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H. Allen Smith,Journalist/Author-WebPost

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Message: 44
Name: Michael D Walker
Email: Michael Walker
Date: Sun Mar 9 20:24:00 2014
Comments: Great to find this website. Been a fan of H. Allen Smith a long time. Got interested in him while doing research on Thorne Smith (no relation). H. Allen once mentioned he wanted to write a biography of Thorne Smith but that Fred Allen kept talking him out of it.

Anyone know where H. Allen Smith's correspondence and manuscripts might be archived at?

Would be interesting to see what other ideas for books he had.

Loved the titles of his books too! Especially "How to Write Without Knowing Nothing" and "A Short History of Fingers".

It's a shame his books are all still in print. What passes for humor today is very sad.

Michael D Walker

Message: 43
Name: Michael Connelly
Email: michael.connelly3@MyFairPoint.net
Date: Thu Mar 7 9:27:00 2013
Comments: For those *looking* for H Allen Smith books, eBay is a great source. Back in the day, there was a good store in Boston, and one in NYC to score those obscure books, but eBay has made life for H Allen Smith fans much easier. Note that some sellers try to reap an unreasonable profit, so I suggest watching listings that come up for sale for a while (unless something special crosses your vision) to get a sense of market price. ABEBOOKS.com is also another excellent source.
I've been collecting his books for, jeez, more than 35 years. Still finding good stuff. The link started as a personal one, in the family-- my grandfather and has had a correspondence going in the 1960s and 1970s, and I inherited a fondness for Smith's writing.
Mike C

Message: 42
Name: Michael Connelly
Email: michael.connelly3@MyFairPoint.net
Date: Thu Mar 7 7:53:00 2013
Signing in.
Big fan of has*.
Mike Connelly

*his preferred signature.

Message: 41
Name: Bob Couey
Email: Bob Couey<piperlad@cox.net>
Date: Thu Sep 20 17:19:00 2012
Comments: Hi, I have a bunch of H. Allen Smith titles which I rescued from my grandfather's home in L.A. (he was also a writer) when he died in 1968. I've had these books ratholed away in boxes for many years and need to get into the garage rafters to see how many and in what condition. Most are hardback and early (or 1st) editions. Many titles including "The Compleat Practical Joker" and more. I'm interesting in selling if anyone has interest. Thanks, Bob


Message: 40
Name: John Talbott
Email: Talbs67@aol.com
Date: Sat Mar 15 8:58:14 2008
Comments: Please, folks, I need your help!

I, too, am a lover of H. Allen Smith's books. As a teenager, I read one or two, and this past Christmas my daughter (after some well-placed hints) bought me three of the books I THOUGHT I had once read: Low Man on a Totem Pole, Life in the Horse Latitudes, and Life in a Putty Knife Factory.

Alas, none are familiar to me.

Can anyone tell me which book of his contains a vignette about a guy who sold sandwiches and other edibles on the trains H.A.S. took as a kid in Indiana? The sandwich seller would walk up and down the aisles of the train cars with a basket, calling out a colorful description of his items for sale. At the end of his spiel, he would describe his pies, and it went something like this:

"...and as for pies I've got apple, I've got mince, I've got cherry, and as for berry, I've got razz, dazz, jazz, huckle, dew, blue, goose, and straw!"

Ring a bell with anyone? Please let men know where this comes from!


John Talbott
Marietta, GA

Message: 39
Name: Nick Wojciak
Email: Nick J. Wojciak<nickjay3@yahoo.com>
Date: Mon Aug 6 18:06:25 2007
Comments: Does anyone know the name of the book H. Allen wrote about characters named Fungo P. Nubb and his wife Filboida Telele Nubb?

