ROCKINGHAM — Visitors to Thursday’s Affair on the Square didn’t find the rain of past years, but the oppressive heat did send them into and out of air conditioning.
Which, apparently, helped a few people find shops they hadn’t known were there and were glad to find.
“I like the variety of things” to see, said Dana Hodges of Hamlet, who cruised the downtown streets with a couple of friends, all of whom professed Willow Tree Antiques to be their favorite find of the day.
“It’s not the same things with each passing (of an outside booth, and) it’s a great way for us to learn what uptown has available.”
Booths lining the street sold everything from plant arrangements to pickles, and services from ghost hunting to cosmetics.
Conner Hutchinson hawked his pickles, which he has been making since taking a speech class at Richmond Community College four years ago. Faced then with a plethora of homegrown cucumbers and an assignment dictating that he describe some sort of process, he chose pickles.
On Thursday, he had sold about 10 jars of spicy or regular dill pickles lined up in sparkling clear containers. But he admitted he had sold three times that many at the Scotland County hospital at which he is an emergency room tech.
“As soon as warm weather hits, I start getting harassed (for pickles) at work,” he said in mock lament.
His business no longer uses homegrown pickles, he said — although he does try to buy local produce.
Aside from the booths lining the sidewalks, stores along Washington Street opened their doors to show off their wares to people who one suspects were seeking only a cool respite from the heat.
The summery women’s clothing at Simply Chic, the face jugs displayed at the Richmond Area Arts Council, and the music of Chris Herring and Roger Campbell inside Hudson Brothers all sang their own siren songs to passers-by.
Still, owner Ellen Brannock maintained that she had the better job than the three women inside Helms Jewelers:
She got to shoot the breeze with people passing by and didn’t have to wait on anyone.
Reach Christine Carroll at 910-817-2673 or [email protected]