Commonwealth Journal

July 31, 2014

Somerset, KY - Commonwealth Journal

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BY DON WHITE COMMONWEALTH JOURNAL T he beetles are taking over Ferguson. Not the band, nor those pesky bugs, but the ones with four wheels and the look of a turtle. And it all started with the late James Ira Edwards. Nearly 30 years ago he was shop- ping for cars for his sons Randy and John. "It was my 17th birthday," says Randy, now 45. "Red Meece had two Volkswagen Beetles at his car lot on East Mt. Ver- non Street and was asking $450 each, or said he'd take $800 for both." James I, as his friends called him, wasn't looking for a VW, just something economical for his sons. He gave a 1970 model to John and a 1968 to Randy. "I've had 23 Beetles since then," says Randy, an employee of General Electric and resident of McGuire Street in Ferguson. "The VW just gets in your blood," notes the Pulaski High class of 1979 graduate. "When you first drive one, you either love it or hate it," says neighbor Dana Watkins, also a VW enthusiast. Dana is one of the 20 members of the Central Kentucky VW Club, of which Randy has served as president since its incep- tion in 2008. The first vice president was Sergio Corona, a California na- tive and also a Ferguson resident. Only recently has Randy turned command over to Brodhead resi- dent Justin Gilbert, say- ing "it was time to bring someone in with fresh ideas." One of those new ideas includes making the club's 6th Annual Cum- berland Jamboree the first ever two-day show. August 23-24 the event will be held at the Somerset Model Airplane Commonwealth Journal THURSDAY, JULY 31, 2014 CHAPMAN EARNS 100TH CAREER SAVE | B1 ON THE WEB INSIDE TODAY CLASSIFIEDS D1 LIFE C1 OBITUARIES A3 OPINION A4 SPORTS B1 WEATHER A2 BY BILL MARDIS COMMONWEALTH JOURNAL The pile of bricks, timbers and rubble that was once the Meece Hardware building on East Mt. Ver- non Street is the "unfortunate" col- lapse of the old building, which came as a surprise to workers. Somerset Mayor Eddie Girdler said Joe Ford, the city's parks and recreation director, wanted some support timbers from the to-be-de- molished hardware store building. The old timbers would add an histor- ical note to an amphitheater being constructed by the city in Rocky Hol- low. "When they removed four or five support timbers out of the Meece building, the structure unfortu- nately fell to the ground," Girdler said. The vacated former Meece Hard- ware building was one of several structures scheduled to be razed to make room for the energy center. Lo- cated at 302 East Mt. Vernon Street, the business building was con- structed in 1941. It originally housed an A & P store, then Dollar General Landmark leveled for energy center Building had housed A&P, Dollar General & Meece Hardware 'When they removed four or five support timbers out of the Meece building, the structure unfortunately fell to the ground.' Eddie Girdler Mayor of Somerset LOVE BUG FOR OF THE DON WHITE PHOTOS Dana Watkins with the engine he rebuilt for Randy's VW. Below is a 1963 Pulaski County plate Randy found in Tennessee. Randy Edwards with his classic gray beetle. 'The VW just gets in your blood.' Randy Edwards Volkswagen Enthusiast SEE LOVE BUG, A2 BILL MARDIS PHOTO The former Meece Hard- ware building on East Mt. Vernon Street is a pile of rubble after collapsing when four or five old tim- bers were re- moved for an amphitheater the city is building in Rocky Hollow. The building was sched- uled to be razed to make way for the proposed en- ergy center. SEE LEVELED, A2 VOL. 49 NO. 183 SOMERSET, KENTUCKY 50 CENTS

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