I would like you to meet my grandfather, Willard Smith. When I was around eleven, and in full letter-writing mode, I sent a letter to his house in Sioux City, Iowa. I had fallen in love with “the olden days” and so I wrote to ask him for pictures of when he was young. He sent me lots of photos including this one of him in his pilot goggles.

As far back as I can remember, my grandfather wrote long newsy letters at Christmas and sent them to everyone he knew; a year in his life more or less. My mom would bring the letter to the dinner table and read it to all of us. He was the first person our family ever saw do this. We thought he invented it.

One day, someone else sent us this same kind of letter, my mom brought it to the table to read; my brother Stephen, who was then about twelve, put two and two together, piped up and said, “Oh! It’s a Willard!” Of course this sent all of us into hysteria, we thought he was so brilliant and brave. Brave because we didn’t usually call Grandpa by his first name for one thing, it was normally frowned on. But my parents were laughing too, this was a good one. So when it was time to give my newsletter a name, my choice was obvious. “It’s a Willard!” I thought you’d like to see a picture of “Our Founder.” He also sent me this photo of his smoking dog Jack. (Don’t think for a moment I agree with this, I cringe a little when I see it now, but it was of its time.) Of course we kids loved it. Willard was our hero, he was the bee’s knees. Liked pork chop gravy on his chocolate cake. A legend in his own time.

6 Responses to Willard

  1. Carole Anderson says:

    Love this!

  2. Angela Pote says:

    Happy Belated Birthday Dear Susan, Happy Birthday To You and may
    your wish be granted for a daily Earth Day. Loved the May Month Patriots Day
    report. Very inspiring for future travels from Auburn NY. My favorite trek is thru Cape Cod. My husband’s is Martha’s Vineyard so we ferry over from Falmouth. It’s all very enchanting…loved Heritage Gardens and Lilly Grand Auto Display in Sandwich. The Windmill and grounds are unforgettable.
    Hoping to do an Autumn 2023 adventure…enjoy your seasons carousel.
    Thanks for all your loving creativity! Ehugs, Angela

  3. Vicki Whitsitt says:

    Perfect name – love the inspiration for both the name and maybe for the newspaper!

  4. Kimberly Wiele says:

    Our country cabin Christmas needs this pink quilt.

  5. Alayne Thompson says:

    I love and find your writing and art inspiring, and would also love to have your pink quilt! ❤

  6. Jann Zinderman says:

    Fabulous a Willard!!! Love it

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