George Smith: He was a piece of work ...
May 29, 2013 | 6928 views |  0 comments | 21 21 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Jerry Pinkston
Jerry Pinkston
His name was Jerry Pinkston, a pretty good basketball player at Millerville High School way back when. He was also opinionated and funny, forever a lineman for Alabama Power, didn’t have a mean bone in his body, and will always be on my list of “Top Five Best Friends.”

He was a piece of work.

Jerry died Sunday morning. One of the finest minds I’ve ever known finally slipped away on the tragic darkness that is Alzheimer’s.

He was also a believer, walked daily with a conviction of two things. One was that God would keep Israel safe. The other was that we are in the end times. I know all of that because being my co-pilot on too many drives to count, he had me nailed ’til his “sermon” was finished.


He could come up with lines (without thought) I envied, wish I had written.

I’ll give you just one.

The occasion was one of those rare moments he was a bit upset with someone:

“I’m gonna fix his nose so that every time it rains, he’ll strangle to death.”

That mean bone I mentioned?

The next day I happened to see my buddy Jerry in the company of his displeasure. Which makes another point. He was the most forgiving person I believe I’ve ever known. And you never, not once, had to demand an apology. Jerry gave it before you even thought it.

A memory ... It was our last ride together, a idle trip up around Borden Springs and back, over roads I didn’t know, but he did. He told me he knew a shortcut back to Piedmont. Knowing his mind was already going, I was a bit doubtful. No need. Through three, maybe four, “Turn right heres,” we came to where he said we would.

A memory ...

I believe Jerry had a personal relationship with every utility pole he ever climbed, every transformer he’d ever worked. Standard was “That pole right there, I remember when ...” Even as his mind faded, his memory remained amazing.

A memory ...

He loved Junior Johnson, a legendary NASCAR owner and driver. Once, perched on a low pit road wall at Daytona, he and a friend had a personal visit with Johnson. If he were listing his best moments, other than marriage to Thelma and the births of son Randall and daughter Lynn, that visit with Johnson would be in the top two.

It might have ranked second to his love for Auburn football, but I’m not sure.

A memory ...

We’d be riding along, listening to the stereo, and Jerry would say, “Put some Elvis on.” He loved to hear Elvis Presley sing, especially “How Great Thou Art.”

A memory ...

The day I came home from the hospital following knee surgery, Jerry was immediately at the house. My wife remembers him walking through the house looking for something to do. Like in, “Agnes, do you need any light bulbs changed out?” He was flat-out a giver . . . of himself.

A memory ... A long time ago, after Sunday dinner at his parents’ home in Millerville, we spent time beneath a lovely oak tree. His dad set it out as a sapling when Jerry was a baby.

His dad left here while mowing the grass, dropping dead beneath “his” tree. The next year, half the tree died. The following year, the other half died.

It was and is a spiritual thing.

I am convinced that it re-affirmed Jerry’s belief in God and the hereafter.

Take care, pal. Thanks for the memories ...


George Smith can be reached at 256-239-5286 or email:
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