Saying goodbye to Rose Hill Market
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- It’s the end of an era in the Rose Hill neighborhood of Charlottesville.
The Rose Hill Market closed its doors for good this past weekend. It was in business for more than 30 years.
Friends and loyal customers stopped by to say goodbye to the man many call the Mayor of Rose Hill, George Swingler.
One of those visitors was Bill Downer, who was Swingler’s first-ever boss.
“George is a good man,” he said. “I gave him his first-ever job out of high school when I was in retail in downtown. And I recommended him for the police job that he finally got.”
This is not Swingler’s first role as a local figure of historical significance.
He was just the second Black deputy ever hired by the Albemarle County Sheriff’s Office. He spent more than 25 years in law enforcement.
Swingler has a simple attitude about breaking barriers.
“Try,” he said. “You know, you can do anything that you really want to do in life. It’s nothing hard unless you make it hard for yourself.”
While he is known in Rose Hill as a great businessman, he is also known for being a good neighbor.
Denise Starks Bell works next door at Jones Heating and Air.
“He’s a great neighbor,” she said. “He’s very concerned, he’ll come over and check on us and make sure we’re alright if one of us is in the building by ourselves. We have a young couple that is disabled. He’ll even walk them to the end of the street, making sure they get across the street. He’ll stop traffic for them to get across the street. He's more what we call, I call him the mayor of Rose Hill Drive.”
The final business day for Rose Hill Market was on Saturday.
Swingler says he will miss the people a lot.
“I know it’s going to be hard on them as well as be hard on me,” he said. “That we don’t get to see each other and talk. So year, they will be greatly missed in my life.”