Marsha Wagoner: Kayaking into the sunset??

by Monica Hoel
After 80 years in business, Farmer’s Hardware in Sparta is saying goodnight.

Marsha Wagoner’s family has owned and operated Farmer’s Hardware on Main Street in downtown Sparta, North Carolina, for more than 80 years. But Marsha has decided it’s time to retire. The long hours and lack of vacation time have given her a reason to consider changing her lifestyle a bit. 

But it’s clear from the steady stream of visitors to the store that the business’s closing will leave a real void in the community. And based on the fact that she knows every customer by name it doesn’t seem to be the 30% off sale that is bringing folks by the hardware. Customers are leaving with everything from nuts and bolts to cute home decor – and no one gets away without personal assistance and a little friendly conversation. And there’s probably nowhere else in Sparta with a better selection of flamingos (Marsha’s personal favorite decor item).

She doesn’t seem worried about how she’ll spend her anticipated free time. She’s hopeful for more time on the New River with her gang of kayak buddies (“Pirates of the New”) who love to be on the water. And, happily, the first thing she said during a December 21 visit was, “I think we might be able to make it to Homecoming now!” 

 

Submitted 12-21-17

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  • <div class="lw_news_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/news/296-a-st-judes-hero"><picture class="lw_image"> <source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,48,764,812/3319_20180125_123141.rev.1519077228.webp 1x, /live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,48,764,812/3319_20180125_123141.rev.1519077228.webp 2x"/> <source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,48,764,812/3319_20180125_123141.rev.1519077228.jpg 1x, /live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,48,764,812/3319_20180125_123141.rev.1519077228.jpg 2x"/> <img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,48,764,812/3319_20180125_123141.rev.1519077228.jpg" alt="Emily Tolley Boyles" width="345" height="225" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,48,764,812/3319_20180125_123141.rev.1519077228.jpg 2x" data-max-w="764" data-max-h="764" loading="lazy"/> </picture> </a></span></div><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_news_headline"><a href="/live/news/296-a-st-judes-hero">A St. Jude’s Hero</a></h4><div class="lw_news_summary"> Emily Tolley Boyles said she’d NEVER run a full marathon. But that was before she met Mighty Max. <a href="/live/news/296-a-st-judes-hero" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div></div>
  • <div class="lw_news_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/news/2789-dr-dc-cobler-selected-eamph-alumni-association-for"><picture class="lw_image"> <source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,600,600/13480_DC_cobler.rev.1678123903.webp 1x"/> <source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,600,600/13480_DC_cobler.rev.1678123903.jpg 1x"/> <img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,600,600/13480_DC_cobler.rev.1678123903.jpg" alt="Dr. D.C. Cobler E&H Class of 1995" width="345" height="225" data-max-w="600" data-max-h="600" loading="lazy"/> </picture> </a></span></div><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_news_headline"><a href="/live/news/2789-dr-dc-cobler-selected-eamph-alumni-association-for">Dr. D.C. Cobler Selected E&H Alumni Association for James A. Davis Faculty Award</a></h4><div class="lw_news_summary"><p> This award is given to an E&H faculty member with a distinguished record of excellence in teaching who haas shown exceptional service beyond the classroom thereby helping to promote the good name of Emory & Henry. <em>This award is named for the first E&H alumnus to return to E&H as a faculty member, Professor James A. Davis, E&H Class of 1845.</em></p><a href="/live/news/2789-dr-dc-cobler-selected-eamph-alumni-association-for" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div></div>
  • <div class="lw_news_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/news/2043-betty-sexton-has-opened-a-barbecue-restaurant-in"><picture class="lw_image"> <source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1369,1364/10356_betty_sexton.rev.1633520591.webp 1x, /live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1369,1364/10356_betty_sexton.rev.1633520591.webp 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1369,1364/10356_betty_sexton.rev.1633520591.webp 3x"/> <source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1369,1364/10356_betty_sexton.rev.1633520591.jpg 1x, /live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1369,1364/10356_betty_sexton.rev.1633520591.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1369,1364/10356_betty_sexton.rev.1633520591.jpg 3x"/> <img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1369,1364/10356_betty_sexton.rev.1633520591.jpg" alt=" Betty Sexton Emory & Henry Class of 1987 " width="345" height="225" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1369,1364/10356_betty_sexton.rev.1633520591.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1369,1364/10356_betty_sexton.rev.1633520591.jpg 3x" data-max-w="1369" data-max-h="1364" loading="lazy"/> </picture> </a></span></div><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_news_headline"><a href="/live/news/2043-betty-sexton-has-opened-a-barbecue-restaurant-in">Betty Sexton Has Opened a Barbecue Restaurant in Richmond</a></h4><div class="lw_news_summary"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Betty Sexton is ready to Smohk the competition.</span> <a href="/live/news/2043-betty-sexton-has-opened-a-barbecue-restaurant-in" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div></div>