‘Probably the best boss I’ve ever had’ : Corbin Native’s dedication to Corbin City Pool spans more than 40 summers

Published: Jul. 28, 2021 at 3:47 PM EDT
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CORBIN, Ky. (WYMT) - Those who know Corbin City Pool Manager Patty Smith say she is quite the character.

“Probably the best boss I’ve ever had. So she keeps us laughing, keeps us going but whenever we need it, she’ll get strict, you know put us in our place if we need to,” said Lifeguard Colton Shelton.

Originally from California, Smith moved to Corbin after her father died at a young age.

“We had to come here because his mom lived here and she told us to come here and live. So that’s how we got here,” she said.

Growing up in Corbin, she visited the pool each and every summer. This is what led her to take an interest in becoming a lifeguard.

“I wanted a summer job. So it was in the paper that they were giving lifeguard classes and all that so I come over here, do my lifeguard class and also started working here too,” she said.

More than 20 years after becoming a lifeguard she took on the role of the Pool Manager.

“Good… oh good. To pull a person out… yes. Little ones mainly, there’s a couple older kids and you know. It’s just you hate doing it but when you do, it feels good,” she said.

Smith has a tattoo to show her love for not only the pool but the area.

“We always had a thing here. CCP for life. You know, all the guards would say it. I would say it. You know, we’ll be here for a long time. Especially after I was here for a long time. That’s our saying...CCP for life and I said, ‘I’m going to get a tattoo like that, " she said.

Those in the community also have nicknames for her.

“Putt I got back in high school. I just took my time doing things and that’s how I got Putt. Putt, Putt, Putt… you know alright. Pool lady, I’d be out in Walmart somewhere and kids will see me and be like that’s the pool lady,” she said.

Smith also works at Corbin Middle School as a PE and health teacher. She has worked as a teacher for more than 30 years.

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