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Mineola birdhouse tree symbolizes what East Texas is all about

KETK
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Thursday, February 27, 2014 - 12:14am

If you drive down North Johnson Street in Mineola, you may have noticed a tree that stands out among the rest, birdhouses decorate the limbs, and a hand-carved woodpecker adorns the top.

Emmett Powers is a retired math teacher, who spent more than fifty years living in California, and he moved to Mineola to be closer to some of his family.

Before he moved here, he never thought much about birdhouses, nor the way they would be used, to welcome him to East Texas.

When  Powers bought a century old house in a Mineola neighborhood his sister told him, he needed a birdhouse.

"To appease her, I said okay, she started people getting to give me birdhouses, donated birdhouses here and there, birdhouses from all over the place," said Powers.

An old dead tree needed to be trimmed, but the limbs were cut in such a way where birdhouses set safely.

"My neighbor gave me a birdhouse, I better get this thing up, so I decided to put more birdhouses up," said Powers.

Eleven in total, he says once he was finished, the birds came flying in, and he never had to buy a single birdhouse.

"I had forgotten really what southern hospitality is all about, and come back and, starting to realize the southern hospitality now that I'm old enough to understand."

He was born in Louisiana, but spent most of his life in California, but now calls Mineola home.

"Mineola has stole my heart more than any place I have ever lived," Powers said.

And so the tree stands, as a new found passion for Powers, and a symbol of the open arms of East Texas.

"Someone asked me where's my favorite vacation spot, it would be right there on that glassed in front porch, sitting there eating breakfast, watching the birds" Powers said.

Powers offers math tutoring to any student who may need his help in Mineola.

He doesn't charge them any money, saying he's just using the gifts God has given him.

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