, naturally I wanted to unveil the ‘still not fully operational death star’. As I did so. I realised she had packaged this disc inside a LP cover that features wondrous figures from Colombia. Christmas had arrived early for me and I was in seventh heaven.

Above is the LP cover which contained the Star Wars Disc. Sometimes I wonder which I like seeing more – the disc or the LP cover ‘Salpicon‘. Salpicon in English means a splash of things, like a mix of salads or tropical fruits. The album as the title suggests is a splash of reggaeton music which is very popular in Latin America. Whichever way I see it, I feel blessed to be the owner of these artefacts and I hope you enjoyed reading about one of the few times in my life I felt the pull of the tractor beam and reaped great rewards.

“The more I live, the more I learn. The more I learn, the more I realize, the less I know.”- Michel Legrand

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Posted in Reflections
2 comments on “The Flea Market’s Tractor Beam
  1. badfinger20 (Max) says:

    I love the Star Wars disc…that is so creative! The cover…that is a win win situation!!!
    I love Flea Markets Matt…I look for anything cool from the seventies.

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