“It is scientifically impossible to leave here unsatisfied.”
–Staggs’s Customer Taylor Smith
Less than five short miles from The Factory is a diner so well known in the Shoals community, locals simply call is “Staggs”—no elaboration is necessary. It is a place where social and economic barriers are ignored or discarded; everyone eats at Staggs, from mayor to millworker.
Staggs Grocery is located in East Florence, Alabama, an area that was once proud home to a booming textile district. The same family has run the market for generations. Taylor Wylie established the business as a meat market over a century ago, but the building was destroyed by fire. It was taken over by Wylie’s son in law, Lester D. Staggs, Sr., and his brother Webb Staggs and revamped into a meat market and grocery catering to families and workers in the textile district. Lynn Staggs, who currently owns and operates Staggs with his wife Pat, took over management after the passing of his father, L.D. Staggs, Sr.
I just arrived back from a whirlwind trip to Penland School of Crafts.
It is a remarkable, inspiring, and beautiful place. I found that here was something for each moment of the day and the time went by much too quickly. Maggie insists that we are going back next year. Indeed, we will.
In our few days, I found a place to sit,
and lots of doors to open.
I will be teaching a two-week class there next summer on “Experiments in Hand-Sewing: A Study on Alabama Studio Sewing + Design.”
Class registration opens in January, 2012.
Anna Maria Horner made a surprise visit to our Trunk Show in Nashville on Friday. Nine months pregnant (#6) and shining, her smile, and bubbly disposition are contagious. What a pleasure to have had a short time to catch up and find all of our common threads in life!
We have now officially traded copies of Alabama Stitch Book and Seams To Me.
Anna Maria left the show with one of our t-shirt kits, for which she found an inspiring purpose.
We emailed yesterday and she sent me this lovely sentence which I think says so much about her joy for life:
“Was out in a fresh green 68 acres of hip-high wheat grass yesterday with 2 pregnant friends & a photographer working on the book. Many contractions, naturally, but oh the beauty, well worth it.”
Wishing her the best of luck with her upcoming delivery of Roman and I am looking forward to our many, many future conversations…
Photo: Anna Maria Horner