Franklin Freeman’s legislative service (and some of our folk)

the Charlotte Observer’s Mark Johnson had an excellent piece yesterday on Franklin Freeman, most recently Governor Easley’s legislative liason, noting that
“Freeman is leaving after four decades of public service in two branches of state government and daily interaction with the leaders of the third.”
The article does not mention that Franklin was chief page in the State Senate, working 45 days in the 1963 session!
As I’ve noted previously, we’ve got a number of 40+ year employees over here at the General Assembly. In that August 2007 post, I said:
Dot Barber and Shirley Phillips have worked here continuously since 1965, Joan Leatherman since 1967,  Anne Cole 1963, 1967, 1980-date, Penny Williams 1959, 1987-date).  Dot and Shirley are in their 43[rd] year of consecutive service.
 Since that post, Anne Cole retired in February of 2008, and Dot Barber retired as a full-time employee November 26, 2008, though she will be a floater (filling in for absent legislative staff) in the 2009 session. Dot had been Speaker Liston Ramsey’s administrative assistant.
Dot and Shirley had shared the top spot for most continuous service, with Dot having just two months less than 44 years at her retirement.  Shirley Phillips is the LA for Rep. Joe Tolson. She will hit the 44 year mark soon — the 1965 session convened February 3, 1965 and she is now our senior staff person on a continuous service basis. 
By the way, continuous service in the legislative context is NOT 365 days per year, it would have meant that Shirley stopped working at the end of the 1965 session and came back in 1967, worked all of 1967 session, came back in 1969, etc, etc.  It was not until the mid 80s that we had year round LAs and some long time LAs became year round in the 90s or later.
Penny Williams is the LA for Senator David Hoyle and she started out in the House Principal Clerk’s office for the 1959 Session on February 4, 1959 as an employee of House Engrossing, and is our sole remaining employee from the days when the legislature met in the Capitol. After the 1959 session, she came back in 1987 and has been here since then.  Most of the House Clerk’s office worked upstairs in the Capitol above the old House chamber in an attic type room accessible only by a spiral metal staircase that ran up through the middle of a room (get the Capitol curator to take you up there!) February 4, 2009 will mark 50 years since her start.
Annie Cooper, mentioned above, has our record for longest continuous service, 50 years and a few days, serving in the House Principal Clerk’s office 1919-1969.
I’ve got 31 years and a few months of a legislative staff service.

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