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of course, all the banks were downtown. Lost Province Brewing was the Chevrolet dealership. Everything was downtown. The Ford dealership must’ve moved to the 105 Bypass in 1973 or ’74, and Farmers Hardware took that building. “We’re still a very neighborly town compared to a lot of places, but I used to use the expression that coming to work was like coming to a birthday party every day. You could go in Boone Drug and know everybody in there — and you couldn’t launch a career in politics without hanging

out in Boone Drug.” Highway Robbery eventually moved to a space in the Appalachian Theatre building, before settling in its current location in 1980. Although the location changed, Parish still maintained relationships with his loyal clientele, along with an important cross-section of the High Country community — students. “That’s our business,” he said. “We’re geared toward younger people, with jewelry and accessories, and we always try to offer a reasonable product at a reasonable

price to show them we appreciate their coming in.” And they remember. “The other day, this girl who’d worked for me came in, and she’d gone to Appalachian, her daughter went to Appalachian, and now her granddaughter’s gone to Appalachian,” Parish said. “People come in all the time, say they’re glad we’re still here, because they can still come to Boone and see what’s going on, see who’s still living here.”

Lucky Penny

J

ennele Vaquera can relate. Vaquera has lived in Boone for 15 years and owned a business for 10. She describes Lucky Penny as “a chic, feminine boutique clothing store, perfect for whimsical, Bohemian women with a sense of wonder.” During her 10-year tenure, she, too, has employed students, has had student customers and has seen them return with young families in tow. And not just students. “When I opened, I didn’t realize just how much tourism there was in Boone,”

Vaquera said. “The locals and students absolutely support me, but the tourists are pretty consistent, from weekenders to summer homeowners to people who come here every winter for Thanksgiving. I already know who’s going to come back; I see their kids having children, bringing their kids to Boone and Tweetsie and to get a Christmas tree. “What’s great about our tourist customers is that this is such a special place for them. They don’t get this where they live, so one of their High Country tradi-

tions is to come to Lucky Penny. It’s just all about the experience.” Again, Vaquera can relate, having enjoyed her own Boone experience, one that continues today. “It was kind of being in the right place at the right time,” she said. While attending Appalachian State University (class of 2006), Vaquera, originally from Kitty Hawk, N.C., helped open a store, Barre Station on Appalachian Street. The owner’s concept was to offer off-priced clothing through overstocked

Todd Bush Photography Serving the High Country with Premier Scenic, Lifestyle and Commercial Imagery for over 25yrs Scenic photos available at Banner Elk Artists Gallery in the historic BE elementary school near the heart of town

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December 2017

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