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Clinch Valley Times
St. Paul , Virginia
December 5, 2013     Clinch Valley Times
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December 5, 2013

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Vol. LV, No. 49 1 Clinch Valley Times " 'The time has come,' the walrus said, 'to talk of many things...' " Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013 Saint Paul, Virginia Virginia PRESS Association 50 cents Renovations to begin on Lyric Theater building At the monthly man- agement meeting of the Downtown Revitalization Committee, it was reported that the roof replacement and facade work on the Lyric Theater will begin soon. The Town of St. Paul has requested the remain- ing $31,000 from DHCD be used toward the Lyric roof. The Town and the St. Paul IDA have agreed to split the cost of the addi- tional funds needed to complete the roof project. The Downtown Streetscape Project has been awarded to King Construction and the Notice to Proceed has been LYRIC THEATER... Renovations to the Lyric Theater building are part of Phase II of downtown facade improvement program. issued to begin work on the sidewalks, street light- ing and landscaping from Riverside Drive to Russell Street on Fourth Avenue. Phase I of the down- town facade program is complete and the two properties included in Phase II are the Lyric building and the Bailey Hardware building. All worl must be complete on both the facades and the streetscape project by February. CHRISTMAS PARADE . . . Last year's parade was a record breaker and this year's event Saturday is expected to be even big- ger. More parade pictul:es from the past on Page 2. St. Paul annual Christmas parade will be Saturday at 2 p.m. Are you ready ,for the 2013 St. Paul Christmas Parade? Last year's parade was a record-break- er, and this's parade promises to be outstanding as well - according to infor- mation rdceived'om Glenda Lane who is Santa's personal assistant in St. Paul. Glenda has been extra busy signing up businesses and .organizations that will participate in the parade. The list is long and grows each day[ The parade will begin at 2:00 p.m. and will follow its usual route from the Riverside Shopping Center to Wise Street, then turn left on Fourth Avenue and make a circuit of the town. Most of us have a favorite spot for viewing; perhaps one with special mean- ing because we stood there with our par- ents or grandparents when we were chil- dren. Bring your kids so they can have a special memory of this f'me Christmas tradition to carry with them for the rest of their lives. See you there! ! Calendar of events... AA-Sundays aid 7 pm Tuesdays: Big Stone Gap, 8 R E C O V E R Y pm, Episcopal Church. GROUP-The Wtse County Wednesdays: Wise, 8 pm, Mental Health Center con- ,Trinity United Methodist ducts a recovery group for Church. Fridays: sub-stance abusers and Clintwood, 7:30 pm, families Fridays at 10 am Clintwood United Call 276-679-0810. Methodist Church. ACOA MEETING- COPPER CREEK Adult Chil-dren of ELEMENT-ARY PTA:3rd Monday, 7 pm school cafe- teria. ST. PAUL IDA BOARD-Fourth Mondays, 6 pm, St. Paul Town Hall. ST. PAUL TOWN COUNCIL-Third Mondays, 6 pm, Town Hall. CASTLEWOOD W&SA-The Castlewood Water & Sewage Authority Board of Directors, 6 pm second Mondays. ALZHEIMERIS SUP- . iN:)RT-First Tuesday, 1 pro, Appalachian Agency for -Senior Citizens office, :ypool Hin. Free. , NARCOTICS ; ANONYMOUS-Tuesdays and Saturdays, 8 pm Presbyterian Church, Norton. CASTLEWOOD LODGE #231 -Stated meet- ings will be held the third Saturday of each month. .The School of Instruction will be held on fourth Thursdays at 7. ST. PAUL LODGE 343-Second Thursdays, 7:30 pro, Stated Com-muni- cation; First Thursday, 7 pm School of Instruction. VFW POST #8652, DAV CHAPTER 12-4th Tuesday, 7 pm, VFW, Riverview, Coebum. NEIGHBORS AID- Thursdays, 9:30 to 12. St. Theresefs Neigh-bors Aid Building, new & used clgthing for sale. RUSSELL. CO. BOARD OF SUPERVI- SORS-First Monday, 6 pm, Lebanon. CLINCHFIELD LODGE #256-Stated Communication, 1st Satur- days, 7:30; School of Instruction third Thursdays, Alcoholics meet Mondays, 7 pm, First Baptist Church, Coebum. Call 762-0016, 276-395-6588 or 276-679- 7371. LITTLE LEAGUE- The Clinch River Little League Board meet at 4 pm third Sundays at the UMWA Building in Castlewood. All interested persons are invited to attend. H.O.P.E. HOUSE- H.O.P.E. H0u-se provides emergency shelter for vic- tims of domestic violence in Wise, RusseU, Dickenson, Lee, Scott and Buchanan counties and the City of Norton. Volunteers needed- gaining available. Call 1- 800-572-2278. SENIOR CITIZENS- The Castle-wood Senior Citizens meet at 