[Photo: Phillip Smith, Jr. with his mom, Monda Dansby]
Phillip Smith, Jr., a native of the Bay Area, is a hardcore Raiders and A’s fan. He was born and raised in Oakland and graduated from Richmond High School and from the ITT Technical Institute in Hayward. He holds an A.A. degree in Computer Electronics and a B.S. in Telecommunication Engineering. He took some time out of his busy schedule to share some fun tidbits about himself with deafbayarea.com.
Astrological sign: Libra
Born and raised in: Oakland
Current city: Castro Valley
Current occupation: Teacher’s Assistant, Basketball Referee
Current mobile device: Droid 2
Mac or PC: I prefer PC.
Hobbies: Building small rockets.
An accomplishment you’re proud of: I am proud of winning the Master’s championship at the Pacific Coast Deaf Bowling Association Tournament in 2009. I was the first African American to do so.
What makes you laugh?: Everything makes me laugh.
What teacher had the greatest impact on you?: Mr. Crossley from Richmond High School. He is an Army veteran. He let me know that failure is not acceptable. He pushed me to work hard and succeed in whatever I do.
Who were your childhood heros?: My mom, Monda Dansby.
If you could have dinner with five famous people from history, who would they be?: I would dine with Martin Luther King, Bruce Lee, Rosa Parks, Ray Charles, and Bob Marley.
What one word would you use to describe yourself?: Silly.
Name one thing about yourself that most people don’t know: I like to draw.
Do you have any tattoos or body piercings? If so, where?: Yes, I have three tattoos. One on my left arm (Tazmanian Devil), one on my right arm (Monkey), and one in the back middle (Gye Nyame symbol which means “No one can’t see but God.”).
If you were granted one wish, what would it be?: My wish would be that closed captions were available in movie theaters everywhere.
What is the truest example of compassion you have ever witnessed?: All of the people around the world coming together to help Japan rebuild their country after the terrible earthquake and tsunami. The same with the New Orleans, New Zealand and Haiti disasters.
What is your favorite all-time book?: Death of a Salesman.
Last movie you watched?: Tron Legacy.
Last book you read?: My Referee Rulebook.
What is your favorite all-time movie?: GOONIES!!
If you could enact one law in this country that does not currently exist, what would it be?: Deaf people being able to serve in the military.
If you were given one hour to spend an unlimited amount of money in any store in the world, where would it be?: Costco because they have everything.
If you could own one painting from any collection in the world but were not allowed to sell it, which work of art would you select?: Antique William Kidd’s painting “Black Slave Dog & Monkey”.
If you could change one thing in the world right now, what would you alter?: Everyone in the world would sign.
If you could change one thing in your past, what would you change?: I would be an NFL player right now… continuing my college career and be an NFL player.
What are you most proud of?: Being a Deaf referee in the Bay Area
What is the one thing you’d most like to change about the world?: Stop the wars.
Do you think the world will be a better or a worse place 100 years from now?: Better.
Do you believe in ghosts? Would you be willing to spend a night alone in a remote house that is supposedly haunted?: Yes, I do believe in ghosts. I’ve been wanting to spend a night in a haunted house because I want to SEE ghosts. I’m tired of TV ghost hunters saying, “Did you hear that?” I want to SEE ghosts.
If you could have your portrait painted by any painter in history, to whom would you give the commission?: Rembrant, because I don’t want Picasso to put my nose on my forehead.
If you could possess one supernatural ability, what would it be?: Fly. Airplane tickets cost too much money.
[Photos courtesy Phillip Smith, Jr.]