Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Portrait By Parker Dulany

If ever there was someone easier to paint than Suzanne Mallouk or Ann Magnuson, it was Peter Nolan Smith. I think Peter is the Jack London of our scene. If you have never read any of his short stories, you are missing out of a time gone by on the innocent dark side. My favorite is "The Rule of Mr. Klaus", which isn't really a story but a collection of little vignettes of the vanished NYC of the late 1970's.

I moved to the city in 1979 and I immediately connected with his images and words in this piece. I saw Peter at one of the various club 'reunions' and we spent a long time at the bar, of course, trading stories of the nightclub shenanigans and the mischief that we did out of boredom or cash; he told me of growing up in rough Boston, 'procuring' cars and other various high-jinks and we ended up talking about our childhoods.

I told him how one day when I was 13 my mother came to me and told me a story about how after all this time that my 'real' father, not the father that I lived with, wanted to meet me and then she put me on a plane to Dallas and my 'real' father and some French lady picked me up in baggage holding one of those placards the limo drivers hold with my name and his last name, (I guess my real name), on it. Straight from the airport we went to Dealey Plaza,then I learned how to hit a golf ball and I fired a pistol. All on the first day.

Then a dinner in total silence, because I didn't know what to say and neither did the real dad. Peter looks at me and said, "You win, that is terrifying!"

This nightclub legend and Boston thug had a soft heart.

Till the next reunion Peter!

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