I'd like to tell you about my favorite grandfather; actually, there are two favorites. But, for this competition, I'm going to focus on one of the two and save the other for later. They are both equally outstanding and I'm lucky to have met and spent time with them both.
John Alma Smith was born of Scots Irish descent in hot and dusty Huntsville, Alabama. As he would tell it, you could fry an egg on a hot tin roof and the streets were so dry a man was perpetually thirsty.
As an energetic young man, he craved the oil fields of Oklahoma. Eventually, he found himself near Tulsa and a microscopic town named Turley. When he went to work in the oil fields he was so poor he dug through the trash to scavenge other men's hand-me-down oil-field clothes.
As he would often tell me: one day the oil company bookkeeper came looking for him. She said, "John A. why haven't you cashed a check in the past six months." "Well, madam I'm saving to buy a general store one day." "Well, John I wish you'd hurry up because you sure is messing up my books."
Oh John A. got himself that general store, and a hardware, a supermarket chain, and two banks to keep his money in. Did I say he owned hundreds of his own oil wells he still worked every day?