Perry’s Blog

Thoughts and notes from Perry Smith

The Challenges Of Learning How To Fly

It was 107 degrees on a late August day in 1956 at Marana Air Base in Arizona. Flight school for sixty Air Force second lieutenants had begun. On that day I got my “dollar ride” in the back seat of a T-34 trainer aircraft. The air was very bumpy and I quickly got airsick. On landing the instructor pilot was very blunt. “Lieutenant, some folks can learn to fly and some cannot.” He then walked...

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One of the Army’s Best is About to Face His Greatest Challenge

In 1996, I got a call from a friend who is a historian in North Carolina, Dick Kohn. Professor Kohn suggested that I might be able to help a young Army officer who was completing his Ph.D. studies at the University of North Carolina. Kohn was concerned that Major HR McMaster might soon be in big trouble with the senior leadership in the United States Army. McMaster was about to publish a...

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Augusta’s Polymaths: Connect with Amazing Individuals in our midst

As I continue my efforts to preserve the legacy of Doctor Hervey Cleckley, two synonymous terms keep popping up– Renaissance Man and Polymath. A polymath is a person whose expertise spans a significant number of different subject areas. Such a person is known to draw on complex bodies of knowledge to solve problems and assist individuals and organizations. Rather than referring to...

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The Power of Persistence: The Mike Rose Story

There is a lovely saying, first expressed by Elbert Hubbard in 1914, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade”. I prefer a longer phrase, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade, set up a lemonade stand and bring joy to your neighborhood by giving free lemonade to all the kids.” Once in a while extremely good results emerge after something very bad occurs. This fact is useful to consider...

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The Gifting Season: Capital Campaigns, Annual Support and Endowments

With the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons fast approaching, this is the ideal time to push your generosity button; dig deep into your pocket, wallet, purse or checkbook, and give to your favorite charities. This article will highlight a number of ideas that may be helpful to individuals, corporations and foundations as they plan their gifting strategies for end-of-year giving for 2016 and for...

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Looking Under Rocks-Research on Renowned Psychiatrist Surprising

Fifty years ago while a student at Columbia University, I commenced a major research project. I examined the files of the Army Air Force during World War II with a specific purpose in mind. Did the leaders find time to plan for the postwar world, what were their theories of international relations, and whom did they think the enemies of the future might be? After months of digging through dusty...

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