FAIR HAVEN ON A HOT HUMID DAY

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During the month of July, you don’t wake up in Charleston expecting a cool breeze to lift your hair and tickle your neck, so we weren’t surprised to run headlong into a squishy thick wall of humidity the moment we opened the front door.  It must have hitched a ride on the running boards, for it enveloped us in its spongy mugginess every time we stepped out of the truck making us wonder why we weren’t at home with a cold beverage instead.  However, believing that most places in the Lowcountry have airconditioning and aren’t afraid to use it, we continued on our way.

Looking for some thrifty bargains this weekend, we headed towards Bonneau by way of Moncks Corner stopping in at Collector’s Corner.  Once again, what we thought was a tiny little shop seemed to magically expand with every step we took.  Rounding up a set of 4 pewter pigs and a souvenir New York cream pitcher we finally made our way to the front counter and then reluctantly left the airconditioned realms and waded back into the humid mass that stood between us and our next destination. 

A few weeks ago, we had stumbled upon Fair Haven Market Place in Bonneau a bit too late to stop in.  Today, however, we arrived long before lunch and were greeted by retirees William and Delores Hoff, who have found their calling promoting and running the Market Place.  All proceeds from Fair Haven Market Place go to the Fair Haven Home For Men, started by Pastor Alfred Willis of Life Baptist Church in Saint Stephen, SC in 2010 to provide a "safe haven to rescue men who had faced adversities in life such as addictions, homelessness, etc.”   He believed that he was not helping just the man, but his entire family and the community, as well.

If you are looking for great deals, this is the place.  Prices are far better than reasonable, the stock is constantly replenished from a number of sources and you will not find a friendlier more appreciative couple to help you.  Did I mention AIR-CONDITIONING that works?  On this 90-degree summer day, that seemed to be a rarity.  Needless to say we lingered longer getting to know the Hoffs and the mission of Fair Haven, both the Men’s Home and the Market Place. 

Charleston Ghosts hid among the books on the shelves and The Duke kept watch over the store.  Searching the shelves, we found an Old Fitzgerald SC Tricentennial Collector’s Decanter, a Gamecocks Mug, and some Charleston Coke bottles.  I was truly surprised that The Duke didn’t come home with us.     

Heading on into St Stephen, we found Mary’s Collectibles and sitting on her shelves were some Fire King mugs and bowls.  Knowing that there are many folks who collect Fire King, we brought the bowls home with us.   If we were thinking straight, which was hard to do as the heat and humidity followed us into her shop, we would have brought the mugs home, too.  As always, we regret the things we leave behind, not the things we bring home.  After dragging our humidity to a neighboring shop, we headed back to Charleston.

Over the past few months, we have noticed that Animal Helpers Re-TAIL Store located on Savannah Highway West of the Ashley is quite a busy place.  So we wanted to see what keeps the crowds coming back.  Most likely, it’s the variety, the pricing and the friendly staff.  They are constantly adding new items, marking down older stock, conducting food drives for Pet Helpers and accepting donations.  We found a Hazel Atlas Apple Blossom bowl and a Pfaltzgraff Star Trek mug and while paying for those, two wooden toy boxes twisted the Great One around there little fingers and they came home with us, as well. 

All in all, if you ignore the humidity, it was a pretty good day, topped off with a rousing chorus of Happy Birthday to 3-year-old Kane followed by American Spirit Cake with candles that relit as fast as he could blow them out.