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Alan J. Smith, 1931-2012

Post #1542 • March 29, 2012, 8:19 AM • 3 Comments

[Image: Alan J. Smith []

Alan J. Smith [source]

I learned this morning from Janet Cook that Alan Smith died this past Sunday. Alan and I shared a studio at the University of Miami during our second year of graduate school. Learned, charming, and astute of judgment, his company there was always a pleasure.

Tasked with a ten-page paper for an art history seminar with Dr. Paula Harper, most of us in the MFA Class of '94 submitted a ten-page paper. Not Alan. Alan penned a 110-page monster with 386 footnotes on the writings of Walter Darby Bannard, then Art Department chairman. Alan, by example, thus taught me an indelible lesson about the power of exceeding expectations, and I have striven to act accordingly since then.

After graduate school, Alan made a new life for himself in Port St. Lucie, Florida, where he passed away. An appreciation attached to Janet's email hails from the Port St. Lucie Scrabble Club, where I have no doubt he was a personally affable and strategically indomitable presence.

I, among many, will miss him.

Comment

1.

Janet Cook

March 29, 2012, 11:31 AM

That is a lovely tribute, Franklin. He was a very dear man with a wonderful sense of humor. I shall miss hearing from him. I asked the family about flowers and arrangements, I will let you know if I hear back from them. Warm regards.

2.

Walter Darby Bannard

March 29, 2012, 2:20 PM

Alan was a sweet guy, good humored, good conversationalist, ironic, funny—the kind of person I would really have liked as a colleague. The essay (really a book) he wrote about my writing was excellent and unsparing, and it showed me a lot of things about my opinions, for better or worse, that I didn't see. I was sorry to see him go when he graduated and I am sorry to see him go now.

3.

Rebecca Smith

April 16, 2012, 11:02 AM

Thank you for this beautiful tribute to my father-in-law. We will miss him very much!

I play classical piano and consider myself a "hobby" artist and photographer. I have memories of conversations with Alan about art, music and the theatre he loved so much. Alan would tell me he visited my blog occasionally, which always made me feel honored. I am grateful I knew Alan. I only wish we would have had more time.

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