Smith’s Concrete & Niwot, Colorado

  • Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Bobby Jonte

Smithís Concrete Products is in Bishopville. Itís right there on Sumter Highway just a few miles out of town. They have all sorts of concrete products. Theyíve got table sets, benches, planters, birdbaths, stepping stones, fountains, statues and garden plaques, Mexican pottery, and wrought iron stuff. Theyíve got dolphins and manatees.

There are statues of hockey players and alligators. If itís made out of concrete they probably have it. They even have those Clemson/Carolina benches to make your yard complete.

This isnít just a commercial for the friendly folks at Smithís Concrete Products. This is a tale of the long reaching effects of the Internet and how strange things have become. Smithís Concrete has a website. Itís www.smithsconcrete.com. You can look it up if you want to. The strange thing is where they sell things. They deliver throughout North and South Carolina, as well as Florida and Georgia. They will ship anywhere.

What is odd is how Niwot, Colorado got into the mix. Niwot is a long way from Bishopville. Somehow the town of Niwot heard of Smithís Concrete and made a call. They wanted 16 left handed benches. The bench is made to look like a hand. They only wanted the left handed benches. The town of Niwot is named for an Arapaho Indian Chief. Chief Niwot was there when the people searching for gold came in 1858. Niwot in Arapaho means ďleft hand.Ē The town wanted the benches to place in the downtown area. The local merchants would buy the benches. This would be in conjunction with their annual festival.

Itís interesting that there were no other concrete companies closer that had the left hands. Maybe the town just found the first company that had these left handed benches and just ordered them. Each hand weighs 475 pounds. That is a lot of shipping cost. Even more interesting is the neighboring town of Firestone, Colorado is ordering left-handed benches for their downtown area.

Niwot plans to order more benches at the end of August. They will eventually have benches all over. The neighboring towns might get in on this too. One thing for sure is when towns compete Smithís Concrete will continue to ship the merchandise.

There is no mention of whether Chief Niwot was really left-handed or not. There is no story like in the Book of Judges where the Benjamites had 600 left-handed warriors. I donít know what the reason is for all the left-handed stuff. Smithís does have molds for right-handed benches also.

I am amazed that this business transaction goes on at all. The shipping for the concrete is much more than the cost of the concrete bench itself. In the whole country, you would think that there might be another company that makes this bench. On the other hand, (yes thatís a joke) they might be extremely happy with the service provided by Smithís.

Kingstree is going to put out pigs for the Pig-Picking Festival. Maybe we could get benches that look like pigs. Manning could put out striped bass benches. Imagine what all this could lead to? Concrete statues could make a comeback in every yard. More concrete could be sold and that is included in the building stats. That might help those dismal economic indicator numbers. Who knew?

Now Iím interested in the Arapaho Indians and what they did out there on the Front Range of Colorado. Iím not sure where this study might lead me. Iíve already started thinking about making cushions for the benches. Left-handed cushions only, so far they have only ordered left-handed benches. I sat on one of the benches. It needs a cushion. Concrete is hard. Maybe the Arapaho were making cushions for rock benches way back before all the gold rush fever messed everything up.

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