The Vagabond -The Smiths of Hokes Bluff – A rich local heritage continues


The Vagabond recently spoke with John Smith of Hokes Bluff. John works for Byers Engineering Company as a quality control inspector of telecommunications contractors who design jobs for AT&T. He had studied Environmental Science at Auburn University.

John comes from great heritage going back to the Civil War. His great-great-great grandfather, Joshua T. Smith, was a captain in the Alabama Militia, primarily associated with St. Clair County.

John told The Vagabond how proud he was of his three sons – Ethan 14, Michael 12 and Ryan, who turns 7 on the 25th of this month. They have all had great accomplishments.

Michael was born on a special day on Easter Sunday, April 20, 2003. Last year he celebrated his birthday on Easter when he turned 11.

Michael just graduated fifth grade at Hokes Bluff Elementary School. When school starts back, he will move to Hokes Bluff Middle School.

In continuation of the rich family heritage, Michael has made many achievements for his young life. Through school, Michael participated in the Etowah Youth Orchestra playing the violin. He also plays the guitar.

In sports, Michael has finished playing his sixth year of baseball. He has also played upward basketball and has a strong interest in taking up soccer.

Michael recently participated with the HBES track team on the four-man relay team. In a countywide competition, his team finished first amongst all fifth grade teams that competed.

Not only is Michael involved at school. He sang solos at church and enjoys helping out around the house.

Michael has also shown interests in mechanical design works. With his kind and tender heart coupled with his love for animals, however, he someday might become a veterinarian.

In addition, Michael recently competed in the Etowah County 4-H Chick Chain project. He participated with the intent to pick three of the domesticated fowl out of 18 and take them to the DeKalb County Fair last September, when youths from Cherokee and Etowah counties competed with those from DeKalb County. 

Each child’s coop of three chickens was judged against all others of the same breed and variety. On his own, Michael chose three White Plymouth Rock chickens. As it turned out, there were more of that breed and variety at the competition than any other.

Each of the 62 coops had a scorecard attached to it. The judge walked around with other 4-H officials tabulating the results. During the judging period, the officials made three sweeps around to each coop.

It bothered Michael’s father when for the second time, the judge bypassed Michael’s coop. Toward the end of the tabulating, while he had an official at his side with clipboard in hand, the judge stepped toward Michael’s coop and tapped its top.

It might seem as if someone was watching something they shouldn’t have, but the judging was open to whoever wanted to watch. The only thing was that no one was allowed in this area at this time.

Did Michael win a prize? The markings on Michael’s card meant something, since not every card had a number on the score section.

The final results were finally in. Michael’s White Plymouth Rock won first place in all three counties. 

The competitors were then judged on showmanship, which involved talking to the judge. Michael also won first place for this in his age group for all participating counties.

In the end, Michael’s three-chicken coop was deemed the best coop for Etowah County across all breeds and varieties, and he was awarded Grand Champion for Etowah County. 

Michael’s father would have been extremely proud of him if he just gotten a third place ribbon. Yet Michael was close to being the best for the whole show. His grand champion award was for best overall in Etowah County.

Michael also received a silver medal for his AR reading and a certificate for participation in his strings class.

What is in the future for Michael? Time will tell, but for sure one can expect far greater accomplishments and a continuation of the proud Smith’s heritage.

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