The Gap Gazer: June 2018

Dear Faithful Reader,

Whew! Life has been so busy but I was able to get out the Gazer on time this month. I am so grateful for the time I work at the Cumberland Gap Artists' Co-op on Fridays. I have declared it my Gazer Office and use the time to get my paper "put to bed".! If you are in town, stop into our gallery and say "Hi!" Our purpose is to advance Appalachian Art and we do have amazing variety from our group of tristate artists.

Tomorrow my neighbor and I leave on a week long girls' road trip to my favorite state: West Michigan, Mackinac Island and the UP. I am a Tennessean now but still feel my side of MI is unique and alluring....All Michigan needs is more mountains and less big cities to make it perfect. ( As a child, I thought that the sand dunes were mountains!)

Enjoy this month's edition of the Gap Gazer,

Kathy Matthews

Editor: The Gap Gazer

Official "Gap-ite"


616–540-7532 or 281-754-3457

News tips are appreciated!

Volume 9, Issue 6

Left: Ryan Smith is a talented black-smith who runs Mitty’s Metal Art on Lynn St. Stop in to see him in action!

Right: Visitors enjoying our Gap during Aunt Sadie’s. Guess we can share it occasionally!

Lining, Ticketing, and Recycling---

The roads in the Gap have been re-lined! The curve is now clear on the upper entrance portion of Brooklyn Ave. A project discussed and planned last year was ready to be completed when the weather became compatible this spring. The wheels of progress often turn slowly as the aldermen deal with the bidding process, contractors and government regulation. There are still details to be finished but the important parts are painted and ready to direct after dark! The issue of paying expenses for maintenance of the small section of South Cumberland located in Virginia is requiring further research as the state of Virginia has discontinued maintenance the small portion they still claim to own. The National Park denies responsibility for that section and the city has to figure out the legalities of repairing a road which isn’t the same state.

The policemen and city court, as well as Gap citation books, are all in place and the first errant ticketed drivers faced the city judge on May 17. The most prevalent traffic violations are speeding, failure to stop at stop signs and going the wrong way on the one-way street next to the post office. After a lengthy discussion and even lengthier planning to get all aspects of the court and officers into compliance, the Gap again has police presence. With three restaurants serving alcohol and lack of police jurisdiction for several years, the assurance of police protection will make drivers aware of following traffic laws and signs designed to protect those who live and visit the Gap.

Another ongoing board discussion has been how to most efficiently pick up trash. The mayor reported that trash fees are in danger of increasing if nothing changes in current trash pickup procedures. After examining out-sourced bids, the aldermen discovered that the current system was least expensive and they might avoid a tax increase if this system added recycling.. One possible cost saving program would be every other week rotating recycling with garbage pick-up. The recycling program investigated involves no sorting and a list of recyclables and acceptable blue bags would be distributed to homeowners and landlords. A survey to test the climate of public opinion on this matter was sent to all those who currently pay for garbage pickup. All citizens are encouraged to fill out these recycling surveys and give the board direction on what method will be chosen. The mayor stressed that if all remained as is, the citizens may have to pay a higher pick up fee to cover inflating expenses.

Update on Town Tourism.

The Mountain Fiesta organized by the J. Frank White Academy located at LMU demonstrated the amazing abilities of youth and their instructor. The teenagers involved had the event set up the night before the April 21st festival, a feat often not replicated by the adults in charge of other town events. From the arch of balloons through Latin American dance instruction, this responsible group of Spanish students paid attention to every detail. The side walk chalk worried some of the residents but was easily washed away by the next rain, provided joy and creativity to those attending the event.

Not to be overshadowed by their younger comrades, the college students who compose the Cumberland Gap Volunteer Fire Department did not start organizing their Crazy Aunt Sadie’s Yard Sale as far ahead of the event. Still the procedure of past years and the knowledge of what is takes to plan the ever popular $5 breakfast again filled the Gap streets with bargain seekers on May 12th.

June brings several returning and maturing events. The Cumberland Gap Artists’ Co-op presents its Art Extravaganza on June 2 between 11 a.m. and 8 p.m. centered in Festival Park and spilling out into the downtown Gap area. Tri-state Co-op artists presenting their talents through product and demonstration will be joined by visiting artists participating for that day. The arts of music, food and wine tasting will again be available. Currently, the Co-op’s year’s worth of events are being financially supported by five ‘Friends of the Arts’: Dr. Ron Dubin of the Kentucky Orthopedic Clinic, SM Hospitality Inc. & Holiday Inn Express, the First State Bank, the First Federal Bank and by the Community Trust Bank.

The Genealogy Jamboree goes on despite the deaths of two of the founders and organizers. David Nelson Jr. of Atlanta, GA, as well as others from throughout North America, have dedicated themselves to the continuance of this nationally recognized event on the weekend of June 7-9. Renowned speakers and genealogy research highlight the event. A Pioneer Day highlighting the history of the area for children and adults will be presented on Saturday, June 9th.

June concludes with the White Lightning Trail Festival. This eclectic event features all aspects of moon-shine running including fast cars and information about that time in the history of the area. Add to this, a mix of food, children’s events, dance troops, music, food and art booths as well as other yet to be announced activities and the Gap hosts a day of fun and family on the June 29th! Cumberland Gap was the gateway to the west in times past and in June becomes the entrance to family fun and activity!

Matthews Musings:

We ‘Gap-ites’ live in an amazing small town! The Aldermen have actively been working on town maintenance and policing while the months of May and June are filled with diverse events. This time of busyness will be followed by the beauty and peace of long lazy midsummer days, nestled in and protected by the mountains of a National Park. I feel so blessed by my God here!

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.

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 Day-10-6 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 Sponsored by Cumberland Gap Artists’ Co-opPumpkin Lites. Halloween. More info later.

Pumpkin Lites Halloween. More info later.

Victorian 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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