Timothy Hudson is a man of many talents… and occupations.
During his 56 years, Hudson has been a sheriff’s deputy, a solider in the U.S. Army, Lowndes County Prosecutor, a bounty hunter, a private practice lawyer and a professional wrestler.
Hudson has spent his life in Mississippi, having been born and raised between Vernon and Caledonia. After graduating Lamar County High School, he attended East Mississippi Community College, graduated from William Carey University with a degree in business administration and finally graduated from the University of Mississippi’s School of Law in 1985.
But by the time he earned his law degree, Hudson had experienced more careers than most people dally in in their entire lives.
Upon his graduation from high school, Hudson joined the military and served two years in the Army as a Military Policeman in New York City.
He worked on the waterfront where military supplies are loaded and unloaded.
“When you’re 18 years old and you leave the rural area between Vernon and Caledonia and move to New York, overall it’s a pretty big change,” he said. “It was one heck of a difference, but overall I liked it.”
Hudson was able to experience the United States Bicentennial being celebrated in 1976 in New York city. “I was right in the middle of it. I saw President Ford and the Queen of England,” said Hudson. “I was stationed at the peninsula in Hudson Bay, you could see the statue of liberty. It was a secure base and the president and queen entered and left through it.”
While Hudson wasn’t actively involved in the celebrity guard, he was right in the middle of one of the biggest celebrations New York has seen.
“It was one heck of a fireworks show,” he said. “Huge harbor full of ships and the Verrazano bridge, which is three or four miles long, was full of pedestrians watching the show.”
Hudson hasn’t been back to New York since his military days, but he says he remembers the food there being some of the best he’s ever eaten.
“It was some of the best ethnic food I ever ate,” he said. “Up until then, I’d only had Pizza-Hut-type pizza. I got there and there were real Italian pizzerias, authentic Chinese, whatever in the world you could imagine. It was all just like it would be if you were (in that country). I got to try a lot of things.”
Drug Busts and Wrestling Alligators
After the Army, Hudson came back home to go to school and took a job at the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Department.
He says one of his most memorable times on the force was when he and some other deputies busted an underground sill (Photos on page 17).
“When I say underground, I mean really underground. Some people had dug a big hole, maybe 12 by 8 feet, and 7-8 feet deep. We knew people were buying moonshine out there, but we looked and looked and couldn’t find it. We figured it must be in the barn, so we waited until dark to go out there. We could smell it going through the field so we knew it was close. But then we saw a guy coming out of the house so we ducked down behind this brush pile and discovered it. It was a pure miracle. If there hadn’t been a guy under there working, we wouldn’t have found it.”
The deputies discovered a seven-foot deep, 12X8 hole under brush with a hand pump well, butane bottles, and five, 55-gallon barrels and a cooker. “It wasn’t a real big operation,” said Hudson.
He has three photos documenting the bust in his office at Sims & Sims law offices to this day.
In addition to busting underground operations, Hudson says his stint as chief deputy was one of the most interesting careers he’s had.
“Rural Sheriff is the most interesting area of law enforcement you can work because you’re going to do everything. Before anyone thought there were alligators here, we went out on Jess Lyons and caught eight-footers.”
During his bachelor’s degree years, Hudson also served as a bounty hunter on occasion to help pay for school.
“I would go pick up a guy that jumped bonds and that was that. We didn’t necessarily refer to it as (being a) bounty hunter,” he said. “Because I’d been in law enforcement I had some connections with bonding companies. They sometimes called and asked me to pick someone up.”
When asked about the new popularity the profession has gained with shows like “Dog the Bounty Hunter,” he said he found the show to be obviously staged and unlike real bounty hunting.
“I watched it once and realized when they break down the door they already have a camera in there,” he said. “I thought it was ridiculous.”
After being with the Sheriff’s Department for seven years and bounty hunting, Hudson moved to Oxford to go to the University of Mississippi Law School.
