Chat Room: Libby Breeding

By Lance Coleman

Name: Libby Breeding
Age: 54
Marital status: Married to Pat Breeding
Children: Two grown sons, Zach and Matthew
Occupation: Blount County Elections administrator

If you were stranded on an island, what one thing would you take?
"My family. I love them all very much."

What is your favorite material possession?
"My diamond ring. Pat gave me a new marquis-shaped diamond solitaire on our 20th anniversary."

If you could do one impulsive thing, unrestricted by cost, what would it be?
"Take a safari trip to Africa and see wild animals up-close, especially the giraffe, my favorite animal."

What task or activity have you still not gotten around to doing?
"Years ago, when I left a job at TVA, I said I was going to organize my family’s photos. I still haven’t done that. I see all these people who do such marvelous scrap books, but I’m not creative in that respect."

What was your first paying job?
"The summer I was 16 I worked for Judge Asher Howard at the courthouse. I was one of his secretaries. I loved it."

What do you hate?
"People who chew gum in public, especially those who pop it. Also, I hate it when people curse excessively in public. It offends me."

Why did you pursue the career you chose?
"I have always been interested in the political process. My father, Harold ‘Shag’ Hayes, was a member of the Blount County Court, the Blount County Commission and was chairman of the election commission for several years. He is the one individual who most influenced my political interests. He got me one of my first summer jobs working in the election commission office. Later, I served on the Absentee County Board for elections, as well as at different polling precincts. On election day, I would go with dad and hang out at the election commission office. I always thought it would be an interesting place to work. I often told Becky Harrill, the former administrator of elections, that when she retired, I wanted her job. When I found out she was going to retire, I pursued the opportunity."

What is one word that others often use to describe you and why?
"Organized. I’ve always been good with details and like to have things in order so I can get my hands on something if I need it quickly."

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
"I would love to be younger again. I would want to relive the early days with my two sons, Zach and Matt. Children grow up too fast."

What is your passion?
"My passion is hand needlework such as piecing quilts and smocking dresses for my granddaughter Taylor and hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains. I have hiked 750 miles of the 900 miles of trails in the Smokies."

With whom, living or dead, would you most like to have a long lunch?
"My parents. My mom died before Zach was married. I would love to tell her about Zach’s wife, Mandy. My dad also died before either of my grandchildren, Taylor and Seth, were born. I would tell them all about my sons and what they have been doing since their death. My parents would be so proud of my boys."

What is your dream vacation?
"My husband and I have talked about going to Ireland for our 35th anniversary which is this July. However, we may have to put it off a year or so."

Rebels, Tornado, Mountaineers or Governors?
"Governors, definitely. I am a county girl through and through. Both of my sons graduated from William Blount High School, and I taught sixth-grade math at William Blount Middle School."

What is your all-time favorite movie?
" ‘The Wizard of Oz.’ As a child, this movie came on TV every year on a Sunday night. Mom would let me stay home from church just so I could watch it."

What is the best book you’ve ever read?
" ‘The Polar Express.’ It is a children’s book about believing in Christmas. I read it every year to my students, and I have begun reading it to Taylor."

What is the best present you’ve ever received?
"One Christmas after my mother passed away I received an old portrait of my dad when he was about 4 or 5 years old. It is in an oval frame and always hung in my parent’s bedroom. Dad gave it to me, and it hangs in my dining room."

What is the best advice your mother ever gave you?
"When I first became a mother to Zach, mom told me to always keep my home clean enough so Zach would not be embarrassed to bring his friend’s home, but also to not keep it so clean that he couldn’t bring his friends hom

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