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Long life offers great overview to Newport's changing times

(c)2013 NPT PHOTO BY DAVID POPIEL
D. Quinton Parrott turned 90 on August 14, 2013 with a quiet celebration at his home.
Born in Jefferson County, he has spent more than 85 years working and living in Newport.
Published: 8:50 PM, 09/20/2013 Last updated: 8:55 PM, 09/20/2013
 

Author: David Popiel
Source: The Newport Plain Talk

Just three minutes after 7 a.m. the sun rises on Sunday, September 22, and this marks the first day of autumn for our hometown that soon will be preparing for many festivals such as the popular Partnership's downtown harvest street festival.

For me the sunshine arrival might be a little later as the sun must climb above Rocky Top before I can see it. What about you? Maybe the 7:03 a.m. sunrise is for Atlantic Oceanside residents. Before we start what could be a long chat with an old friend, let me update you on some things happening in the community. You recall the story the Plain Talk published after Wayne and Brenda Ellison's pet Cybil went missing from their farm several weeks ago. That story ended happily because they tracked the dog to people who found it and Sean Ellison brought it home. But it was sad to hear this follow up news from Brenda last week. As Brenda shared with me, "Cybil resumed her routine when she returned home riding the tractor with Wayne chasing deer and sneaking a nap on the couch in the cool basement. We microchipped her the next morning post her return and she was sporting a new face haircut and collar." Later, Cybil was bitten by a copperhead on her throat. She was found on the farm golf cart having trouble breathing so Wayne rushed her to Dr. John Chambers, Brenda's brother, at Blue Ridge Veterinary. Although there was an immediate treatment good response, Cybil died during the night and was buried as a much-loved and missed family pet.

 

Some businesses gone

 

Have you been to the newly-expanded Food City East grocery store? A hunger for a plump muffin sent me on an unexpected tour of the store last Tuesday. I was impressed how much larger the building has become. The produce department is awesome and such a splendid regimented display of greens, oranges and yellows. But I was fixed on the bakery and next to the cakes so saw a woman preparing salads. "TR" is Tammy Rose Lowe, a former Ruby Tuesday chef, now making all those delicious salads such as the chicken salad she was blending that morning. Because we talked about all the new businesses lately, it was sad to see that the Mapco station near People’s Choice Restaurant has closed. We sold a lot of Plain Talks there. The sign on the closed door states: "Thanks for your years of great business but we are now closed." A Mapco manager who may have come from the Brentwood headquarters said they decided not to renew their lease.

A quiet birthday celebration slipped by you, and I am sure you know this fellow better than I do. D. Quinton Parrott turned 90 on August 14 with a few friends visiting him and "Bill," Wilda Parrott, at their brick home off East Broadway where you turn onto Iris. Had it not been for Carolyn Helms I would have missed the opportunity to greet him and make a few photos of the occasion to share with you. He was willing to sit down with me and talk about his life and times and we did this in September. The first thing he mentioned was the Plain Talk article on senior friend, Bill Agee, who is 95, and a man many knew as a theater operator well before he got into banking. Quinton visited the Winston Theater near the National Bank of Tennessee’s main office "when Dad had a dime."Quinton mentioned the Ford grocery between the theater and Minnis Drug Store, where I saw some inside renovation activity just days ago.

 

Newport in the 1930s

 

Within a few minutes, Quinton was whisking me around old Newport from the 1930s through the 1960s, for he was born in 1923 and has a keen memory. He mentioned the  "big fire" he witnessed about 84 years ago. Yet, he and his family came here from Sandy Ridge near Chestnut Hill. "Dr. Proffitt delivered me at home." Quinton’s parents were Earl Cecil Parrott who married the former Gladys Audrey Poe. Now, you will find this interesting about the "D" for Quinton’s first name, Deverce. "Dad was 22, Mom was 16 when they married. She picked the name and I never knew where it came from. I think I’m the only one in the world with the name." By 1925 they were living in Newport. "Dad got a job with the Esso distributor" next to the Spiegle mill (Rhyne Lumber Company) where Col. Charles Rhyne Sr. worked as bookkeeper when he came here with the c ompany in 1918, and eventually became owner. Quinton also recalled J.O. Cope who was a “yard man” at the lumber company and stayed in excellent health playing tennis into his 90s. After the stock market crashed in October 1929, Earl got laid off and this proved to be a good thing. He opened Polly Parrott Service Station next to the building now occupied by the Plain Talk. Gene Gray worked with Earl in the early days as a partner but eventually Earl bought out Gene, who went back to farming. Later, Gene built a competing service station across the street. It is now the home of Gary Kyker’s popular Kyker’s Automotive.

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