Sharing their ‘namesake’ experiences, USS Farragut crew enjoys Town treats

An eight-member crew from the Navy’s USS Farragut came to tour Town of Farragut last week — the Town and ship named for its famed naval son, Admiral David Glasgow Farragut, the mere boy who became the Navy’s first commissioned admiral.

Some drove, others flew in, but they all left with a newfound respect for the name emblazoned on their warship, and they will all remember the bits of his life memorialized here and the people who live under his shadow.

During a Tuesday-night welcome dinner July 2 at 35 North, Town officials welcomed the crew in preparation for their more extensive namesake tour of the area the next day before anchoring the annual Independence Day Parade.

“We are honored to share a namesake with you all,” Farragut Mayor Ron Williams told the crew. “We are proud of our heritage with David Glasgow Farragut, the Navy’s first admiral. During this week, we hope you learn more about the history of Farragut, the Town and the person. Thank you for your community service projects in the area this week, and we look forward to showing you our Town, and we hope you have fun while you are here.”

And they did.

After meeting at Farragut’s Community Center, the second stop on their tour Wednesday, July 3, was Campbell Station Inn, where Marianne McGill, a fundamental puzzle piece in Farragut’s incorporation birth, spoke to the sailors about the Town’s creation and its corresponding yesteryear.

“I gave up that part of my life for this Town, you know,” she divulged, speaking of the time lost with her family roughly 45 years ago during the fight to incorporate Farragut, “so it’s really a big deal in my heart, and to a lot of other people,” noting the late Betty Dick was one of the Town’s seven founders.

The namesake tour continued geographically clockwise to McFee and Mayor Bob Leonard parks, followed by Topgolf, the country-renowned Cotton Eyed Joe, Pinnacle at Turkey Creek and Founders Park at Campbell Station before looping its way back to the community center, where the community gathered to greet the sailors during a picnic.

Logistics specialist 1st Class Lavina Aballi said of her experience, “I really enjoyed seeing the history behind the Town being built, how it was created and speaking to one of the founders.

“That was really the part I enjoyed the most, just talking to (McGill) and seeing how all of this was created, how you guys have more souvenirs from Admiral Farragut

himself than the Navy does,” she added. “So that was

shocking to me. But I really enjoyed the history behind it and making connections to the community.”

Lt. Junior Grade Joseph Stuckart has an East Tennessee connection, as does the ships commander, Thomas Roberts (see our July 3 story). Hailing from Long Island, New York, Stuckart’s family moved to Johnson City around 2020.

To have a shipped name after you, “You have to be a pretty important person and do something pretty special,” Stuckart said. “And the Navy in general is all about tradition, so to see all the connections that we have to Admiral Farragut. … I think it’s really cool to see the area he grew up in and how he was able to become who he was.”

Information Systems Technician Petty Officer 2nd Class Cody Dodd, who got the opportunity to throw out the first pitch at the July 3 Tennessee Smokies baseball game, said, “I appreciate the honor that is shown to David Farragut.

“I appreciate the lengths that this Town goes to,” he added, “to honor him and how much his service and his contribution to the Navy and to our world is recognized here.”

“We want to make sure everybody across America knows what the Navy is all about, and this is a good way to do it,” said Jim DeAngio, a Naval deputy public affairs officer.