My friend Phyllis and I were out yesterday to delivery her quilt to the Quilted Rose, a quick walk through Rosie's Calico Cupboard and lunch. We finished earlier than we'd planned so Phyllis suggested we stop at Ortwine's Hardware Store - little did I know I was stepping into a Time Machine.
This was the local hardware store when she was a child, before there was a Home Depot or Lowes. Seems that much of the stuff that was in that store in her childhood is still there. Not similar stuff - the exact same things!!!
At the front of the store was the usual key making machine with keys on revolving racks that are so rusty and dusty it appears the row of keys was welded into one single fat key. There were tools - no power tools that I saw but that wasn't the side I was interested in.
What I saw were the knitting patterns where all the models had huge shoulder pads and matching big hair. They had DMC embroidery floss that had been there so long some had no color on the ends of the window drawers. Two turn-table racks full of Susan Bates metal straight knitting needles. Circular needles that were in paper envelopes but the needle and cord were metal. There was a large variety of Aunt Lydia's Rug Yarn - I haven't seen that in decades. A whole rack of Aunt Martha's Yellow Iron on Embroidery Patterns.
The small knitting accessories were what attracted me along with the unbelieveable prices. Not only have they merchandise nearly as old as I am but they still had the same prices from when they originally were put out for sale! I found the good old barrel stitch counters for $1 and place marker rings for 75 cents!!
I had no idea if the barrel markers would even turn but I knew if they still worked they'd be the wonderful old kind that turn so easily. (I have a few that hurt my fingers they're so difficult to twist.) As soon as I was in the car I opened one and it turned so smoothly, no finger dents or pain - with two of these I'm a Happy Camper.
BTW the package opened easily by hand; no scissors, knives or pliers required like modern packaging.
(I understand the need for secure packaging for food and drugs that someone can poison but why do things like scissors get packaged so securely that you have to already own another pair of scissors or you have no hope of ever freeing your new purchase?)
Oh, and when I took my purchases up to the register they wrote up a recipt by hand and added it in their head plus figuring the tax, only then did they punch the total into the regisiter buttons. (Remember the rows of push buttons on the front of the huge register?)
I've been to Amish stores in Ohio and Indiana that were more up to date than Ortwine's. I came out of that store with my small bag of treasured finds, dusty and throughly entertained!