By Clint Parker
Weaverville – These are pictures of identical twin brothers, Don (Don is on the left in the latest photo) and Dick Fowler, both taken in front of the barbershop in downtown Weaverville in roughly the same spot. The only thing that separates the two images is time – about 79 years, to be exact.
In the first photograph, Don and Dick were only two years old and in the second one, taken this past summer, they were 80 on their way to 81. They were born on December 3, 1938, so they turned 81 this week.
“My dad (Don) currently lives in Weaverville with his wife Clare and my Uncle Dick lives in Jacksonville, Florida, but has a second home right next door to my dad,” said Don’s daughter, Donnette Diehl. Don and Dick looked so much alike in the early picture that their mom couldn’t identify who was who in the photo, said Donnette. “The building looks different, but it is still a barbershop 78-plus years later.
Don and his brother grew up in Weaverville, graduating in 1956 from North Buncombe, then Don joined the Navy for three years and then came back home. “I went to UNC-Asheville and then I left again and went to work for Hershey’s Chocolate for 30 years,” Don told the Tribune. “I moved back in ‘96 and I’ve been here ever since.” Asked if it seemed like 78 years between photographs, Don said, “No, not really.”
At Hershey, Don worked in logistics and inventory control. “It was a good career. I worked in Florida, California and Pennsylvania. Don said he wanted to move back home. “The family farm was still sitting here and we moved back and renovated the farmhouse…so I’m back where I started from.”
Don and Dick were born on Hamburg Mountain, where his dad worked for the then-owner Netty Jones. “We used to be able to drive up there and picnic at the top.” While his brother Dick comes in every month or so, Florida is his primary home. Asked whose idea it was to re-create the photo in front of the barbershop, Don credited Dick’s children. They all wanted to do it.”
These photos just go to show that time flies. As the fictional movie character Ferris Bueller notes, “Life moves pretty fast. You don’t stop and look around once in a while you could `miss it.”