CHARLES H. SMITH, Bayonne, NJ. I was unable to attend our 50th anniversary because of eye surgery, but have now recovered. I am sorry I missed the reunion. Our fellow class members were good people and friends. We had many wonderful experiences together and I cherish some of the memories. I am always thankful for the quality of education we had in Mangum. It was much better than many of my associates ever experienced. I used to work with people who had advanced degrees who did not know how to diagram a sentence and who had no real knowledge of literature.
Our Junior and Senior Class Plays were fun, especially when Kent Phipps had the audacity to utter a minor distraction during the final performance, well done Kent!
I treasure the few football games we won, especially the victory over Capitol Hill at Mangum in 1947; it was so frigid my hair froze when I took off my helmet. I will never forget seeing Joe Duffy scamper some 60 yards to a touchdown!
Our Senior trip to New Orleans and Galveston was such fun! I have been back to New Orleans a number of times during subsequent years, and worked and lived there for a few months in 1967, but I have never been able to recapture the full extent of fun we had during our trip. No one ever believes me when I tell them we traveled so far in the back of a flatbed trailer truck.
I have had a good life and am still enjoying it. I was employed by Dun & Bradstreet for 35 years in a variety of capacities, in a number of cities. I was quite a peripatetic! I started in San Antonio, Texas, where I met and married my wife, Elizabeth. We lived in Corpus Christi, Dallas, Lubbock, Amarillo, Odessa and Fort Worth, Texas before moving to Atlanta, Georgia. From there we moved to Wilmington, Delaware while I worked in Philadelphia (I was there during the bicentennial celebrations and was able to look out of my office on Penn Square at most of the activities.) We moved to New Brunswick, New Jersey in 1979, and I worked in our New York Office before transferring to the Computer Center in Berkeley Heights, NJ. I worked in the computer center for ten years before taking early retirement in 1987.
After retiring, I moved back to Atlanta where I was employed in management for several years by the Days Inn Corporation before it moved to New Jersey. Then, my wife, Elizabeth and I were the Executive Directors of AAHOA, the Asian American Hotel Owners Association, for several years until we retired again. At the same time, I was the President of The Gemini System, Inc.and Elizabeth was the Vice-President, functioning as a database consultants for the hotel industry.
Elizabeth and I both experienced some heart problems in 1996-97, and we decided to move back to New Jersey to be with our youngest daughter, Jill. She is an Assistant Vice President for Alliance Capital in New York City. We live in Bayonne - which is right across the Hudson River from Manhattan, and it is connected by a bridge to Staten Island. We can see the Statue of Liberty from our top floor window. A new light rail is being constructed which will link Bayonne with the NY metropolitan transportation system, and we will have a station across the street from us.
We have four children, Stephen lives in Miami, Florida, where he owns a construction company, Built Rite Construction, Gary lives in Bedford, New York where he owns and operates Smith & Co engaging in fine cabinetry, woodwork and specialty items. Lori lives in Kissimee, Florida with her husband, Cletus Ford, and she is a hotel concierge. Jill is a Vice President with Alliance Capital in New York, and she lives with us in Bayonne. There are no grandchildren, yet. We have five Persian and Siamese cats, four cockatiels, one macaw, and two Pekinese dogs.
I enjoy using the computer and spend quite a bit of time on the internet. I wish I could find more former classmates on the internet. It is an amazing development. I still love to read but find it very hard to do so because of my eye problems. Hopefully, after the next surgery, my eyesight will stabilize. Note: I can now see out of both eyes for the first time in three years.
Please tell everyone who makes the reunion hello for me.
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