Two men and a truck
Manhattan had Felix and Oscar. In Mayberry it was Andy and Barney. Furman has Jack and Dale.
One is seldom mentioned - or seen - without the other. Sporting around campus in their white Facilities Services pick-up truck, they are as Furman as the Bell Tower, water fountains and one-way streets.
Everyone knows Jack and Dale. Everyone.
Since their partnership began five years ago, the affable pair has completed work for every department. They're the guys you call when you need a desk moved, a package delivered, or tables set up, or …
"We do about everything," laughs Jack. "A lot of the stuff we do is something that no one else wants to take care of."
In spite of their campus popularity, some still get their names mixed up. For the record, Jack Tucker is the shorter, stout fellow. Dale Mullinax is taller, thin and wears a mustache.
Their personalities are as different as their physical appearance. Jack likes to chat. He's up on the latest campus gossip, knows everyone's name and doesn't "get stressed out over things." Dale, on the other hand, is a bit more reticent, gets anxious at times and always seems in a hurry.
Their hobbies contrast too. Jack is into stock car racing, big-time. Dale prefers gardening and hiking. Like the adage "opposites attract," Jack and Dale compliment and counter-balance, reeling each other in at times. Theirs is a relationship built on trust, communication and a common goal to satisfy the customer. On campus, they are inseparable.
"I don't think we've ever had a cross word," says Jack. Whether it's helping an office relocate or delivering a bouquet of flowers, the pair is known of for their reliability, steady work habits and friendliness.
Often requested by name, they are a favorite among the university secretaries. (Jack likes to flirt).
Gayle Warth, Furman's events coordinator, says she could not "do my job without them." "They are extremely competent, knowledgeable and never get flustered. Jack and Dale just know how to make things work," she says. "And they have a good sense of humor."
Both are natives of the area. Dale grew up in Slater-Marietta and joined Furman in 1992 after being downsized by Stevens Aviation, a company that employed him for 24 years. A native of the Sans Souci community, Jack worked in textiles before joining the university in 1990.
Jack's first job was as a custodian in the library while Dale worked in Plyler Hall. The two were paired in 1995 and have been Furman's on-the-go handymen, furniture movers, package delivers, etc., etc., etc., ever since.
"We have one agreement," says Jack patting his pouch. "Dale keeps the work orders squared away and I keep the food squared away."
Dale laughs. "Ain't that the truth."
Jack and Dale
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Inside Furman is published monthly during the school year by the Furman University Department of Marketing and Public Relations. For story ideas, e-mail John Roberts, editor.