Table of Contents August 2012
Standing at the door of the chartered Cessna Citation II, a beaming Keith Simmons greets his guests. “This is the way we roll!” After bounding up the steps, Scott Mabe, who mows lawns and does repairs for Simmons, sinks into a soft leather seat. Ninety minutes after clearing nearly deserted Wilkes County Airport, the jet touches down in Florida. Mabe, with the others, checks into his $188-a-night hotel room, changes into shorts and relaxes. That evening, he’ll watch wide-eyed as Cage Dolls cheerleaders dance while opponents pummel each other in contests staged by Tampa-based Xtreme Fighting Championships Inc., one of Simmons’ investments
n the late 1940s, Bill Claydon’s father opened a tattoo parlor in Oceanside, Calif. A 6- by 12-foot room inside an arcade, it was the only one between San Diego and Los Angeles, catering almost ex- clusively to Marines from nearby Camp Pendleton. When Claydon bought this one in Fayetteville in 1986 — he thinks it opened in the ’70s, making it one of the oldest, if not the oldest, in the state still in business — it was a lot like his dad’s, with mostly military clientele and little competition. Now rivals surround Bill Claydon’s Tattoo World Inc.
We're No. 1.
How the economy turns.
Free & Clear
John Hood's introductory column.
State needs restrictions on licensing.