The following is an article written a while back by Our State magazine about Murphy, NC. I may have shared it when first published. It is an interesting read for those of you who may not have seen it.
The Town: Murphy
By Jeri Rowe
Photography by Tanya McSween
Although it is closer to the state capitals of five other states than it is to its own, the remote mountain town breathes with the trademark down-home kindness that makes it undeniably North Carolina.
On a morning in Murphy, in a basement with no windows, 13 steps down from the sidewalk, right beside the wide downtown intersection once known as the Bull Moose Pen, James Hogan opens his two-chair barbershop.
He knows his customers will come. They always do. He’s been cutting hair here in this tiny basement spot in this tiny town in the far southwestern corner of North Carolina for 43 years.
He has a jar of Tootsie Pops and $1 videos for his customers and shelled peanuts for himself or anyone else who likes them.
As he waits, he listens to the crackle of his police scanner and the small-town commerce on his radio, which is tuned to WKRK 1320 AM, Murphy’s Country Gold.
In between tunes from Loretta Lynn and Tammy Wynette, listeners call the town’s lone radio station and sell everything from a bass boat to a camper cookstove.
For Hogan, it’s the coziness of the familiar he likes in this spot between two rivers.
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