‘Where were you in ‘62?’

The Jackson County Genealogical Society, winner of Western Carolina University’s 2012 “Mountain Heritage Award,” will host its annual Cruise-In fundraiser from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 1, at the Sylva Plaza.

The event, which will include classic cars (1987 and older) current-day muscle cars and “rat rods” (custom creations designed to express the builder’s take on a retro junk vehicle) as well as music and food, pays tribute to the old Rebel Restaurant, a busy destination during the dozen or so years it operated. Located in front of what’s now Sav-Mor, the Rebel (1960-1972) offered breakfast, lunch and dinner but is best remembered as the place local teens went to see and be seen.

The event’s car registration fees, T-shirt donations and 50-50 raffle will raise money to help cover JCGS operating costs.

A half-century ago, teens out on a Friday night all ended up at The Rebel. It was the place to be, and it still holds a special place in the hearts of a generation of local high-schoolers.

Those who remember nights spent circling the Rebel — the restaurant was located close to the highway with a big lot in back — can recapture some of their lost youth on Oct. 1. In addition to enjoying the vintage vehicles, attendees can hear 1960s music provided by Bud Clayton and enjoy barbeque, hamburgers and hot dogs served up by Charles Allen.

Car owners will pay a $20 registration fee that includes them in raffles to win prizes donated by area auto parts stores and other merchants. Commemorative T-shirts featuring a vintage car will be available for a minimum $20 donation to the JCGS. A 50-50 raffle is planned, with the drawing set for 3:30 p.m. Prints of local artist Jane McClure’s painting of the old Rebel will be free with a minimum $5 donation.

Every penny of the money raised at the Oct. 1 event will benefit the JCGS, which has worked since its 1991 founding to bring together individuals interested in genealogy; to discover, research and exchange materials related to Jackson County genealogy; and to publish genealogical information on a regular basis. The society’s office is located in the Courthouse wing of the Jackson County Library and is open Monday through Friday 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. and Saturdays by appointment.

For more information, find JCGS on Facebook, call 828.631.2646 during office hours, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit www.jcgsnc.org.

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