Gregson Manufacturing Company | Retro Liberty

Take a seat and jump back in time with this retro cool matchbook cover for Liberty's own Gregson Manufacturing Company featuring their XL Series office chairs. Founded in 1921 by Barnie J. Gregson, the matchbook cover could have been written by the President himself, "Most in Quality.... Most Reasonable Prices". However, this was back when the area code was still 919 and white shag carpet filled the living rooms.
Gregson chairs are designed and styled to add a warm, simple elegance to the architecture of the modern office. Each series is complete with a chair for every use. And there is a series exactly right forevery office - modest or luxurious. The most in Quality and Comfort at the most reasonable prices. [sic] The Gregson family lived in Liberty for over five decades with Barnie's children, Joseph and Dwight joining the company. Joseph was known around town as a volunteer fire fighter and avid golfer who frequented the Sedgefield Country Club.

The company orig…

A Stunning Look at the Depot in Liberty, NC

It's not only the year that Doc Brown went back to the Old West but 1885 was the year that the Liberty Depot was built with its gabled roof and unique octagonal turret. The former Southern Railways depot (and prior, the Cape Fear and Yadkin Valley Railroad) became dilapidated by 1992 when it was sold to Jim Wilson, a local lawyer who began restoring it. You can see its condition as of 2005:

Believe it or not, when operational, Liberty had it's own public transportation system and this depot served to bring people to and from the town via rail. Liberty's Womens' College at the time (now Liberty School), created such a demand for visiting the town that thousands of students passed through the depot for a better life through higher education.

Randolph County HB2: The most hateful county in North Carolina

In ancient times, public toilets were just that, public, communal. Like a town square, large stone benches with holes in the latrine sat over running water that flowed beneath. Men and women sat side by side having conversations and taking care of business. These days it's all a private affair, so much so that I cannot recall the last time (in this country) I've been in a toilet without partitioned stalls and locking doors. So I'm confused as to why the Governor McCrory felt the need to pass HB2 and more to the point, why Randolph County felt it necessary to publically support the measure? The only answer is hate and fear.

Even more interesting is the Courier Tribune ran a non-scientific public opinion poll of Randolph County citizens showing that the respondents were against HB2. This means that Randolph County Government literally voted to support a measure that was entirely superfluous and did so against the opinion of its constituents. This despite there has never be…

Smokehouse Bistro

A couple of weeks ago I had the keen idea of visiting the Smokehouse Bistro in downtown Liberty. If I'm to be completely honest with myself, Liberty is not a food mecca. That said, it's nice to be able to walk to downtown, grab a meal and enjoy the springtime weather.

The Courier Tribune wrote an excellent review of Smokehouse, so I had high hopes when I walked into the place. The owners have clearly spent a lot of time transforming this downtown café into something special. It's small and cozy with a little bar. It's completely out of place in a town that typically borders on functional rather than charming.

One look at the menu and you realize they're going in the right direction. Taking the bold effort to not offer the typical burgers and hotdogs which is common throughout the town takes gumption. That said, I found something lacking in the food. I ordered the taco salad and my date ordered the brisket. The salad was laden with more of a chili than Mexican fla…

Why restaurants fail.

The Dogwood Bistro closes it's doors according to the Liberty Leader on Facebook. The comments offer numerous reasons such as a socio-economic disparity among town residents, the restaurant's service or its location.

Interestingly, businesses must fail as they're a part of the engine of economic growth. People invest money, shut down and someone else comes in and repeats the process. The building that Dogwood resided in seems to be cursed with such a phenomenon. It doesn't help that the location is somewhat obscure. Which get's me to the core of the problem, why restaurants fail here in Liberty.

There's no single reason. Surely, a profitable restaurant that stays in business is ideally more preferred to the constant life-cycle of the restaurant entrepreneur. That said, a lot of people open restaurants who don't have the skills to do so. Now, I never visited Dogwood. In fact, I've been in Europe for the last year, so the food may have been brillant. But…

Do You Support the Mega-Site in Liberty?

Interesting conversation going on Facebook over the megasite proposal. (Join in!)

Overall, the mega-site is a good idea. It brings jobs, it secures the future of the town and its youth. However, it must be something that adds to people's lives. This requires a strong incentive package to garner public support from the developers to the people of the area. These sweetners need to include public transport infrastructure (buses), guarantee of a minimum wage above ten dollars an hour for even the janitorial staff. Commitments to town infrastructure, like new libraries and parks. To simply accept the destruction of natural resources, without an investment in community is exploitation. However, I'm certain our local government is fighting for these key concerns with regards to this project.

One notable thing that was posted in the group was Liberty's academic profile.  In Liberty, a mere 200 people have a college bachelor's degree, and only about 50 people have master's…

Liberty's Employee of the Year

Indeed, when I came home to Liberty at Christmas (I'm studying abroad right now), I found the TV issue had re-surfaced too. I'm not sure what's going on lately, but I find an entire street of knocked over trashcans unacceptable. Can you imagine what would happen if this was not a town employee, but a citizen knocking bins over with their car? You'd call the police.