June 6, 2000 By Sue Meade
Marietta Daily Journal
In the farming community, it is not unusual for several generations of a family to work the land together. But when the family leaves the farm for the city, usually that kind of unity becomes scattered and lost in the corporate hustle.
Not so with the McEver family of Cobb. When they opened their business, Peachtree Camera & Video Repair, the traded crops for cameras but kept the family in focus. Three generations work side-by-side in this shop, making camera care a family affair.
The McEvers were originally farmers in Floyd County until the early 1970s when natural disasters wiped out their crops.
Seeking a new direction, brothers Allen and Wayne entered technical school to study electronics, which led to an opportunity in camera repair.
“Repairing cameras is a whole lot easier than picking cotton. We’re blessed that we got into this,” Allen said.
For nearly 19 years they worked for Atlanta repair shops and for individual manufacturers. With their excellent reputation for quality preceding them, they set up their own shop in 1994 on Wylie Road in Marietta.
“Having the family all together is one reason we’re so blessed. We have six technicians, but one of them is brother Wayne, one is my son Tim and one is my brother-n-law, Bobby Magnicheri,” Allen said.
The nepotism doesn’t stop there. Everyone’s talents are used and they each have found a niche. Allen’s wife, Sissie works the front counter. Wayne wife Gina, works accounts payable. Tim’s wife, Shannon, is the secretary.
Bobby’s wife, Starla, stays home, but provides childcare for their own as well as Tim and Shannon’s daughter.
The matriarch, Lucille McEver, Allen and Wayne’s mother, works in shipping and packaging.
“It’s wonderful working here with my sons and my grandson and everyone. I enjoy it so much Last Monday we had a cookout in here,” Lucille said.
It’s not just one big family reunion everyday, however. The McEvers work hard at this endeavor. They take in 600 cameras a week and have around 8,000 on the premises. They also attend about 40 national camera shows a year.
It’s not just Cobb cameras that come in. Their customer base is global.
“We get cameras from all over the world. We just got one from Samoa newspaper in Pago Pago. We also get them from Japan and the drug task force in the Virgin Islands — everywhere,” Allen said.
Still, they have not lost their hometown appeal. It is not unusual for one of the family to spend over an hour with a customer, gaining trand rapport.
“It doesn’t matter whether its a $20 camera or a $10,000 camera. People love their pictures and their cameras are very important to them,” Allen Said. In addition to cameras, they work on videocameras, flashes, lenses, VCRs, microscopes and movie projectors.
“Fixing cameras is a God-given talent and becoming a lost art. We still repair everything ever made from the 1800s and up. As far as old cameras, we’re told more and more, we’re one of the last ones who fix them,” Allen said.
His son Tim learned electronics in the Air Force, then picked up the necessary skills through on-job training.
“There’s really not any place you can go to learn this. Really the only thing to do is get your electronics and then go ahead and do it,” Tim said.
Tim McEver’s business is gaining popularity with press. It was recently featured in the June issue of Southern Living Magazine.
For more information, call (770) 795-8020