Friends, neighbors gather at impromptu Stock Farm farewell

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For some 60-plus years, antiques buyers would seek out Stock Farm Antiques in Bluffton to help furnish their homes.

Naomi McCracken started the business, originally called the Pine Shop, in 1953. She had a passion for art and antiques.

As her passion grew, so did her inventory. When Naomi and her husband, H.E. McCracken, moved into their new house on the May River, and it seemed only natural to move the store to the upstairs of the home, called Stock Farm.

After all, she wouldn't put anything in her store that she wouldn't have in her home.

Fast forward to 1998, when her son Emmett and his wife, Teddy, took over the business and moved it to a commercial storefront on May River Road.

With that move came the sign that Naomi had placed in her yard years ago, simply saying "Yes, It Is," answering the question "Is this the right place?"

She had the sign made especially for husbands, to let them know their wives had not led them astray. They were in the right place to shop for a variety of amazing and unique treasures.

Once the store was moved, it continued to lure annual travelers who enjoyed getting off I-95 to seek out antiques for their home.

Late last year, the McCrackens put the word out that the end was near for the Stock Farm Antiques store.

With that reality coming closer, nearby merchants including Charlie Sternburgh and this writer, along with good friend Ann Lafitte and granddaughter Naomi McCracken, all agreed that closing day could not go by without acknowledgment. With little time to plan, an impromptu surprise "Bluffton Happening" took place in the near-empty store Jan. 23. Joanie Heyward put out an "all points" text to countless members of the community to come and wish Teddy and Emmett all the best as they retire.

In a packed house, Emmett shared some words in his usual dry humor style, urging all to consider making a last-minute purchase, and thanking everyone for their friendship and prior purchases.

The room was abuzz with joy and fellowship. It was more than a farewell; it was also a "Thank You" for the remarkable and ongoing influence Emmett and Teddy have had on many aspects and organizations in our community.

Charlene Gardner is the owner of Four Corners Framing and Art Gallery on May River Road.

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