Last Sunday night, a local institution for music lovers took a massive hit as high winds and rain battered the area. Grand Prairie’s Forever Young Records lost a layer of its roof — designed to be rain-proof — in the storm, which caused the building to flood and resulted in significant damage to the store’s 11,000 square feet of vinyl and CDs.
Store manager Taylor Eckstrom and 10 others rushed to Forever Young on Sunday night after receiving a phone call from Grand Prairie police alerting them that their store had been hit. The worst of the damage was at the front of the store, and the team immediately focused on salvaging what they could, by vacuuming the floor, drying off records and sweeping up debris.
To protect the records from further damage as rain continued to come down in spurts between Monday and Wednesday, long black and white tarps were placed over all the racks, which were raised from the ground with two-inch boards. Insurance agents came by on Wednesday to begin evaluating the damage. While the damage is significant, not all of the stock was affected.
Regular shoppers of the store expressed their sympathy on social media once word got out on Monday morning.
“They’ve always been a collector’s paradise,” Chris Fitzgerald, a longtime shopper who lives near the store, wrote on Facebook. “It’s depressing that we all kind of live vicariously through music and you think it’s something there forever, and something like this happens. You realize music is as finite as we are.”
Forever Young started as a booth at Traders Village in the 1980s and later moved to a storefront in Irving. The shop found its current home near Mayfield Road and Highway 360 in Grand Prairie. “Thank you from Forever Young,” read a message on the store’s Facebook page on Tuesday morning. “We will re-open when we get a new roof.”
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Fitzgerald says he wants to do whatever he can to help the store get back on its feet, and he’s not alone. Many regular customers have volunteered their time to help dry off records at the store. “That place has provided me hours upon hours, probably days of entertainment, going through the aisles and stacks,” Fitzgerald said. “Anything I can do to help, I’m there for.”
Eckstrom said he expects the store to be open within a week.
“There’s a lot of product that was not affected. There’s some product that was,” he says. “Some product is in cellophane, so that wasn’t affected. Some of the records were wrapped twice. Every single record we have is in a sleeve.”
Eckstrom is looking forward to Saturday, Jan. 28, the date of a concert booked before the storm with Yellow #5 and Alan Fox Band. “We might open before then, but that will be the day,” he said.