Editor: We are writing concerning the recent unpleasantness at Nichols Hardware in Purcellville. “Unpleasantness” is a euphemism for what was a horrible affront to decent behavior and tolerance.
If you’ve just dropped in from another planet, it seems that recently one of the Nichols staff was asked by a local Boy Scout for help with his Eagle project. Instead of a kindly, “Sure, how can we help?” the Scout was subjected to an angry, homophobic screed about how the national Scouting organization has recently admitted gays and, gasp, girls. Would Nichols help such a perverse group? No! Never! Get out! The Scout politely left the store.
For three years, from about 2008 to 2011 we were inside Nichols to
film a documentary called “Nichols: The Last Hardware Store.” Our mission was to “capture” this century-old-family-run retailer in every season to show how it works and moves and operates.
We are writing to give some context to this incident. In the months and months of filming we never once saw any clerk or manager or owner
at Nichols treat any customer of any demographic group with anything less
Indeed, one of the hallmarks of Nichols (aside from its way-too-often- mentioned creaky floors and tin roof and manual receipt machines) is that
every Nichols employee bends over backward to help its customers.
We hereby state that the atrocious lack of civility by this one clerk was an one-off, an outlier, an albeit terrible isolated incident.
We’ve been contacted by people on social media suggesting we amend or revise our documentary to include this incident. Nonsense. The clerk was (using the past tense here; mercifully he has been terminated) an aberrant Neanderthal among generally gracious ladies and gentlemen. Fortunately, this individual was hired after we wrapped our film. There’s not one single frame of him in our video. Praise the Lord.
Those of us who have been involved for years in Scouting, and who also have beloved gay and female family and friends, recoil at what happened that day. But we are sure that the remaining Nichols staff and its owners continue to meet all 12 components of Scouting’s Law: trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrift, brave clean and reverent. With special emphasis on helpful and friendly.
Drew Babb, Peter Buck, Sarah Huntington
Producers of the documentary “Nichols: The Last Hardware Store.”