Manning Brothers Hardware
A PLACE TO RELAX (By Eugene Hinton). Have you ever wanted to get off the fast track and go back to a time and place where lifestyles were more relaxed and people more considerate and nicer to each other? If you have ever wanted to return to those times, you need to pay a visit to Manning Brothers Hardware in Middlesex, North Carolina. I guarantee you will come away with a good feeling. You won't find bar code scanners or fancy computers. You won't even find a heating system beyond the large coal-burning stove where locals gather to have a soft drink and a pack of crackers and visit a spell.
Manning Brothers Hardware has been operating in Middlesex since 1954. Henry Manning, current owner, took over the store from his father in 1975 and has been dispensing general merchandise and friendly service ever since. Don't let his soft -spoken demeanor fool you. He has been a lot of places and knows a lot of things. While he has a nice, modern cash register, he will more likely figure your bill with a pencil and brown paper bag.
You can find all kinds of goodies in the store. Molasses poured into a glass jar from a five gallon bucket: garden seeds, fertilizers, all kinds of hardware including coal buckets and tin wash tubs. People come from miles around during the Christmas season to buy old fashion-candies and fruit. You won't believe all the stuff in there.
Take a few minutes sometime and go by and visit with Henry. Maybe you can even buy a thing or two. You will be glad you did.