Over the past 50 years, the world has seen its share of changes. Man has stepped foot on the moon. The Berlin Wall has come crumbling down. Bruce Jenner has become a woman and Donald Trump may be our next president.
The world is indeed a scary place.
But through it all, there’s always been the comfort of Buck Edge’s Store, shining its welcoming light on Francis Ferry Road. That all changed Friday when owner Paul Edge closed the doors of the store opened by his father in August of 1965.
“James Myers built it and we took it over from him one year later,” said Paul. “It’s been ours ever since. If I would have made it till August, it would be 51 years.”
Buck Edge was a fixture in the Warren County community, known first for running the service station in town in front of what was then Central High School. Paul worked at that store as a child.
“I ran the register,” said Paul. “I was so small, I had to stand on a crate. I got some funny looks and people always made sure they had the correct change because they didn’t think I was old enough to count money.”
Paul was 10 when the family took over the store on Francis Ferry Road near the Midway community. He said it used to be more of a general store selling car batteries, tires, and chicken feed. But those items have long disappeared from his inventory.
“Country stores are beginning to become extinct,” said Paul. “Business here has always been good, but it started to go downhill a little in 2005.”
Buck Edge died in 1991 and his life was remembered with a front-page story in the Standard. Paul has run the store mostly by himself since his dad’s death, except for a short time when he went to work for the post office and hired employees to run the store for him.
Paul scoffed at the idea some people have called it Paul Edge’s Store in recent years. “It will always be Buck Edge’s Store,” he said, although the official name is Riverside Grocery.
Paul has let the inventory dwindle in recent weeks, but the shelves will always be stocked with memories of his life at the store. That includes the one and only time he was robbed.
“I was the last store robbed by the Bologna Bandits,” said Paul referring to three robbers who struck convenience stores around the county. They got their nickname because they ordered a bologna sandwich at one store before robbing it.
“One guy stuck a knife to my throat and he had panty hose over his head,” said Paul. “I didn’t know any of them. I don’t know why they picked my store. I guess they thought I’d be an easy target. They hit me with pepper spray and yanked the phone line out of the wall before they left. Fortunately, I was able to get their license plate number and they caught them about two hours later. I was even able to get back the $705 they stole from me.”
Paul says his top-selling items have always been gas, tobacco, soda, milk and bread. He sold gas until last week when he let his tank run dry because the store was closing.
“Losing gas has really made it a lot slower this last week,” he said.
In this day when it’s easy to be untrustworthy, Paul continued to let people buy on credit. He said Friday he was still owed around $15,000 by a number of customers.
“I’m hoping to get some checks in the mail,” said Paul.
Regular customer Art Myers said he doesn’t want to see the store close, although he’s happy for Paul that he’s at a place in his life where he can retire.
“If he knew you, he’d give you a ticket and let you buy it on credit,” said Art while stopping by the store Friday to say goodbye. “You won’t see a ticket box like this one anymore. People won’t let you buy on credit.”
Paul said his immediate plans are to get more physical therapy on a wrist injury that’s keeping him from bowling and playing golf. He is also going to spend time taking care of his mother, who is in declining health.
“I may get bored and be back in two weeks,” joked Paul.
For anyone looking to buy a country store, Paul has it priced at $95,000. It’s listed through Donald Hillis Realty.
With Walmart and Dollar General stores clawing at our car windows wherever we travel, it’s places like Buck Edge’s Store that give communities their character. It’s sad to see this Warren County landmark locks its doors and turn out the lights.
Get ready to wait longer
Folks are starting to get ants in their pants when it comes to the opening of Zaxby’s. It was two months ago when I told you mid-June was the estimated date, with Zaxby’s possibly opening the same weekend as Bonnaroo.
As it turns out, Zaxby’s has encountered the usual unexpected delays, which should always be expected. When I talked to a restaurant official on Thursday, I was told the opening date has been pushed back to the first week in July, and possibly the second week. An exact opening date has not been firmed up yet.
If you’re looking to land a job at Zaxby’s, I have great news. The restaurant is holding a job fair at Best Western on Sparta Street. Applications will be accepted this Monday from 9 a.m. to noon, and this Tuesday from 1 to 4 p.m. If you’ve always dreamed of working at Zaxby’s, now is the time to strike.
Douds hammer out deal
Dwayne and Bernadette Doud were one of the first people to be featured in this column some 15 years ago when they opened a DJ business called Mobile Music Unlimited.
They continue to make music on the business front with the purchase of Morrison Hardware, a store they took over June 1.
“This store has sentimental meaning to me,” said Bernadette, who grew up in Morrison. “My dad used to come here all the time. When Rayford Elam owned it, we’d come here and play checkers and drink RC Cola. Later when David Elam owned it, I worked here and ran the office for him.”
The store had been owned by Billy Joe and Ashley Pinegar in recent years.
