The Gap Gazer: May 2018

Dear Faithful Reader,

Last month's issue about Gap investors brought in a tip about past investors who helped preserve the historic character of the Gap. Thank you John Ravnum for that story! (John and Geri Ravnum were the first people Walt and I ever met in the Gap and they had a lot to do with us choosing this as a place to live.)

I am always willing to feature a story brought via news tip. I have an unofficial Gap Gazer Office set up most Fridays in the Cumberland Gap Artists' Co-op and I love visitors. Stop in, explore the Art Co-op and see me any Friday! Walt, the dogs and I are so busy everyday. Currently, Walt is building me a bathroom with a claw foot tub (no idea how much we can stuff in a 1000 square foot house but my creative carpenter husband is doing an amazing job). I have plants awaiting planting and a garden waiting for the frost to stop. Walt just uncovered the fig trees....the red buds are in full bloom.

Happy Spring all!

Kathy Matthews, Editor


616–540-7532 or 281-754-3457

News tips are appreciated!

Volume 9, Issue 5

L: The Melody of Life! The church school from Maranatha Bible Church

singing in three states on tri-state peak!

R: Look! A Cave! What a world of wonder surrounds if one looks through the eyes of a child!

Clyde and Maureen Moore

In April, the Gap Gazer covered an investment sales strategy which could inhibit long term residential growth in the Gap. John Ravnum, a local resident shared another story of past business investors who actually jump started the Gap during the 1980’s. Clyde and Maureen Moore lived in Harrogate but saw opportunity in the small stagnant town across the mountain which was currently on the downside of prosperity. They invested in property and actually were famed to have saved several old buildings, leading to the historic character of the town today.

Two Gap buildings saved and restored by Clyde and Maureen Moore

The couple bought and restored the old hardware and bank building at the downtown crossroads, the Old Mill Building and had interests in several others downtown. Maureen also was purported to have saved the old train depot. The Old Mill, under their management, was a BBQ Restaurant, a Cupcake Cottage and a bread bakery. The current home of ‘Angelo’s in the Gap’ transitioned from an antique store, a “Larry’s” boot and a bakeware distributary, and eventually to a Tea Room (beginning a long line of tearooms in the Gap). This first tearoom was styled as an English ladies parlor and the silhouettes of the Moores graced the “Ye Olde Tea & Coffee Shoppe” Tearoom’s sign. At about that time, Ravnum bought Park Distributing; later adding the Whistle Stop and the current CGAC building. Using the development wisdom offered by Clyde Moore, Ravnum fixed the roofs first before he started on other construction. Ravnum fondly remembers goodie bags and food contributed by Maureen as he developed his businesses. Ravnum smiled warmly while he reminisced about the cupcakes Maureen created and how he would send someone to pick up his order only to find that they were gone before he got them! He had to ask her to staple the bag to assure his purchase made it to his mouth!

Ravnum shared a story revealing Clyde’s dedication to the town. There was a giant snowstorm in the Gap and no adequate equipment to clear the roads. Clyde had a snow grader and offered to plow the streets for the cost of a driver and diesel fuel. His hired driver had an emergency and Clyde filled in, plowing all night. The bill offered the town only included his hired driver hours and the diesel that driver used. Clyde did the rest gratis. The Gap moved freely, the rest of the world around it was still snowbound when Clyde reached the main road!

A downturn in the coal industry, a dishonest money manager, and some disagreements with the town board marked the end of the Moores’ Gap investments. The couple never lived in the Gap and Maureen died in February of 2018 at her Harrogate home. The Moores, as dedicated investors, spiked growth and development in the Gap when it was sorely needed. The quaint look of the downtown can be partly credited to a couple who put their all into the restoration of original buildings of Cumber-land Gap, contributing to the unique historic character today.

The National Park owns the cave; LMU owns the water and Cumberland Gap owns what is within the town borders.

