Fort Smith High School
Carole Copeland

I was so embarrassed to read that Valentine's Day piece that I wrote for "The Grizzly". It is no wonder that I did not become a journalist. Mrs. Preston was so inspiring. She made you believe that you could do anything. I went to Texas Woman's University to major in journalism and ended up majoring in music.

I finished my degree at the University of Arkansas. I was so glad that I transferred there. I loved it enough to send my daughter. She was a Razorback cheer leader for 2 years. We enjoyed going back there to the games.

I taught music in the Houston public school system for 7 years. Now I am a private piano teacher. I married Donald Lloyd Wilkinson from Port Arthur Texas in 1965. We are still happily married and both working. My Dad passed away 26 years ago. My Mom is still living. She is 86.

I have 2 children and 2 grand children. My daughter, Wendy is a pharmaceutical sales rep. She transferred from U of A to University of Houston and was cheer leader for 2 years there also. I do not know where her athletic ability came from. It certainly wasn't from me. Wendy has 2 children and lives very close by.

My son, Matt is an out of a job computer programmer. He did not get his math skills from me. He is living in San Diego and loves it. He works part time for FEMA . Matt loves to travel and meet new people. He is a graduate of UT and is in India right now. He wants to build a business that will become the McDonalds of web pages. He is working with programmers in India to start his own company. He actually makes his real money working the FEMA job when there is a disaster. He is not married. How could he be since he is such a wanderer and dreamer.

My husband, Don is an attorney and a CPA. We have part ownership in an oil field related packing business. Our company builds huge boxes and packs them with oil field equipment. He is the company treasurer and also does some of their legal work. He has no desire to retire any time soon. Nor do I.

Thanks to my friends in the class of 58 for great memories. Thanks to Joyce Crabtree and her family for helping me learn to water ski, dance and love life. Thanks to Herschel White for being a great first "real boyfriend". Thanks to Catherine Todd for being a good friend and teaching me to be a little "mischievous". Bill Jones--Susan Kidder was after you--did you not realize that? Thanks to Ann Burrows for sharing band and church escapades with me and for going to the prom with me since none of you guys would ask me out. Thanks to Dee Wresche for loving to dance with me at Demolay functions. Thanks to Milla Bess for being my Rainbow Girl friend and always encouraging me. Thanks to Ernest Fant for all the great times we had at U of A. Thanks to Mr. Pitts and Mr. Shaver for making my band experience something to remember with pride and love. Mr. Shaver, you are forgiven for sending me to the office, for reprimanding me, and for letting Richard Long beat me out of my chair during challenges oops--I think I challenged him but he beat me anyway. Thanks to Donnie Green for always being happy. Thanks to Donnie and Nancy who make such fine leaders for our class. What would we do without them? Thanks to the city of Fort Smith, the First Nat'l Bank and the business leaders. They gave my Dad an opportunity to build a business even though he had nothing but promises to offer.Thanks to Dick Cowan for making this web site. Thanks to all of my classmates who contribute your thoughts, memories and pictures. Lots of love to all of you, and guys you are forgiven for not asking me to the prom. I was only your class mate for 4 years but they were some "whollipin "years.

I love teaching children to play the piano and to enjoy music. I have also been the children's choir director and or accompanist at our church. I love to travel and have been to Europe several times. I keep in touch with Joyce Crabtree, one of my very best friends in high school, and attended her daughter's wedding this past May. My mom and I attended Joyce's 2000 New Year's Party. Don was busy keeping his eye on out company's computer system. I have been very active in my college sorority alumnae group. I have been president 5 times. I was also president of our PTO, and VP a couple of times. My life has been fun and rewarding. It is sad right now, however because my Mom is in the advanced stages of Parkinson disease. She is in a nursing home here in Houston, but still requires lots of help from me. Sorry to end on a sad note.

Wishing everyone a great 45 more years to come. I still love all of the holidays -- including Valentine's Day. I hope I can make it to the reunion.

Carole "Copeland" Wilkinson - 2003