Laurel, Mississippi wouldn't be who it is without the incredible people that fill this little southeastern town. Mr. Gary is one of those important people. His values, courage, and ability shine through as soon as you meet him and you want.. NEED him to be a part of your life. You see, the Jones family stumbled upon Laurel and thought they would just "pass through", maybe do a quick stop at the Mercantile or the Scotsman General Store... Little did they know, that when they stopped, they would get so much more than just a new t-shirt or candle. Mr. Gary was one of the first people that the Jones family met while visiting Laurel the first time. Needless to say, they fell in love with him and his joy that he brought to this city. He convinced them to stick around for the annual chili cook-off the next day and the rest is history. They bought a home and decided to renovate it as a way of giving back to the community in Laurel, and Gary was the well-deserving recipient of the newly renovated beauty. We got to watch the Joneses emphatically love their new home and get excited about choosing someone to come in and own this new place.
In December, this home along with many others on this street and surrounding areas were hit by a tornado the week before Christmas. It ripped through the heart of the downtown areas, but left this particular area in shambles. There didn't seem to be a roof or home in site that wasn't destroyed. It was a terrifying night for so many of the downtown residents, but for Gary the home that he had just moved into, a dream home that he never expected was severely damaged and was left heartbroken. These residents were left without power or water for weeks.
Gary's faith in God kept him moving, and kept him thankful that there were no fatalities and as he would say, "A home can be rebuilt, but you only got one life on this Earth. I'm thankful God is letting me see another one."
You're absolutely right, Gary. A home CAN be rebuilt! So we had to make it right. This space had to be repaired and Erin, Ben, and the team wouldn't sleep until they knew they would be able to come back in and fix the home. And boy are we so glad that they could! As if the first time around the Jones home wasn't an incredible transformation, the second time around blew us away. It's the perfect oasis for Gary. I imagine he'll be cooking something delicious on the grill in that new backyard of his and we can only hope we'll be invited because conversations with Gary are the absolute best. He has the kindest soul and the most genuine spirit, this space couldn't go to a better human. Mr. Gary you are a part of our family and we just love you so! Thanks for all that you do for this city and we hope you are enjoying your new home to the fullest.
Visit here to remember the first renovation for the Jones home and here to see the Jones Collection at Laurel Mercantile!