JOHN CHAPPELL: North Notes: Robbins Alive! Farmers Day, Other Big Happenings on Tap
Early Farmers Day arrivals who get to Robbins hungry can eat their fill of flapjacks.
Tabernacle Methodist Church on N.C. 705 -- The Pottery Highway -- right at Hemp Street, will be peddling pancakes from 7 to 10 a.m. Saturday at a bargain price.
It's three hours of "all you can eat" for $5 in the Fellowship Hall, and the deal includes orange juice and sausage. It will also be a chance for Robbins folks and visitors to welcome Tabernacle's new minister, Mike Weber, and his college professor wife, Barbara.
The Webers came to North Carolina from Kansas back in 1980. He has seen a bit of the Old North State since then: down east in Bayboro and Stonewall, and the last 10 years at Fletcher's Chapel in Durham. His wife is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill who teaches at Meredith College in Raleigh.
The outdoor opportunities of northern Moore County are sure to appeal to him, as he is a sailor, an avid walker and cyclist, a watercolor artist and a fisherman. Look for him to hit Bear Creek some day soon in canoe or kayak joining other paddlers.
Elsewhere on Farmers Day, the local Vietnam Veterans of America chapter will have a booth downtown and will be selling chances on raffles with prizes ranging from Ben Owen's pottery to handmade articles of all kinds.
The newsletter that grew out of Robbins' participation in NC STEP is just out in its August edition, published as always in English as "Focus on Robbins" and -- on the other side -- in Spanish as "Enfocandose en Robbins."
One big announcement is for yet another festival day, this time a combination art show and boat race. It's Robbins' "Recycled Regatta & Art Contest" coming Sept. 12. "Don't throw your garbage away, use it to build a recycled boat to race down Bear Creek," says Randall Moore, the town's marketing director and proprietor of the Deep River Coffee Co., Robbins' unofficial downtown living room. "Start thinking about converting what you normally throw away into art. Only in Robbins will you get the chance to turn your garbage into gold."
Boats built from at least 70 percent recycled, reclaimed material will have four divisions: grades 3-5, 6-8, 9-12 and an open division.
Youngsters in kindergarten through second grade can race with an adult.
"Bring your finished boat or build it that Saturday with a build-it-on-site kit," Moore says. "You will need to reregister ahead of time at Town Hall. Racers will paddle an out-and--back course competing for speed, style and a few special awards -- like the not-so-coveted Titanic Award."
Application forms and a list of approved materials, safety regulations and other information are available at Town Hall, or online at www.TownofRobbins.com, the town's Web site. Moore has another option for folks who'd prefer to stay dry.
"Don't like to get wet? Then create your artistic masterpiece on or out of recycled material," he says. "The art show will have cash and gift certificates for the winners with the same age divisions as the Regatta Awards."
The awards ceremony will be held Thursday, Sept. 10.
"Go to Town Hall or the Web site for applications, details and ideas," Moore says. "Don't sit on the sidelines for these two unforgettable events only in Robbins!"
Not all the news from Robbins is good. At least two stores are closing. Middleton Mercantile will remain open only through Farmers Day weekend. An antique shop just up the street will shut down at the same time. However, other new stores have been doing a brisk business. One is Robin Shores' pet shop, Robin's Nest.
"Even in this economy, I'm happy to report that business is great," she says. "We are hiring! What's been the key to our success? We are always adding something. We listen to our customers -- when they ask for it, we try to stock it at a reasonable price."
Shores says Robbins is a town that loves animals, and that its residents have welcomed her and her shop.
"I've seen people put their pets before themselves many times," she says. "I try to meet my customers' needs. I've even recommended low-cost alternative remedies for their pets (that I don't sell) and folks really appreciate that. Our shop is family friendly too. Kids love coming here. And I enjoy that."
Shores has five kids of her own, three adopted children and two foster children. She started stocking only pets, but then added accessories, and then dog grooming, and now does pet boarding.
"We are completely booked every holiday," Shores says. "People want to go away but worry about leaving a member of their family behind."
And she doesn't do snakes, scorpions or spiders.
Contact John Chappell at 783-5841 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
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