Nick Wojciak
Broomfield, CO

Message: 38
Name: Walter E. Kanavel, USAF (Ret)
Email: Walter Kanavel<unclewalt@buckeye-express.com>
Date: Wed Jan 11 16:38:00 2006
Comments: I have been very interested in H. Allen Smith's writing and humor since I was very young.  While stationed in Northern Japan in 1969, I read "The Great Chili Confrontation".  Being half in the bag (which is when I frequently do my best writing) I jumped on my typewriter and sent a letter to H. Allen and I believe I mailed it to General
Delivery, Alpine,Texas.  The text of my letter was that of bemoaning the lack of chili ingredients in our USAF commissary or in town in the Japanese stores.  Lo and Behold!!! About a month later, I received a package from the man himself, in which were Chimayo
peppers, cumin, chili powder, a package of Wick Fowler's 3 Alarm chili (which took us some 3 or 4 years before we used it).  He wrote me a nice note and included an autographed copy of Mr. Zip (a scrozzler of wildcats if memory serves me). 
   All of this is simply to reminisce and chuckle over some of the things he wrote (some of which were pretty racy for the times), in particular "A Pig in the Barber Shop". 

Message: 37
Name: Anne
Email: frances olson<annachristina12000@yahoo.com>
Date: Sun Jan 8 11:46:07 2006
Comments: When I was a kid (late '40s) I discovered a copy of Low Man on A Totem Pole on the bookshelf. Although I was barely school age, I thought it was hilarious, and still think so to this day. H. Allen Smith was like a literary godfather to me, I crafted my jokes and comebacks to the cadence of his writing, and to this day find myself plagiarizing a phrase
or two. How few of our childhood icons last to adulthood, and how few carry us beyond
that into old age? I picked up HAS when I still had pins on my hips and plan to still be
laughing at him when the pins come back. 

Message: 36
Name: Francis X. Schrameck III
Email: Schrameck, Francis
Date: Thu Sep 1 08:34:22 2005
Comments: Found the site by accident but have truly enjoyed the time I've spent here - thank you.  My favorite memory of HAS is that he writes in a 'hairlip' dialect.  Remember the time the ol' boy is walking down the street and hears someone yell his name 'Mark!'.  Looks,
sees nobody so continues walking.  'Mark!' - again nobody there.  Third time 'Mark!'.  This time when he turns around, big giant Airedale with a hairlip.  Funnier than nuts (no offense intended).  I too need, desperately need, a copy (any copy) of 'Rude Jokes'. Please contact me at fschrame@flash.net. Thanks...

Message: 35
Name: Lorna
Email: lorna<grnhair2001@yahoo.com>
Date: Sat Jul 30 15:40:09 2005
Comments: I'm a former Egyptian myself, & have read H. Allen Smith's books my whole life. 

I'm moving into a morot home full-time now, and have an almost complete set, many first editions, none signed, but one cool British first of the London Journal.  I'd put these on Ebay or Amazon, but I'd just as soon some real fan got them.  Email me if you're interested.

Message: 34 
Name: Jim Smith
Email: jimc.smith@verizon.com
Date: Tue Jun 15 13:06:39 2004
Comments: On a whim (avoiding work) I typed in H. Allen Smith and found your website.
My father's name was Allen Smith too (no relation) and he had a collection of HAS books that he enjoyed more than any others, all of which I read beginning with Rhubarb.  My mom still talks about me at about 12 years old laughing my head off while reading that book.  After all his humor was simple enough for anyone and not too far over the line like so much of today's humor.  My father was also a remarkable writer with a similar wit, but never published a thing.  Relatives tell me they saved all his letters because they were so funny.  Reading Smith's books today is like reading the Ben Franklin works you cannot read in school - time doesn't change their humor a bit.

This is a great website and I'm surprised and pleased to see that there are so many that appreciate plain old, genuine good humor.

