Homeside Financial - March 2020

NMLS #111660

march 2020

1051 13th St. SE, Hickory, NC 28602 • 828.229.7877 •

A Life Dotted With Friends and Family


F or the past 14 years,“How is Freckles?” might have been one of the most common questions asked at the office. Our giant boxer hound was inmany ways the unofficial mascot of Homeside Financial, and ever since I found him tied up and abandoned in a trailer park when he was still a puppy, he’s been a part of the family. However, I’m sad to say that a few months ago, Freckles’surgeries and health problems caught up with him. He was experiencing a lot of pain, and Lanny and I knew he wouldn’t be able to go onmuch longer. Freckles passed on peacefully at the animal hospital onTuesday, Jan. 21. After I posted onmy Facebook page about Freckles’ passing, I receivedmore reassuring comments than I ever had on any other Facebook post. It’s amazing howmuch people love their fur babies and can sympathize with others when their grown pups die. That being said, Freckles had quite the fan base between our neighbors andmy clients. All the girls and the doctor at the animal hospital came by Freckles’bed to pay respects. Many of themwere in tears. So, as sad as his passing was, I can be happy

knowing that Freckles lived a good, full life with people, and other dogs, who loved him.

Even when I found Freckles as a puppy, he was already big. When I would pick himup, his back paws could still touch the ground. At his heaviest, he was around 130 pounds. His weight, combined with his weak legs caused a lot of health problems for Freckles throughout his life, but his size alsomade him seem dangerous at first glance. Of course, anyone who knew Freckles knew he was just a giant teddy bear. Anyone who had just met Freckles would find that out soon enough as well. Freckles could be mean if he wanted to, but most of the time, he was just a big goofball. He was the kind of dog who would pause mid-backscratch, legs and belly up in the air. Any neighbors who saw him doing that said he looked like a baby calf having a heart attack! He was also the kind of dog who loved squeezing into the backseat of my mini cooper for road trips. Drivers passing by always got a kick out of seeing this huge dog just enjoying life in the back of a tiny car. Freckles’goofiness belied some real intelligence, though. He and another one of our past dogs, Sparky, used to get into the house after we would put them in the backyard because Freckles figured out how to open the doors. Lanny and I would come back from an errand, and both of themwould just be lying on the couch in the living room. I’ll never know for sure, but I wouldn’t be surprised if when they saw us, they thought,“You could have at least left the TV on.” I think what I’ll remember most about Freckles is howmagnetic his personality was. People would remember Freckles even if they didn’t remember me. Our neighbors were just drawn to him, and in one way or another, he kind of felt like the whole

Freckles in the MIni

neighborhood’s dog. He tied everyone together and gave us the opportunity to create relationships we never would have made otherwise. Our entire neighborhoodmisses Freckles just like we do, but more than anything, I think that’s a testament to the life Freckles lived. Lanny and I weren’t his only people. I think Freckles thought of the whole world as his family, and if he could see everyone now, he would know that he was right.

-Jamie Harrington



Mortgage Made Easy!

Tama, the Calico The First Feline Stationmaster in All of Japan

During the mid-2000s, the Kishi Train Station in Japan began to deteriorate. By 2006, Kishi Station was left completely unstaffed because of low ridership and financial problems. However, one last resident still remained after everyone else was long gone: a black, white, and tan cat named Tama. Tama first appeared at the station as a young cat in the late 1990s. She lived near the train station and would visit commuters daily to receive affection and the occasional treat. But, as it turned out, her continued visits to Kishi Station would end up playing a much bigger role for the station. The same year it became unstaffed, residents living near the station asked the president of theWakayama Electric Railway, Mitsunobu Kojima, to revive the station because the cat’s survival depended on it. It turns out Tama’s original owner had asked the railway workers to care for her before he moved away — he couldn’t bear to take her from the station she loved to visit so much.

Station, the first cat stationmaster in Japan. To complete her look, Kojima gave her a small conductor hat to wear as she greeted commuters from her window perch inside the ticket gates. As an official stationmaster, Tama became well known all across Japan and throughout the world. She appeared in the media and on promotional materials that soon brought much-needed foot traffic to Kishi Station. Thousands of tourists came rushing to Kishi to see Tama for themselves, ride the Tamaden carriage, and pick up Tama merchandise inside the station. Tama brought joy to all commuters for the next several years before passing away in 2015. Nearly 3,000 people attended her funeral, and her legacy lives on. Tama’s successors continue as stationmasters: Nitama, who serves as Kishi stationmaster, and assistant Yontama at Idakiso, five stations away. Tama’s friendly and loving nature impacted many people around her, and she will always be affectionately known as the cat who saved the Japanese train station.

So, Kojima decided to go meet Tama. He liked her immediately and adopted her. A year later, Tama was officially named the Stationmaster of Kishi

Teachers Who Are There for Their Students Deserve a Straightforward Homebuilding Process

Not all heroes keep criminals off the streets or rush into burning buildings. Sometimes, all it takes to be a hero is to be there for kids as they grow up. As educators, that’s what Patrick and Kristi Newsome get to do every day. Patrick is an assistant principal in Aiken County, and Kristi teaches fifth grade in Saluda County. Kristi remembers her second grade teacher when she thinks about how she gained a passion for elementary education. She wants to be like her, in how she didn’t give up on students who didn’t seem like they wanted to learn. Kristi tries to emulate that same persistence in her classroom. While she’s taught kindergarten and first, second, and third grade and loved it, Kristi says she likes teaching fifth grade because the students are a little more mature.

construction, he found that career field wasn’t fulfilling to him. A career in education was, however.

