R. M. “Randy” Randolph

Robert M. “Randy” Randolph, owner/operator of Randolph’s Pure Oil, 784 Haywood Road, 1947-1955, and of Broadway Pure Oil, 50 Broadway, 1957-1959. (As of 2023, these are the respective sites of the restaurants Universal Joint and Mellow Mushroom.)
Photograph by Juanita Wilson. O536-DS

Randy and Idella, along with their two daughters, moved to West Asheville in November 1945, typical of many young families starting new family chapters following the end of WWII. Randy spent two years selling life insurance before taking the service station business, but had grown up in Swain County, working on cars by trial and error, before the age of electronic and computer-driven technology. He would brag (truthfully!) that he could disassemble a car completely and put it back together! He predated some modern car repair shops, who brag about always washing the customers’ cars after any service performed. Randy had young men from high school vocational classes who worked afternoons and evenings pumping gas, washing cars, and even selling tires. No matter how old these young men became, those who remained in West Asheville were always referred to as ‘boys’!

Robert Randolph, son of R. M. “Randy” Randolph, 2023