• 66°

Landis remembers local jeweler, historian, killed in crash

LANDIS — Well-known businessman Fred Talbert died Wednesday afternoon after he was struck by a car on South Zion Avenue.

The 89-year-old jeweler was riding down South Zion on a motorized wheelchair when the car hit him, Landis Police Chief Wood said. The accident happened around 2 p.m. Talbert died at the scene after CPR efforts failed.

The driver of the car that struck Talbert had not been charged Wednesday evening. Wood said the investigation is ongoing, and authorities planned to meet with the Rowan County district attorney on Monday.

To the people of Landis, Talbert will be remembered as a storyteller. His store on South Central Avenue, Talbert’s Jewelry, has been a feature in Landis since the 1940s, but the man himself is what people remember.

“He’s just been a fixture,” Tonya Goodman said.

Goodman works at Helping Hands Thrift Store, which has been a neighbor to Talbert’s Jewelry for several years.

Landis Town Manager Reed Linn says it’s local legend that Talbert, originally from Mooresville, and a polio survivor, started his business in the back of a shoe store. In his more than 60 years in Landis, Talbert became steeped in the town’s history, and was considered by many to be its unofficial historian.

“When we needed information of years past, we always went to him,” Linn said.

Linn said that Talbert was a staunch supporter of the town, and that he was always looking for ways Landis could improve.

He was known as a storyteller. Goodman remembered that Talbert loved to talk about the “old days,” and that older generations of Landis natives were always stopping by the store to chat with him. For a long time, Goodman said, Talbert was Helping Hands’ landlord. He owned three buildings on South Central Avenue including Talbert’s Jewelry.

He sold the buildings a few years ago to Blair Phillips, a photographer from Charlotte and a former renter of Talbert’s. Phillips said he admired Talbert’s work ethic, and credits him with the success of his business.

“He said, ‘Son, if we can make your business grow, let’s make it happen,’” Phillips remembered.

Phillips said that Talbert sold the buildings to him at a deal, with the condition that his jewelry business be allowed to stay on as a renter. Phillips told Talbert he could stay as long as he liked.

He was a hard worker, Linn said, working long hours at his jewelry store on South Central Avenue. He never knew a stranger, and would give his customers a good deal and a break when they needed one — their word was good enough for Talbert.

“He was a handshake kind of guy,” Linn said.

Phillips said that Talbert always had a smile, and was an optimistic, upbeat man.

“There’s just not that many men like him that are left,” Phillips said.

Many who grew up in Landis can’t remember a time when Talbert’s Jewelry wasn’t a feature of downtown, or when Talbert himself wasn’t tinkering away inside—including Linn, who says he knew Talbert for more than 40 years.

Even after he was old enough to retire, Talbert kept working half days at the shop. He would open at 9 a.m. sharp every morning, Goodman said, and work until noon. He was seen, as usual, fixing watches in his store the day he died.

“He will truly be missed by the community,” Linn said.

Talbert has a daughter and a son-in-law in Kannapolis. He also has a son, living in China Grove, several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Comments

Nation/World

Trump vows quick Supreme Court vote, Biden urges delay for Nov. 3

Nation/World

New rule may strip pollution protections from popular lakes

East Spencer

East Spencer draws crowd for annual community day

Elections

In Rowan’s legislative races, Howard, Warren get off to strongest start in fundraising

Business

From Navy SEAL to Medicare agent, Trent Waller looks to continue serving his community

Elections

In 13th Congressional District race, Budd, Huffman differ on government’s role in COVID-19 help

Local

Rowan County Telecommunications joins new state digital 911 system

Education

School board will consider scheduling public hearings for Faith, Enochville closures

Business

Biz Roundup: Food Lion makes donation to support racial equality and justice

Elections

Republicans rally supporters at Saturday lunch

Elections

Budd holds wide lead over Huffman in fundraising, cash on hand

Crime

UPDATED: 1 shot, 5 in custody after shooting at haunted house that attracted 1,000 visitors

Nation/World

Trump picks conservative Amy Coney Barrett to fill Supreme Court seat

Coronavirus

Deadly September propels Rowan County to 100 deaths from COVID-19

Crime

Highway Patrol charges man in hit-and-run after finding vehicle hidden in woods

Elections

NC elections board, Republicans at odds over absentee ballot rule changes

News

Voters struggling with witness rules in early voting

News

Trump expected to announce conservative Amy Coney Barrett for Supreme Court

Coronavirus

County reports COVID-19 percent positive rate of 8%

Local

Rowan County United Way sets $1.5 million goal at drive-in kickoff event

Crime

Blotter: Adult daughters accused of beating up mother

China Grove

China Grove firefighters injured after truck overturns

Business

Salisbury VA to reopen entry, exit gates

Crime

Sheriff’s Office looking for suspect in Burlington Coat Factory theft