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Billy Joe Fudge: Mystery man who was Dad's Best Friend

The final say from the ultimate authority: Billy Joe Fudge confirms that all the guesses to date are correct: That is Maurice (some sent it as Morris) Lay with his dad, the late Ordell Fudge. And that inspires a wonderful story about the business affiliation Mr. Lay had with George Pelston, at the time a 14 year old mechanical engineering genius from Sparksville, the Capital City of the Great Wood South
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By Billy Joe Fudge

Yes, for all those who sent answers, that is indeed Maurice Lay and My Dad, Ordell Fudge.

On another note, Maurice fussed and fussed to Dad about folks coming in all the time needing repair work on their bicycles. He, being the Chief Executive Officer of Western Auto's Columbia Kentucky Division claimed to have the expertise to do the repairs but, according to him, did not have the time.

Dad, in order to shut up the complaining, told Maurice that he had just the man for the job. That man was a 14 year old, mechanical engineering genius from Sparksville, George Pelston. George, one of my best friends, has passed on but will never be forgotten by those of us who knew him and was honored to call him, friend.

George graduated from the Eighth Grade with more mechanical skills than most folks would amass in a lifetime of training. From a very early age, he showed a natural affinity for the mechanical by repairing his and his friends bicycles, enhancing the performance of lawn mowers and chainsaws to points far beyond the factory's performance levels and even tinkering with pickup trucks and cars.

Later on in life George will always be remembered for turning his Ford Falcon into the most feared burn-out, road-racing, ditch-cleaning dragster, The Great Wooded South has or will ever see again.

So, Maurice hired George to do his bicycle repair work after conducting a short interview. George had no driver's license because of his age, much in the same vein as young men who could for decades would go off to war to fight and die to protect our country at the age of 18 but could not buy alcoholic beverages legally until 21. So, George would ride into town and back home with Rudy Campbell most days.

Don't remember how long George worked at Western Auto but as to the best of my knowledge he soon tired of the mundane world of bicycle repair and established his own small engine and auto repair business between Mrs. Wheeler's Store and the massive downtown area of Sparksville. - Billy Joe Fudge

This story was posted on 2016-02-14 10:17:57
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