Bob Cable was ‘Elizabethton’ proud; he made our town prettier and better

Published 4:29 pm Friday, August 19, 2022

Robert “Bob” Cable was pretty well-known around Elizabethton. For more than 30 years he was owner of Ledford Upholstery in Elizabethton.
The business was Cable’s home away from home as it was there he met with politicians, local town leaders and business people to plan projects and ways to promote the town. If you were thinking of running for office, you went to see Cable. He could introduce you to people of influence.
But, more than that, Cable was one of Elizabethton’s biggest fans. He wanted to see Elizabethton grow and he promoted a number of projects to help his community. For a few years, he planned and promoted a Fourth of July Parade downtown and he with a little help turned Lynn Mountain into a giant Christmas greeting.
Each year following the Christmas parade, Cable opened his store for an after-parade reception with Christmas food and goodies for friends and patrons. It was always a festive occasion and Bob was the life of the party.
Bob remembered when in 1990, the local National Guard early one Saturday morning paraded down Broad Street on its way to maneuvers at a Kentucky military base — the first leg of a six-months military jaunt to Saudi-Arabia. He remembered the big flag that was attached to a crane and flown at one end of Broad Street as the soldiers made their way out of town. Cable led the effort to install the flag pole and giant American flag at the intersection of Broad Street and W. Elk Ave., and for many years maintained the display with the help of the Elizabethton Fire Department. He often mended the flag when it became frayed in his downtown shop. Although he never served in the military, he had much respect for the men and women who had served their country.
That was not all Cable did. Near his home in Blackbottom, he made sure the Riverside Park was well maintained and manicured.
Cable was very civic-minded and served one term as an Elizabethton City Councilman.
He and his wife, Brenda, had no children of their own, but served as a second father and mother to the children of Brenda’s great-niece, who lived next door to them.
He enjoyed helping children, and often at Christmas would buy a dozen or so bicycles to give to needy children.
Cable enjoyed politics and was very active in the Carter County Republican Party, serving for a time as treasurer. Each year with the help of party volunteers he would host a pig barbecue. Not only Republicans came, but some Democrats did. It proved a good financial venture for the local GOP.
Cable enjoyed holidays and other fun events. He especially enjoyed UT football, and attended many of the games.
Bob Cable was an Elizabethton treasure, one who contributed much to the town and made it a fun place to visit. He not only gave of his time and resources to make things happen, but gave of himself.
When he had his downtown shop, he most summer mornings could be found sitting on a bench out front, where he visited with those arriving for work in the downtown, and some who walked downtown to get their exercise. For many years, Bob Cable was a fixture on Elk Avenue, and he would have it no other way.
We have missed Bob Cable since he retired and sold his business and went home to Blackbottom. But every Christmas when the Merry Christmas greeting and Christmas tree light up on Lynn Mountain, we are reminded of Bob Cable and his giving spirit. He left us an example, may we be keen to follow it.

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