Self-reliance and sustainability in the 21st century.
My hardware store, the one I’ve adopted as mine, is part of a chain but behaves like one of those old neighborhood places with bins and nooks and crannies to explore, something to meet almost any task, and folks who’ve been at it so long they know what they’re talking about.
Most of the times I visit, about a half-dozen people are working, and some or all greet me with hellos or offers to help. One old boy is seven feet tall or close to it, and always wearing bib overalls. Someday I’ll ask where he finds them in his size. Another guy, who I gather is the boss, has a bit of Wilford Brimley in his looks, complete with roundish wire rims, but his ’stache is not the full Brimley.
This is where I buy bales of straw for the chickens, bird netting for our fruit trees, nails sold by weight, the occasional drill bit, sometimes ammo to keep the squirrels at bay, fencing wire, and pretty much whatever I need. The Lowe’s 10 miles away is a little cheaper, but I never learn anything when I go there.
A couple of days ago I walked in, we said hi, and I headed back into the bowels of the place to poke around and find something that I don’t recall just now. There had been six of them standing or sitting behind the counter when I entered. When I returned to the front, only Wilford was there.