County Road 12 - Hardware Man

On the surface it may look like an ordinary small town hardware store. But take one step inside and you'll see it's anything but ordinary. As Debbie Williams found out that's due in large part to Johnny Jones, hardware man extrordinaire, and you'll find him out along County Road 12.

"Did you see that? A marble in a piece of wood. My Daddy's uncle did that. I got a kidney stone over here. 'Who's?' mine." It's hard to imagine any place more unique. "some of it's old, some of it's unique. Sentimental a lot of it." Somewhere between the plumbing supplies and the hand tools, "I call this my little museum right here" a plethora of stuff. "I've got a guitar up there that belonged to my mother. I went through a lot to get them things. My Dad brought this right here back I call it desert rose and I call this rice krispie nugget. Lightening struck the mud here lightening struck the sand there and crystallized it." And then there's the cookie tins. "I've got a saying when you come in here, especially travelers if you can tell me how many cans is on the wall on both sides, you get a free piece of bubble gum."

"How many pieces of bubble gum you given away?"

"Two. The first one was a little girl about 12 years old and she just had a spell when she guessed it ."

Everywhere you look there are pictures, family memorabilia and a constant stream of regular customers.

"You won't do. I'm gonna have too."

So how do you turn a respectable hardware store into a collectors paradise? For Johnny Jones, it's simple. "My mother and daddy had a yard sale on weekends and I'd just go buy stuff and take it home. And I accumulated so much stuff eventually my wife said I had to go or it had to go. So I brought it up here, and people just started bringing me stuff then." He always has a place for it, no matter what it is.When he's not entertaining customers, he makes sure he does his part to keep Luverne the friendliest city in the south. "We have a big time. We were talking about it yesterday if you don't have a good time where you work then you're going to have a long day ."