PRATTVILLE, Ala. — Many folks in Prattville are familiar with the trend of leaving painted rocks in town. One resident has decided to take the rock craze into his own hands, literally.
Malcolm “Major” Smith is well known around these parts. He’s from a prominent farming family and served on the City Council for a term in the late 1970s. Then he was elected to the board again in 1984 and served until 1992, from 1988-1992 he held the post of council president.
About 30 years ago, the farm started raising cotton on fields near Maxwell Air Force Base. The area had been used to mine sand and gravel to build the airstrips at Maxwell prior and during World War II, he said. During years of plowing, rocks of all sizes and sorts were exposed.
Having nothing better to do, and wanting to get the rocks out of the way of future farming operations, he began picking them up. It wasn’t a small chore, the rocks range from fist size to larger than a basketball.
He took a bunch of them to his home in Prattville. Since hearing about the Prattvillle Rocks phenomenon, he’s starting making cairns in the yard from the hundreds of farm rocks he has schlepped across the river.
“It takes about five to 10 minutes to make a stack,” he said. “You need rocks of the right shape, flat on two sides. I’ll come out here every few days and spend a few minutes and make a stack here, a stack there.”
The avocation springing from his vocation has surprised his wife, Jane.
“In the 53 years we’ve been married, I’ve never seen his artistic side until now,” she said.
Smith knows his activity won’t solve world hunger, or settle the North Korean nuclear crises.
“It’s enjoyable, even though I may be the only who sees the stacks,” he said.
The stacks stay upright for a time.
“I come out here and one may be knocked over,” he said. “I guess it’s the wind, or maybe a critter knocked it over.”
Or, he needs more rocks for a new stack just over there.
And what about that other rock effort in town? Smith says he’s not in competition at all. A check on the group’s Facebook Wednesday shows it has 9,787 members, so it looks like they are safe.
Information from: Montgomery Advertiser, http://www.montgomeryadvertiser.com