Although Accent on Books has customers from a wide geographical area, we also enjoy being part of the North Asheville/Weaverville neighborhood, and are very appreciative when customers say they consider us their "neighborhood bookstore."
One of our favorite neighbors was Jack Bennett, who lived over on Beaverdam Road, almost within walking distance of the store. For years Jack would drop by the store about once a week, sometimes as a customer but often just as a friend and neighbor, and we'd chat about the things neighbors chat about: the weather, politics, the state of things in Asheville and, more specifically North Asheville. And, oh yes, the postal system -- Jack was a retired postal inspector.
He was also a Buncombe County native, and, as a transplant myself, I especially enjoyed listening to him talk about growing up here, and his knowledge of the various networks of friends and cronies who are often the real powers in a city like Asheville. Jack was no cynic, but he had a healthy skepticism of those in power, and that, combined with a wonderful sense of humor and genuine concern for the less fortunate made him a delight to talk with.
Jack Bennett died earlier this week, after a period of declining health. There will be a funeral Monday at St. Eugene's Catholic Church here in North Asheville, where the Bennett family have been longtime members. We send our condolences and best wishes to his wife Pat, their daughters and all his other friends and family. The Accent on Books neighborhood won't be the same without him.