10 am Wednesdays at the Castlewood Lions Den. All 60 or over is invited. The Dante Senior Citizens meet each Monday and "l'hesday at 10 am at the Dante Fire Department. Russell County residents 60 or older are invited. RUSSELL CO. LIBRARY-Hours at the Russell County Public Library, Lebanon, are M[IWW/F 10am-5:30pm; Th 10am-8pm; Sa 10am- 2pm. Sunday Closed. MATTHEWS LIBRARY-Hours at the J. Fred Matthews Memorial Library, St. Paul, are 8:30am-5pm Mondays and Fridays; and llam-7:30pm Tuesdays and Thursdays, Wed. 9:30am-6pm and Sat lpm-5pm. Sunday Closed. DICKENSON- BUNDY-The Dickenson- Bandy Log House is open weekly Thursdays through Saturdays, 10-3, SOCIAL SECURITY- The Wise Social Security Office is open Mondays- Fridays from 9am-4pm. Phone numbers are 1-800- 772-1213 or 276-679-7633. LIBRARY FRIENDS- Friends of the J. Fred Matthews Memorial Library, St. Paul meet at the Library on first Thursdays at 4pm. VFW POST 9864- VFW Post 9864, Lebanon, welcomes new members. If you served overseas during any war, write VFW Post 9864, P.O. Box 1419, Lebanon, VA 24266 and send name, address and phone number. Transfers welcomed. HEALTH SERVICES- The wise County Health Department, wise, is open from 8am-8pm first Thursdays. Clinics will be offered in family planning, pediatrics, school and adult physicals, WlC, Paps ana immunizations. Appointments are neces- sary for all but immuniza- tions. For an appointment, call 762-328=8000. FACILITIES AVAIL- ABLE-The Tacoma Community Center is avail- able for reunions, birthdays and showers. All proceeds rehabilitate the Tacoma School as a Community Center. For infor-mation, call 395-6398. 100TH BIRTHDAY- Appalachian Agency for Senior Citizens recognizes persons in Russell, Dickenson, Buchanan and Taze-well counties who are 100 years old or older. Call Dana Collins, 1-800-656- 2272, to advise AASC of any upcoming 100th birth- day. SUPPORT GROUP- Women survivors of sexual assault are invited to attend Clinch Valley Communication Action, Inc./Family Crisis Servicesf sup-port group meeting with victims of similar situ- ations Mondays, 10:30 am- 12 noon. For information call Rande Hackler, 276- 276-889-8206. FREE ADULT ED- Free adult education classes are available in Lee, Scott and Wise counties and the City of Norton. Daytime and evening classes for adults who want to improve their basic skills. Instructors also assist adults with job- related skills including re- sume, writing and inter- viewing. Call 1-800-422- 3433 or 276-386-2433. TRANSPORTATION- The Appalachian Agency for Senior Citi-zens pro- vides disability transport- ation services in Buchanan, Dickenson, Russell and Tazewell counties to indi- viduals with disabilities, regardless of age. Call 1- 888-656-2272. GENEALOGY GROUP-The Russell County Genealogy Group meets 5:30 pm first Thursdays, Russell County Public Library, Lebanon. The Group purpose is lto learn, to share and to per- petuate family history.t Call Wtlliam T Fuller, 276-623- 3410 or fullerjr JOIN THE FRIENDS- Join the Friends of J. Fred Matthews Memorial Library and help promote the improvement of facili- ties and services of the library. Send name, address and phone number, with a $5 membership gift, to J. Fred Matthews Memorial Library, P.O. Box 1976, St. Paul, VA 24283. Make checks payable to Friends of the J. Fred Matthews Memorial Library. EASTERN STAR- Clinch Valley Chapter #152, Order of Eastern Star, meets each fourth Tuesday, except for March and December, when the meet- ings are on the second Tuesday. All meetings are at 7:30 p.m. Coebum-A Dept. of Veterans Services represen- tative will assist clients and answer questions at the Coebum VFW Post from 9am-3:30 pm third and Sundays 12-4 pm. 988-5583 or Ranetta Davis, ThurSdays except June. Church and church-related activities calendar on page 3 This 1950's photo shows a youthful Fred Meade and "Tip" Jessee (father of Richard) clowning for the camera at Jessee's Market. "Big M" Store - A Survivor BY JERRY COUCH In these days of "big box" stores, there's a family-owned general merchan- dise business in St. Paul that has beaten the odds. This store is remarkable for its longevity in an era when small businesses are almost an anachronism. I'm talking about St. Paul's iconic "Big M" store. This year, Big M celebrated its 40th Anniversary in the familiar brick building on the comer of Fifth Avenue and Russell Street. Many of the store's customers have shopped there since the day the store opened They know they can find items at Big M that aren't found anywhere else. They also know that if Fred Meade does- n't have what they're looking for, he can probably get it for them or tell them where it can be purchased. Try that