My college degree from St. Peter's in 1956; Military service (1956 - 1958);
Marriage to Helen R. Meier 1970; Birth of our son Michael 1974; World travel;
Retirement from American Airlines (31 yrs.); My nomination as Arlington,
Texas "Man Of The Year" for 2001.In the last 50 years these events have
meant the most to me. Have I changed since 1952?  I think that St. Michael's
track Coach Tom Finn would be proud of me now. I work out a heck of a lot
more these days than I ever did as a member of SMHS track team.

My greatest satifaction is that while I toiled for a living I always hoped that
one day I would be in a position to help people in need. For the past 12 years
that dream has been realized primarily through my activities for hospitalized
Veterans at the VA Medical Center in Dallas; the heart patients at Arlington
Memorial Hospital; the clients at our local night shelter; and working for peace
between Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland through the Ulster
Project.

I remember one of my favorite teachers, Miss Muldoon deftly slicing into the
abdomen of a frog, and it instantly responding by jumping high into the air
resulting in the scattering of shocked students throughout the classroom.
For some reason when my mind wanders back to a high school track meet, I
always see Billy Bade running with his head tilted at, what it appeared to me,
a 45 degree angle. It must have been a secret weapon, because it never
hindered his great performances.

My best & worst memory was Prom night. It was the worst because it
brought to reality that four tremendous years of my life were ending. In
addition Johnny Lynch was driving us home at the end of the evening in his
uncle's beautiful car. His pride and joy. We had an accident in which no one
was injured, but the front right fender was demolished. It was the best
memory because a beautiful SMHS Junior by the name of Edna Firth accepted
my invitation to the Prom. It made my day!

If I had any words of wisdom to share, I’d say; use the experiences of the
past to help in planning the future. However, do not keep looking back. You
may trip, and miss the future.

I retired from American Airlines after 31 years of service.  I was the Manager
of American's Company Operating Plan for a number of years prior to
retirement.  Working for an airline gave me the opportunity to travel
practically anywhere in the world. As a result I have been to most of the
countries in Europe, and many in the Far East. I have seen much of the U.S.,
but when my wife retires, we would like to see more of this vast and beautiful
country that stretches "from sea to shining sea".  I love what I'm doing, and I
hope and pray that the Good Lord will continue to grant me the physical
strength and intellectual ability to keep on keeping on!!
Michael Downes
5807 Little Pond Court
Arlington, TX  76016
mhdownes@juno.com
Birthday- February 22