Monthly Archives: December 2013

King C. Gillette

The doctor, concerned about my grandfather’s heart, ordered him to leave the room when the Friday Night Fights came on the television. Following the doctor’s instructions to the letter, Grandpa Braun left the room, stood in the hall and watched from the doorway, shadow boxing and puffing. I was in the room, on the sofa, […]

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Sydney Smith, Polo’s Gift to Baseball

When I hear the name Sydney Smith, my thoughts fly to the English wit and cleric (1771- 1845) whose letters are among the most delightful ever written. However, there is another Sydney Smith who, while not so quotable, is still interesting. Born in 1883 in Smithville, South Carolina, a small town just south of Camden, […]

Polo Widows

Louise Astor Van Alen Mdivani Alexis and Serge Mdivani, two Georgian princes who fled to Paris after the Soviet invasion of their birthplace in 1921, excelled at marrying wealthy women and creating polo widows, the latter skill financed by the former. In 1931, Alexis Mdivani married Louise Astor Van Alen, but in 1933 he dumped […]