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Conversations with Papa Charlie: A Memory of Charles E. Smith Hardcover – September 1, 2000
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Conversations with Papa Charlie made me miss my grandfather and the stories he used to tell me. Growing up in the Washington area, Charles E. Smith was a familiar name to me. I always thought it was a made up corporate entity. It s nice to see that Charles Smith was a real person, and not a heartless corporate giant. I recommend this book to all those who are looking for a little guidance in life, and for anyone who just wants to read some heartwarming stories. --A reader from Bethesda, MD
Papa Charlie s pieces of advice are decidedly homespun ...this unassuming volume turns around and ends on an astonishingly poetic note... --Washingtonian
Clearly shows that this connection lives on after Charles E. Smith s death...Papa Charlie would be proud. --Rockville Gazette
About the Author
David Bruce Smith is the fourth of six grandchildren born into Charles E. Smith s family. He is senior vice president of Commercial Property Management at the Charles E. Smith Companies, president of the Institute of Psychobiology in Jerusalem, editor-and-chief of Crystal City Magazine and a freelance writer. He and his grandfather wrote three books and a film together, and with his mother he wrote the first artist s book for the National Museum of Women in the Arts. This is his first book published for a general audience.
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Top Customer Reviews
It is nice to know that there are businessmen who are not just---interested in making money. This wonderful memoir shows how the elegant Mr. Smith, a Russian immigrant who came to America at the age of 10, went from rags to riches---twice. His initial success was achieved as a builder of homes and small shopping centers in Brooklyn, New York shortly before the Depression. Feeling that a stock market disaster was imminent, he confided to his partner-cousin that he wanted to get out of the business. But his cousin believing Smith to be irrational, talked him into staying in the business through 1929; in 1930, the agreed, they would stop building. Unfortunately the Crash came and Smith lost all of his money, but not his spirit. The lesson he learned--one of many he passes on to the reader in "Papa Charlie"--is never to go against your intuition. Smith eventually re-constructed his wealth--the second time in Washington, DC twenty years later--but in the end retired suddenly at the age of 66 to spend the rest of his life as a philanthropist. In the 28 years he was to live, he raised money for numerous causes, and co-founded the Institute of Psychobiology in Israel. As his grandson-author, David Bruce Smith, reveals, Smith would also peruse the Washington Post each morning, looking for human interest stories that moved him. The reader learns about the poor woman for whom he bought a washing machine, the friends he helped during financial reversals, and the kind and compassionate way he treated his employees. Reading Conversations with Papa Charlie was a moving experience for me. I would recommend it for ANYONE. Smith's story makes you believe that Good Samaritans still exist.
Conversations With Papa Charlie gave me a real look behind the scenes at Charles E. Smith--one of the biggest names in real estate. I discovered who Charles E. Smith really was--his successes, his failures and lessons--not just for business but for life.
It is a magical and charming memoir that I would recommend for anyone of any age who wants to be inspired.