Futures Dawning

Block Number: 113

by Ginger Todd

As one enters Marion from the north, you can not help but notice the newest quilt block on the left of Main Street, “Futures Dawning”. The brick building on 32 North Main Street was built in 1934 by W. Ray Smith and housed Smith Furniture Company for many years. It is said that the Asheville Citizen noted them at the time as the most modern furniture store in western North Carolina. The business closed in 1996-97 and the structure was rented out for a period of time, then remained empty. In 2000 it was purchased by Joe Davis who believed it would be a good location for his company, Joe Davis Financial Associates, an independent firm, family- owned and operated with the assistance of associates Michael Daye, Debra Mace and Robert Gay. The purchase of the building would provide Joe an opportunity to take part in the downtown revitalization project as well as housing his business.

Joe and his wife Kerry had discussed for a few years on how they could dress up the large area on the side of the building and finally decided a 6’ x 12’ foot quilt block would be perfect. Hosted by Joe and Kerry Davis and sponsored by the Joe Davis Financial Associates, Block #113 on the McDowell Trail is a whimsical interpretation of the Bulls and Bears stock market logo. With the aide of volunteers Mike and Jill Lucas, they utilized “image search” on the computer and decided on an eye-catching design.

Have you ever wondered where the bull and bear market symbols came from? One of the most frequent explanations given is that bears are sluggish and bulls are spirited and burly. When attacking its opponent a bull will thrust its horns up onto the air, while a bear will swipe down with his paws. Metaphorically if the market trend was up and prices rising, it was considered a “bull market”, and if the trend was down, with prices declining, it was referred to as a “bear market”. The Davis firm specializes in investment advisory services of all sorts, including, but not limited to, stocks and bonds so the bull and bear design was perfect to fill the void on the wall.

The decisions regarding the design, size and colors of Futures Dawning was a family affair. Twins Ben and Eliza had a first-hand opportunity to actually see the process involved in assembling a block and the work that goes into it. They even participated in painting parts of it, Ben proudly stating he got to paint the bull’s nose-ring. Although older son Joseph was not available to participate in the painting part, he was greatly involved in the choice of design. The children were impressed with the precision involved in developing a block design and enjoyed visiting the Quilt Trail shop, housed in part of the McDowell House. Kerry states it was a great learning experience for them and they are all now always on the lookout for other quilt blocks and learning the history of each.

The block was installed around 3 P.M. on Wednesday, March 7th by Mike Lucas (who painted the block), Jack Raker and Alan Scholl, all volunteers of the McDowell Quilt Trail. Jill Lucas, Chairman, presented the Certificate of Authenticity to the Davis family standing proudly beneath the large colorful bull and bear representation. The block depicts a brown bear, its mouth open wide in a roar and its clawed paw sweeping downward on the left. The black and grey bull is on the right, horns lifted high, hosting a pair of white horns, a gold ring through its flaring nostrils and tail lifted high behind him. The background of green squares depicts graph paper often used in charts to indicate shifts and patterns in market trading. The ever-changing up and down trends are indicated by erratic spikes outlined in brilliant red with shades of dark purple ranging through pinks, yellows and orange radiating upward. It truly is a stand-out quilt block entering the downtown area of Marion.

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