For the last 20 years Janet Back’s husband has been fighting Parkinson’s disease. As a classical music lover, he used to buy records to play on his old turn table. Because of the disease, he can’t do that anymore.
“He’s pretty much in late-stage Parkinson’s and can’t walk a lot of the time, and you have trouble understanding him,” Back says with tears in her eyes. They decided recently to move him into an adult home, and because he doesn’t have the dexterity to use the turn table, Janet decided to sell his record collection.
After calling several stores, she discovered that Bop Street Records (2220 NW Market St.) is one of the few shops with a significant classical music section. So she decided to sell them her husband’s collection.
A couple of days after the boxes were dropped off at the store, Janet remembered something – her husband used to stick money in record sleeves.
Voorhees showing where Back’s husband would stash money.
Bob Jacobs and Bop Street owner Dave Voorhees agreed to go through the nearly 1,400 records to look for cash. “When we had only found $200, we called Janet and she was just overjoyed with 200 bucks, so then it became my mission. Let’s find more and more and more!'” Voorhees recalls.
Eleven hours later, after going through each record twice, they had the final tally: $3,553 had been stashed away. “He had the money stuck down in the covers or in some cases inside the paper sleeves,” Voorhees says.
“I didn’t even know how I was going to pay the deductible on my insurance,” Back says of her car that was in the shop. “We just don’t have extra. I mean everything… we’ve just struggled for years.”
A Bop Street employee, Bob Jacobs, Cory Nelson of Viking Bank, Janet Back and Dave Voorhees
“I think the thing that just blew me away was, you know, in this day and age I think that ethics, morals and standards have really started to slip and I think there are a probably a large percentage of people that would’ve found that money and just put it in their pocket and I would’ve never been the wiser,” she said.
Back gave Voorhees and Jacobs a small portion of the money they’d found, even though they tried to talk her out of it. That money will be donated to the Ballard Food Bank in Back’s name.
“I’m sure someday someone will buy one of these albums and find a special little chunk of money,” Back laughs, “And they’ll go ‘Yee haw!'”