Faces of Jackson County: Fred Gurley

Meet Fred Gurley! Fred is a pharmacist and owner of Crawford W. Long Pharmacy in Jefferson. Fred is a lifelong Jefferson resident, has two children and is married to DeMarius, who was a longtime teacher in Jefferson and is the former principal of Jefferson Academy. The couple has five granddaughters, five years old and under.

Crawford W. Long Pharmacy is the only locally owned pharmacy in Jefferson and has 16 full and part-time employees. All of Fred’s staff live in Jefferson and have worked for Crawford W. Long Pharmacy for a combined total of 186 years!

In the back of the pharmacy is an old time lunch counter called Sugar & Spice, run by longtime Jefferson resident Kimberly Holder.

We want to thank Mr. Gurley for spending time with us recently and tell us more about his life and love of Jackson County.

Question: How long have you lived or worked in Jackson County?
Answer: “Since ’79. I’ve been in my store since ‘82 or ‘83. I’ve never lived outside the city limits of Jefferson.”

Q: What is your favorite part of living in Jackson County?
A: “The community and small town feel.”

Q: What is the first movie you remember seeing in a theater?
A: “I love movies now, but when I was young, I commuted to school. We didn’t go anywhere, so when I started loving movies, it was movies like ‘Footloose.'”

Q:  If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would it be? And why?
A: “My wife was given by me a 60th birthday present for one of those European river cruises. We haven’t gone yet. She keeps bringing it up saying ‘Uh, I’m almost 62.’ I said, ‘Yeah honey, we’re doing that.’ You have to plan those things so far in advance. She wants to see the Northern Lights and all that stuff, and it’s only in this certain window of November.”

Q: Where do you see yourself in five or 10 years?
A: “I really don’t want to retire, and I don’t want to sell out, and I don’t want to do all those things that I need to do because I have too many people that have been coming here. We still have charge accounts like an old Mom and Pop pharmacy.”

Q: What are three words or phrases that come to mind when you think of the word HOME?
A: “Family, grandkids, and care.”

Q: What advice would you give to a crowd of people?
A: “Do not fall on your face in the concrete getting where it is you’re going or else it’s going to bad. Somewhere along the line it’s going to be bad. Whether in business or personal life, you going to face plant. S”

Thank you so much for following this community project, The Faces of Jackson County! If you have a positive member of our community that you would like to nominate please email Brad Abernathy at rbradabernathy@gmail.com.

Jill Venable-Abernathy with the Abernathy Cochran Groupwould love your Faces nominations.

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