Conversations with Papa Charlie: A Memory of Charles E. Smith

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9781892123343: Conversations with Papa Charlie: A Memory of Charles E. Smith

At first David Bruce wanted to write a traditional biography of his remarkable grandfather, a Russian Jew who immigrated as a child to America in 1911 and built a real estate empire here. But that format seemed to violate "Papa Charlie's" impatience with verbosity. So David adopted the more accessible vignette style to pass along his grandfather s singular humor, wisdom, and enthusiasm. Now in this charming little book, readers will feel they are sitting at the knee of this kindly Jewish grandfather, listening to stories about his amazing life and to gentle advice for succeeding in your own. Along the way, you ll learn about the importance of family devotion and the care of each of its members, responsibility for and generosity to community and to those who have less, good nutrition and a regular health regimen, devotion to religion, and some very savvy business tips - all spiced with memorable Yiddish expressions. If you never knew your own grandfather, or are missing him, this book will instruct, inspire, and soothe your ruffled feathers.

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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.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Like Yourself Too

Before EST, I'm OK, You're OK, and a plethora of how-to books and therapies, Papa Charlie was already a believer in liking himself and talking about it. He did not believe a person should be self-indulgent. But it was prudent, he felt, to be confident. Such an outlook allowed one to satisfy one's responsibilities with a clear mind. Papa Charlie's obligations included business, charitable, and familial commitments; he was supporting his sister, Betty, other relatives, and friends.

He recommended daily exercise, a meatless-and-sugarless diet; eight to ten glasses of hot or cold water each day "to purify your body"; and hot milk or homemade low-fat yogurt milkshakes to help with sleep. He practiced deep breathing and relaxation exercises. But without an assured self-image, the rudimentary parts of his advice framework would suffer.

Every night he hypnotized each part of his body. He began by saying" Toes, relax." Then he moved upward. "Feet, relax. I go all the way up, slowly," he explained. "By the time I get to my head, I'm already asleep!"

He encouraged many people to do this. "Go to bed with a smile," he said. "Be positive. It's important to be good to yourself. After all, you're the only one you've got!"

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