yesterday's tennessee

Yesterday's Tennessee
People of Action - 1969

From Lillye Younger, People of Action (Brewer Printing Company, Jackson, Tennessee, n.d.).  Special thanks to Constance Collett and the estate of the late Lillye Younger for permission to make this web page.

Grady Jones

By Lillye Younger, Sun Correspondent

Policeman Enjoys Canning as Pastime

PARSONS, Tenn. — What makes a policeman stay in the "business?"

Assistant Chief of Police Grady Jones' answer is "I like the job fine and I've never lost a minute's sleep over it. I have no fear of persons and nothing ever worries me."

The tall, blue-eyed 59-year-old policeman joined the Parsons police force May 23, 1960. He has served continually with the exception of four end one half months when he was policeman at Sardis. "I was also deputy sheriff at this time," he recalls, and continued to serve as deputy for a year and a half.

"There are some hardships such as changing one's sleeping habits," he said. "My shifts change every two weeks. I work from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and revolve into the graveyard shift. midnight 'til 8 a.m., " he said. Other nuisances are false reports called in, drunks, and dogs, all of which cause headaches.

The satisfaction that Jones gets out of his job overrides the handicaps. "You meet a lot of nice people in carrying out the law," he said.

Incidents he recalls during his life as a policeman include the time he arrested a man for public drunkenness who said "You are as mean as I am. We both came from the same county and I'll whip you when I get out of jail"

Another time Jones said, "I was attempting to apprehend a teen-ager who raced through Parsons in a stolen car from Lexington. I chased him across the Tennessee River bridge into Perry County and I had shot every shell out of my gun before I stopped him. He had his hand under his coat, pulling the _______ a gun as he look up under his eyebrows. I too had to do a bit of bluffing. I ______ with the butt of my gun if I had to.

"I use only what action is necessary in making arrests," he said. "Some have to have the blackjack to be convinced. One man hit me in the head after I got him to jail."

"We make more arrests on weekends t h a n during the week," he said. "Most of them are for speeding, reckless driving, running stop light and drunkenness . Sometimes it's hard to tell if people are telling the truth."

"Recently I stopped a girl making 60 mph in a 30 mph. speed zone while taking her brother to the hospital.

"Teen-agers from other towns give us a lot of trouble. Our teen-agers are not bad," he said.

"I haven't had too many insults hurled at me. I overlook them unless the violator goes to pushing me around."

Jones hobby is canning fruits and vegetables. He filled 330 jars last summer. He says canning, as a rule, is a woman's job but when there are no women in the home "the man can do it himself if he's a mind to."

The versatile lawman converted a mule-operated pea picker into a power one. He ran it for eight years on a belt. "I'd pick peas for farmers down the Tennessee River to Whitehead landing." he said.

At one time Jones was considered the strongest man in Benton County and proved it at many lifting feats. He was born in Decatur County near Sugar Tree Nov. 5, 1907, and moved to Benton County when quite a small lad. Later he returned to Decatur County.

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