“We had an opportunity to buy it and after a lot of soul searching and contemplation, we made the decision to buy it,” said Dwayne.
The store is a great fit for the Morrison community because it allows residents to fulfill their hardware needs without having to run to McMinnville every time they need a bolt. The Douds say they have big plans in store, which include renovating the building and adding new lines.
“We’re going to bring feed back,” said Bernadette. “We’ve received a lot of requests for chicken feed. We’re also going to carry horse food and dog food.”
Morrison Hardware is a Klein tool dealer. It also sells and repairs hydraulic hoses. Bearings, electrical and plumbing supplies, tools, gate parts, belts and many other items are available.
“We are going to remodel and reorganize the store beginning with the front counter this weekend,” said Bernadette. “We ask our customers to just bear with us.”
Added Dwayne, “There are going to be changes and these will be changes to the good. We’re going to have more quality brands and better prices. We’re evaluating everything.”
Bernadette will handle many of the store’s day-to-day operations, along with Jason Heath, who has been named general manager. Dwayne has his hands full with his other business, Warren Custom, where a crew of five stays busy doing home remodeling work.
Morrison Hardware is open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday thru Friday, and 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday. The phone number remains unchanged at 635-2265.
The editors of Business Cheetah want to wish Dwayne and Bernadette the best of luck as they climb the ladder of success.
Jack Redmon back in business
Jack Redmon is eager to put a high-profile part of his life behind him and return to being an automobile mechanic. He appears to be on the way to doing just that with the reopening of Redmon’s Mobile Automotive.
Jack is operating the business with his father, Jerry, at 1207 Francis Ferry Road. It can be reached at 304-3323.
“I’ve been a mechanic for 28 years,” said Jack. “This is a nice shop with up-to-date diagnostic equipment that’s good for models up to July 2015. We don’t do body work, but we’ll do anything mechanical. We do air conditioning work too.”
Jack says he will work on all types of cars. That includes common domestic cars like Ford and Chevy, but he can also work on Asian and European makes such as Volvo, Audi and BMW.
Jack says he can tackle a simple tuneup, shock and strut work, transmission repairs, and even major engine work. He was already working on a few vehicles when I stopped by his shop on Thursday. Redmon’s Mobile Automotive will come to you with a service call if necessary.
Jack declined to have his picture taken Thursday, saying he’s been in the paper enough lately. He’s ready to get back to work and fix your automotive woes.
Standard offers Text alerts
In this cellphone world, the Standard wants to deliver the news where it’s most convenient. For many folks, nothing is more convenient than reading the news on their phone.
You can already accomplish this with the Standard’s mobile-friendly website, but we’re taking it one step further by launching a new text message service which begins today. By signing up for this *text messaging service, you can have breaking news delivered to your phone.
To register, all you have to do is text “breaking” to 77000. You will be signed up and ready to go.
The Standard is rolling out this program slowly, but it won’t take long to reach highway speeds. As we progress, you will be able to sign up for text message alerts pertaining to community events, sports, and yes, even business news.
If you recall, when I changed the name of this column to Business Cheetah over a year ago, my goal was to provide business news fast. Thus the use of a cheetah. It’s taken a little time to get to this point, but you will soon be able to get business news as soon as it happens and not have to wait till Sunday.
It’s a changing world when it comes to reporting the news. The Standard, established in 1879, is changing with the times in hopes of remaining your source of Warren County news for the next 137 years.
*Typical text and data rates may apply, depending on your mobile carrier.
It’s time for some tailgating
James Crouch has operated a concession trailer for years. He’s sold pork rinds and other treats at the Warren County Fair. Now he’s found a more permanent location with the opening of Tailgaters on Manchester Highway in Morrison.
“I just cook food that I like and the way I like to eat it,” said James. “That way it helps to cut down on waste.”
Tailgaters gets its strength from its versatility. It’s open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It’s a restaurant and also a bar with $2 beer, karaoke, a pool table, and ping pong.
“We go through tons of tacos, hamburgers and we make our own pizza,” said James. “Probably our most popular item is our EKG Burger. It’s four fried eggs, bacon and cheese on a hamburger. It’s huge and we sell a lot of them.”
James says one thing about his restaurant is all his prices include tax. He says customers appreciate that too because they don’t get a pocketful of change.
“I’m not messing with pennies, nickels and dimes,” said James, who points out paying $6 is much better than paying $6.09.
James says another nice feature he offers is open wifi. There’s no pesky passcode to enter. You just come in and use it to save your precious data.
He opens at 8 a.m. and has a full line of breakfast biscuits. He will stay open well into the evening as long as there are enough customers to keep the doors open. As another service, he will deliver in the Morrison area. Tailgaters can be reached at 635-2555.
That’s all folks
Cherish the final day of Bonnaroo with your friends and family and remember to keep Business Cheetah in your heart. Phone in tips at 473-2191.