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Chevrolet – going strong 90 years later in Jackson County

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Creshull Harrison, Sr. kn...

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Shelia Mader

Shelia Mader

Sports Editor

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Chevrolet – going strong 90 years later in Jackson County

Creshull Harrison, Sr. knew a good thing back in 1928 when he opened Harrison Chevrolet in downtown Marianna. He opened the business in its first location at the corner of Green and Jackson Streets where Citizen’s State Bank originally opened its drive-thru services.  Across that corner going south was Hinson Stables.  Creshull Harrison, Jr. entered the ‘family’ business  following his graduation from the University of Alabama. 

Harrison went to school 11 years at Marianna High before transferring to Riverside Military Academy in Gainesville, Georgia where he graduated in 1944. Harrison went to the University of Alabama (and still today is a die-hard Roll Tide fan) for one year before entering the service for two years. He returned to the University of Alabama where he graduated in 1949. 

Creshull Harrison, Jr. said his father moved the business to the corner of Lafayette Street directly across from the post office in the late 30’s. He worked with his father when he was in school and returned to Marianna following his graduation. Harrison said the business was a partnership in 1950 and was incorporated in 1958.  Harrison said they moved to the second location at the corner of Lafayette Street and Caledonia in the late 1930s and in an interview vividly described the layout of both the original building and the one they relocated to at Lafayette and Caledonia, “When we first moved there, it was the old Dekle Building. And we got there in the in the late 30’s, during the depression.  Back when we were back on the corner, the bottom floor was a service station and the show room was just a small area to the south of it.  The used car lot was where the telephone company was, Century Link is there now. That building, we traded the old Dekle Building to the First Bank of Marianna which is now Wells Fargo.” The bank building brought back a memory for Harrison that he shared, “My great, great grandfather started that bank as the W. J. Daniels Banking Company, and it was the first bank in Jackson County in the late 1800s.  But that building was the dealership showroom. That was kind of interim between the corner and the building out at west end.” 

The business moved to its present location in 1964. Harrison sold to Quen and Ann Rahal in 1974 but stayed in business with Rahal for one year before moving on to his next venture. Although he hung up his car business, he moved on to real estate where his first venture was the development of Indian Springs. When asked what he preferred best, the car business or the real estate business, Harrison says, “Well I like the car business but I like the freedom of the real estate business. The car business you are kind of a slave to it.”

Creshull and Marianne Harrison have four children, Creshull Harrison who lives in Marianna and Margaret Anne Evans, Cile Harrison Fant, and Ellyn Harrison Watford. 

 

Harrison Chevrolet pic 1964 2 

Rahal Chevrolet – keeping the tradition going

Quen Rahal knew he had some big footsteps to fill when he purchased Harrison Chevrolet in 1996 after the Chevrolet dealership had been under the Harrison family for 68 years. He knew when he walked in the dealership he had to prove himself to the community and the long-time customers of the Creshull Harrison family and within a very short time, he had gained the trust of the community and the dealership thrived under his leadership. 

Ricky Miller refers to a Joel Osteen devotional when speaking of Quen Rahal, “Mr. Harrison blessed his son with the dealership and then Mr. Rahal blessed me with the dealership and I am blessing my son with it. Mr. Rahal, when he walked into a room, he commanded respect. He didn’t have to ask for it, it was just there.  He was one of those people you just knew it was there.  He always told me and I believe this to be true, that when he was dead and gone he wanted people to remember him as a good business man. And I believe he was a good businessman.  Mr. Rahal was hard but very fair. If he owed you a penny, he paid it and he expected the same in reverse.  He, Walter Spence, and Bill Hopkins were old school and good, good businessmen.”  

Quen Rahal passed away in October, 2008 at the age of 69.   His wife Ann Rahal passed away in August, 2014.  

