The Smith Family
Jack Smith often exploited the activities of his wife, Denny, and sons Curt and Doug to feed the insatiable demands of writing a daily column. He wrote about the latest home remodeling project, the invasions by feral cats living under the porch, and the peccadilloes of the family dog.
One of his most popular columns told the story of an especially prized Christmas present from Denny: pieces of type spelling out a favorite saying, “Spend All Your Kisses.” The phrase thereafter reappeared in many more columns over the years.
|The Smith family, ca. 1958. |
Doug, Curt, Jack and Denny, with their faithful companion Gene Biscailuz.
|Jack Smith and Fleetwood Pugsley, |
Jack Smith. Note card on Fleetwood Pugsley.
Smith created scores of note cards, both typed and handwritten, recording a variety of ideas and quotations, anything that could be used in future writing. Here, he writes a fond, posthumous memory of Pugsley.
Jack Smith. “Spend All Your Kisses,” printed with movable type on linen, undated but after 1977.
Courtesy of Alison P. Smith.
Jack Smith created this wall hanging with one of his favorite sayings, using type pieces given to him by Denny.
Jack Smith. “Don’t Leave Kisses Unspent,” 1977.
Copyright, 1977, Los Angeles Times
. Displayed with permission. Barbara Bilisoly. Letter to Jack Smith, January 12, 1978.(Image not available)
In this column, Smith tells the story of reading the line “Spend All Your Kisses” in the work of a classic Greek or Roman poet (the name was forgotten by Smith) and telling Denny about it. She then presented the saying to him at Christmas, in the form of individual pieces of movable type. Later, Smith inked the letters and printed the saying on a piece of linen fabric, framed it, and hung it above the bar in their home.
This clipping of the column was sent to Smith by Barbara Bilisoly, who said the phrase was written by Catullus, quoting the relevant verse, both in Latin and in her own translation.
Ward Ritchie. Letter to Jack Smith, January 5, 1978.(Image not available)
Ritchie identifies the author of “Spend All Your Kisses” as the Greek poet Asclepiades and provides the relevant verse, both in the original Greek and in his own translation.
Ward Ritchie, who died in 1996, was a Los Angeles fine printer and book designer.
Jack Smith. “Dog House May Be Next,” copy of typescript for Spend All Your Kisses, New York: McGraw-Hill, 1978.
Copyright, 1971, Los Angeles Times
. Displayed with permission.(Image not available)
Smith tells the story of adopting Fleetwood Pugsley.
Cigar box label, “Airedale: Always a Winner,” ca. 1920.(Image not available)
Jack Smith’s files include a folder dedicated to Fleetwood Pugsley, containing papers for his license, his medical history, and this historic tribute to Airedales.
The Smith family at home and at an amusement park, ca. 1949-1950.(Image not available)