Message: 33 
Email: Gcoinlady@aol.com
Date: Sat May 22 17:21:54 2004
Comments: I am so happy and delighted to find other H. Allen Smith fans!  I discovered this great writer in my first year of college. I was an aspiring writer and was captivated by the man's humor and way with words, and a few off-color words too. Now it is 30 years later,
and I am still a fan. I would love to own more of his books, besides the few that I have. He still makes me laugh. Incidentally, I wrote a short story called "Out of order--doesn't stop spinning," and tried to borrow  some of the tone of Smith's writing. The piece was dedicated to him. It was published and wound up in an anthology. Smith was my primary role model when I began writing. Long live his humor and command of the English language--like none other. 
Message: 32 
Name:  Stephen Duff 
Homepage:  http://www3.telus.net/pagerweb/hallensmith/index.htm
Email: Stephen Duff
Date: Sun May 2 14:59:35 2004
I am always amazed at the amount of people who still read and appreciate H. Allen Smith. I have been maintaining a web site dedicated to this wonderful author for a number of years. 
Message: 31 
Name:  David Trumbull 
Homepage:  www.robertbenchley.org
Email: Chairman, RBS
Date: Thu Apr 1 14:17:00 2004
As a lad I saw the Rhubarb movie on television and laughed 'til I rolled on the floor. As a teenager (mid 1970s) I found a copy of the book Rhubarb in a second-hand shop, and from that point on picked up every H. Allen Smith book I could find. Thanks for putting up this fan site.  "Stranded on a Davenport" and "Bare-foot up to Her Chin" are wicked funny and are grand fun to read aloud with friends, as we have here in Boston a few times. 

Have you thought of trying to get Smith fans together sometime? We could share favorite bits of Smith and enjoy meeting each other. A few of us started a Robert Benchley Society a year ago (see www.robertbenchley.org) and we've had a few get-togethers, with some success in Boston and New York. 

Message: 30 
Email: LScott4903@cs.com
Date: Mon Jan 26 10:56:09 2004
Comments: Running across letter to me from HAS inspired me to search web and found this site. I had sent him a fan letter, including a slightly off-color incident (lady at our utility office made a slip of tongue when yelling across room to serviceman to Go Inspect Mr Peters'
Meter).  HAS wrote back with the incident of the sports headline: Team To Play Without Peters, revised to read Team to Play With Peters Out.

Oh, well, it was juvenile humor but my gosh I thought he was funny!  Fav book is autobiographical To Hell In A Handbasket when he worked in my southern Indiana area.  I may be unique in having got a prescription from my doctor NOT to read any more H Allen
Smith, when I ripped some stitches while reading Handbasket. 

Message: 29 
Name: Claudia
Email: ckuehl@earthlink.net
Date: Sun Nov 16 13:13:27 2003
Comments: Is Nelle Mae Smith still with us? Is Elton Miles? I moved to Alpine in January 1975 for the express purpose of meeting H. Allen Smith. I had just dropped out of college and was trying to figure out how to construct a meaningful life. Visiting my favorite author seemed a good place to start. Once there I wrote to him and he wrote back at once. I still have the typed, signed postcard; my favorite sentence: " I command you to get on the phone and call me and make a date to come by for a libation." When I went to the house, Elton Miles was there too. I didn't impress H. Allen Smith much; I was a 19 year old, charmless and basically tongue-tied. But Nelle took pity on me and eventually hired me to be a part-time maid. She was (and I hope is) a compassionate, patient person who did many good works in Alpine. I lived in Alpine for four or five months, working for the Smiths and also part-time at a nursing home, then moved on. I was and remain in awe of the talent and spark of H. Allen Smith.

