About the author : paulwesslundwriter

Paul Wesslund spent a career writing and editing for newspapers and in the energy industry. When he retired in 2015 he went on to write two books on how kindness and integrity leads to success, wrote a monthly energy column, became an environmental organizer, and got involved in the leadership of his church.

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How a family restaurant and the eastern Kentucky rock climbing community grew up together

DARIO VENTURA REMEMBERS THE BEGINNINGS of Miguel’s Pizza & Rock Climbing Shop, from an ice cream store in the eastern Kentucky mountain town of Slade to one of the centerpieces of the international rock climbing community. “We had 32 flavors of Häagen-Dazs and it was actually pretty popular. We used to have lines out the door,” says the 32-year-old son of the owners, Miguel and Susan. In 1986, they switched to selling pizza.

“We felt bad we weren’t contributing anything healthy. We were just feeding people tons of ice cream,” he recalls. And something else happened, Dario says: Miguel and Susan listened to a unique group of customers.

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