Fort Smith High School
Armil Snow

We would probably agree that 1958 was a long, long time ago. In that year, we followed induction of Elvis Presley into the Army at Fort Chaffee (was it then "Fort" or "Camp"???); learned about the launch of the Explorer (Sputnik had occurred a year earlier); read Truman Capote's new book, "Breakfast at Tiffany's"; watched the Yankees win the World Series (some things don't change, ever); and observed our last year of studies at an integrated school--following the use of federal troops at Central High the year before.

I was thumbing though my copy of the 1958 "Bruin" a few days ago and realized spring and summer have passed and I am now in the fall of my life. So much has happened since then. Nobody has called me "Armil" in over thirty years. My name is Brian Armil Snow and I find that people work much better with "Brian" than "Armil".

As I examined our yearbook, my memory darted between so many people I knew then, but don't know now. I have stayed current on each ten-year anniversary date by reading the sketches that many of you have provided. However, I have always been saddened and stunned by reading about of the deaths of several of our classmates--news that came to me all at once and was so hard to absorb and believe. Each time, I regretted that I lived so far away from Arkansas that I didn't learn about these lamentable events when they occurred, and could not mourn these fine souls individually, but had to do so collectively, in my thoughts and memories. I recalled-many good friends--kind and decent people--who were taken from life much too early.

The pictures in that edition of the yearbook brought back many memories. It was dedicated to Victor Stewart, our dean, who warranted a full page. Cindy Jones, a junior, was the Bruin Beauty, but our class was well represented by Jo Lynn Newsom and Linda Tanner (I wonder if a Bruin Beauty is selected now). As I zipped though other pages, I saw our leaders and our cheerleaders, who were then all girls. We had a movie star to be, Jennifer Billingsley, and an all-everything-girl, Pinky Fullerton. At that time, it seemed that no actress or Miss America could make the heart of an adolescent boy pound as fiercely as did the springing and strutting of a high school cheerleader.

There are other special people in that book like Johnny Price, who was good at everything he attempted and probably is the same today; Ronnie Stevenson, who is one of the kindest persons I've ever known; and Milla Bess Cozart, who, in my opinion, is the shining star of our class.

I have been very fortunate in my life to be in good health and to have done most of the things I had planned to do. I now must decide how I want to live during my remaining years. The best thing I've done in my life is marrying my wife, Crissie, who has been a great companion and inspiration during the past seventeen years. I have also been richly blessed by two wonderful sons, Andrew and Tony, three granddaughters and two grandsons.

As most of you probably agree as to your offspring, these are the most precious and beautiful children in the world. If I've learned anything past 45 years, it is the value of family and relationships. That is what is all about, ultimately.

Godspeed and grace to all of you.

Brian A. Snow - 2003