Friday, November 16, 2007

"They Don't Make Them Like Jimmie Jones Anymore"

James D. "Jimmie" Jones died on November 5, 2007. Jimmie Jones had served the people of Caldwell Co. as Sheriff and County Judge. Judge Jones had been elected twice as Sheriff and also served 3 terms as County Judge.

Judge Jones was the son of the late William L. Jones and Mildred Satterfield Jones. William L. Jones or Bill Jones as he was known, was Warden of the Kentucky State Penitentiary when he passed away I believe in 1963.

Judge Jones was a quiet man who was known for his old fashioned ways and practical jokes. I first met the Judge when I was in middle school and we continued a relationship for many years. Farming was the first love of Jimmie Jones and I always felt because of that he retained a good grasp for what was on the minds of the average citizen. I relied on Judge Jones many times for political advice and spent countless hours drinking coffee and picking his brain in the Caldwell Co. Courthouse.

If you visited the County Judge's office in Caldwell Co, well lets just say it was indicative of Judge Jones philosophy about most things. "Keep it simple". A desk, two chairs, a lamp, a file cabinet and a picture of Gen. George S. Patton. You gotta love it. The office was always dark and most of the time only lit by the light coming through the windows. I often griped at the Judge why he did not turn the lights on and he would reply-"I'm saving the tax payers money and it also keeps people from sitting in here too long". I would laugh and reply "Well Judge it has not stopped me", and the Judge would laugh and reply" It's not working as well as it used to".

Once while making my rounds, the Judge told me to come in and sit down because he needed my political advice on something. The Judge showed me a bumper sticker that he was going to use if he had opposition and wanted my opinion. After looking at the neon-green lettering with a black back ground I proclaimed that it might be the ugliest damn bumper sticker that I had ever seen. Judge Jones laughed and said "that's the point, no one will forget my name after looking at this and besides it didn't cost hardly noth'in."

The Judge did not believe in spending money nor fixing something if it were not broke. One day while visiting he told me that he was in a little trouble with the State for not finishing and adhering to a master road plan to repair and maintain roads. I quizzed him about it and in the end the Judge thought the whole concept was stupid and a waste of time because it did not make much common sense to him. "If a road needs repairing then repair it, if it needs paving and you got the money to do it then pave it. Taking care of roads ain't real hard". It just did not make sense to the Judge to plan on paving a road that did not need paving.

The Judge might have been old fashioned but he was stern, fair and good-hearted. During the funeral the minister recalled the stories of how Judge Jones when he was Sheriff would often go out and feed the cattle belonging to people he had arrested. Judge Jones was preceded in death by a son Curt who was just 18 when he died in an automobile accident. Judge Jones is survived by two sons; Dixie, who is the Head Football Coach at Hopkinsville HS and Robert who I believe is retired from the Kentucky Dept. of Agriculture.

Jimmie Jones was one of the special people in the political life of West Ky. and life in general. A humble, unique and colorful person who served his people well. As the Rev. Bill Jones and Rev. Rodney Wallace stated "They don't make them like Jimmie Jones any more."

No they don't.
Judge James D. "Jimmie" Jones. (1923-2007)

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