A storefront window of Dual Supply, a hardware store on King Street in Hillsborough North Carolina. Peering into the window finds marks of a genuine locally-owned business, not the Wal-Mart style “Home Improvement Warehouses” that litter the suburban exits of American highway systems. A watering can, an ice cream maker from another generation, the painted owl sold to keep birds out of the backyard garden. Even an umbrella seems old-fashioned now; everyone under 35 wears “breathable, waterproof laminate seam-taped and micro-stitched into rain-wear systems” (i.e. overpriced rain jacket) to duck the rain on trips to the supermarket.
The window bears other marks of a business indigenous to this street for decades. Flyers brought in by longtime customers are taped to the back of the window, advertising barbecue suppers and church harvest festivals. Raising money for the building fund, or someone’s relative who went ass over teakettle on their motorcycle, and didn’t have insurance.
Another flyer draws attention to a product sold in-store, “SUPERthrive” Vitamines-Hormones. The advertised objects are pills to be taken daily, with the intended value to the ingester being seemingly out of date superlatives like “vitality.”
The most inviting advertisement is a home made one, inviting the passerby to purchase “Custom Hoola-a-a Hoops.” The inexpensive price and fascination of having a toy 50 years past its prime custom fit to your specifications has hopefully meant a historic run on the product by the inhabitants of Hillsborough and surrounding cities and towns.