Category Archives: semi-fiction


The 1980s are thirty years in the past and when I tell stories, the listeners suspect that Im lying about jumping off the Quincy Quarries cliffs or nearly making love with Darryl Hannah in Jamaica or watching bears eat garbage at a dump in Maine. Sometimes I wonder if they are right, but my memory […]

OI VEY CHEESECAKE by Peter Nolan Smith

As a young boy growing up outside of Boston, my classmates and I were jealous of the liberal closed-day policy of Beaver Country Day School. The predominantly Jewish school had more snow days per annum than any other institution south of the St. Lawrence River and the shuffle of holydays shortened their school year by […]

OLD BILL NEXT TO ME by Peter Nolan Smith

New York’s Plaza Hotel has been a world-famous destination for decades and its 2008 reinvention as a condo-palace and demi-hotel failed to tarnish the reputation of Grand Lady on 5th Avenue. While the newly opened Retail Plaza in the basement had been an abject failure, the Oak Bar continued to attract power brokers, celebrities, and […]


In the early 1970s Chelsea, Massachusetts on the north bank of the Mystic River was a good example of a failed post-industrial city. Thousands of residents had moved out of the working-class community throughout the 50s and 60s. The Expressway split the city and sped up the decline, then on October 14, 1973 the coffin […]

THE EYE OF THE STORM by Peter Nolan Smith

In early September of 1960 Hurricane Donna struck New England as a category 2/3 storm. The radio station WBZ announced numerous school closing led by Beaver County Day School and closely followed by my primary school on the South Shore, Our Lady of the Foothills. My older brother and I were happy to stay home. […]