Fort Smith High School
John Paul Cook

For the first 26 years after high school you would have found me living in New Mexico and Nebraska working for an oil company; in Idaho and Montana working for the Forest Service; and on to Colorado where I worked as an accountant for a commercial subcontractor during Denver's building boom.

I have been married to my wife, Shirley, for 36 years. She is Danish and hails from Nebraska; her Danish grandparents settled there in the early 1900’s. We never had any children but have lots of nieces and nephews and grand nieces and nephews.

Shirley and I returned back to Ft Smith 14 years ago and I worked as an industrial accountant for a local manufacturer until the business was sold in 2001. I then helped a local business for ten months with setting up their accounting software. After they were up and running the timing was right for my retirement.

I will be getting a teaching Pro certification soon and will begin giving part-time tennis instructions at the new Creekmore Park Tennis Center.

Retirement allows me to enjoy the game of tennis and playing on local and state senior tennis teams with four Senior and two Super-Senior Southern Sectional appearances and, an upcoming National Super-Seniors in Arizona.  While playing in charity events, I have had the honor of playing with former tennis professionals Mark Woodforde, Roscoe Tanner, Sandy Mayer, the Jensen brothers, Tom Gorman, and Kathy Rinaldi.

Still a baseball fan (Cardinals), I have had the pleasure of meeting and getting to know former players Carl Erskine, Reggie Smith and broadcaster Jack Buck, whose passing hit a sad note.

I have, in the past year, taken up Classical guitar.  Sadly, though, my progress is slow, but encouraging.  Perhaps, God willing, in a few months, I can play well enough to perform in church in front of a forgiving audience.

I look forward to seeing everyone this October to rehash the good times, lest we forget.

God's Speed,

John Cook - 2003