Message: 28 
Name: Billy Barr Kuhn
Email: billybarrkuhn@hotmail.com
Date: Mon Nov 10 17:10:01 2003
Comments: HELP!!! Wife left me and cleaned me out. Only left a pillowcase stuffed with dirty underwear and a ticket to local garden club speaker's meeting on potting nastursiums. 
Have had underwear cleaned and am not interested in nastursiums, potted or otherwise. The
thing that I miss the most is my collection of H. Allen Smith (I am positive she did this out of spite, as she has the sense of humor of an irritated polecat). Have been slowly building back 
my collection, but am unable to find a copy of "Rude Jokes." Any help will greatly appreciated. Also, anyone in the Phoenix area interested in ruining the rest of your life, contact me for the address of a thorn that removed itself from my paw. 
Message: 27 
Name: Mary
Email: allan_mary@yahoo.com
Date: Thu Jul 10 13:32:49 2003
Comments: For any of you that might be interested, I have an extra 1944, 1st edition copy of "Lost in the Horse Latitudes". Let me know if you are interested in adding this to your collection. 
Message: 26 
Name: Andrea Walsh
Homepage: The Hawthorne Fan Pagehogan
Email: petquality@earthlink.net
Date: Mon Mar 31 03:25:10 2003
Comments: I have loved H. Allen Smith since high school (mid 80's) when a friend read me the chapter "Chiefly About Hugh Troy" from "Life In A Putty Knife Factory" over the phone one late night. Up to that pont I was strictly a Benchley disciple, but now I still laugh at it, and many other of Smith's experiences with the weirdos of the past. I think if he was around today he'd still be having a big laugh at our expense, yucks that we are, that is if we could even track him down at whatever bar he was hid 
Message: 25 
Name: Ryan Nelson
Email: thundernels@hotmail.com
Date: Sun Mar 2 21:25:59 2003
Comments: I am a McLeansboro native and am trying to resurrect the legacy of H. Allen Smith in our small, rural town, awnings and all. Unfortunately, Smith is not promoted in McLeansboro and most current residents have not heard of him. I do not know why. He has such lovely things to say about the town. Best wishes. 
Message: 24 
Name: Michael B. Pinkey
Email: MBP1952@aol.com
Date: Wed Feb 26 11:55:10 2003
Comments: I am, I do believe, the world's premiere H. Allen Smith fan. I first discovered him in LOST IN THE HORSE LATITUDES when I was 12, lo these 39 years ago. I bought my first Smith book, the paperback original POOR H. ALLEN SMITH'S ALMANAC, as a teenager in the 1960s, and spent more than thirty years afterwards collecting the entire set, just finishing it up a year or so ago. The only one I don't have is his very first, ROBERT GAIR: A STUDY, which was (as you probably know) a for-hire piece of biog 
Message: 23 
Name: Lori Wieder
Email: lorixellen@hotmail.com
Date: Wed Jan 8 20:50:19 2003
Comments: I am 45 years old, and'Lost in the Horse Lattitudes' is the first book to make me shoot Pepsi through my nose. As being rather a geek myself, I found comfort in the fact tha I was Not the only one. I am sorry he is no longer with us. We could use his wit now. 
Message: 22 
Name: Mike Woodward
Email: mtuminum@erols.com
Date: Fri Dec 6 11:26:53 2002
Comments: I am a big fan of Fred Allen and I try to collect everything of his, radio shows,books,movies etc. When I found out he wrote an introduction to a book by someone named H. Allen Smith I figured, why the heck not, I'll get it. Needless to say, I was HOOKED the minute I started reading it and now I've got all his books and am frantically trying to find a copy of the RHUBARB movie for my collection. My only wish is that I had discovered H Allen Smith while he was still alive so I could tell him how 
Message: 21 
Name: Jack U. Shlimovitz
Email: luvzin@rr.wi.com
Date: Wed Nov 13 22:31:51 2002
Comments: After reading Low Man on Totem Pole, Life in a Putty Knife Factory and Lost in the Horse Latitudes, it was my mission in life to collect a complete collection by H. Allen Smith, which I have done. I have several first editions. I was also mentioned in an article by Jack Smith which appeared in the Los Angeles Times and was reprinted in the Milwaukee Journal. He was given a box of H. Allen Smith books and I wrote him to tell him that now there were two collectors of H. Allen Smith. 
Message: 20 
Name: Heather Huntley
Email: tinker912b@msn.com
Date: Tue Oct 29 08:07:04 2002
Comments: I stumbled on this site when trying to compile a complete list of HAS book titles. I'm cleaning house! and realized that I have 30 HAS books, which include 18 first editions. My mother, brother and I shared a love of his writing mid last century and I do have Buskin among my collection. I was going to sell out everything as I have read all a hundred times. Now may have to reconsider as I reminisce with all of you. His era won't return, neither will all his famous people subjects. Such a pity. L 
Message: 19 
Name: Stephen
Homepage: H. Allen Smith
Email: hallensmith@shaw.ca
Date: Fri Oct 25 23:10:38 2002
Comments: Glad to see other fans of this excellent author. 
Message: 18 
Name: Bob
Email: rollpicture@yahoo.com
Date: Fri Oct 11 14:32:28 2002
Comments: When my grandfather passed away back in 1968, I was just a kid and "inherited" a bunch of obscure items and memorabilia, including his H. Allen Smith book collection. After reading the books (all of them), I realized where Gramps got his wacky sense of humor. I've been an H. Allen Smith fan ever since!

