Places I’ve been, revisited …

May, 1972 - Silken Thread dallies in a Hong Kong shop I couldn't stay away from.

David led Barbara down Nathan Road to visit The Radio People, Ltd., a legendary audiophile store not far from the hotel. “This is where I always ended up when mom and dad turned me loose.”

He was prepared to see the place transformed by the incursion of Japanese electronics, but it was much as it had been during his last visit — the sales floor dominated by custom built enclosures of walnut, teak and mahogany, McIntosh tube amps, Uher tape decks, Stanton turntables and Tandberg receivers.

The owner, Albert Chan, shooed a couple of Brits in tweed jackets out the door. “Smoke pipe outside, then come back. I have Xavier Cugat for you to listen.” He lifted his chin at David. “Hey, you got bigger. Why you hair dark now?”

They listened to Mr. Chan’s teak-clad Spectrum loudspeakers, laughably classified as ‘bookshelf’ at 40 pounds each, and a pair of Wharfedale-equipped, Danish modern burled walnut cabinets half the size of washing machines. Barbara saw the look in his eyes. “Are these the ones you’ve been mooning over since you were fourteen?”

“Ones like these. They’ll cost a fortune to ship.”

“They’re gorgeous, and you can’t buy this merchandise anywhere else. Let’s get them.”

She was enthralled by the district’s shopping corridors, channeled through buildings from street to street — stopping to purchase a London Fog raincoat, three scarves, a jade pendant, and rhinestone decorated collars for the dogs. “They’ll look so cute in these.”

David went into a shoe store, coming out empty-handed. “I’m going to stick with my Florsheims.”

They returned to the hotel at five, meeting David’s parents at the reception desk. Lieve Aarens squealed when she saw the collars. “Isn’t this the greatest town ever? Give us half an hour, and we’ll take you to dinner.”

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