ID=21035665DALLAS — There's so much history inside Wayne Smith's University Park home that it's hard to focus on just one thing.

From a Buster Brown rug to a corner dedicated to old soda ads, there's a story behind each item.

"I thought the kids might enjoy it, might want to wear it sometime," Smith said as he pointed to a large, costume rabbit's head. "They're actually kind of afraid of it."

Smith's passion is collecting and selling antiques. He'll tell you that finding the perfect piece is hard, but the restoration can be even harder.

"Sometimes, yeah, you do find something super old that's in great condition," he said. "But, it doesn't happen all that often anymore."

ID=21034827Case in point is what some may call the masterpiece of his collection, although it didn't appear to be much when Smith purchased it in 1992. The original Big Tex head, which Smith purchased for $1,700, was in bad condition. But, after 40 years in storage, the head has once again drawn visitors from across the state, or at the very least, the neighborhood.

"I had some old photographs that I worked off of to make him exactly like he was," said Smith of the Big Tex head.

Newly refurbished, the 300-pound head now tops his holiday display of '50s-era Santas and other vintage decorations that fill his University Park yard.

"I never do it the same way twice," he said of the bright display that attracts quite a holiday crowd. It's a display, complete with a leg lamp from that movie we saw, that's so bright, it makes the neighbors close their blinds.

"He really belongs to everybody," Smith said of the Big Tex head. "I'm just he keeper and put him out there so everyone can enjoy."

It's a piece of Texas history that, thanks to Smith, now lives in the present.