Message: 17 
Name: Phil Milazzo
Email: philip_milazzo@atlmug.org
Date: Tue Sept 24 23:21:15 2002
Comments: Glad to find your bio on H. A. Smith. It makes me want to read more. Somewhere in my house is a copy of a chili cookbook that contains the complete "Nobody Knows More About Chili..." essay. It made me laugh when I first read it 20+ years ago, and I know it will again when I find it. I can still quote parts of it from memory.

Message: 16 
Name: Jim Choma
Homepage: Haunts & By-Paths: Thorne Smith
Email: jchoma@msn.com
Date: Mon Sept 9 20:22:39 2002
Comments: A great site to H. Allen Smith! I'm glad to see there are others out there that appreciate his work. Unfortunately, H. A. Smith is another one of those forgotten writers whose humor is timeless. Whether it's the 40's, the 50's or 2002, funny is funny whatever the decade -- and this man wrote some funny material! Keep up the good work!

Message: 15 
Name: Martha
Email: llrob11@hotmail.com
Date: Sat Aug 31 23:25:32 2002
Comments: When my uncle sold his house in 1960, he invited my Mom and me to go through the books he couldn't take with him. I picked Lost in the Horse Latitudes--I was 10, I thought it was about horses. I wore that copy out. When I told my lfolks what I was reading, they pointed out that they had Low Man on a Totem Pole and Life in A Putty Knife Factory on their shelves. I think all the people who were young in the 40's knew H. Allen and his work. My brother and I shared a passion for H. Allen and on

Message: 14 
Name: David L. Randall
Email: daver852@hotmail.com
Date: Fri Aug 2 17:06:16 2002
Comments: H. Allen Smith was undoubtedly the finest humorist, and perhaps the best author period, that the United States produced during the second half of the 20th Century.

Message: 13 
Name: Susannah Challis
Date: Mon Jul 8 22:24:00 2002
Comments: Been a fan since 1966, when I read The Age of the Tail, & nearly died laughing. (It was a happy day when I got my own copy at a library sale some 10-15 years later!) Can't forget the scene in To Hell in a Handbasket when HAS was ragging on his boss, then saw the boss' shoes under the door in the john...Knowing NOW that there are other HAS fans inspires me to reread all his works! Thanks for the website.

Message: 12 
Name: Robert Zerby
Email: doctorzerby@military.com
Date: Mon Apr 22 14:13:15 2002
Comments: Robert William Zerby St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands. I have a old copy of THREE BY SMITH. It is one of my favorites. Semper Fi, Robert Zerby Email: doctorzerby@military.com.

Message: 11 
Name: chuck vrtacek
Homepage: chuck vrtacek, rn
Email: charlesvrtacek@hotmail.com
Date: Mon Apr 1 23:07:53 2002
Comments: wow! i thought i was the only living h. allen smith fan in america. what a treat to read all these posts. i have spent years boring people in an attempt to convince them that any thinking person should be a smith fan. i'm amazed he's not better known, his humor is timeless.

Message: 10 
Name: Kelley Elder
Email: kjelder@infi.net
Date: Mon Mar 25 12:10:52 2002
Comments: I have been a fan of HAS since about 1971 when I was given a copy of "The Best of..." I have since collected several first editions which I cherish. E-bay is the best source for these, by the way. I am also an actor and have considered compiling HAS material into a one man show, ala Mark Twain Tonight. It is a shame that HAS has been largely forgotten. His views of pre-war and post-war America are classic. 
Name: Bill Stephens
Email: bill stephensca@yahoo.ca
Date: Tue Feb 19 08:52:10 2002
Comments: I knew nothing about H. Allen Smith before I was fortunate enough to come across a volume called "Three By Smith" containing three of his books. He wrote about an era that endlessly fascinates me and, truly, some of the greatest characters ever written about. His writing is relaxed and nearly flawless--a great guy and one of the best companions a reader ever had.

