In this issue, we are honored to recognize Howard Simms, U.S. Army, retired. I was shopping at Costco when I saw an older man with a hat embroidered with the words, U. S. Army, Korea and Vietnam. The man looked in very good shape and almost too young to have been in Korea. As has happened to me, I thanked him for his service, and I asked him when he first went into the Army. Mr. Simms told me that he joined in 1946 at the age of 15! Since I could see that Mr. Simms was of African American background, and I knew that official integration of the armed services was around that time (26 July 1948), I quickly realized that Mr. Simms represented a living history of not only a different era, but with a black president, also a witness to change. I asked Mr. Simms what was it like when he first joined. He simply said, “Back then, there was a white army and a black army.”
With a reference to our Ancient Wisdom quote this month, Mr. Simms has overcome many obstacles in his life and has been a witness to much change. We are happy to feature Mr. Simms and his story (page 28), as we recognize Black History month. Mr. Simms, we thank you for your service!
We also want to thank J. J. Lamb of the Vail Preservation Society, who was able to interview Mr. Simms and preserve his unique story. The Vail Preservation Society was awarded a Special Initiative Grant from Storying Arizona, to continue this sort of work, (see page 30).
Finally, we continue to add new writers to the paper. This month, Fitness Instructor Rick MacKay writes about senior fitness, on page 35. It is important to note; however, Rick has good information regarding fitness and health that apply to any age.