Gas man's side project juices
July 20, 1999 - By Skip Wood, USA TODAY
You might know him as Danny "Chocolate" Myers, the huge man with the menacing
mug who has spent the last 18 years lifting an oversized can and pouring fuel into Dale
Earnhardt's car during pit stops.
But the citizens of Lexington, N.C., know him as that kindly gentleman who operates a
quaint antique shop that has helped revitalize downtown.
Or something like that.
Let's hear from Chocolate, himself, who actually earns his living as a general mechanic in
NASCAR car owner Richard Childress' racing shop.
"My wife, Caron , and I bought an old home, a big ol' house, right on Second Avenue
in Lexington -- it looks kind of like an old movie setting," Myers says. "We
starting putting antiques in the house, different, unusual pieces we'd find by traveling
all over the country to the races. Well, the house got full, and we were still finding
things and didn't have anyplace to put them."
So, several months ago, they followed through on an idea they had been talking about for
years. They found a suitably located shop, rented it and went into the antique business.
"We've both always liked collecting things -- I've got a pretty good collection of
antique phonographs, Victrolas, and Caron likes old oil paintings -- and this just worked
perfectly for us," Myers says. "Really, doing the store is a way to pay for our
It also helps provide incentive for the good folks of Lexington to venture downtown.
"Seems like everybody that comes into the store goes, 'Thank you guys so much for
being a part of downtown,' " Myers says. "We've got a town that was pretty much
like a lot of small towns, with the downtown going away. You know, with the big Wal-Marts
out on the highway. But now it's coming back. We've got some really neat restaurants,
several different little specialty shops, and it seems to be working well."
Myers acknowledges some customers visit the shop because of who he is. But he credits his
wife ("I'm labor, she's management") with giving the shop its allure, which
doesn't include racing memorabilia.
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