Amid the July heat of 1955, four brothers—Arnold, Horace, Howard, and Oreon Wesche—took ownership of the existing Overland Hardware, working tirelessly to keep their store well oiled until 1975 when the next generation of Wesches grabbed the reigns. Dedicated to upholding their forbearers' rigorous standards of friendly and personalized service, current owners Gregg Wesche and Don Burkhardt maintain the store’s old-fashioned sensibilities of customer service. The knowledgeable staff spends time explaining tools and their uses to shoppers before carrying out purchases to customers’ horses tied up out front. The affable crew stocks shelves with seasonal supplies for all manner of projects, from large-scale home repairs to garden hobbies. Champions of speedy yet meticulous workmanship, Overland Hardware’s jack-of-all-trades staff also performs multifarious in-store and on-location services, from cutting chip keys for cars to repairing screens smashed by thieves attempting to steal cooling pies off of windowsills.
True Value traces its origins back to 1910, and now boasts 4,500 independent retailers across the country—one of which perches locally on Hampton Avenue, ready to outfit DIYers, gardeners, and homeowners with the supplies their projects demand. Should the store's generously stocked shelves leave a specific screwdriver or grass seed to be desired, a staffer can order items from True Value's densely packed catalog at no extra charge. In addition to equipping jacks-of-all-trades, the skilled technicians at Southside True Value Hardware can be called upon to repair household items, such as lawn mowers that have lost their faith in the tenets of a neatly trimmed yard.
As cool breezes cut summer heat and the leaves fade into sunset hues, Pin Oak Farms celebrates autumn with pumpkin picking, bonfires, and other activities. Tractors full of hay bales and visitors rumble out toward vegetable fields, happy shouts spiraling back toward areas for face painting and petting farm animals. A 5-acre corn maze or smaller straw-bale maze test one’s sense of direction or ability to crack open a compass and eat the good parts. Kids plop themselves down in a giant tub of corn, clamber around in bounce houses, or putt games of pumpkin-themed mini golf. At dusk, bonfires warm hands and bring to life dancing shadows behind groups and scout troops.
The Mosquito Hawk’s team of licensed and insured professionals saves local residents from bites with its knowledge of mosquito-fighting techniques. With an array of products that are safe for people and pets, the technicians lay down an odorless barrier spray, rendering yards free of bloodsuckers, backbiters, and mosquitos. The team can be called on for one-time treatments for special events, or for protection through the spring and summer months.
Though most people hate the feeling of getting lost, that’s the point behind spending a day at the maze at Brookdale Farms. Not because the staff wants guests to wander aimlessly, but because the maze makes for a great way to enjoy the autumn sunshine at a relaxed pace and escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Open as a family-friendly jaunt during the day and as a haunted attraction at night, the maze tests navigators’ skills and affords a rare view into how scarecrows live when they think no one is looking. Outside the maze, the farm offers other autumnal activities such as pumpkin slingshots, pony rides, adrenaline-pumping ziplines, and a hay jump, inviting families to spend a full day disconnected from their televisions, computers, and employer-mandated tracking devices.