During the late 1950s and early '60s, Marion "Poppa" Smith
served as the public works superintendent in Ackerman.
"Which meant he was the general town flunky," laughs Joan,
his wife of 57 years.
Smith smiles and agrees. "I did whatever folks in town asked
me to. Cleaned out sewers. Patched holes in the streets. I even
served as the fire department. Carried 500 feet of hose on a
two-wheel trailer behind my car. That was our firetruck."
He's 77 and retired now with the time to devote to his
"A lot of it is stuff passed down in my family," Smith says,
"and a lot of it is stuff that people don't want anymore."
"I've only got two rules: It has to be old, and it has to
work — or at least be fixable. You'd be surprised the things
people don't want anymore."
Blow Poppas "Gong" Whistle
Blow Poppas "Chime" Whistle
Poppa wins 1st Place in
Ackerman Christmas Parade
Poppa Smith's theme was "Childhood Memories"
The Prettiest Christmas
By Marion (Poppa) Smith
The prettiest Christmas tree in
Was a red hall tree chopped with Mom's butcher knife.
Many thorns and berries but
leaves were lean --
Remember the delta has very
For lights no electricity we had;
Icicles were used and put on by
Instead of ribbon to adorn the
Popcorn was popped by my sister
Tis fun to put popcorn on a
Thread 1 eat 2 what a delicious
The way I remember it was a
And now I see it in a different
The dead tree reminds me Jesus
died for my sin.
The white popcorn reminds of
being born again.
The thorns remind me of the
crown on His head.
The red berries remind me of the
blood He shed.
Tonight we celebrate the hanging
of the green
To honor the Birth of our Savior and King.