Though the Governor’s official mansion in Albany was not a beautiful residence in 1918, I was not aware of it when we first arrived. I did not notice that much of the furniture and many of the rugs were badly worn, and that the excessive use of red and green on furniture, curtains, rugs, and walls made the place look as if it were decorated for a kind of perpetual Christmas. The walls were of rough plaster painted red, although there seemed to be a kind of metallic finish to the paint, and we children soon learned that by sliding our feet across the deep pile of the rugs we could generate a surprising amount of static electricity and create quite a spark by approaching the wall with one finger– or, better still, by similarly approaching someone else’s unsuspecting ear.
I’m really enjoying The Happy Warrior, a biography of Alfred E. Smith written by his daughter, Emily Smith Warner in 1956.
She includes details most biographers would not. Perhaps every great man should have his biography written through the eyes of a child!