T.V. and Tights
“Something I’m proud of is that I was able to get seven years of college and pay for it myself. It was lean times and I did whatever I could to make enough money to buy a hamburger and tuna fish. I did a bunch of (odd jobs) to put food on the table,” he said.
One of those odd jobs happened to be professional wrestling for Hudson. He was friends with a pair of brothers in the business who wanted someone to train with. The Anderson brothers in turn taught him the business and he got on the weekend circuit.
“I worked for various wrestling promoters when I was in law school,” he said. “Times were lean. I would occasionally leave Ole Miss and drive to Tupelo and work Friday night there, then drive all night to Atlanta and do their T.V. Wrestling on Saturday morning, then I’d do a house show Saturday night somewhere in Atlanta. Within 24 hours, I would have worked in 3 states, but I usually made enough money to live off of for a month.”
Hudson said that professional wrestling was much different during his time than it is now. “For one thing you didn’t make nearly as much money,” he said. “It had more of a carnival aspect. The secrets of the business were well protected. Everyone maintained that it was real and it had its own language.”
He shared that wrestlers at the time had their own vocabulary that signaled to others that they knew the business. For instance if you said someone was “smart,” it meant they were an insider and if someone said “kafaybe” it meant that any wrestlers around should get into character because there were people around that weren’t “smart.”
Hudson faced off against some very big names in wrestling. Bill Dundee, Lars Anderson, Bruiser Brody, Ron Bass, Jerry Lawler, and Tojo were a few. “My job was mostly to make them look good because I was not full time. So I got slapped around a little.”
Hudson also worked with Jerry Jarrett, who is still an active promoter today. Jarrett asked Hudson to go full time, but Hudson decided to keep to his goal of becoming a lawyer.
In addition to the physical abuse, Hudson also disliked that the business kept him from his studies.
“Law school is a tough program. You have to study, it’s not just go to class and take tests, I had to spend hours studying everyday. After driving all weekend and working and basically 36 hours with one nap, it’s not that enjoyable… it’s really more of a burden.”
Despite his certainty that he would not have wrestled if he didn’t need the money, Hudson did say that he met many interesting people in that line of work…some of which could have been clients for his law practice later in life, he mused jokingly.
He kept his ambitions to become a lawyer private from his wrestling cohorts and his weekend job as a wrestler a secret from most of his classmates.
“Only one or two people knew I was in school to be a lawyer in wrestling. I couldn’t figure any reason that anyone in the law school or the area needed to know. I don’t know if it would have made any difference. YouTube has changed things, some people saw some old clips online and I’ve heard a lot about it.”
“Once I had a paycheck, it replaced my need to do (wrestling),” he said. “I came back home to begin practicing law. After a year, I ran for county prosecutor and got it that first year.”
Hudson served the next 24 years as Lowndes County Prosecutor, where he handled the preliminary work on felonies, misdemeanors and juvenile matters. It kept him very busy.
“I figure I would average at least 30 cases a week. I figure I’ve handled about 35,000 cases,” he said.
He says the rewarding part of the job was the rare occasion that he was able to change someone’s life for the better.
“Prosecuting someone is never really pleasant,” he said. “But occasionally you will see someone that you give some consideration to and they turn their life around. That’s pretty satisfying. I still see people from 20 years ago occasionally that say that event changed their lives forever, but that’s the exception, not the rule.”
Hudson is doing private law practicing now at Sims & Sims in Columbus and has been there for 22 years. “I haven’t retired,” he said. “I’ve always had a private practice of law, doing everything from divorces to title searches. I just decided it was time for someone else to take over the duties (of County Prosecutor).”
Hudson has been married to Mary Jean Hudson for almost 26 years. They have three children: Jordan,who is 28-years-old and a registered nurse; Collen, who is 23-years-old and has followed in her father’s footsteps and gone into law; and Russ, who is 21-years-old and is in the U.S. Army.
Because he likes to keep busy, Hudson is currently spending his extra time working on a little cabin down by Yellow Creek as a place to have weekend getaways.
He says he has no intention of retiring in the foreseeable future and has no idea what his next adventure will be. He’s sure it will find him.0