 

 Miller Miller Nissan

Miller and Miller Chevrolet GMC Nissan 

Ricky Miller is quick to give credit for his start in the car business to Quen Rahal and says outright, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”  That is what he and now his son, Dustin Miller have practiced since he took over the dealership in 2014 with Dustin becoming a partner in 2017. 

Ricky Miller says very proudly that he and Dustin have worked hard to take the dealership a step further, to make it a dealership of family rather than a dealership of employees, “Mr. Rahal gave many people an opportunity, I certainly wouldn’t be where I am today without him.  Just like any father that wants their son to do better than him, I want my son to do better than I am doing and Mr. Rahal wasn’t a father but he wanted Jorge (Garcia) and I to do better than him.” 

Both Millers stress that they think of their employees as family saying, “When their family has good news, we share in that and when there is a tragedy we hurt with them. We want them to be the same with us, to share in our good news and be a part of it and to keep us in their prayers if there is a tragedy.”  Ricky Miller said, “Mr. Rahal believed to always be firm but fair and friendly, I tried to follow that but I am more friendlier than I am firm.”

Ricky and Tami Miller have one son, Dustin Shane Miller who is a graduate of Marianna High School, Chipola College, and the University of Florida Levin School of Law. Dustin is engaged to Shawna Donofro.  

Reagan Dinner attendees hear from Governor Scott - Scholarships and Republican of the Year awarded

Last Wednesday night, approximately 300 people turned out for the annual fundraiser of the Jackson County Republican Party, honorably named the Reagan Dinner.  Governor Rick Scott was the guest speaker along with Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis making an appearance at the event also. 

“We are alive in Jackson County,” said Clint Pate, Jackson County Republican Party chairman.

The event has been going on for decades and serves as a fundraiser for the Republican party of Jackson County. 

“There for a while the Republican party was kind of laying low, but we’ve brought it to the forefront,” said Pate. “We’re trying to raise the party, the numbers, and it has. It’s almost doubled in the last seven years.”

It was Governor Scott’s second appearance in Marianna in as many months with a stop at the National Guard Armory last month to honor Jackson County veterans.  Scott talked about the importance of getting out and voting and his contributions to encouraging that with Floridians, “It’s exciting being here in Jackson County. I love traveling the state, I love talking to people, I love meeting people, I love hearing their stories, hearing their issues, and seeing what I can do to be helpful to them. The most important thing is to get people out to vote. Get people to volunteer, get the people out to vote, that’s how you win elections. I’m working hard to be the next U.S. senator from Florida. I’m going to represent Florida. I’m going to represent everybody all across the state, and every county across the state. So, it’s exciting to be here, I’m in, most of the time, two cities a day. It’s always fun to get out here and talk to people.”

When asked if he was traveling elsewhere Wednesday Governor Scott said, “I’ll be going back to Tallahassee tonight. One thing I got to announce tonight is that 56 out of 66 sheriffs have now endorsed me. The Holmes County Sheriff, John Tate endorsed me tonight. I announced I think on Monday that 55 Sheriffs endorsed me, so now we have our 56th. It’s a bipartisan group, so the most important thing you can do as a state is make sure everyone is safe. When you do that you get more jobs, and you have an education system where people can go learn rather than worry about their safety.”

The governor spent part of his speech, highlighting his goals, if elected to the US senate.

Following the Governor’s speech, those attending enjoyed their feast catered from Outback Steakhouse before the Republican of the Year and the scholarship recipients were awarded. 

Connie Butts, town manager for Sneads was named Jackson County Republican of the Year. Butts was very nothing short of surprised, “What a pleasant surprise to be honored this way.  I feel we are working hard in Jackson County to encourage people to register and vote and I feel blessed to be part of the Republican organization.”

Four Jackson County students were presented scholarships from the Jackson County Republican Party through the Richard Hand Scholarship to assist with their college education.  Tanner Andress from Cottondale High School, Cassie Brown from Malone High School, Tristan Mulder from Marianna High School and Max Scott from Altha High School were all presented scholarships at the Reagan Dinner. 

