Category Archives: Driving

A FLYING DIME by Peter Nolan Smith

One April night in 1939 my uncle and three of his friends exited from State Theater’s double western matinee of STAGECOACH and JESSE JAMES in a state of cinematic exhilaration. Gunfights had had funny effect on their blood. War was looming across the Atlantic and young men were seeking adventure far from home. The sun [...]


Father’s Day has complemented Mother’s Day since 1910, although the holiday was unofficial for decades and Americans treated Father’s Day as a joke, until LBJ proclaimed the 3rd Sunday in June Father’s Day. Richard Nixon made it permanent six years later. “The only thing I get for Father’s Day are bills,” my father said at [...]

DEMO DERBY Paintings by Jane Dickson / Writing by Peter Nolan Smith

Norwood Arena was a race track outside Boston featuring drag racing and demo derbies. In the late summer of 1969 my high school friend Dave Quaan drove my older brother, next-door neighbor and me to a demo derby in his family’s station wagon. The 1968 Ford with a 287 V8 hit its top speed of [...]

DEMO DERBY REDUX by Peter Nolan Smith

Last August I weekended in Montauk with Richie Boy. As we left his bungalow off Ditch Plains, the diamond dealer handed me the keys to his Mercedes SUV. “You drive into the city.” The two of us had had a long night at the Liar’s Bar in Montauk. “You sure you want me to drive.” [...]

BAD BOY DRIVING by Peter Nolan Smith

In the fall of 1973 my college comrade Paul Deseret and I worked at the Hi-Hat Lounge in Brighton. The pay for busboys wasn’t much, but the girls were young, the drinks were cheap, and we could sell quaaludes and mescaline at the bar. Neither of them were the best available in Boston, but we [...]