Way back in the fall of 2016 I found myself in downtown Mocksville in the late afternoon on one of those days where there was an ideal mixture of sun, Carolina blue sky and perfect temperature. The remodeling project at the Davie County Courthouse was still in progress, but most of the exterior of the building had been restored to its former glory. People were going about their business, but the streets were not “rolling up” as they do in many small downtowns after 5:00 p.m.

As I meandered through the eclectic shops and admired the early twentieth century architecture I found myself falling in love. I saw a great mixture of retail, restaurant, office and residential spaces. All too soon it was time for me to head to Town Hall where I was first interviewed for the Town Manager position. You all already know that I did not get the job. However, I decided that if the position ever came open again I would definitely apply because I wanted to be a part of what was going in Mocksville.

Fast forward to 2018 and I was yet again pursuing the Town Manager position. As I walked through downtown before my interview I noted that it was even more impressive with the copper dome having been installed on the bell tower of the courthouse the previous year and completion of the quiet oasis at Main Street Park. Like many of you, I mourned the loss of the final two willow oak trees and hoped the new trees would provide another 80 years of shade for the community. Unfortunately, I came in second again in the interview process, but still remained entranced by Mocksville.

In late 2020 I made the now familiar tour through downtown and marveled at the addition of great destinations like The Station, Lydia Jaynes and Skyline Bank.  These joined old favorites including Scoops, Restaurant 101, O’Callahans, 4 Oaks, Foster Jewelers and others. The NCDOT crosswalk improvements and the “Running of the Horses” mural enhanced an already charming downtown ambiance.

The third time was definitely the charm and the Board of Commissioners either took pity on a lovesick traveler or were impressed by my persistence and I was honored to accept their offer to be Mocksville’s fifth Town Manager.

I know that Mocksville is much more than its downtown with an impressive industrial, retail and residential future. I will diligently work to make the entire community a better place for everyone. I will always remember that it was your downtown that first captured my heart and imagination. But even I did not know that the best was yet to come.

As I was introducing myself to downtown merchants with Community Development Director Tami Langdon shortly after I started my new job as manager I saw that 136 N. Main Street was being renovated and found, much to my delight, that the second floor would be residential. After a tour of the building graciously provided by building owner Wendy Terry and a second tour with my lovely wife and partner of 34 years we decided we wanted to be a part of the downtown Mocksville renaissance. So Lisa and I will be packing up sometime late summer to early fall to start a new adventure.

I can’t begin to express my appreciation for this opportunity.

Ken Gamble