Sneads wins AA district championship

  • Published in Sports

The Sneads Pirates took on a familiar opponent in Altha for the AA district championship and picked up a 6-4 win to claim the district championship and advance to the state tournament. Right there with the team the entire way from the day all-stars were selected was their biggest fan, their mascot Weston Lewis. Weston has an interest in the game in that his brother Bryan is a key part of the team.  He was there through every heated practice leading up to the district games and did not miss a game, cheering them on with they were leading and picking them up when they were down.  Another key member of the team was Jolie’ Melancon who was the team’s ball girl. She put the balls in the machine at almost every practice and worked hard catching them coming back. 

Altha plated one run in the top of the first inning. Bryson Lewis led off with a single to get things started for the Pirates in the bottom of the first inning. Donnie Green singled to move Lewis into scoring position. Dennis Adams doubled home two runs, followed by three straight outs leaving Adams stranded at third. 

For Altha, they were unable to put any runs on the scoreboard in the top of the second. With one out, Caden Taylor had a hard hit in the bottom of the frame for the Pirates.  Will Green had a well-placed hit, but no runs crossed the plate. 

Neither team could put a run on the board in the third inning. 

After a scoreless top of the inning for Altha, the Pirates had a timely hit from Dennis Adams in the bottom of the fourth inning. Noah McCormick followed suit with a hit of his own, with Adams and McCormick crossing the plate before the final two outs were made. 

Altha scored their final two runs in their half of the fifth inning. Will Green had a two-out hit for the Pirates in the bottom of the fifth but was left at third.

Both teams were retired in order in the sixth inning.

Altha was unable to add any runs to their score in the top of the seventh and final inning. Donnie Green had a solid hit to get things going for Sneads. Dennis Adams brought the crowd to their feet when he had an inside-the-park HOMERUN and added two RBIs to his stats. With two outs, Preston Olvera tripled but was left on third but Sneads had secured the championship win.

Congratulations to the Sneads Pirates from the publisher and staff at the Jackson County Times.

Sneads AAA = DISTRICT CHAMPS AND HEADED TO STATE

  • Published in Sports

The Sneads AAA all-stars are headed to state after a 3-1 defeat of Liberty County to claim the district championship.  Pitching was the name of the game Wednesday night as Isaiah Perkins and Kinsey Ragans held the Liberty County offense to just one run. Perkins went five innings, allowed one run on three hits, three walks and fanned five batters in picking up the win.  Kinsey Ragans closed out the final inning and picked up the save, giving up one hit, no walks and no runs. 

In the top of the first inning, Liberty County had one base runner but no runs crossed the plate. Sneads got on the board with one run in the bottom of the first. With one out, Chase Ragans took one for the team and moved to second when Isaiah Perkins drew a walk. A walk to Kinsey Ragans loaded the bases for an RBI walk to Tyler Jones. A strikeout and groundout ended the inning.

Liberty County’s lone run came in the top of the second inning.  Sneads had a one-out walk to J. J. Harrel in the bottom of the frame for their only offense.  

A two-out walk was the only offense for Liberty County in the third inning. Sneads had a leadoff walk to Hunter Anderson and a one-out walk to Chase Ragans but no runs were plated. 

Liberty County had a three up, three down-inning in the fourth with a two-out double by Maddox Rabon being the only offense for the Sneads all-stars.

In the fifth inning, Liberty County had two base runners but neither crossed the plate. Sneads had a single by J. J. Harrell for their only offense. Liberty County came up empty in the seventh inning, despite a one-out hit.  Sneads capped off their night with two runs starting with Lane Kiser reaching and moving to second on a walk to Chase Ragans.  Isaiah Perkins was intentionally walked but that game plan backfired when walks to Kinsey Ragans and Tyler Jones plated a pair of runs. A strikeout ended the inning with Sneads claiming the district championship!

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