HAHIRA — The faded picture of Norvell Spearman shows him as an old man, patting the hand of a young boy.

"Everyone knew him," Sharon Darby said. "There used to be a theater in Hahira, and he had a set of old theater seats, and he would sit in front of the store saying 'Hello' to everyone."

"The store" was Spearman's Grocery, once a landmark in the community. These days, the same building, at 213 W. Main St. in Hahira, is a gifts and antiques shop, The Tin Bucket.

Darby and Janie West, co-owners of the Tin Bucket, proudly pointed out reminders of the building's history in the form of old metal signs from Spearman's Grocery that are still displayed.

The ladies opened their store in December 2005. Both of them said they had no real retail experience before jumping head-first into store ownership.

"We wanted an adventure," West said.

The Tin Bucket started as purely a gift shop, but added women's clothing some years later, Darby said. Now it offers baby items and candles as well.

"We offer a little bit of everything," Darby said.

Most of the customers are women looking for birthday gifts, wedding gifts and clothing, she said.

Men occasionally come in "looking for something for their wife, their grandmother, etc.," West said.

"We're always looking for new and different things," she said.

Terry Richards is senior reporter at The Valdosta Daily Times.

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