Although he jokes it’s not getting easier, on most mornings the former County Commissioner can be found at the Macon County Golf Course ready to meet the boys and play a round of golf. Should some of the gang not show up due to the weather, he refers to them as ‘girlie boys’.
Cookson came to Macon County with Carter Automotive in the early 1970’s. After the company closed, he remained in the area working for the Nuclear Plant near Hartsville. When that job also came to an end he decided to retire and stay in Macon County.
Among his many accomplishments, Mr. Cookson loves to relay stories from his days in the Navy. Serving during World War II, he was stationed overseas where he participated in several invasions of the pacific islands. He said he approached a commanding officer one day and said, “I’d like some leave.” The officer responded, “I would too.” Four year passed before that leave was granted and Curtis was able to come home.
While filing through his memories with his friends he talked fondly of those who mean the most to him at this time of his life.
First there was his family, such as his grandchildren. “I have four grandchildren and even some greats,” Mr. Cookson said. “One down in Naples, one in New York and one in St. Louis. They all have very successful lives including a doctor who pioneered a new heart surgery, a computer whiz, and one who created a company that I own stock in,” he said. When asked if he felt any responsibility for their accomplishments, he said “the Good Lord up above is the one to thank for that.”
Then there were the friends, including Mack Clariday, Freddy Scruggs, Thomas Driver, Wardean Purdue, Larry Jones, Carl Gregory, Ronald Birdwell, Robert Herod, Billy Bowman, and others who meet Mr. Cookson on a daily basis to play golf.
“He has been an asset to Macon County,” Purdue said about Cookson.
“I just like hearing him talk about the things he’s seen and done.” said Jones.
However, his passion for life doesn’t stop on the green. Cookson spends time as a member of the Lafayette Rotary Club attending the weekly meetings. He likes to travel and recently purchased a cell phone to use in case of emergencies.
One of Cookson’s friends and golf opponents, Thomas Driver, said he is simply unbelievable when it comes to his golf game. He always has something positive to say, “good ball, great shot, I don’t think he’s ever witnessed a bad shot.”
“As soon as you start talking golf, his blood boils,” Driver said with a laugh. “And boy does it flow.”
No golfer at Macon County Golf Course will ever be able to forget Cookson, either. “He is a gentleman most everyone adores.” said Bowman.
Cookson said with a laugh. “Heck, I’m not going to be able to play forever.”
But come rain or snow or sleet or 100 degree heat, he’ll try.