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Red Hoyle and Chief Duckett


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In 1923, when James “Red” Hoyle (pictured, right) was 9, he sold the State edition of the Asheville Citizen, shouting “X-tree! X-tree!” from his post at the northeast corner of Pack Square. Some of the headlines of that year were about the establishment of the J.A. Baker packing company, a slaughterhouse on Riverside Drive; the burning down of the Commercial Hotel in Sylva; and the development of Biltmore Forest and of LakeView Park in Asheville. Hoyle became a favorite of the Asheville Fire Department across the street. “They made me their mascot and got rid of the dog,” Hoyle liked to joke. Fireman Roy Fisher taught Red to play the ukulele and participate in square dances hosted at the fire department. Chief A.L. Duckett (pictured, left) had established the first paid department staff around the time of this photo. As a paperboy, Hoyle also got to know Charlie Parker at First Union Bank. “If I ever get a break in life,” little Red said to Parker, “would you loan me some money?” Parker said yes and 20 years later came through, lending Hoyle $3,000 to establish his own typewriter supply business, which evolved into Hoyle Office Supplies on North Market Street. The business, called Hoyle Office Solutions, is now run by his children in an Arden location.

— Rob Neufeld, RNeufeld@charter.net

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