Rutherford Weekly

October 20, 2022

Rutherford Weekly - Shelby NC

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Since 1947 Gale's Chimney Rock Shop has been a centerpiece in the Village. Owner Steve Gale grew up in his parent's store and today remains an active member of the community. Recently, Steve along with his wife Mary Jaeger-Gale and his sisters Sandy and Susan gathered outside the Village Shop for a Hickory Nut Gorge Chamber Cheers to celebrate 75 years of the same business in the same location with the same owners. Family and a host of friends across Rutherford, Henderson counties and other areas enjoyed dinner compliments of the Gales as people shared their memories of the shop over the years.. His parents, Harvey and Bunnie, opened the shop in 1947. Steve worked with his parents there during high school and after college. "I sold Coca-Colas, candy, popcorn and apple cider as a 12-year-old boy, and the rest is history," Steve said after the gathering. He went to college at the University of Mississippi in 1966 and after graduation moved to Atlanta where he met Mary Jaeger from Adrian, Michigan. They married in Atlanta before returning Chimney Rock where Steve and Mary joined the family in the shop. Mary Jaeger-Gale taught school in Henderson County before joining the staff at Chimney Rock Park. Steve and Mary purchased the business from his parents in 1983. Steve has run the family since then. Gale remembers the blizzard of March 1993 as some of the rough times in the area. "We went 13 days without power," Steve said. "The September 1996 fl ood in the Hickory Nut Gorge is also memorable when shops had to be closed for a couple of weeks due to washed out road. Brenda Crawford said she worked for the Gale family in 1982 as a 16-year-old. "When I started, Harvey and Bunnie were the owners of the store. I worked for them up until I graduated from Gardner- Webb University in 1990 and began a 28- year career with Rutherford County. "During my initial eight years at Gale's Chimney Rock Gift Shop, I became a part of their family. It was more than just working in the shop," Crawford said. During these initial years, Harvey developed some health concerns and Crawford would drive him to doctors' appointments. "We would also take rugs to the Grove Park Inn to be sold. On one occasion we were driving over the mountain coming home from one of Harvey's appointments, when the back window of Harvey's panel station wagon blew out - from the change in temperature. He had me turn around and chase a car that he thought slung a rock. We never caught up with it." Crawford said inside the shop it was one big family with Harvey, Bunnie, Steve, Addie and herself. Addie, who was one of the other employees in the shop, was terrifi ed of snakes. "Steve and I were constantly joking with her and putting snakes in her pocket. One day, she was in a grocery store and pulled one out and screamed. We loved to cut up and have fun. "Steve and I were constantly joking with Addie and putting rubber snakes in her pocket. Addie and her husband, Glenn, always went to Florida for the winter. One day, she was in Florida at a cafeteria and went to pay and pulled a rubber snake out of her pocket and screamed. She knew exactly where that had come from! This kind of family bond is what brought me back to the Gale's." After retiring, Brenda said she wanted something to do with her free time, and "there Steve was," she said. Brenda said over the past several years Steve and Mary have become some of her closest friends. "My retirement gave them the opportunity to travel more and have a piece of mind when they are away. They have two cats, Leon and Lily, who I take care of while they are away. Leon will walk with me through their house and expect me to turn on the faucet so he can drink from running water. Steve and Mary are the type of people who would give you the shirts off of their back. It's an honor knowing them." Amanda Price has been employed at Gale's for the past 8 1/2 years. "You get to see lot of people from all over the place," Amanda said of her job. When asked what her favorite part of working at the shop is, she immediately said, "Well, there's Steve." Steve said he has "great help" in the shop that gives him fl exibility to "go anywhere I want and do anything. I love the freedom," he said. Among the most popular items sold at Gale's shop are T-shirts, cups, glasses, and souvenirs of Chimney Rock and Lake Lure. The Chamber of the Hickory Nut Gorge says "Main Street is known for having unique shops and great views, and Gale's Chimney Rock Shop is the embodiment of that. Be sure to take note of the historical news clippings and black and white photographs of the area that dot the walls of this truly fun shop that will bring out the kid in everyone who stops by." ISSUE NO. 42 • October 20, 2022 ISSUE NO. 42 • October 20, 2022 • • • 828-248-1408 • 828-248-1408 N.C. TRACTOR & FARM SUPPLY 299 Railroad Ave., Rutherfordton • 828-288-0395 Mobile: 828-429-5008 • SALES SERVICE PARTS PROUDLY SERVING RUTHERFORD, CLEVELAND, GASTON, LINCOLN, POLK COUNTIES AS THE AREAS HOMETOWN MASSEY FERGUSON DEALER. IF YOU BUY ANYWHERE ELSE IF YOU BUY ANYWHERE ELSE YOU WILL PAY TOO MUCH! YOU WILL PAY TOO MUCH! 345 South Broadway, Forest City 828-245-8067 M O O RE ' S AUTO S ALES ©Community First Media Community First Media Call or come by today! NO CREDIT, POOR CREDIT LET US DECIDE! LET US DECIDE! Story by Jean Gordon; photos by Gordon and also contributed photos Our 30 th Year • Over 25,000 Weekly Readers A Village shop observes 75 years; A Village shop observes 75 years; Friends gather for celebration Friends gather for celebration OCTOBER IS BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH Outside their gift shop, Steve and Mary Jaeger-Gale celebrate 75 years of a generational business with caps presented to all guests attending the celebration. More than 100 friends attended. Sharon Decker checks out the pieces of memorabilia displayed in Gale's Shop during the 75th anniversary celebration. The Gale sisters (front, left to right) Sandy and Susan with friends at the celebration. In the rear are Steve and Mary Jaeger- Gale with friends. Friends (left to right) Steve Stewart, former Chimney Rock Village Mayor Barbara Melissa and Buck Meliski, Pat Jaeger and Todd Morse, were among those celebrating with the gales. Steve Gale thanks family and friends for their support over the past 75 years.

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