"Born to hunt, fish and play ball" is the way Helen Pope describes her husband, LeRoy Pope. She says he has done all three and has been very good at it.
His parents were Rex and Rubye Pope of the Huron community. He got his love for fishing from his grandmother, Betty Whittle. They fished from the creek banks from the time he could hold a pole. He started hunting with a BB gun and later graduated to the 20 gauge shotgun.
LeRoy went to school at Brown's Creek School in Huron and later on to Lexington High from which he graduated in 1949. He played football, basketball an dbaseball. Some of his favorite past times were with old friends that played with him. Some of these boys were Wayne Hinson, Pete Belew, Billy Kelly, Charles Hay, Billy Roy Armstrong. Others like Ray Woods and Buddy Bunch have long gone on.
In his senior year of baseball, he played for John Hinson. One day, a scout from the St. Louis Cardinals was at the game and made him an offer to try out for this major league team after watching him play. Being from a small country town, city life didn't appeal to him and he refused the offer.
LeRoy began working for the Electric System after graduation, working under Herman Austin until 1950 when he joined the Air Force. While he was in the service, he met and married Helen Huddleston of Lebanon TN in 1952. Helen and LeRoy are the parents of 4 children; Gary, Kristie, Kay and Walter. Gary is the owner and operator of Johnson Tire Co. He lives here. Kristie Wadley lives in the Middlefork community and is secretary for Don Martin at Lexington High School. Kay Patterson is the owner and operator of "The Apple Tree. Walter is a Park Ranger at Natchez Trace State Park.
LeRoys joy of life is when he is on the water, or hunting, or going to a baseball game. He has 7 grandsons, plus 3 grandaughters and he spends much time teaching them the trick of the trade. He says this keeps them out of trouble.
Adam, Gary's son, likes skeet shooting and hunting. They do this often on a schooting range at the farm. Kevin, Kristie's son, likes to deer hunt and fish. Blake and Cole, Kay's boys, like to fish and hunt and LeRoy goes with them often. Wes and Drew, Walters' sons, like all three. LeRoy has carried them all in juvenile hunts and they usually kill a deer.
At one time LeRoy worked for Holmes Motor Co., after he came out of the service in 1955 and worked there until 1968.
In 1966 Bobby Gross, Rex and LeRoy bought Johnson Tire Co., and LeRoy helped after leaving the Holmes Ford place unti9l 1988 when he retired. Then he began full-blown hunting and fishing. He did maintain a big garden and kept up yard work in his spare time.
LeRoy has 2 or 3 big fish fries a year in his work shed behing the house. He invites his fishing and hunting buddies and town people to enjoy this. Along with John Tate and Junior Foster, they cook fish for 30-40 people.
After retirement, he did some fishing guiding an dhas had people fly in from as far away as Canada and California to fish with him. He gave that up as he said he has too many grandsons and friend to take fishing. He keeps numerous dogs to train or to use in his rabbit hunting. In the summer after the fishing and hunting seasons, Helen says you will probably find him at the Little League ball park watching his grandsons play ball. LeRoy is nearing 68, bue he says he has many more years to go. He is very modest in saying he's no pro in any of these fields, but any young person can go to him and he delights in showing them a jig or fishing gear that they might use.