Water Everywhere, Limited Supply

Cumberland Gap water belongs to Lincoln Memorial University. Recently frequent substitution of Arthur Shawanee water is being made. Mayor Pucciarelli says that he has explored this and the town has no control over this happening. The water loss is now under 11%, down from the over 60% loss for many years. The current administration has been diligently seeking and fixing leaks and has continued the past administration’s program of obtaining grants to replace most of the town’s individual meters, leading to this amazing improvement. The university charged for over 60% more water than residents used for many years but now, with more accurate readings, has been strenuously limiting the amount of Gap Creek water the town gets.

A past town board turned over the water rights to the university many years ago when the town didn’t believe they had the resources to filter and distribute the water; a decision modern boards and residents have long regretted. Literally, that past decision is now water under the bridge, which must be lived with or dealt with by current residents.

A town water tower has been proposed by residents and a study requested to examine feasibility. Though questioned frequently at aldermen meetings, no further progress has been made in pursuit of this project.

Matthews Musings:

I just arrived back from snowy Michigan, where my mother was inducted into my hometown school Alumni Hall of Fame. Mom died several years ago, so my brother, Dave, and I accepted for her. People reminisced about mom’s humble manner, her faith, her artistic skill, her ready smile and kindness, her quick wit, intelligence and ability to put her best and more into every task she undertook. She was so responsible that in over 30 years, she never took a sick day! I feel so humbled by the legacy my mom left Dave and I. I realize that mom wasn’t perfect nor are Dave and I. I only hope that after I leave this earth. there are more positive impressions than negative about my life as there were of my mother’s. Thank you mom, for your example of what a life well lived is!

Upcoming Events Cumberland Mountain Music Show featuring the “music and heritage of the mountain people. May 19 and June 23rd @ 7:30 pm-LMU Convention Center. $12 at the door.

Aunt Sadie’s Yard Sale Cumberland Gap volunteer Fire Dept. May 12th @ 8 am-3 pm Downtown Gap. $5 Pancake Breakfast.

CGAC Art Extravaganza June 2nd. 11 am-8 pm Art and craft vendors, Family, Fun, Food, wine tasting and much more.

Genealogy Jamboree June 7 (10 am-5pm ) 8 (10-5) 9 Pioneer Day10-6 pm) History, Heritage, Genealogy Research, re-enactors, mountain crafts and lore, and history Nationally recognized and family event.

White Lightning Trail Festival June 23rd (1 pm Beauty Pageant) @ Cumberland Gap High School) and June 30th ( 8 am)Downtown Cumberland Gap ). Fast cars, moonshine trail info, quilt show, art and family fun!

Harvest Moon Gala Oct. 13, 2018. Art, food, Music, Silent Auction. Seasonal art for sale & wine tasting. . 11 am-8 pm Spon-sored by Cumberland Gap Artists’ Co-op.

Pumpkin Lites Halloween. More info later.

Victorian Christmas: Mother and Father Christmas Mother and Father Christmas, 10 am at the Victorian home on Colwyn; as well as tree lighting and town merchant Christmas for all. Whole day celebration on Dec. 1 2018. Festival of lights in the Gap.

Gap Gazer Statement of Ownership and Responsibility The Gap Gazer is the creation of Kathy Jo Matthews, a Gap resident, and she alone is responsible for the content. The town government and other agencies have no responsibility for publication and distribution of the Gazer. All articles are based on research and are as factually accurate as the editor can present them. Contact the editor at the phone numbers and email address listed in this issue if any questions arise in the veracity of the news presented. The news in each issue is as journalistically correct and as impartially presented as possible. Events posted are all in the immediate tri-state area and if an event is missed, that usually means no one contacted the editor with the information. The ”Matthews’ Musings” is an editorial and, while still based on fact, may contain editorial comment and opinion. Distribution is via email and through stacks of newspapers distributed to the Gap Post Office, the Gap Creek Coffee House, The Pineapple Tearoom, The National Park and the Cumberland Gap Artists’ Co-op. The Gazer contains no advertising and is responsible to no one for funding. All printing is at the editor’s expense, eliminating any connections with another entity. The Gap Gazer is produced monthly and is in its 8th year of continuous publication.

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