• Fred's Blog

    The Glitter is Gone

    Listen to “The Glitter is Gone” by Fred Smith   In the past there has always been an unspoken bond between the very rich “one percent” of our world and the rest of us. During the Great Depression, people flocked to the movies to escape the harshness of their lives and catch a momentary peek at the one percent who were doing well. For years, the most popular movies were those with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers floating around dance floors in formal wear, drinking champagne and enjoying the life of high society. F. Scott Fitzgerald’s bleak, “Let me tell you about the very rich. They are different from you and…

  • Fred's Blog

    Quo Vadis?

      Listen to “Quo Vadis?” by Fred Smith Haley was five when she came to me and said she wanted to set up to sell lemonade in the front yard.  Not being the craftsman my father was, I hammered together a very wobbly cardboard and wood stand.  After she laid out her cups, pitcher and money box, I stepped inside the house for maybe two minutes.  When I returned she was gone – along with the pitcher and cups. Yes, I did panic. I looked down the street and saw her two houses away ringing the bell. I ran and asked her where in the world she was going. She…

  • Fred's Blog

    The Thing With Feathers

    Listen to “The Thing With Feathers” By Fred Smith   Watch the SYFY channel and one of the obvious changes you’ll see is the apocalyptic nature of so much science fiction today. It’s all about the end of the world as we know it with either invasions or self-destruction. Being now in my 70’s, I started thinking about what science fiction was like when I was growing up. It was not apocalyptic at all. It was futurist and optimistic – even a bit naïve. Yes, it was something of a paradox to be huddled beneath our wooden desks shielding ourselves against the near-certain nuclear blasts while reading Tom Swift piloting an…

  • Fred's Blog

    Fifty Ways To Leave

    Listen to “Fifty Ways To Leave” by Fred Smith   When I began writing this blog almost eight years ago, John Kelly was my editor. He told me, “Don’t worry about being relevant or even timely. That is what op-ed columnists and pundits do. Write about what you are thinking. People can choose to read it or not but what you are thinking is the most important thing for you to write.” That has proved to be good advice and has kept me – for the most part – off the side road of relevance. Now, even though I know it will not be on the front burner for many…

  • Fred's Blog

    I Stand Relieved

    Listen to “I Stand Relieved” By Fred Smith   Almost ten years ago, the Board of The Gathering and I started thinking about succession. Clearly, we did not consider it an emergency or urgent matter but did want to be prepared and not surprised by the inevitable transition of leadership to the one who would assume the helm. It is especially important and often difficult to make that move from a founder to the next generation. However, I was determined not to be that founder we all read about who could not turn loose and in one way or another made it impossible for the next leader to succeed or,…