William Vernon "Billy" Smith, Class of '59

William V. (Billy) Smith Baker High School class of 1959. Voted "Cutest Boy" Class of 1959.

Hello old friends and Baker High School Classmates of 1959, itís Billy Smith. I go by Bill these days. I wanted to tell you a little about my family and myself. I have been happily married to Connie Broughton Smith (Columbus HS 1962) for over 40 years now. It will be 41 on November 9th of this year. Yes, I have always remembered my anniversary.

We have 2 kids, both grown and married. My daughter, Kimberly (Kim) Paige Smith Lanier is the oldest and is a graduate of Auburn with a degree in Human Resources and a Masters in Business from Samford University. Kim is 5í 10 and ran track in HS until she decided sweating and boys didnít mix. Kim is married to Steve Lanier who is an Auburn graduate in Electrical Engineering and has his Masters in Business from Samford also. They met at Auburn. I have 2 grandchildren by them. My granddaughter, Morgan Taylor Lanier is 8 and in Gifted classes at school. She doesnít get that from me however. Morgan plays soccer. My grandson, Jake Grayson Lanier is 4-1/2. I call him "Jake the Snake". He seems to be a typical little boy but probably not gifted. However, heís only in pre- kindergarten and hasnít been tested yet. He smiles almost constantly and is very affectionate, loves to give bear hugs but is all boy. He is in perpetual motion. He has played soccer and now is starting T-Ball. Connie and I get to see them only about twice a year since they live in Houston Texas. Steve is a Project Manager for Mobil- Exxon. Unfortunately for my daughter and my two grandchildren all have my big ears. As you can tell my daughter is into "names".

My son, Mark Christopher (Mark) Smith is married and is a Senior Vice President with Am-South Bank which is one of the 4 largest banks in Birmingham with branches in 5 states. He is over Business Banking for all of the 5 states and lives in Birmingham. Mark is married to a young lady from Ft. Wayne Indiana. We decided we would call her a Mid- westerner since we obviously couldnít have a yankee in the family. Amy, our daughter-in-law, is a former Miss Indiana contestant and is in Pharmaceutical Sales. They are on the 5 year plan as far as having kids. About 1 1/2years left on that schedule. Mark played 3 sports in high school and lettered in all three. He was the starting HS Quarter- back and played free safety on defense. He was the starting shortstop and also a starting pitcher in baseball. He was a starter and played forward on the basketball team. Mark accepted a baseball scholarship in Junior College and was a Junior College Transfer to Auburn where he became the starting 3rd baseman his Junior year. He had a great year, hitting the first home run of the season for Auburn (which I got to see), but he decided not to play his senior year and concentrated instead on graduating on time, which he accomplished. Mark is 6í4 and 235 # and is an avid weight lifter. Am-South has paid for Mark to get two Masters Degrees, one from University of Alabama- Birmingham which is a Masters in Business, and also a Masters in Banking from LSU. I can remember when he said the Bank didnít pay him much, but that was in the beginning of his career. Mark, although he looks like me, lucked out and got his motherís small ears.

I retired in September of this year after 30 years as a Human Resource Director. My wife, Connie is a 5th grade grammar school teacher and will retire in 1 or 2 years. She graduated from Columbus College, attended the University of Georgia while married to me until our money got short and later graduated from The University of Montevallo (right outside Birmingham). I graduated from The University of Georgia in 1965 with a BBA degree in Human Resources. I had to work my way through college and was married my last 2 years so I didnít graduate Magna-cum-Laude but instead I graduated Some-come-Later. At least I graduated, and I was just glad to get through.

Connie and I have lived in Athens, Macon, LaGrange, Atlanta, Orlando and we now live in Hoover (Birmingham) Alabama. We have been in Birmingham since 1974. I was fortunate to be able to pay my current home off early about 7 years ago. We live on a quiet cul de sac and can you believe it, we are the youngest on the street. We have looked for another house but canít find anything more convenient than where we are now. I guess weíll probably stay right here and let the house fall in on us. Itís pretty neat not having a house payment except you have no major deduction for taxes. That hurts.

I am 5í11-1/2 and 190 # and my hair is light to medium brown with a little grey in it (still have most of it), Connie is 5í7 and has medium brown hair. Kimís hair is medium brown and Markís is light brown. We were each blond headed as kids. Connie and I, at least so far, are in good physical condition, thank the Lord. We have one 14 year old dog (Reggie) who is almost totally blind and has arthritis in his back hips. Reggie gets a massage from me every morning for his hips and back legs. He looks forward to that. Reggie is a Lhasa Apsos (similar to Shitz Zu). He sleeps in the kitchen with a fan on at night (neurotic). The noise blocks out any outside noises and soothes him. He has also lost most of his ability to smell but can still hear. He gets 1/2 of a baby aspirin in the morning and at night. Although he doesnít have much quality of life, I cannot bear to have him put to sleep yet.

I wish I could say that I had some hobbies but, I donít. Connie however, likes working in the yard and being outdoors. We love living in Hoover, or ďover the mountainĒ as they refer to it around Birmingham. Connie and I get back to Columbus about once a month when we go and check on her parents. We coordinate the trip with the date that 10-12 of her old 1962 Columbus High School girlfriends meet for breakfast on a Saturday morning.

Iíve bored you to tears by now, but Iíd love to hear all about you, my old friends and Baker High School 1959 classmates, and all about your life, spouse and family. Please let me hear from you soon and tell me everything. Bring me up to date please. Iím excited about the October reunion and the possibility of hearing from you.

Please feel free to contact me and to share my info with any of our classmates. My contac t information is up to date.

God Bless

May, 2005

Bill 's e-mail address: georgiadawg7 at aol dot com    Contact information for Bill  Baker Lions only

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