- [S113] Manes Funeral Home, (http://www.manesfuneralhome.com), 21 Dec 2006.
Dorothy Nelle McMillan obituary
- [S24] The Newport Plain Talk, (http://www.newportplaintalk.com), 8 Mar 2014.
Just Plain Talk: Stop into Freeman's Furniture and find out just who Jim is
(c)2014 NPT PHOTO BY BETTY MCMILLAN
Dan Freeman, owner of Freeman's Furniture, is glad to have a store mascot, and perhaps you have already met Jim.
Author: David Popiel
The worst of the late winter storms and cold may be over to clear the way for an outburst of daffodils about our hometown, as we draw closer to spring. This reminds us to "spring forward" one hour to catch up to Daylight Savings Time on Sunday.
Before talking about my focus on Jim at Freeman's Furniture, let's finish our visit with Ruth Wilson at the new Wilson's Sav-Mor Pharmacy. Ruth gave me some more details on what her five "babies" are now doing. The oldest, Jennifer, is a recruiter for a national staffing company, Staffing Solutions of Morristown. Most likely you have seen their employment ads in the Plain Talk. Amy is a pharmacist at Crescent Center Drugs in Morristown. Laura is a registered nurse at Alpha Primary School. Lexi is a certified pharmacy technician splitting her time with Down Home drug store of Bean Station and Newport's Wilson's Sav-Mor. Erika is a radiology technician at Jefferson Memorial Hospital. So they all stayed close to mommy and she is glad of it and made this observation on her career: "You can raise children and make a living even if it is not easy at first."
Ruth shows up for work
It was my pleasure to see Ruth Wilson, whom I have not had a chance to talk to in person for a long time, too long. She was greeting customers, many she has known for well over 30 years. You remember her late husband, Dick Wilson, who died about five years ago but they had been divorced for many years. Ruth said they met in the late 1960s, when he was getting his pharmacy degree in Memphis. He brought her to Newport and she fit right in, though a flat-lander like me. Dick linked up with Z-Buda and they operated at least five drug stores until Wilson went out on his own. We reminisced on the most unforgettable Z-Buda and his ability to parlay his pharmacies into a multi-million dollar empire chiefly by buying a lot of land in Pigeon Forge before all the glitter and gold arrived.
I was also fortunate to meet the new operations manager Michael Moser, an easy-going senor like myself and who has been working with the rather young owner, Mr. Bullington. Michael tells me he was born in Arlington, Virginia but lived in various locations before settling in Seymour. I did get to ask Ruth what the most significant change has been in the pharmacy business, and her former associates at Wilson's, Marty Bailey and Jabo Francis, most like would agree: the increase federal regulations. She said the large chain pharmacy have changed the complexion of the drug store world. However, her goal has always been to hold on to the close patient-customer relationship with herself and employees. As she summed it all up: "I just like to hug everyone of my customers." She said success of the pharmacy was "because people took me under their wings." She is a west Tennessee native who married a local boy and Cocke County folks took to her quickly. "I feel very humble about the customer relationship. I've been so blessed." I hope to share more about how she is doing and especially Lexi, glad to be back at work and back in Newport, her home. If you haven't visited yet, I suggest you drop by even if you don't need any bitters, tonics, or bromides.
Good day to meet Jim
March has barely begun, low 40s and overcast, a day that needs some inspiration and warmth and I found that by walking into Freeman's Furniture last Tuesday after lunch. It wasn't an accidental visit and encounter but I needed to find out "Who is Jim?" Have you heard of him yet? His story still has a lot of mystery and what ifs for you and me too. You will wonder about providence after you hear about Freeman's Furniture & Appliance new mascot.
Sales manager Tim Lawson was helping some customers easing them into comfortable chairs and furniture when I walked in off Highway 25E. I walked straight to the back and found Dan Freeman, who has been in the family business about half a century, at his chair behind the customer counter. "Where is Jim?" I asked. He was busy gnawing on a square marrow-filled dog bone on the carpet next to the chair so at first you couldn't see the quiet fellow. You guessed by now he is a small dog, a Schnauzer/Terrier mix of not quite three years age. He left his bone for a minute to greet me, something he likes to do with customers, and not in a pesky way but easy and sweet, like he has been a door greeter all his short life.
So here is his tail. Last year Dan decided to find a dog for the store, and it is not uncommon to see animals at businesses. You recall we met LP the cat at Smith's Repair Shop this winter. So Dan goes on the Internet to find a rescued dog and came upon a shelter in Knoxville and sees a small white dog. Dan drives over in early December last year to the shelter. But others are in line to look at the animals. They have first choice. The several people ahead of Dan rejected the white dog, because he clearly had a cloudy blemish on his right eye, a cataract, unusual for a young animal. Dan explains the dog was a "turn in" for unknown reasons and because of the cataract the dog was a "turn off" for those who saw him and the day of death was growing closer. This was a "kill" shelter that did not keep animals longer than seven days, as I understood the policy. The blemish, handicap, was not distracting to Dan, who seemed to sense an immediate bond and took the dog home. The unkempt, timid dog sat quietly on the car seat and Dan let his right hand touch and lay on the small dog's head, but then he removed his hand to steer and the dog moved over closer to Dan, as if saying, "I like you."
Jim will be waiting for you
At Freeman's the employees asked, "What"s his name?" And out of the blue, Dan replied "Jim." Dan said he couldn't" explain why he came up with that name, but it fits. "It's nice to have a store mascot. We have never had one before and the customers love him." Dan"s children, Bret, who helps Dad operate the store, and daughter, Dawn, who lives at Ft. Walton Beach, Florida, are animal lovers. Dawn characterizes Jim as "a special needs dog," but Dan immediately took care of the eye problem. Jim has a shaven short-hair area around his right eye which is the only way you could tell he had surgery recently to remove the cataract and insert the lens. Many of you like me have had similar surgery. Dawn said Jim has been a "Godsend" to Dan and the store and "went to work immediately."
- [S58] Marriage Certificate.
Name: Dorothy Mcmillan
Also Known As Name:
Event Type: Marriage
Event Date: 04 Aug 1961
Event Place: Cocke, Tennessee, United States
Spouse's Name: Dan Freeman
Spouse's Also Known As Name:
Spouse's Name Prefix:
Spouse's Name Suffix: