|It was on the sad last week of August that a mysterious package from an unknown sender arrived at Atagong mansion. Packed in a brown plain cloth with a just distinguishable flowery motive, it was held together with thin brown rope and sealed with red wax.|
After breaking the seal and removing the cloth, two carton boxes
were revealed. One 7 inch (7-1/4 x 7-1/4 x 1/2" - approx.
185 x 185 x 16 mm) containing the text 'REEL FOUR' and, on the
spine, 'SPANISHGRASS GCA-19B 4B4.
A bigger 11 inch (11 x 11 x 3/4" - approx. 280 x 280 x 20 mm) is titled 'SPANISHGRASS 20 SONGS ABOUT SPACE AND SIESTA GCA-19B 4/4', on the spine 'SPANISHGRASS GCA-19B 4A'.
The small box contained a tape all-right. On an inlay from High
Fidelity GCA Sound, Purveyors of Fine Audio Equipment, are written
the following titles:
William Paips (1:10)
Stede Bonnet (2:08)
Gabriel Spenser (2:39)
Gospel At Noon (3:00)
Waste Deep (2:52)
The big box contained several wrapped packages, a CD and a letter, signed and sealed by Leopoldo Duran.
Here it is.
Written in the Galician language, we managed to scan, OCR and translate it as good as were able to.
Dear Felix Atagong,
I hope this letter finds you well. My name is Leopoldo Duran. I serve as a monk at the Monastery of Santa Maria de Oseira. If you are reading this, it means I'm dead, and that my heirs followed the instructions in my will to send you this parcel. Our abbey is a beautiful monastery dedicated to Our Lord and has been around for almost 900 years. Unfortunately. the weather was not so kind to our abbey as we had expected from our Lord; as such, a number of necessary repairs had to be carried out in many sections of several buildings.
One such recent repair involved a rarely used room that belonged to an old and dear friend of mine, who at the time expressly proclaimed his desire to remain forever anonymous. My friend would spend the morning hours of the Vespers in our yard, quietly and respectfully playing his guitar, singing songs that were inspired by his stay. I have many memories of him taking his reel-to-reel tape recorder very early in the morning, while the rest of us went to mass. In fact, I told him and his friends, many non-Catholics, who would also visit us that if they wanted to confess at any time, they could talk to me, instead of talking to this tape machine that didn't listen. None of them ever thanked us, but that's another topic.
My apologies, but my mind begins to wander at this age... we were talking repairs. A worker found a box embedded in the corner of the room of my friend, initially thought to be rubbish, as on top of the disorganized pile there was a note saying 'please burn this'. It appeared that it contained four tape reels from my old friend, along with a pile of old photographs and other things. As they were old, I thought it would be best to send these tape recordings to an expert to have them restored. A non-Catholic boy in the village told me about something called 'web'. This 'web' apparently has information and on my demand the 'web' found a place in the United States of America where they agreed to take the music performed on these four reels and produce one copy of something called 'digital'.
This American assured that these 'digital' music storage techniques are much more preferred for these older reels. He also said that to extract the music from these very old tapes, he had to 'feed' the reels. This made sense to me, because I suddenly remembered my dear old friend, explaining how he 'roasted' these tapes. Apparently, the process can be repeated many times but the tape starts to degrade; therefore, the American issued the following warning. ”Play this on a clean machine and make sure to register the first playing, as each additional playing will degrade the tape.”
Once again, after the North-American information about these 'records' I was at a loss about what to do next. I wanted to share this wonderful discovery to someone who wants it. Unfortunately, time makes disappear all things, and I think less and less people will recognize the name of my dear friend.
Also, next to my unyielding desire I was reminded of the promise to my friend to remain anonymous. "I would remain silent until my death...”, I said nothing then! I made the non-Catholic village boy do another search on this 'web' and let him come with four names. In my will I am instructing my heirs to send each one of the reels. Due to a communication error four 'albums' that contain the complete content of all four reels combined were put on a disc. Each 'disc' includes the content of the four combined reels that the American produced for me. I remember my friend saying at the time that these recordings are called 'Spanishgrass' and that they were 'twenty songs about space and siesta'.
It is my wish that this answers any questions you may have regarding this package you received unsolicited. If it gives you more questions, I can only tell you what I tell everyone. So Jesus and the Holy Church know it's true.
Many thanks to Mr. Anonymous for sending us this package.
♥ Iggy ♥ Libby ♥ Babylemonade Aleph ♥