Today (I'm writing this on Sunday) began like any other day. After staying up far too late painting miniatures, I awoke and stumbled downstairs for a cup of coffee. While it was brewing, my eyes came upon an article that struck me cold.
Herb's Hobbies and Crafts, a store that has been a local fixture for some 40 years, was finally going out of business.
To tell you the truth, I can't really feel all that surprised. Whenever I went in, there would only be a couple of other people shopping. The displays (Herb's is - was - primarily a store for train modelling) would stay static, and damages that occur never seemed to be fixed. Some of their paints (Vallejo Panzer series, for example) seem to have been sitting there forever, it seems.
And yet I can't speak too badly of the place. If I needed modelling supplies, Herb's was the place to go. Trees, bushes, hedgerows, grass, primer, varnish, paints, brushes, these guys had it all. They had a plethora of books (one of which I bought today) and plastic models of tanks, cars, planes, ships and more. They had kids toys like Knex, dollhouses and other crafts.
I remember coming to Herb's when I first moved into the area, over a decade ago now. It's going to be strange passing through town and not seeing the store sign lit up at night.
I guess this is my own little plea to anyone who may read this - don't forget about the hobby stores in your area. Frequent them, buy from them, even if you could get a better deal from an online source that isn't in your area.
My hat's off to you, Herb. Thanks for keeping the store running for as long as you did. And good luck to you in future endeavors.