By ZOË WATKINS
The last Rules and Legislative Committee brought up the suggestion to name a bridge on Unionville-Deason Road after Ronald Frederick “Freddy” Smith.
A petition with 30 signatures was submitted to the committee by Freddy Smith’s children Emily Smith Anderton and Ron Smith along with Commissioner Tony R. Smith.
To rename a bridge, the honoree must have been in all or one of public service, community service, and military service.
“The most important thing about this individual was his community service,” said Commissioner Smith.
Freddy Smith was a graduate of Community High School class of 1965 and served his country in the U.S. Army for two years with “distinguished service.”
He worked and retired from the U.S. Postal Service after 33 years of employment and drove transport for Nissan part time.
In his free time he enjoyed farming, especially baling hay and was known as “Baler Man.” He also was a tractor and small engine mechanic or “tinkerer.”
“He was a mechanic for the entire community,” said Commissioner Smith. “He kept their tractors, their hay equipment, he kept all of this running for everybody. If one of them had a problem, he would park his farm equipment, go help them, get them going, then he’d go back home. That is community service.”
Additionally, Freddy Smith was a member of Hickory Hill United Methodist church, and was a lifelong coon hunter who participated in many PKC events. He passed away in August 2021 at the age of 74.
According to Commissioner Smith, the bridge is within in “rock-throwing distance” of the end of Freddy Smith’s driveway on property he lived on for more than 50 years.
“In my opinion, this is a very sincere thing that needs to be done because he is very deserving,” said Smith.
Commissioner Greg Vick added, “No, he wasn’t in the newspaper every day; no, he didn’t get all these awards. But these are the kinds of people, everyday people, [who] do the everyday-kind-of-thing that we need to say ‘thank you’ to because they are very rare and hard to find.”
The Committee passed the request with a favorable recommendation. Before the bridge is officially named, the County Commission will vote on the naming on Tuesday, Dec. 12, at their regular monthly meeting.