By Sherri Coner
If you are a dog lover but you don’t know Les Tabeling, it’s safe to say your dog definitely knows and happily nuzzles this guy at every opportunity. On pretty mornings, Tabeling and several other early risers gather around tables outside of Benjamin’s Coffeehouse and Bakeshop on Franklin’s courthouse square. A lot of dog walking also takes place at that time of day, so dogs often greet everyone around the table but spend extra time with Tabeling.
Even as Franklin, Tabeling’s lifetime home, steadily grows, the hometown heart of the people never changes. Tabling’s heart for animals never changes, either. In fact, as an eight-year volunteer for Pet Elves, a foster based animal rescue in Franklin, Tabeling not only does fundraising every chance he gets, he is always looking for forever homes for animals.
You can also find this guy surrounded by excited little people in Jayme Abel’s first grade class at Webb Elementary, where he has volunteered for seven years. Tabeling also donates weekly tutoring time at Webb.
“I attend almost every city meeting and share the highlights on social media,” Tabeling said. “I’m usually the only citizen who attends. But I share information about meetings on my Facebook and on the Franklin Chat.”
Celebrating beautiful sunsets, sunrises and snow falling gently are other gifts Tabeling loves to share through photography which he also posts on social media.
Some people don’t know that Tabeling’s musical side, began at 16, strumming guitar and writing songs in a band called Try-Angle.
After penning Writing On the Wall, Tabeling was interviewed by a radio station and added to an album along with songs by Dionne Warwick, The Grass Roots and the early Bee Gees.
“It’s kinda cool that the record lived on for all these years. We’ve had the fame without the fortune,” Tabeling said with a laugh.
Here, learn more about October’s ICON of the Month, Les Tabeling:
What do you consider your greatest virtue? Love for all of God’s creatures.
What human trait do you most dislike? Self importance
What do you like most about living in Johnson County? I lived and worked in Johnson county my entire life. I love the growth in Franklin.
If you had to live somewhere other than in Johnson County, where would it be? By the ocean
If you could begin life over, what would you change? I would have been Paul McCartney
If money were no issue, how would you spend it? Help cats and dogs find their forever homes
What makes you happiest? There are too many things that make me happy to list
What is your favorite vacation spot? Beach
What do you do with free time? I’m always “on.” I don’t idle well. .
What is it that makes you angry? People who suffer from the Dunnine-Kruger Effect.
What do you do to escape from reality?I don’t watch any news or news entertainment channels.
What or who is the greatest love of your life? Who could really pick just one? That is not the way I think.
Which living person in Johnson County do you most admire? I admire a lot of people for different reasons.
What is the quality you most like in a person? Sense of humor
What is your greatest extravagance? I don’t really have any.
What are your fears, phobias? That people have lost the ability to get along with others.
What has been the happiest time of your life? If you follow me on Facebook, you’ll see that I try to share something every day that makes me happy.
Which talent would you most like to possess? To be a handyman. That’s not a skill set that I inherited from my dad or uncles.
What do you most value in your friends? The subtle differences that make them unique.
Which historical figure do you most identify with? There isn’t one single figure. It wouldn’t be appropriate to pick one.
What is your greatest regret? That I waited until I was 50 to bring a dog into my life. So much “unconditional love” missed. So much personal growth missed.
What principle do you live by? Always try to find and understand the facts. Opinions are meaningless.