Lillian’s tireless secret

The Good Stuff: Lillian's tireless secret

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - Alonzo Brazil has a daily view of a rubber-filled rest area, of sorts, in the Queensborough neighborhood of Shreveport.

“She gets a lot of attention,” he remarks about his next-door neighbor’s front yard.

When asked what part of his neighbor’s yard is his favorite, Brazil jokingly answers, “the part where hers ends and mine starts.”

His neighbor 71-year-old Lillian Smith has created a decorative yard.

Front and back, her yard is now home to dozens and dozens of old tires.

71-year-old Lillian Smith looks over the dozens of tires that decoratively fill her front yard
71-year-old Lillian Smith looks over the dozens of tires that decoratively fill her front yard (Source: Doug Warner)

“I like decorations and that is so pretty to me,” Smith says about her inspiration, using old worn-out tires and many other items otherwise destined for a garbage can, but as a topper to the many tire towers erected in her yard.

"She took it to a whole new level," adds Chamaine Williams, who was busy helping Brazil fix the windows on his SUV.

“She’s got more energy than some guys on the street that compete with their grass,” adds Brazil.

Smith says she collected her first set of old treads around eight years ago, roughly the same time she retired from a 42-year career as a cook with the old Schumpert hospital in Shreveport.

And despite being retired, Smith admits she has a hard time sitting around doing nothing.

“I’ve been working all my life,” an emotional Smith opens up, slowly revealing the true secret behind her highly organized, yet extremely bizarre choice of decor.

"I thank the Lord that my grandmother raised me like that. I'm not a lazy person," Smith proudly says.

Her grandmother Apple Rogers, according to Smith, raised her from not long after birth.

Lilian Smith's grandmother Apple Rogers.
Lilian Smith's grandmother Apple Rogers.

"I was raised up in the country and my grandmother had a beautiful yard," says Smith.

She adds that her grandmother often told her that a person’s yard speaks volumes about the kind of home you keep.

Even before working more than four decades in the kitchen, Smith explains, her youth also was filled with long days, working in the fields picking cotton after school.

“I’m glad she raised me and taught me to stand on my own feet and depend on nobody but the Lord,” Smith exclaims.

And even 50 years after her grandmother Apple’s passing, it’s been a struggle for Smith.

Her biggest struggle, her grandmother not being there to witness her many years of hard work, perhaps serving as the catalyst behind the hard work it took to build such a unique and decorative display.

“I thank her today that the Lord had her take me. No telling where I would have wound up if it wasn’t for her.”

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