North Carolina Press Association
Vol. 108 No. 47
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By ELIZABETH STEWART
of The Herald Staff
The closing of Gaffney Barber Shop December
31 will mark the end of an era on the Western
Front, the Piedmont Avenue section of the com-
Personable barber Curtis Victor Gaffney, 74, is
retiring after 50 years in the business, closing the
door on a trade which was started by his late fa-
ther in 1932.
Gaffney Barber Shop was born in a wooden
shop on North Piedmont Avenue 64 years ago.
Back in the early days Barrett Grocery, a laundry
and the A&P were the only other businesses lo-
cated on what oldtimers remember as the "west-
Curt has told his grandchildren numerous tales
about the good ole days of barbering in Kings
He tells them the story of how he was born in
Great Falls and came from South Carolina by cov-
ered wagon with his parents, Lloyd and Elizabeth
End of an era in Kings Mountain:
Gaffney's Barber Shop is closing
dren grew older and wiser. He and his family ac-
tually settled in Gastonia and his father cut hair
at the Firestone Mill until he moved the family to
Kings Mountain in 1925. Curt went to West
Elementary School and Central School but
dropped out of high school at age 17 to join the U.
S. Marine Corps.
As a young boy growing up in Kings Mountain
Curt probably made more money shining shoes
for a dime at his father's barber shop than some
folks made after a week's work at the local mills.
His summer job was shining shoes but Curt also
took a job during winter months at the Margrace
Mill when he was 16 years old. Curt recalled that
some of the young shoeshine boys at Gaffney's
were Darrell Austin Sr., Richard Reynolds, Fuzzie
Davis and his two sons, Paul and Mike Gaffney.
With the advent of World War II Curt finished
boot camp at Parris Island, SC. He saw duty at
Guadacanal, Guam, and in the Pacific Theatre of
Operations. December 26, 1944 he married Mary
See Gaffney, 10-A
Gaffney. He changed the tale after the grandchil-
GAFFNEY'S CLOSING - Curt Gaffney cuts
Danny Shockley's hair at Gaffney,s Barber
Shop, a Kings Mountain landmark which is
closing December 31.
Kings Mountain, N.C. « 28086 * 50¢
take a break
to give thanks
. Kings Mountain citizens were preparing for
Thanksgiving this week.
With few exceptions, Thursday will be a holi-
day for most Kings Mountain area people.
Housewives were busy this week preparing big
family dinners, schools and downtown business-
es will be closed.
Thanksgiving breakfasts were being planned
by at least two churches- Kings Mountain Baptist
and First Presbyterian. The 7 a.m. breakfasts pre-
pared by Men of the Church will include brief
worship services led by the pastors.
The traditional Christmas lights will be turned
on in the downtown area Thursday night.
Although the new Victorian style lights have not
arrived which the city ordered several weeks ago,
City Manager Jimmy Maney said decorations
would be up by Thursday and lights on the trees
downtown will glow.
See City, 11-A
Police Chief Hayes wants
more money for salaries
Chief of Police Bob Hayes is
lobbying City Council for more
money for his department.
Hayes said that Kings
Mountain officers are paid con-
siderably less than officers in
departments in smaller popula-
tion towns in the immediate
area, Hayes said
City cil pla
more money for police salaries.
Hayes cited salaries of
and officers in a survey/study
he prepared recently for City
Manager Jimmy Maney and the
full city council.
