I love small independent stores, and, as time goes on, they seem to be getting harder to find
[In the interests of full disclosure, I am typing this on my husband’s 10 yo laptop in the cafe at Borders while my daughter is at dance. Sadly, the independent bookstore near here closed earlier this year. But, all I’ve bought here is a cookie (which gives me the right to type in the café.)]
Anyway, I love finding and patronizing new, neat independent stores. One of the ones that I’ve been going to the longest is Pandora’s Mailbox in Blowing Rock, NC.
Now, we’ve been staying in or near Blowing Rock for our fall vacations for the last 14 years (one of the advantages of home schooling is that you can set your own schedule so, while all the other kids are in school, ours are spending a week or two hiking amidst brilliant fall colors). We’ve watched a number of businesses come and go. Every year, when we drive through for the first time, we exclaim over the new ones or the ones that remain.
Pandora’s Mailbox has been there longer than we’ve been going there. It’s owned by a woman who is usually there, and occasionally one of her grownup children is too. She’s great to talk to about folk/acoustic music and always has new things to recommend to (and play for) people. We budget CD’s from her store into our vacation budget every year. One new (to us) singer this year was Terence Martin. She was playing the CD and talking to another customer about it: “He plays beautifully, and looks like a young Harrison Ford! (It turned out to be a good CD.) One year she was talking to us about John Gorka’s newest CD: “His music isn’t as good since he got happy.” (I don’t totally agree, but I see what she means).
She also has cards, jewelry, and other things, but I always head straight for the CD’s. If you’re ever in Blowing Rock, it’s on the same side of Main St. as the park and just south of it.