Bryan C. Arnold 1937
Cullum No. 10973 • Nov 14, 1987 • Died in Los Altos, CA
Interred in Alta Mesa Cemetery, Palo Alto, CA
When I beheld a photo of Bryan C. Arnold last night, I saw my late friend brought back to life. Since his death in 1964 I have had dreams where he appears and is carrying on our great friendship. I am overjoyed. Alas, the great tragedy can be lifted. Then, the bright sunlight that had filled the room, begins to fade. I am heartbroken at yet another lesson that Bill gives, being, all is illusion, and only the truth will set you free.
“What is the truth, Bill?”
When I look at Bryan’s face I see the chiseled face of a warrior that moves the world. It does not contain ideas, as much as it moves whole concepts to its liking. They don’t make faces like this anymore. This is a Norman, a large man of six feet four inches. This is a man I now find much love for. This face is not that of my mortal enemy, because alas I know what he wanted all his life, a close trustworthy friend who would be honest, and always tell him the truth.
Bill Arnold had such a friend in me. I was his foil to his father, who came at William all the time, in his unbending duty to break his will. Reading his father was a Jurist and Mayor of a small town in Texas – whose mother was an artist – allowed me read between the stoic lines of this infamous and tragic tug-of-war, that ended up ruining so many lives. This story is bigger than Texas!
I remember the day Bill took me home to wash the outside windows on the house on Wayne after school. When Mr. Arnold came around the corner to see how the job was going, I was overwhelmed by the sight of him. He was a giant, but it was the look on his face. I glanced at Bill who was intently studying me. He needed to see my reaction. Growing up in Army camps he did not make close friends. We had become wonderful friend-artists in the last week. I think Bill was wondering if I was going to run away.
“And, who is this, Bill? You didn’t tell me you were going to get someone to help you. You should have cleared it with me, first.”
Having grown up around Prussian career soldiers, and Captain Vic, I was not intimidated. I got what was going on. Bill was being punished for some infraction. It was his duty to wash all the windows on two-story Arnold house, all by himself. But, Bill has pulled a sneaky. He went and made himself a friend – a civilian!
You have to understand, that everything was exaggerated between these two – puffed up! It was a War of Big Egos – Texas style! Jaspar the Ghost was lurking about, shaming his son, Bryan never able to do anything right! So, what was I going to get out of this. In a week I understood I was the designated witness, the fair judge, the third man in the ring.
When I didn’t go away and hide, and came back again and again, and when the Leutenant saw I was a hardworking loyal friend to Bill and the Arnold household, I could see Bryan took a liking to me. Bill informed me this was because we were both Libras in need of balance.
Why didn’t my friend tell me his father was a thespian, a poet, and a singer. I would never had guessed such a thing. But, employing my Vulcan skill of reading deeply into photgraphs, I could see Bill staring at this image, he taking it out of a drawer, and staring at it for hours.
Seven hours after Bill’s funeral, and while being driven across the San Mateo bridge in a huge storm, the Texas Giant, speaks. He asks me to be his son, now that his son was dead. I look at this image of a lonely man, whose father perhaps turned his back on Bryan, and now understand Bryan is asking me to be his friend. I can’t tell you how deep was my grief, deeper that any tears, as I went down, down, down into the depths of two souls that were at war with another. This father and son, is the beggining of the Vietnam War story. Here is, Darth Vader and his son, Luke. For there are no true villians in stories like this one. For, we are all forgivable, when we set out to capture beauty, for just a little while.
Because there is a being in us that is eternal. We conspire to be remembered, when we realize we will not live forever. Bryan Coffield Arnold has a memorable face. But, in God’s name, tell me what is going on behind that great mask.
If you look at the small photo of Bryan, you can see he is disfigured. Mr. Arnold had a terrible case of acme as a teenager that left him scarred for life. A professional was brought in to remove the scars in the West Point photo. Bill put me thru a test. He wanted me to see how I reacted to his deformed father who had his skin sandpapered off in Japan.
Before I lay eyes on Bill, I heard about him. My friend told me about a new kid in school that played football without his shirt on.
“He has these welts on his back. I think his father beats him. He doesn’t care if we see this.”
Bryan Coffield Arnold captured my beautiful friend, and he never let him go, not even when he drove onto the railroad tracks, and was killed by a train.
Dr. Henry Summerfield Arnold (b. April 17, 1837, d. July 10, 1913)
Henry Summerfield Arnold was born April 17, 1837 in Mount Pleasant, Tennessee, and died July 10, 1913 in Coryell County, Texas. He married Polly Molly Walker on November 19, 1865 in Brazos County, Texas, daughter of William Calvin Walker and Nancy Bolton.
More About Henry Summerfield Arnold and Polly Molly Walker:
Marriage: November 19, 1865, Brazos County, Texas.
Children of Henry Summerfield Arnold and Polly Molly Walker are:
- Edwin P. Arnold, b. August 15, 1866, Texas, d. September 15, 1910.
- Jasper Henry Arnold, b. 1869, Texas, d. date unknown.
- George J. Arnold, b. May 01, 1871, Texas, d. date unknown.
- Joseph Arnold, b. September 01, 1874, Texas, d. date unknown.
- Robert Marion Arnold, b. 1876, Texas, d. date unknown.
- Harry Lee Arnold, b. March 1880, Texas, d. 1934.