The North Carolina
More Than Bricks Make a Town
Towns are often recognized for landscaping, historical events, unique buildings or famous citizens. Vass, N.C., population 784, is special because of the people who bring the town together.
Vass’ main street is Seaboard Street, named for the railroad that runs on one side of the street. The other side of the street is composed of some new and some very old brick buildings, each one operated by local folks who ran them when my dad was a boy and when my grandfather, now deceased, was a young businessman.
One of the main shop owners is Max Edwards, a lifelong friend of our family. Max not only owns Edward’s Hardware, the Five and Dime and The Vass Variety Store but also helped found Vass Rescue Squad in 1962 and helped lead the Squad to state and international rescue championships. Last year, Governor Mike Easley awarded Max North Carolina’s highest civilian award, “The Order of the Longleaf Pine” for his community work.
Phillip Keith is another special person in town. Phillip owns an office building and donated the old town movie theater to the county for use as a public library. Phillip served in Vietnam and also donated military memorabilia for display in the library foyer.
Vass has two banks, one on each end of the street. Both bank managers grew up here, know everyone in town, and walk daily to the Post Office or Miller’s Restaurant, the local diner near Seaboard Street, for lunch.
I look forward to trips to Vass to buy sourwood honey and old timey candy, to pick out new fishing lures, or to check out the books and historical items on display at the library. Most of all, I love and respect the folks on Seaboard Street, and realize that more than bricks make a town.