Fort Smith High School
Martha Ann Meyer

Every Day Matters – that is our current theme here at JC Penney. It doesn’t seem possible that 49 years has passed since our graduation from FSHS in 1958. I have been with JC Penney for 19 years since they moved here (Plano, Texas.) from New York City in 1988.

After graduating from FSHS, I attended Texas Woman’s University in Denton, near Dallas. I received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Fashion Design with a minor in Art. I had always been enthralled with Dallas because of its fashion influence since taking a family trip here in my early teens and wanted to eventually live and work here.

I married in 1960 and continued to go to TWU. My daughter, Susan, was born in 1962 and when she was two, I went back to college to complete my degree. Mark, my son was born in 1966. I was fortunate to be able to stay home with my children when they were small. What a blessing.

Catwalk calling! I got the modeling “bug” in the 70’s. Being a tall girl and having modeled my designs in college, I headed for the Dallas Apparel Mart to try modeling during the market times, which I did up until 1992. It was so much fun and the Apparel Mart was such a very exciting place during the 70’s and 80’s. I joined the Kim Dawson Agency and later Tanya Blair Agency doing runway, which I loved, and print work. I was also the store model for a specialty shop here in Dallas.

As a “new hire” with JCP in 1988, I got to train in New York City for six weeks as did some others at the time. It was a very enriching and fun experience. My first job as a JCP associate was to be in charge of all the women’s clothing that went to photography. After that I was in the “home and leisure” area as a secretary for over ten years which I loved. I am currently in the Quality and Sourcing area. This is an interesting area with many international transactions taking place. Being with JCP has been an education, lots of fun and a blessing.

It’s All Inside! The things that are near and dear to my heart are my children, grandchildren and Jim, my significant other. Forgive me, they taught me how to brag here in Texas.

Susan, my daughter, a Texas A&M graduate, works as a food technologist for NOAA in Mississippi. She is also a Lt. Col. in the Army Reserves. Last year was a banner year for her as she got a nice promotion at NOAA and married Max in a beautiful ceremony with family and friends. Susan, my angel, has blessed me with three wonderful grandchildren – Bryan, is 22 and a hard working hunk of a guy being a warehouse foreman at the Chevron Refinery in Mississippi, Alyssa is 19, gorgeous and soon to be a sophomore at Ole Miss and Justin age 14 is quite a star soccer player, handsome and a very good student.

Mark, my son, is a farmer/rancher in Hamilton, Texas where his grandfather instilled in him that he should carry on in the farming/ranching tradition. Just think I used to dress him in little suits with short pants from Neiman Marcus. Now it is Wranglers, cowboy hats and boots. He and his wife, Patsy, are a wonderful team.

Jim is my “significant other.” We met four years ago and have a lot in common. Jim is an art and antiques dealer with lots of space in The Gathering within the Design District in Dallas. I have always loved antiques and Jim has taught me a lot about them. We attend a lot of auctions and frequent art museums. We are looking forward to a Mediterranean cruise in November. This will be our second “Midi” cruise. We have also taken cruises out of Galveston and very much enjoyed going to San Francisco and touring the wine country. We love to travel and hope to see Germany and Ireland in our future travels.

Making Home into Haven – My passions, besides my loved ones, are art, antiques, gardening and decorating in my home. My design degree has come in handy in that respect. As I get braver I am going to do some re-modeling in my home.

I am so excited about Dick Cowan’s website and hearing about my former classmates. Thank you, Dickie! I look back and so appreciate the friendships at FSHS. Life is very good. I hope it is good for you, too. I would enjoy hearing from you.

Take care and God Bless You all (y’all).

Marti "Meyer" Melde - 2007