After almost 30 years, The Toy Box is closing on December 22. The Toy Box originally opened in 1987, and has been important to the North Asheville community. Why is it closing? Gary Green, The Toy Box owner, has wanted to retire and sell The Toy Box to a new owner for almost 5 years but has not been able to find a buyer. It has been hard for Mr. Green to find a buyer because toy stores around the U.S. are going out of business, such as Toys R Us. (Why are they going out of business? Online shopping?) The Toy Box was always a place that my mom and I would go to get a last minute gift on our way to a birthday party. Many people are sad to see the Toy Box close and it will be missed.
On the Mountain Xpress website, there is a short story of someone that moved to Weaverville 14 years ago. He said that Mr. Green always made them feel welcome, and he and his kids would play there for hours. He is sad that he can´t shop for his future grandkids there, but says Green´s retirement is well deserved. Another review by Thomas Graser says, ¨Best place to buy toys - period!¨
I had the opportunity to interview Mr. Green and ask him some questions! When Mr. Green decided to buy The Toy Box, he says it was because he wanted a business of is own and he thought a toy store would be a good one. Mr. Green said that one of his favorite parts of owning The Toy Box was seeing sick kids that would come to The Toy Box after their treatments. He was happy that those kids had somewhere to relieve their stress after going through a difficult time. He also told me that after 9,125 days (25 years) in the business, he plans to retire and catch up on the chores he’s been too busy to do that last 25 years such as, volunteer with Habitat for Humanity, raise money for Alzeihmers disease research, and spend time with his family. “I don’t think I ever realized how much joy a child gets from being in a toy store… that’s something that I’ll cherish for a long time,” Mr. Gary Green.
Until December 22nd (when the Toy Box closes) everything in the store will be 10% to 50% off! I walked by The Toy Box the other day and saw that almost everything was gone so if you need something go soon! I wish someone would buy The Toy Box from Mr. Green and keep it the way it is! I want kids even younger than me to have the same experience that I did, because you don’t see many small stores like the Toy Box that the people there will help you find the perfect gift. I think that it is a good piece of the community and is also convenient. Although I understand Mr. Green must retire, I hope somebody new will come along and keep it as it is or even make it better.
Story by Tate Lloyd
This weekend, Western North Carolina is expecting a winter storm to arrive on Saturday evening around 7pm EST. It has been rumored that Asheville and many other counties will receive up to 22 inches of snow along with rain and sleet. Many students are anxious with excitement for the snow hoping for no school the following week.
Citizens of Asheville were given a warning to stay home and stock up on food before the storm had even reached the mountains on Thursday and Friday. The snow was long anticipated by many on Friday evening, but did not arrive until around 12 PM Saturday when a rain shower began in Asheville and continued throughout the day until a light snow began later that day. The snow on Saturday began at around 5 PM and lasted all night until 9 AM Sunday morning, when thousands of people woke up to find a winter wonderland outside of their home. The snow continued all day, some areas of Western North Carolina received up to 3 feet of snow in the first 48 hours of the storm. Asheville was expected to receive between 8-12 inches according to Citizens Times, but many woke up on Sunday to almost a foot of snow, the storm left many stuck and unable to leave their home after the storm. Those who could leave their homes took advantage of the snow and went to the local ski slopes at Cataloochee ski area in Maggie Valley, NC; only a 40 minute drive.
After the main parts of the storm hit Asheville, thousands of people had no power and were told they wouldn't have power for up to a week. On Monday December 10, snow began melting and main roads and highways were clear enough to travel short distances, Residents were still told to stay inside due to the temperatures dropping below freezing and refreezing the melted snow, creating black ice on roads and sidewalks all around the city. Many schools were also closed after the weekend, some schools were closed till Wednesday. On Wednesday December 12 the majority of the snow storm had melted and only back roads were still snowy and icy. Locals all around began to have power in their homes again between Tuesday and Wednesday, and some were able to return back to school and work. Asheville City Schools started back on Thursday, 12/13 with a 3 hour delay.
Western North Carolina and South Carolina are still working to get the areas affected back to normal after winter storm Diego came through this past weekend leaving many stuck in their homes. Some areas of North Carolina including Asheville are still under a special weather statement put out by the National weather Service . City workers have been working very hard to scrape main roads and highways and putting out snow salt on sidewalks all around cities and public areas to keep citizens in Asheville safe after the snow.
Story by Barret Bryson