A Friend Remembers: Smiley Tackett

By Blue Bruger

I first met Smiley Tackett in third grade, back in nineteen and twenty seven. We used to call him Smelly Tackett because his father raised hogs and it was Smelly’s job to clean out the pens and slop them. Smelly didn’t rightly care for that name we give him, so he took to fighting us whenever he caught us off guard, which didn’t happen much because we could always smell him coming. I remember once down to the Johnson place, we was playing horseshoes and drinking home-brewed gin. This was about nineteen and twenty eight. The prohibition was still in play and the depression was waiting just around the corner. Me and Winston Smith and Lefty Pinafore were taking turns throwing shoes and taking tastes from that shine jar when in blows Smelly. He looked a mess and we all split our sides laughing at him. We told him Halloween ain’t till tonight and hes says it weren’t no costume but that he got knocked down in the pig sty and barely got out alive. He come down to the Johnson’s place to wash off at the pump because the Tackett’s well gone bone dry that summer. It weren’t more than 10 minutes later that we saw old Smelly walking back the way he come and he was naked as a jaybird. We didn’t notice before because he was covered in pig mess. We laughed till we split our other sides when Smelly told us the pigs et all his clothes clean off’n his body. He never spoke to any of us again.

Related: Smiley ‘Smiley’ Tackett dies

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