rolling up The Red Carpet

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My head hangs low as I approach the store-front of a local staple. A slimy sidewalk divides the entrance from the parking lot and I glance skyward. A droopy hand triangle.jpgwritten sign hangs overhead which reads- Going out of business. I peer through the dusty window and realize that, like the VHS tapes that once lined the tall shelves, the sign is also outdated. By the look of the inside, “going” was a few hours ago. The walls are empty and a thick cloud of smoke gathers high against the flaky ceiling. The carpet, which was once a deep red, is scattered with debris and the walls moan like a dilapidated jalopy. Red Carpet Video on Tamarack was once a destination hanging.jpgfor giggling children and cuddling lovers, but is now just a bunch of memories rolled up in one dirty ‘ole red carpet.

I tap the glass window with my keys and smirk a smile to the former owner. She wipes the sweat from her brow and flings her long brown hair out of her face. I give a wave and she motions to let me in. We exchange laughter though the mood is far from that reaction. As I enter, I reflect on the hit-shelf.jpgmany evenings in which I wandered the aisles in search of the night’s entertainment. I chuckle at the pranks we played and the stories we told. I remember the customers we watched and the nicknames we gave them. The commotion of crashing wood awakes me from my mental doodles as splinters fling in my direction. A shelf becomes victim of a sledge hammer like the video store was one to the convenience of home delivered DVDs.

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I watch two former employees tackle the remaining furniture and shelves. A mess is created when I thought the goal was to clean it, but I can see the frustration in a business deal gone sour with each swing. Like a sneeze in an office, the emotion of the checkpoint.jpgsituation is contagious. With a hammer in my hand, I find myslef tossing weight through the air like a wild tomahawk. Cheers erupt with each hole as passers stop and watch.

The night carried on in this fashion until the the moon began to yawn and the stars became sleepy. With nothing more than wood scraps littered along the baseboards, we sat and reflected on the years we spent together, the people we met and the relationships we formed. Though the walls are bare and the shelves are empty, our minds are cluttered with memories that will always bring smiles and laughter.

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Out of all the businesses that have come and gone, which ones do you remember? What keeps that memory alive?

5 Responses to “rolling up The Red Carpet”


  1. 1 mimi Oct 22nd, 2008 at 6:46 am

    I’ve lived in Carlsbad since 1969, moving from San Clemente. Wow have I seen the the them come and go. My favorite is probably your Grandfather’s Billard hall on Elm st. we had 30 tables and a I spent many a summers cleaning all of them. We were in the TG@Y shopping center which is now Albertson’s and we were actually right where the bakery is.
    Your Grandfather was a local at the Golden Tee. Eventually the business changed to a golf pro shop/bike shop. You Grandfather was a character he always enjoyed being self employed and I am so glad he found Carlsbad and was such a wonderful part of its flavor back in the day.
    I am so proud to see my son carry on with his talents 30 years later.
    Grandpa would be so proud of you as I am.

  2. 2 jew jew bean Oct 22nd, 2008 at 5:20 pm

    If I was coming back to visit the bros in the hometown, I could always find E-man behind the counter at the CARPET. Now when I’m in town, I gotta drive all the way to Oceanside for a decent prono movie. Fucking Bush.

  3. 3 jew jew bean Oct 22nd, 2008 at 5:21 pm

    Also, i know it hasn’t really changed, but I miss ALBERTOS on the sign

  4. 4 jew jew bean Oct 22nd, 2008 at 5:22 pm

    i meant porno

  5. 5 SteelyDAM Oct 22nd, 2008 at 5:46 pm

    Kafana back when it was Kafana.
    Wherehouse Records (in spite of it being a chain)
    Thrifty’s.
    Mariah’s
    The Alley Bar, back before everyone and their brother discovered it. Almost no better place to spend a rainy weeknight in non-tourist season.

    And in case nobody’s mentioned it to you – your current gallery/studio occupies the space that used to be the office of Breakout – a rad California-only surf magazine that existed in the early to mid 80s. There’s your Cbad history lesson for the evening.

    Sorry I’ve been out of touch lately – been busy but then what else is new – no excuse, I know. Wife is knocked up with kid #4 and due in mid march – we’re giving the Mormons a run for their money! We will hopefully find out the gender next week, I have no strong opinion on whether I want a boy for once or yet another Grrrrl. Everyone here is good. Our short notice meeting in July was too quick, but at least it happened. Hope all’s well with you & yours.

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