COTTONWOOD -- Summer will officially arrive this week, but if you look at the weather outside, it seems it is already here. The garden is growing, the birds are nesting, and we have butterflies around the blooming flowers. Some of the farmers are starting to cut hay.

Hoene Hardware in Cottonwood closed the end of May after 111 years of service to this community. Gus and Ann Hoene are the sole owners at the present time. They carried on a tradition that dates back to his great grandfather, John Hoene, who started the business in 1908.

In the 1930s Gus Hoene and John Seubert, who were cousins, bought the business. Then in the 1950s they sold to Don and Jane Hoene. Gus and Ann, along with his sister and her husband, Debra and Don Clark, purchased the business from Don in 1993. Gus and Ann became the sole owners in 2016.

They sold everything from furniture to carpeting, appliances, dry goods, fancy dishes, knickknacks, clothing, fishing tackle, and lots of other merchandise besides selling fishing and hunting licenses. There was always a friendly smile when I walked in the door. There is nothing like having a family-owned business in a small town where everybody knows everybody. You can’t find that in the big online megastores.

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Isaiah Williams has taken over as manager of the Cottonwood Recycling Center. It will continue to be open from 9 to 11 a.m., on Saturdays. Anyone interested in volunteering to help would be appreciated.

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Congratulations to Isabella Nau, granddaughter of Greg and Wendy Nau of Ferdinand, who is a state finalist in the National American Miss Georgia Pageant. The pageant will be held July 5-7 in Atlanta, Georgia. She is competing in the preteen division. Good luck to her.

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Also, congratulations to Sister Betty Schumacher who celebrated her Golden Jubilee on June 8 -- 50 years of monastic living at St. Gertrude’s Monastery. We wish her all the best in the future.

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