T.S. Andrea, Frager's and Katie&Phil News 06/07/2013

As I write this, Tropical Storm Andrea has been raining down since the wee hours of the morning. Rock Creek is entirely swollen and we have more storms on the way this afternoon. As Hurricane seasons have grown more intense, it's vital that homeowners and businesses police their gutters, drainspouts and drains for blockages and debris. Cleaning up after even a very small flood is a terrible experience. But it also only a day since Frager's Hardware tragically burned. That is going to continue weighing on my mind for some time.

When I first moved to Washington, DC, I lived on Capitol Hill for about two years before moving to Mt. Pleasant. Frager's was the natural hardware store for me to go to and I loved it. As a boy, my Father and I would go to our favorite hardware store, Love's Hardware in Huntington, WV, and spend Saturday morning getting the supplies we needed for the projects we had later in the day. The owner, and practically his entire family, worked in the store and went to our church. Frager's, in a way, reminded me of home. When I later moved to Mt. Pleasant and I started to become a "longtime DC resident," I would tell newcomers that they had to go to Frager's at least once.

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I think for most Washingtonians, Frager's represents exactly what you expect in an ideal hardware store. Exploring the nooks and crannies of the place seemed to always yield a new discovery that you could take away and turn into something special. Their merchandising is legendary in the retail hardware industry: they seemed to be able to jam more product into every available inch and customers love it.

When you read some of the Post's coverage of the fire, something else is evident: Frager's has been a gathering place for the community. Just as my Dad and I would visit with our neighbors when we went to Love's, Capitol Hill residents would run into their friends and neighbors at Frager's. Even since I moved to Mt. Pleasant, I would visit Frager's to get things from their rental store or to pick up some specialty fasteners. When I did, I'd usually run into a work colleague or acquaintance and be greeted with "What are you doing here?" About half the time, I'd ask the same of them because they'd be visiting from another part of town as well.

I'm trying to be conscientious about referring to Frager's in the present tense. While the building has been torn down by fire, I've read that the owners intend to rebuild. Frager's has been selling hardware for over 90 years and I think it will be fantastic if they continue selling hardware to Capitol Hill (and D.C.) residents for at least another 90. Katie and I hope we have an opportunity to lend our neighbor store a helping hand.

Finally, before I wind up this post, I wanted to let the neighborhood know that Katie and I are moving a couple blocks North into Crestwood. We're sad to be leaving Mt. Pleasant where we've lived for 14 years, but we found a great house we really love and we won't be too far away. I'm having to do something now I haven't had to do since I was in High School: mow grass. I purchased a RazarSharp 15 inch Reel Mower, called the City Clipper. It's a pretty sturdy machine and the blades are self-sharpening. I had planned for this post to be a review abotu that product in particular and lawn care in general, but I felt like it was important to talk about  storm water management and, of course, Frager's Hardware.

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