From fly fishing to hot sauce collecting

Last updated: August 10. 2013 10:26PM - 2092 Views
By Tanya Chilton

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As summer days roll on, with youth still out of school and long days, hobbies often take up that extra time.

There are many categories of hobbies. Some require physical exertion as in recreational sports, others are more creative as in crafts, art and writing. According to the article, Four Leadership Skills That Hobbies Help Build, by Gwen Moran at entrepreneur.com, hobbies improve function in the areas of decision-making, systematic thinking, creativity and confidence.

In pursuit of a hobby, people may be unaware of what inspires them; they may overlook the possibility of engaging in a fulfilling hobby. Ideas may be found on the web, at the library or by talking to store owners.

Local store owner of Robbies, Jake Robertson said, “Recreational sports and hobbies help keep people healthy and enjoying the outdoors.”

Fly fishing has become popular because of the greater skill it requires in comparison to other types of tackle used and also because of the delayed harvest season, said Robertson.

Robertson pointed out that the local area is conducive to fly fishing due to the amount of trout streams. Traveling a long way to fly fish is not needed for the local resident wanting to learn.

Dutch treat and a

‘serious’ toy hobby

In addition, outdoor enthusiast may find themselves drawn to a style of cooking that has become a hobby for both outdoor and indoor cooks around the world. Cast Iron dutch oven cooking is a style of cooking that has received a lot of press due to the health benefits, said Robertson.

Some of the larger Dutch oven pots are associated with gatherings and nostalgia, like a chicken stew.The International Dutch Oven Society has a huge following from around the world, said Robertson.

He also pointed to archery as an important sport and hobby. Competitions may be joined in archery and information found at Robbies.

The store owner said a popular trend for both kids and adults is the hobby of making of paracord bracelets. Robertson said he offers more than 140 colors of the cord for the hobby and recommended the internet as a way to learn the technique.

Paracord bracelets have origins as a survivalist functional type bracelet. They are able to hold cord in the form of a bracelet and can be disassembled if needed, said Robertson.

Just a little further down the street, the collecting of die-cast tractors and construction equipment has kept store manager Gail Hiatt of Mount Airy Tractor C. Inc., Toyland, busy with regulars for years.

“The collecting of diecast tractors and construction equipment is a “very serious hobby,” said Hiatt.

Hiatt pointed to one of the most popular prize finds, the John Deere Precision Tractor Model A with precision die-cast cultivators. Hiatt said it sales for $1,000 and is popular with local residents and visitors.

Hiatt said another favorite collectible is diecast metal petal tractors and pointed to a large bright red Farmall worth $2,500 on the shelf.

Old Standbys

At Mayberry Toy Store, the hobby outlook for both kids and adults still include the old standbys as favorites.

Employee Hallie Smith pointed to a race track in the front of the store, along with a brightly colored Carrera car.

“Most people when they come in go straight for this,” said Smith.

Smith said loyal enthusiasts and collectors continue to seek the highly collectible Madame Alexander Dolls.

Newer trends in the Mayberry Toy Store included boogie boards for sketching and idea brainstorming, homemade bow and arrows by Two Bros Bows, and steel puzzles by Metal Earth.

Memories on Main employee Jean Adams said she believes collecting antiques brings back memories for some. Others believe the materials antiques are made of are better, she said.

Adams said there has been a trend toward patrons buying old tins, carnival glass, books and cookbooks, vintage clothing or handmade items constructed with antiques. Antique tools are also popular collectibles found in the store.


Then, there are hobbyist, both local and around the world, that make it a hobby to find anything Mayberry.

Mayberry on Main owners Darrell and Debbie Miles, along with daughter Samantha, moved from Indiana more than 16 years ago to pursue their passion and dedication to anything Mayberry.

They turned it into the store business eight years ago. “We love what we do,” said the Miles family.

“Most people who choose Mayberry as a collectors theme “just want a piece of Mayberry,” said Darrell.

The hobby of collecting from the theme of Mayberry remains big around the world. Recently, customers from Germany visited to collect Mayberry collectibles, said the owners.

Darrell Miles has found a way to incorporate another leisure activity into the store, in the form of collecting and tasting hot sauces. Hot sauce taste samplings are held every weekend.

Some customers collect the bottles with the sauce without opening them. Miles said he consumes his. Mayberry on Main stocks nearly 500 varieties of hot sauce.

“I have about every kind of pepper represented that you can think of,” he said

The latest addition is a bottle made with the local Carolina Reaper pepper. The peppers are hot and have a great flavor, said Miles.

Books, albums and more

Used books, records, comic and prints await the hobbyist and collector at Yesterdays. It is a store where the patron is encouraged to take their time and savor the experience of a locating a find. There are approximately 25,000 albums, 20,000 single records, 100,000 books (new and old) and 40-50,000 comic books from which to choose.

On collecting old records, co-owner Joe Dellinger said the product comes with a built-in twofold enjoyment. Those are the nostalgia that certain songs and notes can evoke in relation to time and place; and the sound quality of vinyl that gives music more depth.

“Vinyl is making a comeback,” said Dellinger.

Dellinger said are some things in the store he will not sale. They include an autographed Fleetwood Mac album and an autographed album by Harvester.

“Part of the joy of having a hobby is passing that joy to somebody else. It is good to get things at a good price and sale at a good price,” said Dellinger.

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