Thursday, December 3, 2015

I'll miss this place, though

I headed to a local Agway store that's closing, as after 40-some odd years, the owner's retiring. I have two other places that are closer to me where I usually go when I need something in the hardware or gardening line, and they can usually provide me with what I need. For the times they can't, I've gone to the Agway.

When I first went there several years ago, they had two black kittens. Rescues from someplace, and they posted a sign asking customers to be careful not to let the kittens out. The kittens were cute, black, and fuzzy.

They're quite handsome lads now, fully grown, long black fur. Zack and Jack. They clearly own the store and like being pet. There's also a yellow lab who's often in attendance, whose name I don't know, and who is also welcoming.

I've gone there two other times since the retirement sale started and found a couple things that I can use now or will use next spring and summer in the garden. At my last visit, a teenaged boy was my cashier, and I quipped, "You look a little young to retire."

He smiled and said, "I work four jobs, so when this one's done, I'll pick up hours at one of the others." Then he paused and said in a wistful tone, "I'll miss this place, though."

A pregnant pause ensued. The owner was saying hello to everyone who walked in, and knew nearly everyone's names. Other employees were helping customers by opening the door, helping to carry heavy items to their cars, or checking in back for an extra whatsit as only one was on the shelf, and the customer needed two.

I looked at the cashier, and his eyes nearly watered. Mine nearly did, too.

9 comments:

  1. This is exactly why I try never to shop at chain stores. We are losing our hometown stores at too rapid a rate!

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    1. Maria, I agree. The other two stores I go to are closer and not chain stores. The chain stores are always my stores of last resort.

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  2. Our neighborhood hardware store closed recently. I think the owner was ready to retire. He sat in there with his chihuahua and a sign that said BEWARE OF DOG, and it was serious because the chihuahua was an angry biter. The place was dusty and didn't have much inventory, but I'm always sorry to see a neighborhood business close. The local florist closed a year or so ago. Now a bar is in the florist's old spot--exactly what we don't need.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. Janie, there are two local hardware stores near me, and the one has all kinds of things that are just handy. Like the Agway, the people who work there are always happy to help you find whatever gizmo it is you need, and more often than not, will ask you if you know how to use it if you look a little unsure.

      I think the owner of the Agway is ready to retire, too. I can't say I know his age exactly, but I'm guessing he's early to mid-seventies.

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  3. Back in the UK, in Brighton, there was a real old-fashioned hardware store that always has a ginger tom sleeping on the counter in a box. He was such a well-loved cat that when he eventually passed away there were outpourings of grief from all quarters. The shop has now gone too, one used to be able to buy 4 six inch nails, and they came wrapped in a brown paper bag. Sadly such places are now fading fast.

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    1. True enough, Cro. Where I live is far-flung enough that many of the chains haven't made their way here. A few have started to crack the surface, although they are finding that business is seasonal. Some have flocked to them, at first drawn by the lower prices in some cases, and bigger retail space, but many have found their way back to the small store when the cheaper whatsit they bought broke and the big box store's solution isn't to fix it but to sell them another.

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  4. -worked at a cookery/hardware shop just off the high street in G'wich, London some years back. I can't tell you how many times I'd hear from customers how much of a treat it was to have us in their neighborhood. A walk 'round the corner seemed to be preferred over making the trek out to the massive B&Q down the road.

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    1. Yep, this place has a homey feel, too. In the last letter the owner sent around, he mentioned that the new tenant will continue selling hay and chicken feed, which was the first word I heard about what might be in store for the building. One of the two places nearer me do carry chicken feed, bt neither carries hay.

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