Page 6 - Amarillo Senior Link Magazine Winter 2021 - Online Magazine
P. 6




                 Al and Pat Smith

                by Jelaine Workman and Jane Bromley

               exans are characterized by their
               generosity and congeniality.
         TAl and Pat Smith have                                                            trains.  Nevertheless, he
          demonstrated their version of those                                              was single-minded about
          qualities literally all over the world.                                          his chosen career.  His
                                                                                           father worked hard so
          The Smiths are well known in the                                                 that he could pay for Al
          Amarillo area for their generosity.                                              to attend West Point to
          The Amarillo Symphony, the                                                       get his civil engineering
          Amarillo Museum of Art, the                                                      degree.
          Amarillo Little Theatre, the Public
          Broadcasting Station at Amarillo                                                 During the fall of
          College, and Central Church                                                      1952, Pat was attending
          of Christ are just a few of the                                                  Abilene Christian College,
          beneficiaries.                                                                   and the longtime buddies
                                             fell out of a tree swing. Pat and Al          began corresponding.
          Interestingly, their stories       attended Lockney schools together   Their friendship blossomed into
          intersected early on. They can     from first grade to graduation. They   courtship. By December, they were
          hardly remember a time when        lived only five blocks from each    engaged, and Al never made it to
          they didn’t know each other. Pat   other, rode bikes all over town,    West Point.
          was born in 1934 in Colorado City,   worked together on projects for
          Texas to Vernon and Katharyne      the war effort, and remained good   After their wedding on June 14, 1953,
          Pylant.  When she was 17 months    friends throughout their school     Al enrolled at Texas Technological
          old, her parents moved to Lockney   years.                             College in Lubbock because the
          and opened a grocery store. Al was                                     tuition was so affordable (only
          born in Floydada to Charlie and    Al was always a hard worker, and,   $25 a semester at the time). The
          Effie Smith in 1935. His family also   at age 13, he went to work at the   newlyweds lived in a tiny apartment,
          moved to Lockney, where his        local White’s Auto store, which     and Pat worked to support the family
          father worked for the county,      was located fortuitously next to the   while Al worked to earn his degree.
          operating heavy earthmoving        Pylant’s grocery store, where young   During the summers, they both
          equipment.                         Pat could often be found.           worked for Al’s dad on the farm to
                                                                                 pay tuition the next year. Their first
          Whether he knew it or not, Al made   The young man always dreamed of   son was born in 1954, and Al earned
          a great first impression. Not only   becoming a civil engineer, although   a degree in Civil Engineering in May
          did he invite little Pat to his fifth   he admits that, in the beginning, he   1957 (a month after their third son
          birthday party, he also was the first   was disappointed to find out that   was born.)
          on the scene to help her up when she   civil engineers didn’t get to drive

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