Imagine being able to buy a horse collar and a hula hoop, a washboard and an instant-read meat thermometer in the same store. I am enticed by the fine selection of enamel ware in a wide range of colors, and long to ask whether they carry Bliss Foot Soak. Bliss, a powder containing salicylic acid, was packed in a cylindrical cardboard container -- goldenrod yellow with black printing if I recall correctly. It has nothing to do with similarly-named products being marketed today in blue plastic tubes,
Crow's is a True Value Hardware store. Visiting their website, I learn that True Value is a coop owned by individual store owner/operators. A light dawns. This is why True Value stores are so different from each other -- ranging from the glitzy Koontz Hardware in West Hollywood (virtually next door to the Pacific Design Center) to Crow's in Lostine (pop. 283) .
According to another of Tru's postings, M. Crow and Company General Store is for sale. It's only 200 miles from our Idaho farm. Will I get there in time to see it before it goes the way of the Star Merch, Orville Jackson's, and so many other rural retailers that served our parents and grandparents?
I feel privileged to remember shopping in stores with softwood floors, where "brown paper packages tied up with string" was a way of doing business rather than a song lyric.