You may know him as a cashier. He might be an elected official, or the gentleman who sold you your car, but Fannin citizens are favorites of Fannin Focus.
Enjoy this week’s Take 5 with Gary Bearden of Blue Ridge Handy Lube.
Question: How long have you been in Blue Ridge?
Gary: I was born and raised in Fannin County and have been here all of my life.
Question: How long have you owned Blue Ridge Handy Lube?
Gary: I bought the shop 39 years ago from Mr. Bethel Rice. At that time I just paid for the contents of the shop and have owned and operated it every since. And back 39 years ago the rent was $250 a month. It has gone up considerable since.
Question: How did you learn to become a mechanic?
Gary: Well, I am basically self-taught. I have been working on cars all of my life. My father was a welder, but he taught me a few things. I learned basically by trial and error. My brother’ Johnny Bearden in Cherry Log, is also in the business.
Question: What has changed in the industry in the past 39 years?
Gary: Well, you used to have to work on cars all day to find the problem. Now, you just have to hook it to a computer and it will tell you what is wrong with the vehicle. It sure saves a lot of time!
Question: What do you like most about owning the Handy Lube?
Gary: I love working on cars. And I love my community and the people in it. I am a very honest and hard- working business man and the people in Blue Ridge know that. My buisness has grown every year for the past (almost) 40 years. And I know it will continue.
Gary would also like to ad that he is in search of a very hard- working and dependeble mechanic to join him and Grayson Jones at the Blue Ridge Handy Lube. Stop by and see Gary today!