Name: Michael Edelman
Date: Fri Sept 28 20:20:06 2001
Comments: Back in 1970 or '71 I was wandering around a University residence hall when I happened upon a copy of one of Smith's first books-I don't even recall which one it was-and having nothing better to do I read it. I was immediately converteed into a fan, and for the life of me can't understand why he isn't regularly mentioned in the same breath as contemporaries like Wolcott and Thurber. H. Allen Smith truely deserves more fame, as the great chronicler of the unknown, 
Name: Sam Esqueda
Email: ab5xl@aol.com
Date: Sat Aug 11 12:18:12 2001
Comments: Great to see this site. Allen was a friend of mine. I last spoke with him by phone the day before he went out to San Francisco where he died. I have an oil painting he gave me. I don't know if it is worth anything, but I wouldn't trade it for a Van Gough! I visited Nell in Alpine before she went out to Florida. Sam.

Name: Tom Orion
Email: Orionca@earthlink.net
Date: Thu Aug 9 18:53:54 2001
Comments: At the age of 10 I decided I wanted to be a writer when I grew up. There being a dearth of writing classes aimed at 10 year olds, I began scanning the local library for books on writing. The first I found was entitled "How To Write Without Knowing Nothing" by H. Allen Smith. Being only 10 I read it 3 times, cover to cover, before it dawned on me that it wasn't a serious treatise on the art of writing. By then the damage had been done and I was forever enamoured of pundantry, especially tha 
Name: Alvin Jaffee
Email: Alvinjaffee@aol.com
Date: Sun Jul 1 18:13:15 2001
Comments: Would like to obtain copies of "Rude Jokes" and "Buskin" by H. Allen Smith. Please contact. I have misplaced my original copies. 
Name: Bud Taylor
Email: rytaylorii@aol.com
Date: Wed Jun 13 21:10:20 2001
Comments: I have been looking for a copy of Rude Jokes which I once had and inadvertently loaned to someone. I used to keep the book in my desk at work and almost any one joke was enough to get me on an even keel. I would love to get a copy. 
Name: Suzi Masheeco
Email: mcphan@home.com
Date: Tue Mar 13 00:01:40 2001
Comments: I discovered H. Allen Smith in the 60's when I came upon his book "Waikiki Beachnik." I found it to be so hilarious that I have haunted all used bookstores in my area for his other books. I have found quite a few but there are many I don't have. My second favorite is "London Journal" which I am re-reading now for about the fourth time! I'm delighted to discover other HAS fans - thought I was the only one! 
Name: Duke McMullan N5GAX
Email: DukeMc@mail.com
Date: Sun Mar 11 02:40:00 2001
Comments: Now and then, perusing the stacks in a thrift store or yard sale, I'll spot one of HAS's books. If it's in decent shape, it follows me home, and a little of my money follows its previous owner. Just last week, I ran across my copy of The Return of the Virginian, and spent a couple of contented hours in the company of Grady, Mungo and Emily. Pleasant memories. Over the years, I've had quite a bit of occasional fun referring to the "Chinga tu Madre mountains'. Here in New Mexico (aka the 
Name: Kimball Medders
Email: kimmedders@thegrid.net
Date: Wed Mar 7 19:33:32 2001
Comments: I recently found a copy of "Buskin' With H. Allen Smith" in a pile of discarded library books and picked it up on a whim. I have throughly enjoyed his style of writing and salty wit. Being a baby boomer, I missed having the pleasure of experiencing him while he was alive, though I think I will try to explore his other works. While some of it is slightly dated, his humor still stands the test of time in my opinion. Thanks for the information on him.

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Last Modified: July 14, 2020
Origination date of page September 1, 2003.
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