A visit with Candy Richard
You might have seen Candy Richard featured in the Moore County News in years past. In 2006 she was featured in the “Profiles & Life in Lynchburg” column written by Tabitha Moore. In 2008 June Pugh featured her in a “More About Moore” column. A few years ago Stacy Preston wrote an article that featured Candy in a story of her fight and victory over cancer.
Here we are in 2021 and I thought it was time to update, what we know about one of our better-known, hometown girls.
Candy was born in Louisville, Kentucky in 1946. Her parents Graddy & Mary Louise “Cookie” Richard had 2 boys and 2 girls. The family moved to Lynchburg in 1958, when Graddy became the General Manager for Jack Daniel. Their first home in Lynchburg was the white house on the Highway, next door to the Library.
Candy said, “I remember standing on the porch and watching this cute Lynchburg boy ride by on his motorcycle. I guess you could say he was my first love.” I asked if she ever got a ride on that motorcycle and she answered right back with a grin, “I sure did, I got a few!!”
Candy attended Lynchburg Elementary for two years and then transferred to Lincoln County schools. She graduated in 1964 and even back then, people recognized her personality, and she was voted, “Friendliest” in her graduating class.
After high school, Candy left Tennessee to attend Stephens College and the University of Missouri. She graduated with a degree in horticulture. While she was in school and also after graduation, Candy was never idle. She began her working career in a flower shop and a greenhouse. She worked at Hertz Rent a Car and was a waitress at two different businesses. She worked in food service at the college and as a secretary at a meat company. She also worked at Cottonwood Airport for a while and gave landing information to approaching aircraft.
While she was still at Stephens College, she volunteered at the Serviceman’s Center in Columbia, Mo. It was a center for servicemen who were coming home or going overseas. “We fed them and found them places to stay. I met a lot of nice guys and made lots of memories.” “The guys would give me their company Army patches, and I sewed them on an Army shirt, I still have that shirt, to this day.” During that time, Candy volunteered to go to Vietnam as a “Doughnut Dolly” with the Red Cross. She had her security clearance and all her shots and was ready to go, but her folks convinced her that she needed to stay stateside, and do what she could do, to help, here at home.
Candy enrolled in an Army trial program, while at college. It was a basic training program where the girls stayed in barracks and learned all things about military life. She said, “I was issued a uniform and I learned to spit shine my shoes.” At the end of the program if you enlisted you would enter as a 2nd Lieutenant. She decided that the Army life was not for her and she returned to Stephens and worked in the food service department. She said she helped feed 1500 students every day. In her 3 years there, she met one of the truck drivers that delivered to the college. They became friends and she would sometimes travel with him on his other deliveries. She said, “I would ride with him to Kansas City and back, and that’s when I knew I wanted to drive a big rig.” He taught her to drive an 18 wheeler on those trips.
In 1970, she had saved up $900, she quit her job and went to Europe for 6 weeks. She stayed with friends and traveled through France and Germany and Norway. “We got on a train in Germany and German soldiers took our passports. “That was a scary situation because the only thing I could say in German was “Gesundheit”. “If someone sneezed, they always smile back at me.” The soldiers returned her passports after 30 minutes, but that was a scary and memorable moment in my life.” “I remember we went to Checkpoint Charlie at the Berlin Wall and saw a small white cross leaning against the wall. We were told that someone had tried to come over the wall the night before, and was killed. That made a huge impression on me.”
After college and her European adventures, Candy returned to Tennessee, to see what was next in her life. She approached the folks at Tullahoma Freight and admitted she was new to the trucking business but wanted to drive a big rig. They took a chance on her and she worked for them for 3 years. She gave herself the CB handle, “Tadpole”. She delivered for the two most famous distilleries in this part of the country and made many friends, on and off the radio. While driving a truck, Candy saw a need that she thought would be a great business opportunity. She bought a power washer and began Tadpoles Power Wash.
In 1981 she was washing trucks for Bell South and other major companies. She saw that other places needed power washing too. The first house she washed in Moore County belonged to Bud Cates. She went on to wash tractors, outbuildings, and even a few airplanes. She purchased the gas station and little white house at Mulberry, from J.C. Marshall, and along with the power wash business, she had a gas station and road service.
In 1988, she sold the gas station part of the property and moved into the little white house up on the hill. She renovated it and opened the Mulberry House Bed and Breakfast.
I would like to say that we have finished Candy’s interview, but we are not quite done.
Along with all her business dealings, along the way, she worked at BBQ Caboose and she established and ran the C & R Buggy tours. She has been a moving force in the Chamber of Commerce where she was responsible for Frontier Days, Spring in the Hollow, and Christmas Lynchburg. She worked at the Welcome Center and she organized the Home tour that helped raise funds for the Old Jail Museum and Historical Society.
During Candy’s life, she has walked away from driving a big rig off the side of Mount Eagle Mountain, survived a run-away horse and buggy, came back better than ever after hip surgery and she kicked Cancers butt in 2008.
She rented a horse on her high school senior trip to New York, rode it around Central Park, and almost missed the bus to come back home. I think we will save the story about Candy and 6 of her friends, who hitchhiked to Fort Leonard Wood Army base, for another time.
As I documented all of Candy’s adventures, I asked her how she did all those things. She said, “I always loved working, and considered my work was my hobby.” She shared with me, what she thought, got her this far in her life, “As I grew up, I grew closer to God, I realized he takes care of me every day.”
Candy is not as busy as she used to be. She still has the Mulberry House and enjoys her visitors. She and her sister, Sandy, stay busy. The flower beds at the Mulberry House are neat and tidy and Candy loves the horses out at Woodye Bedford’s farm.
When Candy comes to visit us over here on Hope Street, our little Yorkshire puppy, Emmy Lou, looks forward to sitting in her lap and doing tricks for the special treats, she brings. Emmy Lou is an excellent judge of character. She loves Candy, just like everyone else in Lynchburg/Moore County and beyond.