Miss Margaret snaps, crackles and pops

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 1, 2002

Those folks who advertise their snap, crackle and pop cereal don’t know nothin’ about energy.

Unless they’ve net Margaret, that is, who, like June, is bustin’ out all over.

If you’ve ever watched popcorn poppin’ you’d have a rough idea about what life’s all about behind those twinkling eyes of this week’s winner of the camellia bouquet, Margaret Gage Poole.

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This young lady, owner and operator of the Smokehouse at the I-65 Mile 128 off-ramp, bears a close resemblance to what scientists call perpetual motion.

In addition to running a thriving restaurant-gift-shop combo, Margaret is an avid dancer, hunter, fisherman, needlework addict and cook.

And, on top of all that, she keeps a staff of fourteen employees humping it for two shifts daily.

She has customers (those of the repeat variety) who make a habit of stopping at her place of business for a snack as they pass through this area on their wide-ranging travels.

Hunting and football seasons are her busiest times of the year, she says, although the other seasons are far from unbusy.

Margaret, a native of Birmingham, bounced into the world as the Great Depression was fading out, on October 31, 1937.

She attended Bessemer High School, and later graduated from Bearden High of Knoxville, Tenn. This last fact did not affect her one bit in her allegiance to the University of Alabama’s Crimson Tide.

In other words, the Big Orange never attracted her devotion away from ‘Bama, which may be evident when you check over the Smokehouse souvenir selections.

She married the late Eugene G. Poole Jr., in 1953 and they parented two children, David Poole (now at Savannah, Ga.) and Roxanne P. Martin, who in their turn, produced six grandchildren, three of each variety.

Before moving to Greenville in 1980, Margaret worked four years at Blue Creek Lodge Restaurant (on Lake Mitchell), and was a sewing machine operator at Clanton and Thorsby for five years.

She had secretarial experience with her late husband’s firm, Rogers Construction, and remained in that capacity until Gene retired in 1981 to take over Smokehouse.

Under Margaret’s guiding hand, the restaurant remains a thriving business as it has been for the past 21 years.

In addition to her active membership in the Greenville Chamber of Commerce, she also is active in the First Methodist Church and in the National Independent Business Federation.

The future?

Margaret optimistically looks forward to many more years of success and growth in her chosen field.

Success to date has been her hallmark, and who’s to say it won’t continue to grow and prosper.

Not I n and that’s for certain.

(Note: Miss Margaret has remarried since the above was inscribed and now answers to the name Mrs. Ronnie Simpkins. She also served in 1995 as president of the Greenville Area Chamber of Commerce.)