Category Archives: family

Taking A Friend Home

On the evening of April 15, 1912 the RMS Titanic struck an iceberg on her maiden voyage across the North Atlantic. The unsinkable White Star ocean liner sank three hours later with a loss of over a thousand passengers and crew. Mostly men following the old rule ‘women and children first’. Only 20% survived the [...]


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 [...]

High Flying Emily Cook

My grandfather Frank A Smith was slated to join the 1912 US Olympic team as a pole vaulter, except he broke his leg during the trials. The event in Oslo was won by a 4.02 meter effort by Marc Wright from Cambridge, MA. He was probably from Harvard. For two generations nobody in my family [...]

THE GIFT OF UNGIVING by Peter Nolan Smith

Most of my landlord’s friends are married couples with kids. His wife and AP regularly invited them over to the Fort Greene Observatory for weekend lunches and evening drinks. I keep my distance from his guests, since my marital status is an enigma and after a few glasses I tend to recite a litany of [...]


Seventy-two years ago Japanese aircraft attacked the US Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor. Nearly every capital ship was damaged by bombs or torpedoes and the Pacific Ocean became basically a Japanese lake until Midway. The next day President Roosevelt declared before Congress, “December 7th shall live forever as a day of infamy.” I asked a [...]