There is a little business right in the the center of downtown Gleason that touches our hearts. It's name is J&P Car Care and it represents one of the major landmarks of downtown Gleason, having now been in business at the corner of Cedar and Main for well over half a century.
While the focus of this business has always been on meeting the automotive service needs of the Gleason community, most days it also serves as a comfortable place for any number of town folks to get together and catch up on the latest local news, perhaps share a joke or two, or just chat with friends. In talking with the owner, Mr. Johnny Lowery, he notes that sometimes there are so many spinning yarns with their buddies that it is hard to even get to the cash register.
If you need a tire changed, need directions to get where you are going or maybe just some advice regarding your car, J&P Car Care is the place to go. And, J&P Car Care may well be one of the few places around West Tennessee where they will still pump your gas for you, if needed.
Since it's early beginnings, in the 1940ís or 50ís, it has always been a full service gas station, a relic most do not see today. It is an Exxon distributor where one can get gas, diesel fuel, tires, batteries, antifreeze, and your oil changed. While there have been a number of service stations in Gleason over the years, J&P Car Care is the longest survivor.
Coy Black was the original owner but was sadly killed in a wrecker accident. At that time. two of his employees, Willie B. Upchurch and Junior Watts, took over the business. Charles Belew worked for all three until he eventually took over the business around the late 70ís. Charles Belew says that he remembers the station providing auto services for the local clay companies and employing up to 12-15 people on Saturdays, thus providing more jobs for the community.
Photo Courtesy of Diane Black Mayo
In May of 1991, Johnny Lowery of Gleason bought the business. Mr. Johnny had been working for Mr. Belew off and on from the age of 16 and gives a lot of credit to Mr. Paul Stewart for helping him get started.
Just 6 months after Mr. Lowery bought J&P Car Care, the building burned. Thankfully, it was not completely destroyed and could still be salvaged. This was not a stopping point for Mr. Lowery; he continued to work while rebuilding the place.
Now Mr. Lowery works side by side with his only full-time employee, Micah Bailey. They are compassionate people that will help you in fair or bad weather, whether it involves jump starting your car or coming and changing your tire when you are not in the vicinity of the service station.
J&P Car Care is open from 6 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Monday through Friday, and 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday.
J&P Car Care strives to makes time for the people they serve in order to meet their individual car-care needs. They are truly a "Hometown Kind of Business" that tries to make it easy for those in the Gleason community to decide to "Shop Local" when they are in need of automotive services.
Among all the vestiges that Gleason has to offer, J&P Car Care is definitely at the top.
Story by Rachel Hughey and Kay Hudson