Pusser’s only living deputy remembers him
by John Smith
Unfortunately, there is only one man alive today that served as deputy under the legendary McNairy County Sheriff, Buford Pusser.
Peatie Plunk, a resident of Selmer, now age 65, still remembers working with Buford as if it were yesterday. Plunk stated one day he was selling insurance for Independent Life and Accident, and stopped in to see Buford. Deputy Wily Smith told Plunk that they were on there way to raid a house, would he like to ride along with him and Buford? Plunk said "yea, why not."
Apparently after the raid, Buford asked Plunk if he would like to come and help the sheriff’s department out. Plunk said he told Buford that he didn’t know anything about that sort of work. Buford told him he would be a good deputy after what he saw today.
Plunk told Buford that he would still like to be in the insurance business, but he could work part time for awhile and see how things went. After one month of part time, Plunk decided that he would like to go to work full time and Buford was all for it.
Plunk said he thought the world of Buford and that Buford’s father, Carl Pusser, asked Peatie to try and watch over his son while they were out working. Plunk said he told Mr. Pusser that a lot of the time, it was just the other way around - that Buford was looking over him.
The same goes for many of us. Plunk stated that he could never forget the night that Buford was killed. He said that the Sheriff’s Department called him at home that night and informed him of the news. Plunk told them that as bad as he hated to say it, that he really had been expecting it.
After the election in which Buford got beat, Plunk decided to go his own way, which led him to selling cars. Plunk said he is still thankful that he is alive today because of all the fights, shootings, stabbings and chases that he and Buford faced every day.
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