Crew sees problem, cleans up downtown garden walkway


Joe Hardee, center, supervises Fawn Rawls and Tyler Holmes as they pressure wash concrete in a downtown walkway.

Some people see things that need cleaning up and wonder why someone hasn’t done it. Others see a mess and clean it up.
That’s what Joe Hardee and two members of his Crystal Castle power washing crew, Tyler Holmes of Bladenboro and Fawn Rawls from this area, did in downtown Whiteville last Monday.
Hardee said he had been noticing that the pretty little walkway between Collier’s Jewelers and the restaurant next door was dirty. Aza-Mellia Garden Club members keep it looking nice by planting and taking care of flowers and shrubs in the area, but they’re not really equipped to handle pressure washing.
Hardee decided that he and his crew would do the job, no questions asked, no fee charged. He said he called everybody he could think of…City Hall, the Chamber of Commerce…to get permission.
“I talked with some of the garden club members and they are fine ladies,” he said. “If a few of us would get together to do more down here we could knock out the whole town. If every service provider would do a little bit, can you imagine what we could do? I hope others will get involved in the town and donate some time to keep it looking good.”
Hardee is not a native of this area, but his father, Paul Leroy Hardee, is. He used to work for Wells Oldsmobile. Joe’s mother, Colleen Hardee, is from Pennsylvania and Joe grew up in the Philadelphia area. They moved back to his dad’s territory in 1982 and his mom used to manage the Columbus Theatre. Joe worked there when he was a teenager.
Speaking of his generous donation of cleaning the concrete, Joe said, “I like to do something once in a while to make up for some of the bad I did in this town,” he said with a laugh. He graduated from Whiteville High School in 1993.
He said he got his start in window washing and pressure washing with Mr. Lynn, now deceased, and his business takes him all over, even down to Myrtle Beach. He said he washes the windows in the Columbus County Courthouse, the Courthouse Annex and the Ward Building every three months.
Hardee lives in North Whiteville near Land-O-Lakes Golf Course.