Changing the song – How line tech Leon Smith found a way

April is National Lineman Appreciation Month. In honor of that, we recognize Leon Smith, a pioneer as the company’s first African American lineman.

Leon grew up in a time of segregation, discrimination and financial hardship. As a child, his home in Garrard County, just across the Dix River in a little area known as Davistown, had no electricity and no running water. He worked hard in school and his teachers saw great potential, but dreams of going to college and improving his life were out of reach -- his family didn’t have the money, and there was no such thing as financial aid. Most universities wouldn’t allow African Americans to attend, anyway. After high school, Leon found work as a mechanic at a garage in downtown Danville.

Then, in 1969, everything changed. Despite the odds stacked against him, Leon found a way. A towering figure with a golden singing voice, his talents, courage and perseverance paved a way for future generations. Read the full story chronicling Leon’s inspiring journey.

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