- [S24] The Newport Plain Talk, (http://www.newportplaintalk.com), 24 Sep 2006.
After learning a lot by talking with the Giles folks at the auto parts store, I recalled some more thoughts that Fred Giles had shared with me. You recall we found him downtown several weeks ago. Is he related to Darrell Giles? Yes. Fred's father, Okq Giles was the son of Wade Giles. Wade was one of the brothers to Benton "Windy" Giles, the father of Darrell. Fred also corrected me that his father was not a state trooper by a motorcycle patrolman for Newport.
If you are wondering about his unusual name, Fred said it is that of an ancient Japanese warlord. During our chat, Fred said that he recalled several others who were in the state guard before it was federalized in 1944. The captain was Charles Boley, of Newport, who married Viola Taylor. Other guardsmen included O.L. Clark Jr. and Lynn Allen. To show what a small world it was years ago, while Fred was serving in Germany during a drive between military facilities he bumped into Fred Taylor, of Newport.
Just Plain Talk
- [S24] The Newport Plain Talk, (http://www.newportplaintalk.com), 3 Aug 2008.
Just Plain Talk - A good time to celebrate
August continued the heat wave but didn't stop the lines at the post office and grocery stores on Friday in our hometown, where children readied for the start of school.
I'm taking another detour off Douglas Avenue and hope to return there and to the Keys's, but a big celebration deserved a note or two about some old friends of yours.
Just off Splashaway Road, the rain came splashing down during my visit on Thursday late morning to the Fred and Peggy Giles home. They would be celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary on August 2 and be the center of attention at Cave Hill Baptist Church on Sunday afternoon. So, I thought it important that you know more about this couple. Many of you already know her Butler family, and famous city fire chief brothers. Fred is also known for his military service and strong support of veterans. If you turn off Splashaway and travel a tenth mile, Trentham Road, formerly Trentham Hollow Rd., is on the left. The first house is Bobby and Diane Butler's. Other neighbors along the way include April Barger, Roger Fine and Jerry Epley across street. Up Ben's Way (named after the late Ben Epley) you find Duane and Debbie Williams' home. Carl and Dorotha Gilland live further along near English Springs estates, a recent development.
It was a surprise to learn that Fred actually worked as a printer's devil about 1941, when Tom Campbell ran the Newport Times. As best I could understand Fred, it was located where the old O.L. Clark shoe shop was. Fred was a "flunky" and had the job of cleaning ink off type cases. He clearly recalls earning one of his first dollars hawking votes for John M. Jones.
Since about 1986, Fred and Peggy have lived at the brick home that Ernest Johnson had built. Before this, the Giles's lived next to Ernie Hartsell off Old Sevierville Highway. Earnest was a stepfather to Fred, having married the former Edith Brady. She was first married to Fred's Dad, Oku Giles, who later married Maude Snapp. Fred's brother, "Charlie," was killed at Okinawa in 1945. Incidentally, Charles Edward was killed not far from where the famous war correspondent Ernie Pyle died. Fred said that a morter shell struck near Charles mortally wounding him. He died the next day. In 1946, Fred's ship was at Okinawa but he was not allowed to go ashore to the cemetery. Later, the body was returned to Newport for burial. In past columns we've talked about Fred's military career starting from World War II in the Navy through the Vietnam War until 1973. But let's talk about the earlier years. She was a daughter to Larmie and Sally (Shaver) Butler. Their oldest son is Jimmy Butler, who unfortunately just lost his wife, the former Annie Epley. I recall him from his days at Chemetron, later Great Lakes Chemicals, and his leadership in Little League. As Fred noted, "They were all leaders." The other children are Sandra Hux married to H.C. Hux, and retired fire chiefs Roger and Wayne Butler. I saw a small black & white photo from August 1958 made at the Larmie Butler home at 208 Burke. Fred and Peggy were married there by preacher Melvin Carr, "the great trout fisherman" of Pittman Center. The white frame home dates back to about 1900 and was a store before that. Today, their son, Tim is the resident. Fred was raised on Jones Hill. In the 1958 photo he wears his Air Force khakis as a staff sergeant. The first time Fred and Peggy met was in 1954 when he was on leave. It was in front of First Baptist Church. Cousin Wanda Brady Hillard introduced her to Fred, who said, "I'm going to marry you." She was 16 and worked as a waitress at Hop Maddron's restaurant. You old timers recall it is across the railroad track from old City Hall in what is now Terry Hurst's law offices. The regular diners included Nathan Ford, Fred Holt, and Sheriff Kin Holt. She served the Fred Gile's special, a hamburger with chili. After they married, the voyage began because the couple lived in Germany, Japan, Texas, and Illinois. She did not accompany him to Thailand in 1968 but got a Home Front Award.
By 1973, they were back in Newport. Fred went into insurance sales for the next 12 years and Peggy went with Revco and retired with its successor, CVS Drugs after 25 years. So, you can see who really was doing most of the work. Son Donald (Pomroy) Giles was born in Newport but Tommy arrived in Germany and Tim in Japan. There are five grandchildren. Don is still with Wal-Mart; Tommy works with True Grip in the entertainment industry; and Timmy is with TRW of Sevierville. Since 1999, both have been in retirement so she can enjoy more reading and her church work at Cave Hill where James Suggs is pastor. She also spends a lot of time with grandchildren Jennifer and Dylan, Chris, Kayla, and Matthew. Peggy showed me a photo of her parents who were also married more than 50 years.
They are glad to be in fairly good health. Fred suffers some with macular degeneration but medical care has helped him retain his eyesight. She is a diabetic who is also religious about her medicine. Most of Fred's time is on the Internet and he shares a lot of e-mails with information to his friends. They told me to be sure to put the church's homecoming, Aug. 17, on my calendar. So, I hope to see you there.
This encounter is something that should have been shared last week. On a busy Tuesday morning, a very busy time, the phone rang, again. "Come outside in the parking lot quickly!" Betty McMillan was excited. What could be going on? Someone backed into her shiny red pickup? An escaped felon was circling the parking lot? A used baby diaper in our parking spaces? No. Betty pointed to a vehicle and said there's a groundhog under it. She feared it was rabid and ready to attack her and others. I don't think these critters get rabies. In a few minutes grandpa groundhog ambled out from under a car. We speculated if he had been hit by one; was sick; or if, as one person suggested, someone had poisoned him. Groundhog rambled into the traffic at Movie Time Video and headed towards Gary Kyker's garage. At times he just laid down on the road. I called the animal shelter minutes earlier to rescue the injured and confused animal, but by the time they arrived the hog had disappeared.
In plain talk, every road and hollow lined with homes not only carries family but their memories of war and peace and years of celebrations.
- [S58] Marriage Certificate.
Name: Fred N Giles
Titles and Terms:
Event Type: Marriage
Event Date: 02 Aug 1958
Event Place: Cocke, Tennessee, United States
Birth Year (Estimated):
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Spouse's Name: Peggy Joyce Butler
Spouse's Titles and Terms:
Spouse's Birth Year (Estimated):
Spouse's Father's Name:
Spouse's Father's Titles and Terms:
Spouse's Mother's Name:
Spouse's Mother's Titles and Terms:
Reference ID: 339
GS Film number: 1669919
Digital Folder Number: 004485980
Image Number: 00163