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Macon couple behind Cherry the pink poodle works to restore old Houston County fire truck

Owner Paul Williams says they might even give Cherry pink spots so she looks like a Dalmatian

MACON, Ga. — Paul and Alice Williams own Cherry, the iconic poodle dyed pink for the Cherry Blossom Festival every year, and now they have another claim to fame you might see at the Pinkest Party on Earth in 2023!

“This did not look this way when we got it. It was sitting in a pole barn for over 10 years,” said Paul. “It was a Houston County truck. This unit is a 1939 Dodge. Original engine, 6-cylinder, 72,000 miles.”

He’s referring to his new toy – a vintage fire truck you’ll see at the corner of Pio Nono and Marlies Circle that once helped to put out fires in Houston County almost 100 years ago.

“It popped up on Marketplace and I said, ‘Alice, are you going to buy me a fire truck,’ and she said yes. The next day we owned a fire truck,” he said.

“I was just kidding, and I thought you were just kidding,” said Alice.

She doesn’t mind. After all, the dog groomers are the center of attention when they dye Cherry every March and walk around so folks can take selfies with the pooch.

“Actually, I got the idea that she could ride on the firetruck and we would paint pink polka dots on her like a Dalmatian but pink,” said Paul.

It’s one things folks wanted to know, and other inquiries have poured in like a five-alarm fire.

“The first question was am I going to paint it pink? No, we like the patina. We named her Scarlett Belle, so she shows her age very gracefully,” said Paul.

The firetruck is already causing talk around town. Numerous first responders have stopped by to have their photo taken by the engine, but they want to find someone in Houston County who might’ve had their photo taken in front of it as a kid; that way they may be able to nail down more history.

Paul’s doing most of the work, but Alice does help him clean it up. The goal is to get it back on the road.

The Williams’ plan to take Scarlett to car shows once she’s road ready.

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