Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - 62

F L AV O R S

The Shamrock Beverage and Tobacco Shop
300 West Walnut Street, Johnson City, Tennessee
(423) 926-8511
The Shamrock has been located in the same spot for 90 years.

"Tart lemon, sweet orange," says Jack. "And it was delicious. I think it's one of the best drinks there is."
Jack takes us through a labyrinth of hallways, stairs,
and doors to what has become known as The Back Room,
where lemon squeezing machines from the past 47 years
are on display.
As that 1971 remodeling was taking place, Jack bought
an adjoining laundry building, thinking he could use the
additional space for an employee break room. Instead,

it became a gathering place for the city's politicos, professors, and professional loafers. Football and basketball
coaches from nearby East Tennessee State University hold
forth there. Former Senator Bill Frist has been a guest. Although the space feels like a 1960s fallout shelter, it has
become an obligatory stop for anyone in the area who is
running for office.
Chess matches take place in The Back Room. Family
birthday parties are held there. A belly dancer once entertained the clientele. Near a fairly modern copy machine
sits a donated television with rabbit ear antennae, covered
with aluminum foil. "We can pick up a few ballgames on
it and some news," Jack says.
Two of the driving forces behind the longevity of The
Shamrock are the work ethic and the wisdom of Jack Cox.
He says he owes his work ethic to his wife, his parents,
grandparents, employees, teachers, football coaches,
Munsey Memorial United Methodist Church, and his
children, Elizabeth, Caroline, Jackson, and Morgan. "It's
a team effort," he says.
Johnson City is marking its sesquicentennial this year.
As part of the celebration, we raise a glass of orange-infused lemonade and say "Happy 90th Birthday" to the
little shop on the corner.
Fred and Jill Sauceman are the authors of the new book
"Chased by the Wolf: A Life with Lupus and the Kidney
Transplant That Saved It."

Cherokee County North Carolina
ANDREWS | MURPHY | BRASSTOWN

Open For All Seasons

ARTS | RECREATION | HISTORY | FESTIVALS
WE HAVE IT ALL!

www.visitcherokeecountync.com
info@visitcherokeecountync.com
828-557-0602

62

BLUERIDGECOUNTRY.COM


http://www.visitcherokeecountync.com http://baysmountain.com http://www.BLUERIDGECOUNTRY.COM

Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019

Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - Intro
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - Cover1
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - Cover2
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - 3
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - 4
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Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - BRPG1
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - BRPG2
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Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - BRPG10
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Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2019 - BRPG20
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