About seven (7) years ago an older friend of mine, Craig, was having living and financial problems. I think he was getting some type of public assistance after he had to move out of his old family house after it was sold. I'd known him since I was 19 and am in my early forties now. I was an up-and-coming DJ/producer of dance music and he was a very powerful and influential promoter and manager of a popular dance music label at the time.
He had a very rare pristine vinyl record collection that all the DJs and producers wanted to get their hands on. The record collection reached mythical proportions.
So my friend told me he had to move out of his apartment and could not afford storage for his records, so I jumped to offer my assistance because I had dreams of being a world class DJ and producer (I still do) and have made good progress over the years with some vinyl releases mostly exported to Europe dance scene. This is a very large record collection, I guess easily over 10,000 records over 100 heavy boxes had to be moved and stored in my bedroom.
After about 2 years my girlfriend told me that I have to do something with all those boxes, they're taking up the whole bedroom, so I told him to take care of them. He wanted to go in and out of the boxes to take records out and record them at my house, but I said no because it would be disruptive to my life and go on and on. We came to an agreement that he could come over and record them from time to time if I could get ownership of them. I bought some large record shelves for more permanent storage because I was under the impression that they were now mine.
Now after 7 years he reached out to me saying he wants the records back, even though I have been storing them for so long and spent a lot of money to do so. Over the years he never said he wanted the records back. He only referred to how some of the records in the collection have gone up in value. Now he says he wants to come to my house and pack everything up personally and anything else I may have got during the move like wall pictures, art, desk, etc.
*** Would like to add his decision to give me the records did not come quick or forced , my girlfriend and Landlord started to complain about me having over 100 boxes in the bedroom for a long time so I had to do and say something . He wanted to have access to the records which could be in any of the 100 plus boxes and going in and out of them presented a mess because the boxes wouldn't sit neat anymore and would start to look like a big mess . He told me the only way he could have access to all the records were if they where put up neatly on record shelfs but I told him that I would only do that if they were mine because I didn't want to display something in my home that wasn't mine . He had every right to take them and I did not rush him at all . And I remember destinctily him telling me a story that his close record collecting friend said to him that he should just give me the records , and I thought wow thats cool for him to share that with me and maybe he will give them to me , I didn't know for sure , them He told me I can have the records and he was going to come over and set me up with them and he told me to take care of them . I wasn't sure if he would give them to me because he asked me before if he could move in with me but I said no , I don't think thats a good idea so I thought maybe he was unhappy at me because of that .
How can I ask him to honor his agreement to not take back the gift he gave me so many years ago without causing a big fight?