at a, big box store and see what happens. The store's survival owes its success to the work ethic of its owners, Fred and Jimmy Gay Meade. Do you know anyone who works harder than they do? At a time in their lives when most people have retired, the Meades can still be found in their store each business day, welcoming their customers by name and with a smile, just as they have always done. Many years ago, I lived in the Johnson Apts. which was located across the street from Big M. By the time I left for work at 7:00 a.m., Fred Meade was already on the job at Big M. Each evening after supper, he would return - sometimes staying until midnight (or even later) working, on his inventory and arranging merchandise in the store. Nobody can say being the o@ner-operator of a small business is easy. Vacation days have been few and far between, though the Meades do manage to combine business with pleasure while attending trade shows in other places. The 1950's photo included with this article shows a youthful Fred Meade and "Tip" Jessee (father of Richard) clowning for the camera at Jessse's Market. Fred also Worked for Vemie'Fuller at his gro- cery store on Broad Street (current loca- tion of C. R. Pate & Co.). Then, in the early 1960's, Fred reached a milestone by establishing a store of his own at the former Fuller's Market loca- tion. Many of us recall seeing him wear- ing his white butcher's apron, waiting on customers, stocking shelves, answering questions, and doing whatever it took to make Fred Meade's Market grow and prosper. In the 1960's, the Meades acquired Jessee's 5 & 10 cent store located across from Fred Meade's Market on Broad Street. This store was especially delight- ful for children because toys, bboks, school supplies, and many other items could be found on its shelves. Jimmy Gay Meade greeted and assisted the store's customers, quickly establishing herself as one of the best-liked merchants in St. Paul. At one time there were several Big M stores throughout Southwest Virginia. In recent years, the Meades have consolidat- ed their business activities at their St. Paul Big M store. Their son Jrry, and grand- son, Drew work at the store as well, con- tinuing the family tradition. Each ti,ne I enter Big M, I'm transpo,'*- ed back to my childhood, when the build- ing was occupied by Tiller's Department Store. Will anyone ever feel that kind of nostalgia upon entering a big box store? Not likely. Now let's talk about the history of the building in which Big M is located. In 1945, W. A. Turner purchased three lots on the comer of Fifth Avenue and Broad Street from M'. M. Long. An old wooden store building had previously occupied this spot, having been built in the days when Fifth Avenue was the town, s main thoroughfare. The post-war economic boom was on and W. A. Turner soon bet about having a new building constructed to house his Chevrolet showroom and service department. Prior to this time, Tumer's Chevrolet and Packard dealership had been located across the street in a brick building which burned several years ago. Tumer's new Chevrolet automobile dealership was not lonesome - it had plen- ty of fresh new company. There was Tumer's new commercial building on the comer of Fifth Avenue and Broad street, and his adjacent Lyric Theatre building. There was also Bush Fraley's new bus ter- minal . building, George Coleman's Cavalier Theatre, new store buildings on Broad Street, and several new homes, St. Paul was growing at an unprecedented rate. In 1954, W. A. Turner died and the Chevrolet dealership building passed by will to Pauline Miller. For a while, Earnest Hall continued to operate the Chevrolet dealership but eventually moved to a location on Riverside Drive. The building housed a portion of Rockwell Manufacturing's operations dur- ing a temporary expansion of their St. Paul manufacturing facilities. Then, in 1965, the Tiller family moved their store into the much larger quarters of the former Chevrolet building. The Tillers remained in business until 1973. And that brings us back to the beginning of this story - Big M. Congratulations to Fred and Jimmy Gaye Meade on a job well done. A big "Thanks" to all the Big M employees throughout these 40 years. You have had the creativity and flexibility it takes to change with the times so you can still be with us! I'd also like to take this opportunity to thank all the folks who came to the Old Russell County Courthouse for our Candlelight Tour on Saturday evening. Your generous contributions are greatly appreciated. Hope to see you again .at the Old Christmas celebration on Sunday, January 5th. Details of this event will be featured in this column, so watch for them.