“I … know that …”








Above is an excerpt (the peroration) from a letter I received from a friend, Kathy Phair of Harvard, Massachusetts, in July 1964. At the time of the letter, Kathy was working at a Girl Scout camp in Harvard, and I had a summer job on Cape Cod.

Kathy may have been in love with me, but I never realized this, if it were true. She was, when we first met, the girlfriend of a good friend of mine. We (she and her boyfriend Tom) used to do things together as a threesome. We had some wonderful times.






Why post this quote? Some will say it is narcissism, egotism, on my part.

Undoubtedly some of my spiteful relatives will.

I am posting it because I know that, for a fact, I haven’t changed, as my wife and some of my close friends realize. The part about being “one humble, and very sincere person” meant and still means a lot to me.

The last time I saw Kathy was in my early twenties. She came to visit me where I was living then, near Boston. We went together to a poetry reading by the poet L. E. Sissman in Kathy’s hometown, Harvard.

Kathy died shortly afterward (at which time she was married) from an illness of long duration which had begun at an early age. She never complained about it.



— Roger W. Smith

   September 2020

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