“Everyone was put on this earth for a purpose,” said Patrick. “God gave me the gift of teaching and working with kids, and I find fulfillment in that.”

The relationships that Patrick and Kristi get to form with students and the opportunities they have to be role models are the best parts of both of their jobs. Many students come from broken homes, and sometimes teachers are the only ones they feel like they can really talk to.

“We can make students realize that we care, even when we don’t mean to,” said Patrick. Just by listening, Kristi and Patrick feel like they make a difference. For how hard they work in their jobs in education, they’re thankful that their homebuilding experience with the help of Jamie Harrington was easy. “They say that if you can build a house as a married couple, you can survive anything,” joked Patrick. “We survived, and I think Homeside is largely to thank for that.”

“They understand a little more how important it is to learn,” said Kristi.

Patrick and Kristi met when they were both studying education at USC Aiken. Patrick actually dropped out of college at one point to work in construction, but Kristi convinced him to go back. While Patrick had had a grandfather whom he admired who worked in


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March 29 is National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day, which is huge for small businesses everywhere. Mom-and-pop businesses are the backbone of the U.S. economy; Small Business Trends reports that mom-and-pop businesses account for 64% of gross domestic product (GDP) and generate 78% of all new jobs. Furthermore, no matter what turns the economy takes, small-business owners are less likely to lay off their employees than big corporations. Mom- and-pop businesses support all communities, and you can support them by celebrating this unofficial holiday! Shopping locally has a massive impact on your community. Local businesses return three times the amount of money to the local economy than larger corporations do. With that big of a returned investment, your community can support even more small businesses that generate a wealth of jobs and keep the cycle going. In addition to the economic boost, products from small businesses are usually higher quality, which makes them a better value for your dollar. Take this day to shop for birthday and holiday gifts for your loved ones that will bring them great joy and last a lifetime. While small businesses utilize every form of marketing available, social media is essential for their success and growth. After shopping at your favorite mom- and-pop business, share that experience on your social media! When you write a post on Facebook or take a picture for Instagram, be sure to tag the business and use relevant hashtags so your friends, family, and everyone else in your community can shop there too. Writing reviews on Google Reviews and Yelp helps establish validity for the company. When another potential customer looks for reviews, they know they’re getting quality products and services from a well-established pillar of the community. The local businesses that are active on social media may post deals and sales for that day only, so keep your eyes peeled and be sure to follow all your favorite businesses! Give your local economy a boost! Get social and spread the word!

I’m looking for an apprentice. The ideal candidate has some exposure to lending of some type, has an entrepreneurial spirit, has strong customer service skills, and wants an amazing career opportunity for years to come. If you know someone who might be interested, please share this information with them and have them email a resume to me at jharrington@ GREAT CAREER OPPORTUNITY



Mortgage Made Easy!

1051 13th St . SE Hickory, NC 28602



A Tribute to Freckles


Bringing Love, Joy, and Life Back to Kishi Station

Making a Difference for Difference Makers


Great Career Opportunity

Celebrating National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day


The Evolution of St. Patrick’s Day


From extravagant parades to green-dyed rivers, something about St. Patrick’s Day feels quintessentially American — despite its Irish heritage. That’s because many common St. Patrick’s Day traditions actually originated in America, evolving beyond their roots in the Emerald Isle in a few key ways. On March 17, Irish folks commemorate the death of St. Patrick, who brought Christianity to pagan Ireland during the late fourth and early fifth centuries. Historically, these religious origins make for a more somber observance of St. Patrick’s Day. Many Irish families go to church and eat a modest feast as the extent of their celebration. However, St. Patrick’s Day in America is not so much about venerating Ireland’s patron saint as it is about celebrating Irish heritage in a foreign land. When Catholic Irish immigrants first came to the United States, they faced persecution from a largely Protestant population. In response, Irish Americans began using March 17 as a day to publicly declare and celebrate Irish heritage with parades and demonstrations.

York, and Chicago. Then, in the booming post-WorldWar II economy, various businesses aggressively marketed the holiday to Americans of all heritages. Thus, it became a day when anyone could celebrate Irish American heritage, or at least it gave everyone an excuse to drink like they believe the Irish do. Ironically, imbibing was not a part of St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in Ireland until relatively recently. Due to the religious nature of the holiday, pubs and bars closed down on March 17 until 1961. Additionally, the traditional meal of corned beef and cabbage is another American addition. In Ireland, pork and cabbage was actually more common, but impoverished Irish immigrants substituted less expensive beef for pork, and the tradition stuck. Even though the most widely observed St. Patrick’s Day celebrations originated in America, many of them have found their way back to Ireland. Starting in 1996, the St. Patrick’s Day Festival in Dublin now attracts over 1 million attendees with all the drinks and revelry that Americans love. You’d be hard pressed to find a green beer, though. In the hallowed birthplace of Guinness and whiskey, some traditions may be better left across the pond.

The observation of St. Patrick’s Day grew in popularity in cities with large Irish populations, like Boston, New


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