Dr. S. Patrick Walker:
Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 14, 2007
2006 Citizen of the Year
By Regina Grayson
Dr. Pat Walker was honored on Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2007, at the Crenshaw County Recreation Club as the 2006 Crenshaw County Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year.
After Chamber of Commerce President Jeff Adams recognized the past “Citizens of the Year” who were present, Martha Dickey, who is a friend and classmate of Dr. Walker's, presented him with the Citizen of the Year Award.
“I found out in elementary school where babies come from because of Pat,” Dickey said, laughing. “Several of us met him at a stump on the school grounds, and he told us that babies came from the mother's sideŠ. He started his doctor's career early.”
Dickey said that Walker was one of their first classmates who had a car.
“So, that made him even extra popular,” she said, smiling. “Pat was always the life of the party in school.”
“He and his wife Sandy are a true team,” she added. “They are a team in medicine, in music and in community service.”
Dickey added that Dr. Walker was a “favorite” with all of the “little old ladies.”
“The thing is, though, that all the little old ladies who go to see him now are his high school classmates,” she said, laughing.
“Seriously, though, he has done so much for this community. He is silent in his giving, and he wants no credit for it.”
After much applause, Dr. Walker came up to receive his plaque. However, the beginning of his acceptance speech left everyone laughing aloud and clapping.
“First of all, I'd like to say thanks to the Academy,” Walker said, smiling. “I'd also like to announce my candidacy for president for the Democratic ticketŠeverybody else is running.”
“I'm really quite honored to be presented with this award,” Walker said. “As I look back at those who have been presented with this award in the past, I see that it's an amazing group of people whom I respect very much, and I'm honored to be listed among that group of people.”
“I know all the people in Crenshaw County, and I look out here and think that there are several other people who are more deserving than I am,” he said. “I thank you so much for this.”
“And, Martha,” he added, “thanks for leaving out the bad stories.”
Dr. Walker is married to Sandra Andrews Walker, and they have three children, Ashley, Heather and Patrick, Jr. They also have three grandchildren.
He is a 1965 graduate and valedictorian of Luverne High School; he graduated from Vanderbilt University in 1969, and then completed the University of Alabama School of Medicine in 1973.
In 1976, Dr. Walker opened his practice of internal medicine in Luverne.
He is a member of the Luverne United Methodist Church and presently serves on the Luverne City Council. In 2005, he was named “Physician of the Year” at Crenshaw Community Hospital.
The guest speaker for the evening's festivities was Mr. Bob Ingram, longtime political commentator and editorial columnist.
Ingram told the crowd that no one had ever had more fun “getting paid for doing what I've done in my life.”
“I've interviewed every president from Harry Truman to George Bush,” Ingram said. “Except for Gerald FordŠSomehow, I missed him.”
Ingram shared one of his most favorite stories about his late wife, Edith, who died 10 months ago with cancer.
Ingram said that during the 1960 presidential campaign, he was assigned to cover a meeting between John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon in Warm Springs, Ga.
“Edith wanted to go with me so she could see Kennedy because, you know, all the women thought he was so good looking.”
“After we got there, Sen. Kennedy came over to where we were, and I said, ‘Senator, meet my wife,'” Ingram said. “He was very gracious to her and took her arm and held it, and the next thing I knew, she wouldn't let go of him.”
“I told her, ‘Honey, snap out of it!'” Ingram added, laughing.
“I want you to know, my wife slowly turned and looked at me and said, ‘Bob, until now, I never realized how ugly you are.”