Sunday, February 22, 2009

Now Showing: Family Memories on DVD

Hank just went to the mailbox...first time since we returned from vacation...and there were two large packages from "cousin Kathy" Korzeb in Connecticut. Needless to say, I ripped those right open and couldn't believe what Kathy did...she had all three volumes of the "Smith family videos" put on DVD and sent a set for each of the cousins who got together for "girls' night" here in Maine last month (Yes, ladies, DVD deliveries begin this afternoon).
In her note, Kathy said she bought a program to make labels for the DVDs and now, on the front of each, it says, "Produced and Directed by Arthur W. Smith" . Although some of the footage was taken by our Dad, Fred, much of it came from Grampa, who, with his camera, would never miss a grandchild's birthday, communion, or graduation, In fact, if there was a party anywhere, Grampa Smith was there!

For those reading this who didn't know our grandfather, Art Smith was born in 1900 in North Andover, Mass. He used to tell us about how he would skip school as a boy to sneak backstage at the local vaudeville shows. As kids, we thought Grampa could do anything...he could sing (Remember Harrigan and In the Shade of the Old Apple Tree?), tap-dance, do voice impersonations, play the tambourine, tell amazing stories, and even make the best funny faces a kid ever saw. Grampa used to write and produce variety shows all around the Haverhill, Mass. area; anything to do with the stage was his real passion (much to Grammy Smith's dismay). He also had a great sense of humor and used it to entertain the family on Saturday nights during the Depression and War years when money was tight and times were tough. Nancy found these photos of Grampa doing what he did best; most were taken in the 1930's. The one on the bottom of this page REALLY IS Grampa Smith, dressed as Cupid, at a family wedding (any resemblance between Grampa's sense of humor and that of other family members, real or imagined, is strictly coincidental...right, Nancy???)
Grampa Smith passed away in 1977 but will always live on through his grandchildren...and now, through these DVD's. Thanks again to Kathy for doing this.
And, Grampa, tonight is the 2009 annual Academy Awards ceremony...if life were fair, you would have already won "Best Actor" and, this year, would be nominated for "Best Documentary" for your new DVD!

p.s. I hope those of you who knew Art Smith will add a Comment to this post and share some of your favorite memories of him for all of us to read. To Comment, just click on where it says "0 Comments" at the bottom of this post, or click on the icon of the pencil, and a comment box will pop up for you to write in. Then just hit "Post Comment" so we can all see what you wrote.


  1. I must comment on Grampa's photo in the bathing suit{with Bill Haubrich}. Grampa dressed me in the same suit {moth holes and all}, made me up with peroxide wig, blacked out front teeth and wearing a cardboard sign saying "Miss Plaistow". This to go to Keezer's Plaistow, costume dance with Fred. I won a 1st prize. Thank God he didn't come up with cupid. Somewhere there's a picture, better get to it fast and hide it. Mom

  2. You are lucky to have a cousin Kathy. My sister and my husband did a power point for my Dad's birthday. It was neat, especially after Dad died a year later.

  3. Hi Cheryl,

    Thanks for replying on my blog. I will reply on my blog.


  4. I hope you enjoy them! I bet Gram is up there right now tapping her fingernails...oh how she hated to see those pictures! There's another one floating around where Grandpa is coming down a flight of stairs in that cupid (angel?) outfit. I used to think it was the funniest picture...Grammie didn't share my humor!!!

  5. My favorite picture of Grampa is of him standing at the top of a staircase {Pleasant St.}buckeled onto skis and with a string of hotdogs around his neck, I seem to remember longjohns under this get-up.Would love to find this picture again.Thanks for the memories, Grampa.Alice,{Mom

  6. Grampa's and Grammies ability to remain positive in the face of any adversity was their greatest gift to all of their grandchildren. When the going gets tough I think of Gram saying "Ah just get on with it" and Gramp doing something to remind me of the absurdity of my plight. I know God continues to bless them both.
    Cousin Brian