01coverUAC050119001If you’ve ever been to Legends Pub, you probably know something about the Annual Spring Fling, which takes place May 3-5 this year. And if you know about the Spring Fling, it’s probably because a friendly Legends customer told you about it. After all, the little bar on Bragg Boulevard is known for its ever-welcoming environment and has been for the last 23 years.

“That’s what makes us special. People come to us because we take care of our own,” said Holly Whitley, owner of Legends Pub. “We don’t have problems, we don’t have arguments, we don’t have fights. We’re there to have a good time and enjoy each other’s company.”

This camaraderie began long before Legends Pub was even in the works. During the 1980s, Whitley and a small group of friends banded together to form the Gypsy Women. As the members of the group have grown and experienced joys and tragedies together, the Gypsy Women have evolved into more than just a collection of friends. Now, the group is dedicated to laying down their time and resources for the benefit of others, particularly through the annual Spring Fling.

“When we bought the bar, we decided to expand the Spring Fling to an event that we could (put on to) help somebody. The first year it was a benefit,” said Whitley. “That’s the title that a Gypsy Woman has — one that volunteers their work and helps us out. It’s amazing.”

This year, the Spring Fling will raise funds for Donald “Duck” Schnieders, a loyal friend and customer at the bar. After a serious motorcycle accident in August 2018, Schnieders is starting his ninth month of recovery. “He just now is getting back on his feet,” said Whitley. “We decided to wait until he was mobile until we did a benefit for him. He’s been a customer at Legends for a long time — (he’s) a good friend, a good guy.”

Whitley has faith that her community will join in the effort to support Schnieders. “We have a strong base. When we come together to do a benefit, people come out, they’re always there to support it,” she said.

In fact, the people at Legends make a habit of taking care of, and remembering, their own. “We just did the Scott Sather Memorial toast on (April 8),” Whitley said. “It was our 16th year that we’ve gathered together.”

Sather, a longtime friend of Legends, was killed in an accident in Iraq on April 8, 2003. He was a member of the 24th Special Tactics Squadron, an elite Air Force operations unit assigned to the Joint Special Operations Command at Pope Army Field. “Sixteen years later, this is another thing that makes us timeless — we’re still remembering him by gathering together.” Legends also holds an annual Scott Sather Memorial Run as part of its Spring Fling, to be held Saturday, May 4, this year.

These gatherings always incorporate a Legendsstyle good time into the mix, in honor of the good times shared with loved ones over the years. 

“On Friday night, we get together some people (who) bring door prizes by, on Saturday we start off with the poker run … then we have a pig-picking and our auction,” said Whitley.

But it doesn’t stop there — the weekend will be full of activities all through Sunday night. “Saturday night we usually have live music or a DJ, Sunday we will start out with lunch, and then we’ll have the Ralph Pinney Jr. Bike Show & Rodeo,” Whitley said. 

The Spring Fling ends with a memorial toast. “We have a wall in Legends where we have people who have passed,” said Whitely. “We’ll be hanging Ralph’s picture on the wall that afternoon.”

Ralph Pinney Jr., another longtime friend to Legends, died of pancreatic cancer March 6, 2019. “Ralph has been a customer of mine for 22-anda- half years,” Whitley said.

Despite the growing number of pictures on that wall, Whitley said she remembers every member of the Legends community, both past and present.

“I can tell you a story about pretty much every person on that wall. Ralph and his wife, Allison, were always a part of the family — we knew what was going on in their lives, we knew what to ask about them personally.”

Just like family, the relationships at Legends last for generations. “There’s a connection with everybody that comes along, (and) you get to know people’s parents, just like my kids’ friends knew me,” Whitley said.

The Pub is as timeless as the community it has built. “We’ve got the third generation going up, the grandchildren of all the people that started the bar,” said Whitley. “Our regular customers are legends.”

Servicemen and women especially call Legends home. “We’re Legends Pub, where deployments begin and end,” quoted Whitley from a favorite Tshirt sold by the bar. As the bar is located near Fort Bragg, many loyal customers are war heroes themselves, with some having faithfully served the U.S. their entire lives. And Legends is proud of it, too. “I don’t care what people’s personal opinions are, that’s what we base ourselves off of,” Whitley said.

Join the community at Legends Pub to honor heroes and loved ones alike at the Annual Spring Fling the weekend of May 3-5. Legends Pub is located at 4624 Bragg Blvd. #1, and overflow parking is available at Ken’s Muffler and Auto Repair. For more information, call Legends at 910-867-2364.

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