Neal Brown helping out back home: ‘It’s just typical Neal’

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DANVILLE, KY (WOWK) — This pandemic has been hard for everyone — restaurant and small business owners, especially.

One of which is Nathan Schepman. owner of Melton’s Deli in Danville, Kentucky.

Schepman has kept afloat recently by doing take out and delivery, like many others, and has received support from customers buying gift cards

Like the ones purchased from his childhood friend… Neal Brown.

“He still thinks of the rest of us,” Schepman says. “He’s got a big heart. He’s just not putting on an act, he’s always been that way. He’s always thought of others and that’s what was so inspiring during this time. He was thinking about us, here in this small town.”

Nathan Schepman, owner of Melton’s Deli

About 3 or 4 weeks ago, Brown’s assistant called — with Brown’s credit card number — and bought several gift certificate to be mailed to Morgantown.

“I bought all kind of things with that credit card,” Schepman jokes. “I haven’t told Neal that yet.”

The two grew up together, went to Boyle County High School together, where Schepman says Brown was a standout athlete — though he’d be too humble to tell you that himself.

Now, Schepman keeps pictures of Brown coaching on the walls at Melton’s Deli.

And focuses on feeding the next generation of athletes. Like Reese Smith, an early enrollee at WVU, who will join the Mountaineers as a Wide Receiver in the Fall. Smith just graduated from the same high school Brown and Schepman went to two decades before.

Schepman and Reese Smith, WVU Freshman Wide Receiver

Schepman says he has heard of multiple other places where Brown has done the same thing —reached out in a time of need to purchase gift cards, and help keep afloat the people that made him “Neal Brown.”

“It’s just typical Neal,” Schepman says. “You can’t say enough good about him. He is that guy. A lot of people get to that level and they put on an act. But Neal is not that way. He’s been that way since we been kids.”

Schepman keeps pictures of childhood friend Neal Brown coaching on the walls at his Deli.

Danville, Kentucky and Boyle County sure are proud to call Brown theirs, though they’re happy to share him for the time being.

“Morgantown, West Virginia will be a better place because he’s there. He is as solid as they get.”

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