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Local man offers a real ‘blast from the past’ selling old vinyl records at the fleamarket

July 26, 2019
By KATIE EGAN ( , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

George Powers loves old country music.

Today he's helping the younger generation discover a new way to listen to their favorite bands. And those who belong to the older generation, like Powers, are reconnecting with tunes from their youth.

To find the North Fort Myers resident and his "Green 86" stall at the Fleamasters Fleamarket, all you have to do is follow the music and look for the old record players. You can normally find Powers there from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Friday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday.

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George Powers with his record collection and other related items at the fleamarket.

Powers loves old country music from the 1950s because his family was always playing it while he was growing up. He has been drawn to the genre ever since.

"It was on the radio when I was a kid," he said. "I was old enough to understand the singing and all that."

Johnny Cash is his favorite. That's just one of the singers you'll hear permeating the halls of the fleamarket's green aisle.

Once you see old albums displayed on boxy, old console stereos, you'll know you're in the right place.

Before Powers set up shop at Fleamasters, at 4135 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., in Fort Myers, he worked as a deliveryman at Pepsi for 30 years.

For the past 25 years, Powers has been at the fleamarket selling a variety of items. He started selling imported Mexican statues, then clothes, and then toys. In the past five years since, he has primarily been selling records -- he has amassed over 10,000 of them.

Although, Powers says that doesn't seem like a lot to him, on a recent Sunday morning, for example, he added 100 new albums to his inventory.

"I buy more and they keep coming in," Powers said and laughed.

There are tables with records priced from $2 to $5 and others ranging from $4 to $20. Powers also sells record players, some toys and a few odds and ends.

"Once in a while, I pick up a Beatles album," Powers said. "And those are worth more."

It doesn't matter if someone is 12 or 72 years old; he sells records to all different generations of vinyl lovers.

Powers has albums from all genres, but bands like The Beatles and The Rolling Stores are his best sellers.

From Monday to Thursday he visits local thrift stores to look for records. He'll start in Fort Myers and go as far as LaBelle or Punta Gorda.

"Depending on where I've been," Powers said. "If I've been somewhere last week, I'll go in another direction this week."

A couple of other local record stores offer him albums they have too many of or albums that have minor scratches on them, but are in otherwise good condition.

Powers thinks music sounds more crisp and clear on a vinyl record. He thinks it's something people will understand once they hear it for themselves.

"The young kids will come up to me and look at the record player and ask what it is," he said. "They even say it sounds good.

"The older ones know all about the sound," he continued. "They know records are coming back really strong."

Powers said it took him by surprise when records started to make a comeback.

"Most of these records are from the '40s and '50s," he said. "And they still play really good. And the CDs, well, they discontinued CDs."

Powers' stall in the Fleamarket has gained a bit of a following.

"A young man came in. He was probably 10 and his sister was probably 12. He went to one pile and he got what he wanted. The girl got what she wanted," Powers said. "And then the father came and got what he wanted from this stack over here. They're all into it."

In addition to helping others discover new music and a new way of enjoying it, Powers likes interacting with people.

"I love the people. Talking to my regulars and meeting new people," he said. "It's my retirement job and it keeps me going."



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