Throwback Thursday – Charles Allen Smart: Novelist | Connect


In the late 1940s and early 1950s, Ohio University welcomed a writer-in-residence.

Charles Allen Smart was a renowned author when he started OU. His greatest claim to fame was his book “RFD”, an autobiographical work about the days when the city dweller Smart inherited a farm in Chillicothe, Ohio. The book was not written in the traditional sense, with a plot and character development. There were a lot of characters in this book, but they never evolved. Rather, it was a snapshot of farm life in the American Midwest in the 1930s. The book was very well received in Central America and is essential reading on many Americana reading lists.

Charles Allen Smart was born in Cleveland. He graduated from Harvard in 1926. During World War II, he commanded an LST (Landing Ship Tank). He saw a lot of action in the campaigns of Normandy, Okinawa and New Guinea.

While at Ohio University, one of Smart’s jobs was to write a historical drama. The play was called “The Green Adventure” and was written to coincide with the 150th anniversary of Athens. The story tells about the trials of the founding of Athens and the first university in the Northwest Territories. There were familiar historical figures mentioned in the play, such as Dr Manasseh Cutler, General Rufus Putnam, and even Johnny Appleseed, but the story also follows the life of Dr Perkins and his family as they move to Athens. and create civilized life. in the desert and help start a university.

The play made its debut on February 18, 1954. It was a great success with eight more performances after the premiere.

If anyone has any recollections or comments on Charles Allen Smart, please message me. I will add it to my files.


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