8 hours ago
Thursday, April 12, 2012
Farewell to Watts Hardware
Tonight I went to the farewell, in the local church hall, to John and Anne Watts. John ran Watts Hardware in Marsden Village for thirty-seven and a half years. (I got this photo off Google, so it's not very good.) It was a lovely old-fashioned hardware shop, stocking an astonishing range of things. About ten years ago I wandered in one day and found a beautiful, not-too-big traditional roasting dish, complete with rack. Harvey was very pleased with it and used it a lot for his famous roasts.
Everyone who served me there was really helpful and kind, endlessly patient with my dim questions about the finer points of paint and sandpaper, handles and glue. The last big thing I bought was a kind of solid rubber wedge, to form the end of the new ramp at our front door. It was quite expensive, but they knew it was for Harvey, and gave us a really good price. But the ramp was finished only a month before he died, so he hardly used it.
John Watts is getting on, and now he's not in good health, so he's had the big sale and closed down. It feels like the breaking of another link to my past life, both with Harvey and with the kinds of shops and shopkeepers I grew up with in Auckland's Mount Eden. So like everyone else around here, I'm really sad to lose him.