YOUR FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS: Henry Owl
Editor’s note: This is one of an occasional series of articles that draws attention to ordinary Cherokee County residents and their extraordinary lives.
Murphy – A special thank you to Diane Pelczynski for nominating town sanitation workers Henry Owl and James Coleman.
In her nomination, Pelczynski wrote, “They are remarkable men. They have a smile on their face and greet you with, ‘What a beautiful day!’ every time you see them. I had just moved to Murphy, and they helped us unload our trailer.
“After a few hours, I realized what a great team they are. They work so well together. I commented on this and asked them how long they have been working together. I can’t remember the amount of years, but then Henry said, ‘And now we are brother-in-laws!’
“Seems Henry fixed James up with his sister. So cute. They are just clean, wholesome guys.”
Last week featured Coleman, and this week we write about his partner, Owl. They are men of few words, but ones who bring big smiles to the faces of those they meet.
“I’ve been with the town for 33 years. I lived in Cherokee and graduated from Cherokee High School,” Owl said.
“After high school, I got a job working some amusement parks in Florida. I went down in Georgia and came back to Murphy. I was on a program, and they hired me. Some liked to see the program, so I stayed on. And when the program ran out, I got the job. I’ve been with them ever since.
“Meeting all the people around town has been one of the greatest things about my job. When I moved here, I didn’t know anybody. Now, after so many years on the job, I know so many people.
“It’s been a good job. I have liked staying on one job. I guess working for the reservation and getting a new job has been interesting, because when you’re on a reservation it’s different than working here. Working with a different town and everything has been good.
“I want to be known for what I’ve done for the Town of Murphy over the years. We’ve helped a lot of people. There are a lot of new people here now, most of the old ones are gone. A lot of the new people don’t know about us.
“Wally Avett gave me the job, and when he left his position I stayed on with the town. He’s the one that hired me, and I stayed with it. I believe I’ve made my mark on my community by staying with the town and doing my job.
“People know us really well. I guess the town’s been pretty good to us. They’ve kept us,” Owl said.
If you would like to nominate a local resident for Your Friends & Neighbors, please email email@example.com.