It is my favorite time of year again. September! The Swiss Festival in Sugarcreek, Ohio is happening this weekend (September 26-27) and I intend to be there on Saturday from 6 to 8 pm, signing books at the Gospel Shop at 112 Main Street. At 8 p.m. if the weather holds, there will be a showing of the movie right in the middle of downtown Sugarcreek.
For those who watched Love Finds You In Sugarcreek, Ohio, you’ll recognize the Swiss Festival from the scenes shot in the midst of it last year. For the most part, those were not actors you saw in the background, but real people enjoying themselves at the festival as the crew shot around them.
People frequently ask me to recommend places to go see while in the area. Here’s one place I always stop by. Finders Keepers, 100 E. Main Street which is just a few doors down from the Gospel Shop.
It’s owned by “Big Mike” Schario and his business partner, Mitch Joseph from Canton. If you’ve seen the Love Finds You in Sugarcreek movie, you’ve already met Mike. He’s one of the actors (big guy, red shirt) who threw the stone in the Steintossen “competition” they filmed. What most people don’t know is that Mike lifted all 138 pounds of the real rock (instead of the lighter, pretend one) while nursing several broken ribs he’d sustained just a few days before in a car wreck.
Mike and Mitch run a store that makes me want to just stand and stare. It’s always changing, and it is always filled with things that bring back good memories. Old-fashioned candy I haven’t seen since I was a kid, old board games I played with my cousins on rainy afternoons, bikes I wish I’d had, and some memorabilia they simply won’t part with–like a microphone once used at the Grand Ole Opry.
It’s an old-fashioned business in more ways than just the merchandise they carry. They also use an old non-electric cash register and take cash only. Last I checked, they didn’t bother with Facebook or Twitter. You’ve gotta be careful when you go, though. They’re usually only open on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. The rest of the time they’re scouring the countryside rescuing old items to display in their store.
I love seeing people make a living doing what they love–and if you ever get a chance to meet Mike or Mitch–you’ll meet two guys who are doing exactly that.