From 2002-2021, Curt Smith wrote a column for Upstate New York’s Messenger-Post newspapers. Subjects include politics, culture, education, radio/TV, and the economy: one week, 9/11’s legacy; the next, raising children; another, “the awful wonder of memory.” Smith regularly hails America’s “good quiet decent people”—the great middle class.

A favorite subject is the presidency. Evoking Franklin Roosevelt’s death, Smith wrote: “Almost everyone felt a private memory: his first inaugural, a tear at Pearl Harbor, his prayer on D-Day, ‘my little dog Fala.’” He often leaves politics for the social and cultural: recalling the “once-styling magic of the American car,” or warning about “cancel culture mocking the First Amendment—your and my right to free speech. Losing that, we lose all.”

One Smith column evoked Sir Thomas Moore, John Wayne, and Martin Luther King, Jr., reading, “All sprang from a common core—a character born of courage. We used to teach that noble core, prize it. We now ignore, even mock, it. We have paid an awful price. Look around.”