Each month, Coast Monthly visits with some of the most charming people on the Texas Coast to chat about their style.
Mortgage banking is Al Saylor’s chosen profession. But when he isn’t working, he’s a man on the move. Saylor, a Kemah resident, is an avid pilot, skydiver, boater, sailor and scuba diver. He also owns AirSports, a company that organizes professional skydiving jumps all over the country.
“Years ago, when I was playing golf, I looked up, saw airplanes and thought, ‘I’d rather be up there than down here,’ so I turned in my country club membership and learned how to fly,” said Saylor, who owns a Cessna 206.
When not above ground, he’s on the water fishing, often in Offatts Bayou in Galveston. Or he’s just enjoying the water view from his Kemah home he shares with his wife, Gwen Griffin, and where he likes to whip up breakfast or throw a steak on the grill, he said. In the summer, he’s all about shorts, jeans and flip-flops, but for something dressy, it’s khakis and a collared shirt.
“I’m not into designer labels,” he said. “I just go for comfort.”
Here are a few of his favorite things:
Watch: This TAG Carrera stopwatch was given to me by my wife, Gwen Griffin, for my birthday a few years ago. I like that the stopwatch can give me exactly six minutes of cooking time on either side of my steaks.
Boat: I’ve had this 280 Sea Ray Sundancer Express Cruiser for 10 years. Since my last name is Saylor, and I love the water, the boat is a perfect fit.
Hat: I’m a cap guy. This is from Steamboat Springs when I skydived at the Steamboat Springs Air Show last year. With a 7,000-foot elevation, you’re jumping above the mountains, but opening your parachute below them.
Fishing rod: This is a 6.5-foot Castaway rod that I got at a Texas Sentinels Foundation tournament that benefited post 9/11 Texas veterans who were wounded in action. The rod has the right amount of flexibility.
Airplane model: This Cessna 206 mahogany model was a Christmas gift from my son. It’s very similar to the aircraft that I fly.
Photo: The wedding photo of me and my lovely wife taken in Belize on the beach. It was a vacation, wedding and honeymoon all in one for just the two of us. No guests. The bartender at Chabil Mar Resort was my best man.
Klondike a.k.a Buddy: My 14-year-old dog is very special to me. He was found by my wife in a field near NASA as a puppy, skittish and afraid. He’s a mix of shar-pei, chow, golden retriever and a bit of Chihuahua.
Flight jacket: This was given to me for organizing the 100th anniversary commemorating the 1903 Wright Brothers flight at Kitty Hawk. We put 100 skydivers in the air, and the names of the 100 people that made the biggest contribution to aviation were read as the skydivers came onto land.