Occupation: Attorney, managing partner with Gribble, Carpenter and Associates.
Family: Married to Laura. Their family includes seven children, ages 3 to 19. Alisa Gribble, 19, Alana Gribble, 16, and Alexis Gribble, 14, all of Kingston; Madison Gribble, 10, and Emily Gribble, 9; both of Hattiesburg, Miss., and Ethan Gribble, 12, Atticus Gribble, 3. Billy and Laura just celebrated their four-year anniversary.
Billy Gribble can’t help but laugh when he thinks about how he and his wife, Laura, met.
It wasn’t pretty.
“I met her on a blind date. She didn’t like me, and I didn’t like her. Neither one of us clicked with each other at all. We didn’t say two or three sentences to each other. I was thinking she was a snob, and she was thinking I was stuck in the ‘90s, looking like Jerry Seinfeld with my tapered leg blue jeans and my shirt tucked in,” he says.
Eventually they became friends and ended up working together. They started dating after “she took pity on me” when a date of his canceled. She took another job, and the two began to see each other seriously. “From the time we went to out the first time to the time we got engaged was 10 months,” he says.
Gribble laughs when he recalls that his new bride never forgot his Jerry Seinfeld look from their first date. “After we married, she changed my entire wardrobe.”
Gribble grew up in Blount County and attended Maryville City Schools but finished in the Alcoa system. He started at Maryville College and finished 10 years later at Tusculum College when he was 28.
“I took lot of time between high school and graduating from college, and I spent 10 years in the National Guard,” he says.
Gribble’s time in the National Guard was spent providing ground support for helicopters. “I got to fly a lot with helicopters. We would go to annual training in summer. Whatever ammo they had left over, we would take it and go down to these flyover ranges. Big targets would pop up, and you got to blow them up,” he says. “It was one of coolest things I had ever done. I was just a patriotic kid thinking there would be benefits in the future for enlisting.”
Gribble entered the University of Memphis when he was 29. “I decided to go to law school when I realized my GPA was high enough that I could enter that course of study,” he says. “The first semester I was in the top 10 percent of the class and made law review and was very academically motivated.”
Gribble graduated with honors and came back home to practice.
Gribble says what he enjoys most about his job is helping clients. “When someone has been done wrong, and I can make it right for them, or I can help fix a problem, that’s gratifying,” he says.
Here is Billy Gribble:
What is your favorite quote from television or a movie?
When Marion Ravenwood tells Indiana Jones in ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ that he isn’t the same man she knew 10 years ago, he replies, ‘It’s not the years, it’s the mileage.’”
What are you guilty of?
“I plead the fifth.”
What is your favorite material possession?
“My Droid 4G phone or my Trek bicycle. It’s a toss up.”
What are you reading currently?
“The Tennessee Consumer Protection Act.”
What are the top three things on your bucket list?
“Go on a helicopter fishing trip for wild salmon in Nimmo Bay, Canada, tour Italy and hike the Appalachian Trail.”
What is one word others often use to describe you and why?
“Persistent, because it is a compliment for a lawyer,” he says.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
“I would be a morning person. Right now I’m a bear and unpleasant to be around in the morning.”
What is your passion?
“My family - seven kids, ages 3 through 19, and a hot wife.”
With whom, living or dead, would you most like to have a long lunch?
“My grandmother, Ida Simmerly. She was a World War II heroine and a godly Italian woman. She was captured in the war and forced to interpret for the Germans.”
If you could go back in time for a week, what time period or year would you visit?
“During the days of Jesus so I could be the 13th disciple and have my own book - Matthew, Mark, Luke, John…and Billy.”
What is the best present you ever received in a box?
“The Mont Blanc ink pen my wife bought me for Christmas last year. It came up missing, but a reward is offered.”
What is the best advice your mother ever gave you?
“Her best advice was not by word but by her actions. She was a single mother of three who worked her way through nursing school while waiting tables. Somehow she always had time for us. This instilled a drive in me to be all I can be.”
Other than your parents, who has had the biggest influence on your life and why?
“My wife, Laura, because she is still trying to finish the job my mother started in raising me.”
Do you Myspace, Facebook or Twitter?
“Yes, all three.”
What’s the worst job you have ever had?
“I was a host seating patrons at a TGI Friday’s restaurant. I did not like the restaurant business.”
What was your favorite Saturday morning cartoon and why?
“Road Runner, because Wiley E. Coyote was going to catch that Road Runner one day.”
What irritates you?
“Television. It has become so lame.”
What’s one place in Blount County everyone should visit?
“Cades Cove, on a bike if possible. It is open exclusively for bicycles until 10 a.m. on Wednesdays and Saturdays.”
If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself at 18?
“Be aware of your credit report, and beware of a woman named Donna.”
What is your greatest fear?
“Outliving my children.”
“I still can’t quite get the hang of…
“The rule in Shelley’s Case.” (A 16th century law that applies to property and trust and has caused more commentaries perhaps than any other legal case.)
If you could do one impulsive thing, what would it be?
“I could be talked into doing the bungee jump in Pigeon Forge.”