“You used to have doctors come around to the houses a long time ago,” said Smart. “Dr. Hamilton got to calling me bow legged, and it turned into Bodie. I’ve worked with people 20 or 30 years, and they didn’t really know my name. Even in school they called me that.”
Smart and his wife, the former Mary Cain, live on Gnatville Road where he’s able to have spacious gardens on their 30 acres. Smart knows a lot about gardening. Growing up he helped his parents, the late Fred and Ruth (Moon) Smart with theirs.
He was one of 10 children and attended Spring Garden School.
“My daddy was a cotton farmer,” said Smart. “I used to think that if I ever grew up I wouldn’t farm. But I guess I got it in my blood. I used to think I couldn’t wait to get off the farm and do something else, but you always go back to your roots I guess.”
In spite of an abundance of rain this year, Smart has had a good garden. He’s especially proud of his okra. Some of the stalks have grown to 12 feet, and many of the pods are 14 inches long.
“It looks like it keeps getting taller,” He said. “I took some up to the Civic Center one day and laid it down on the tiles. It measured 11 feet that day.”
Even though he was often out of town when he worked, he managed to have a garden every year.
Smart spent 40 years working in the engineering department of CSX Railroad, helping build bridges and buildings. He retired four years ago.
“I traveled a lot and had friends in four or five different states,” he said. “You work with people 30 or 40 years and you miss them when you don’t get to see them. I lived out of a suitcase all those years.”
Retirement has afforded the Smarts an opportunity to travel. They like the mountains and the beach.
“Every fourth of July our whole family goes to Florida for a week,” he said. “We all pitch in together and rent a house on the beach. This year, it rained the whole week. They had 12 inches of rain in one day. It flooded out the Beach Front Road and it closed a lot of roads. You couldn’t get through because of the water.”
The Smarts have been married 47 years. They have three children. Pam Dyer and her husband, Ray, and Kelly O’Neal and her husband, Wayne, live in Piedmont. Their daughter, Christie Freeman and her husband, Carl, live in Alexandria.
They have three grandchildren, Josh Jackson is 26, Ruthie Dyer is 9 and Cameron O’Neal is 15 months. Their great-granddaughter, Hallie White, 9, is the daughter of Josh and his wife, Misty.
Smart attends Plainview Holiness Church.
Contact Margaret at email@example.com.