When Fred Thompson decided to run for the U.S. Senate by riding around the state in a big red truck, his first stop was Pinkston Motors on Chapman Highway. Bill Frist has been there, and so have Don Sundquist and just about any local candidate you can think of. Big Jim Haslam's been there a time or two, too. In fact, anybody who's serious about running for office or getting something done at County Commission in the past decade generally stops by the tiny, smoke-filled office to pay their respects. That's why gossip that the southside commercial landmark is about to close has sent ripples through the local political scene.
But they haven't made a decision yet, says Howard "Nookie" Pinkston, so the gossip about the alleged impending closing is a bit premature. Nookie Pinkston has a lot on his mind—he is seeking yet another term on County Commission, and at 61, he says it's time to start looking ahead. His partner and brother Paul Pinkston is 63, and is the one who is thinking hard about retiring. But as of now, they're still there—so candidates in the impending county primaries need not change their itineraries. And if you need some wheels, Nookie says he can have you riding in no time.