"© Friday afternoon Maney met
with police officers, reinforcing
the chief's concerns and inviting
the Chief to present the requests
for consideration in the 1997-98
Hayes said that hiring one of-
ficer in KMPD costs $1,329.36
and this is for clothing, breast
badges, etc. and does not in-
clude the cost of weapons and
ammunition issued to each offi-
cer. He said the cost of training
one new officer is over $9,000
and there are other monies in-
volved in the hiring of an offi-
cer, including physicals, drug
tests, etc. The chief's estimates
don't include any time spent in
training on the firing range
which is necessary due to a
A comparison by the Chief
reveals that a telecommunicator
hired by neighboring Bessemer
City makes $15,775-$22,753
compared to Kings Mountain's
$14,706-$20,280. A Cherryville
telecommunicator is paid
$16,444-$23,237. A Shelby Police
communicator is paid $18,444-
An officer hired by Bessemer
City is paid $18,262-$26,340 and
a KMPD officer makes $17,909-
$24,690. A sergeant in the
Bessemer City Police
Department makes $21,141.30-
$30,492 and KMPD pays
$19,781.-$27,269. A Cherryville
officer is paid $19,987-$28,123
and a sergeant makes $23,137-
alary of a Kings
Mountain Captain ranges from
$24,086-$33,197 and the Kings
Mountain Chief's salary ranges
from $27,955-$38,522. The
Bessemre City Chief's salary
ranges from $28,739-$41,450.
The Cherryville Chief's salary
ranges from $28,814-$40,545.
The Shelby Chief's salary
ranges from $38,896-$53,622.
The salary of a Police
Lieutenant at KMPD ranges
from $21,840-$30118. Shelby
pays $24,939-$31,137. The salary’
of a Bessemer City Lieutenant
ranges from $22,198-$32,016. A
Cleveland County Lieutenant in
the Sheriff's Department is paid
$24,432-$35,556, the Captain is
paid $25,614-$37,260 and the
Chief is paid $40,116-$53,622.
In 1994 Hayes said the recom-
mended salaries for local offi-
cers were $24,753-$36,574 for a
Lieutenant; $25,991-$38,403 for
a Captain; and $36,574-$54,037
for the Chief. The recommend-
ed salary for a telecommunica-
tor was $16,752-%$24,753. The
recommended salary for an offi-
cer was $19,394-$28,656 and the
recommended salary for a
sergeant was $22,451-$33,173.
Hayes said the salaries of
records clerks and other secre-
taries in the police department
are also lower than the salaries
paid for similar jobs in other de-
partments. He said the salary
for the chief's secretary ranges
See Police, 10-A
will bring back old times
Plans are underway by the
Kings Mountain Business
Association for a community-
wide Mountaineer Christmas
December 13 froth 5-9 p.m.
"We want to bring back an
old-fashioned Christmas to the
community and the red carpet
is out for everyone to get in-
volved, "says President Kathy
Neely said the festivities will
begin with an opening ceremo-
ny on Railroad Avenue. The star
of the show will be Santa Claus
and bake sales, popcorn stands,
hotdogs and the sale of com-
memorative mugs are planned
at booths to be set up by inter-
ested organizations and spon-
sors on Railroad Avenue.
"The mugs will be filled with
hot chocolate or cider and will
be available for $4," said Linda
Allen of Ashley's Antiques who
is taking orders for the mugs
which will be decorated with a
Christmas wreath and the in-
Christmas." Call 734-0044 or
730-9400 to order the mugs.
The Kings Mountain Little
Theatre and various dance
groups will provide entertain-
ment along with carolers from
local churches. Mr. and Mrs.
Santa Claus will be on hand at
Kings Mountain Antique Mall
for photographs with children.
See Christmas, 11-A
Se 555. A Shelb officer i is aid
Kenny and Jean McAbee, seated on the top row, are now in their second year with the "Be A Pal
Program" at Second Baptist Church. The kids seated around them here are just a few who are in
the program this year. They are (from left to right):
second row, Josh Adams and Brittany Jones;
third row, Jackson Wright and Brittany Stewart. The couple's grandson, Ryan Bolin, is atop.
McAbees are special 'Pals'
Jean and Kenny McAbee
aren't clowning around when
they talk about their "Be A Pal"
program in its second year at
Second Baptist Church.
This Thanksgiving season the
Kings Mountain couple count
their blessings for being able to
share with 43 children who
have become pals with 36 other
The McAbees want to spread
the ministry of love by encour-
aging other churches to sponsor
Jean, who is known as Ms.
