Remember when, Asheville?

POWER OF THE PURSE: As downtown Asheville and the surrounding area were revived in the 1980s and 1990s, Self-Help Credit Union and its regional director, Joyce Harrison, assisted small businesses and renovated the Public Service Building on Wall Street. Photo courtesy of Joyce Harrison

Remember when Stone Soup was the happening place to be seen eating lunch and the Gilberts greeted you with a smile every day with their homemade bread and soups?

Remember when Wall Street was deserted (no foot traffic)? Self -Help Credit Union, with the help of Julian Price (and other donors) helped to rehab the Public Service Building — which now has a waiting list for tenants?

Remember when Leslie Anderson was the city’s downtown-development director and she was recruiting new businesses to fill the empty spaces? Most ventures were too risky for bank financing, and then she discovered Self -Help Credit Union. Many referrals came from her office, and new businesses started filing the downtown buildings.

Remember when the S&W Cafeteria opened up for business — nice lunches, reception and meetings? People working downtown could walk to lunch meetings and gatherings.

Remember when the parking was free along the street and we did not have to worry about getting a parking ticket or getting towed?

Remember when The Block had Mr. Gene’s and you could get some good soul food (fried chicken, fish dinner, home cooked veggies and homemade desserts)?

Remember when it seemed like Jeff Fobes was Mountain Xpress, the editor, publisher and copywriter?

Although we can remember a lot of things about what was happening in the ’90s, we need to remember that without change we could not and would not be the Asheville that we are today.

Joyce Harrison is native Ashevillean. She retired in 2011 as regional director of Self-Help credit Union.





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