New beginnings

Published 11:00 pm Thursday, November 29, 2012

Morgan Drinkard, Johnson Center Director, and Charles Adams stand next to the piece, Angel from the Ashes, which will be donated to the Center’s live auction next week.

Cokes for six cents? Peanuts for a dime?

You’ve gotta be kidding!

But, no, the ribbon cutting Thursday afternoon at the “re-newed” Adams Nut Shop and Adams Glass Studio was a opportunity to, once again, experience the good ol’ days when a quarter was a lot of money and “Adams on the highway” was a gathering place where locals rubbed elbows with the “touristers.”

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Almost to the day a year ago, the longstanding Adams business on Highway 231 south of Troy was totally destroyed by fire.

Most of those who came to celebrate the official opening of the new business with Charles Adams and his family Thursday had some connection to the business that was started in 1953 by Sam Adams, the father of Charles Adams.

“Oh, I remember on hot summer days we would drive up from Brundidge to Sam’s to get ice cold watermelon,” said Dot Laney. “They had a screened-in area with tables and they sold watermelon by the slice. When the sun hit that red watermelon meat, the sugar in the watermelon would sparkle like diamonds.”

Laney also remembered the autumn days when Sam Adams would hitch the mule to the cane mill and grind cane. Folks would come in droves to get the sweet nectar of the fields.

“Sam was a character,” Laney said. “He loved to play tricks on people. One of his favorite tricks was to shellac a quarter to the counter. People would try to pick it up but, of course, they couldn’t. Sam would get a big kick out of that. It was a fun place and everybody enjoyed going there.”

And, it’s that kind of atmosphere that Charles Adams wanted to recreate with the new “modern” Adams store.

In speaking about the new studio/shop, Adams said that Sam “wouldn’t like it.”

It would be too fancy for him and he would think the money could have been better spent. But Adams’ son, David, said that times have changed and, “if you don’t change with them, you get left behind.”

David Adams said the idea was to achieve a “modern rustic” look for the new studio/shop.

“We didn’t want to have floor that you would fall through,” Adams said, laughing. “We just wanted to have a floor that looked like you might fall through.

“We wanted to embrace the past and move forward. To do that, we had to use a broad brush stroke.”

David Marsh, the carpenter who made the new look old, said the biggest challenge was to create a shop that was warm and welcoming — a place where people would feel “at home” as soon as they walked through the door.

“It was a lot of hard work but I think we got the look and feel Charles and his family wanted,” he said.

Frances Revel agreed that the new store is exactly what it should be in today’s world.

“I started coming here when Adams Nut Shop was a little tiny place,” she said. “Back then, the Adams were the kindness and most caring people that I have ever known and they are the same today. They are all extremely talented. They have used their creativity and talent in making every effort to keep a part of the treasure of the past. It could not be any better than it is.”

Most of the celebration, Charles Adams was busy talking with well-wishers but, other times, he stood quietly and looked around as if he couldn’t believe what he was seeing.

“We all encouraged him to build back,” David Adams said and added with a laugh that, “if he didn’t, he would drive us all crazy.”

David Adams said losing the store hit the entire family hard.

“I wasn’t here when it started but, it was a lot worse than I had thought,” he said.

“When something that you’ve known all your life is suddenly gone, it’s hard. But, with a lot of hard work and the help of a lot of people, we’re back with a nut shop and a studio that fits the times and we are very thankful.”