Jean in clown circles, incorpo-
rates mission work wherever
she entertains. She put her mis-
sionary dream on hold when
she married and started raising
a family but now and she and
her husband of eight years
share a dream on the home mis-
sion field by forming a bus
ministry in the Second Baptist
church which has grown into
the expanded pals program.
Brittany Jones, 6, says she's
thankful for Ms. Jean and is
proud that her parents will per-
mit her to be a part of the pro-
Mrs. McAbee says she gives
the credit to God and to the in-
spiration from The Bible in the
words of Jesus in Matthew
25:40 - "whatever you do to the
least of these my brethren you .
do it unto me."
"We felt called to take the
Bible to unchurched children of
the community," said Kenny of
an experience which he said has
touched many lives.
‘We both love kids and to-
gether have four children and
one grandchild, Ryan Bolin, so
it was natural that we fell in
love with 300 children doing
clowning parties for six years
and then started taking chil-
dren to church and into our
home," he said.
The vision of the popular
clown team spread and was en-
couraged by Pastor Gene Land.
Thirty-five pals were on the
. See Pals, 11-A
ings Mountain People
The Kings Mountain District
Schools dropout rate improved
slightly i in grades 7-12, resulting
leased today. :
The 1995-96 dropout 1 rate in
Kings Mountain Schools is 2.76
percent, down from 3.30 per-
cent in 1994-95. Statewide, the
1995-96 dropout rate is 3.73 per-
cent, 19,727 students, down
from: 3.88 percent, 19,987 stu-
dents, in 1994-95.
In 1993-94 there were 60.
dropouts, in 1994-95 there was
one less and the current year
showed 49 dropouts.
The current statistics rank
Shelby City Schools at 3.01 per-
cent and Cleveland County
Schools. . at 3.10. percent.
Cleveland County Schools re-
ported 117 dropouts in 1995-96,
up from 93 in 1994-95. Shelby
reported 44 dropouts in 1995-
96, up from 42 in 1994-95.
Local testing director Jean
Thrift said that while she is
pleased the number decreased
from last year, local and state
educators are concerned about
the futures for any students
who fail to get a high school ed-
The dropout numbers are
based on the calculation
method required by the
National Center for Education
Statistics. This method contains
some duplications because stu-
dents may be counted more
than once if they drop out, re-
turn to school and drop out a
See Dropout, 11-A
McClain, 81, just has to work
By: DAWN M. SWIFT
Imagine if you will, war has
erupted in Europe and threat-
ens to involve the United States,
the biggest local news in Kings
Mountain is public drunken-
ness? In 1915 Andrew McClain
was born to such a time.
Today, 81 years later, McClain
isn't worried about wars or
drunkards, as long as he can en-
joy his new found employment
at Kings Mountain High School
(KMHS), and fishing on his
lake. "That's 'bout all I like to
do," says McClain.
McClain has held many jobs
over the years, working as a
farmer and laborer. He now
rents his land for someone else
to farm. He previously worked
for KMHS for approximately
seven years before he retired. "I
get short of breath, so I just
gave it up." Now, however,
McClain is back to work as a
custodian at KMHS. His job
duties include the upkeep of the
McClain says, "1 got to feeling
like [coming back to work]. The
[work] doesn't keep me too
busy. I just like to do things to
occupy my time. You can't help
yourself long as you don't help
Faculty and staff all agree
with KMHS secretary Barbara
Starnes, "Mr. Andrew is a super
guy, very energetic." Walking
down the hall of KMHS with
"Mr. Andrew," a faculty mem-
ber slaps McClain on the back
and says he's, "the best one we
have let go, and the best one we
have coming back." McClain
was even a hot topic during the
School Board meeting when
McClain was accepted back as
an employee. "They [the school]
seem like family. They're real
nice to me," says McClain.
See McClain, 11-A