From Jack Neely:
Mr. Harvey Fuson was murdered Tuesday at his store in Cumberland Gap, on his 66th birthday. Photographer David Luttrell and I met him this past June, on the occasion of the Thunder Road tour. The official road trip of vintage cars, organized to publicize the state tourism commission's driving tour of the region, took us to Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, but because Cumberland Gap is referenced in the famous song, a few of us wanted to go that much further.
Mr. Fuson's place was called "the Old Drugstore"--it was really an ice-cream and soda fountain in the front of a store full of souvenirs and interesting curios--and he was happy to stop for a moment to chat with us, late on a weekday afternoon. He had a few contented-looking guests when we visited, older travelers who¹d stopped for some ice cream. Mr. Fuson, who wore a short-cropped white beard and a Hawaiian shirt, was a friendly fellow who enjoyed his own brand of non-retirement. Every community, large and small, needs someone like Harvey Fuson. He obviously enjoyed hosting visitors, serving as more or less the jolly soul of that tiny village at the foot of the steep mountains, a town that makes everybody think of Mayberry, except that Mayberry seems much larger than Cumberland Gap. When we were there, the only things we found open in the historic part of town were a restaurant and Harvey's welcoming shop.
And he was murdered, by parties unapprehended at this writing, and for reasons that remain elusive. Cumberland Gap is the sort of place you go to get away from even having to think about this sort of thing.