By Lisa Voyles/Chickasaw Journal
CALHOUN CITY – Circuit Judge Henry Lackey faced his impending retirement with mixed emotions.
“I’m not ready,” he smiled. “Not ready at all.”
Lackey was treated to a retirement reception Friday at Calhoun City First Baptist Church and the fellowship hall was filled with laughter and music, courtesy of the string band Judge and the Jury, with whom Lackey usually plays the bass fiddle.
“Well, he thinks he can play it,” said his wife, Helen Lackey, with a laugh.
Lackey was out of the combo as he shook hands, exchanged hugs and greeted friends and former co-workers from a lifetime of public service.
A native of Calhoun City, Lackey has worn many hats in the community, including firefighter, attorney, soldier and Sunday School teacher and even Santa Claus on occasion at community events. He ran the family business, the Ben Franklin variety store, after his father died; was elected county prosecutor; and worked in private practice before accepting an appointment as District 3 Circuit Court judge.
Lackey most recently saw the public spotlight for reporting a bribe offer from the Scruggs Law Firm and working with Federal prosecutors to bring Dickie Scruggs and associates to justice.
But for his retirement party, the focus was on jokes, memories and lots of laughter.
Lackey and Helen have been married 52 years and both know his retirement will be an adjustment. Both have a plan for his extra time.
“I’ve got to figure out a way to get him out of my house,” laughed Helen. “I like to see those tail lights going down the driveway every morning.”
For Lackey’s part, he plans to vanish.
“I’m getting in my pine thicket and hiding from my wife,” Lackey smiled. “I’m sure she has a list of things for me to do.”