Fort Smith High School
David Gover

Dick Cowan told me I need to send in a bio, and I told him that I was intimidated by the ones have I read since I discovered the site last week. I will throw something together in a rough format and upgrade it later. I want to say up front that this website is amazing to me. It is as professional as any I have seen. I am thankful to Dick for the tremendous amount of time and effort he has put in for all of us.

I was born. I lived my first three years in Washington, D.C. where my dad was head of some section at the Library of Congress. My parents split up, and my mother and I went to Fort Smith to live with her parents. Her father was Paul Howe. He had drug stores in Fort Smith for a number of years.

I went to Parker School up thru 4th grade. Then we moved, and I went to Rogers School. That was a good move. I made a lot of friends over in that area and met some great teachers. I remember Mrs. Phillips, Miss. Boone and Mrs. Sofer in particular. I got the chance to watch Johnny Price operate for two years, and he was remarkable to say the least. There were lots of remarkable students there. I fell madly, though silently, in love with Pinky Fullerton. I'm not sure I ever got over that. Through the years at Darby Junior High and Fort Smith High I met other lovely young ladies that I fell in love with and remember vividly. It's much more fun to remember them than the classes.

I did a lot of hiking and building rocket cars that blew up or ran fast without any clue as to which they were going to do which when I leaned over them to light the fuse. I did some camping and shooting. A good hiking friend was Carl Britt, who dropped dead suddenly at age 46 from a cause that remains unknown. He was with me the day I managed to send a .22 long rifle bullet into my frontal lobe. (Entirely by accident) I was a junior then. I tried to disguise the rather large lump it made for a while on my forehead, so I don't know if anyone noticed. I don't think it affected me, but I have used it occasionally as an excuse for stupid decisions.

I went off to the U of A in the fall of 1958 and mostly played. I took an extra year because I thought I wanted to prepare for a teaching career, but before the first semester was over I knew I was just stalling, so I finally got finished and graduated in January of 1963. There was no obvious demand for English majors, so I joined the Air Force to go to Officer Training School. Now that was different! I was commissioned in February of 1964 and went to my first assignment at England AFB, Louisiana. I had been to New Orleans several times because my uncle had a Methodist church there. I made the mistake of chewing out a full colonel for failing to provide appropriate assistance to one of the airmen in my Civil Engineering Squadron and hanging up on him, a thing lieutenants just don't do, and since he was the Personnel Officer for the base it was very easy for him to get back at me; he sent me to Vietnam.

Vietnam was an interesting assignment and a fascinating country. I hope to go back and look at it someday. I was there a year and came back in December of 1966. I stayed in the Air Force for several years and had assignments in Germany and England, with temporary duties in Greece and Spain. We traveled to all the countries in West Europe and had three years of fun, with stories too long for this bio. I got a Master's in Counseling while I was there and came back to be a doctoral fellow at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. That took three years, and then I got my first job as a psychologist. It was at the old Fort Smith Psychiatric Clinic, located in one of the ward homes on Adelaide. I was there for two years, until Max Baker, Joe Dorzab and Don Chambers decided to go their own ways. I went back to Indiana and worked for a couple of clinics for several years until I went solo in 1989. I have enjoyed this status, being much too much of a rebel to work for someone.

I don't do much counseling psychology anymore. I devote just about all my time to consulting with Social Security Disability. I do psychiatric exams and psychological testing for them, completing 25 to 30 evaluations a week.

I like to go shooting, play bridge, write poetry, work on my two novels-in-progress with my son as chief editor, watch movies, play pool, walk, fish, read, listen to audio novels while I drive to exam sites, mess around with stereo and computer stuff and do a little yard work. I belong to The American Society of Clinical Hypnosis, Mensa, Intertel, The American Psychological Association, The Noblesville Writer's Group and others I can't think of right now.

I have lived in Indiana now for almost 27 years, and I still react negatively if someone calls me a Hoosier. I'm still a Hell on the Border Arkansan at heart. I'm having a ball looking at the gallery and reading the bios and remembering. I look forward to communicating with any of you who wish to do so.

I'd like to insert one of my poems here because it seems to fit with the idea of memories and reunions.


The world is coming on green again,
Just like it did last year,
Keeping the promise it made last spring.
The yard is arrayed with blooms again
Just like it was last year:
The new covenant, a rainbow of life.
I could hear old Gabby Street again,
Telling Harry about hearing
The first crack of a bat on a ball
In the new spring season of 1947.
I wondered if The Plan allows
For us to look back at it all,
From wherever we go from here,
And live out, in spirit, the thrill
Of what a new spring brings
And promises to souls here and gone.

David Howe Gover - 2005