• R.I.P. Linell Chenault Smith, 90, in July, illustrator & daughter of Og

    From Lenona@21:1/5 to All on Thu Sep 29 15:21:24 2022

    Linell Chenault Smith, an author, horse enthusiast and last surviving daughter of poet Ogden Nash, dies

    By Frederick N. Rasmussen
    Baltimore Sun
    Aug 20, 2022

    First half (it's a long one):

    Linell Chenault Smith, whose life was defined by literature, art, music and her love for her thoroughbred horses who also edited and illustrated books by and about her late poet father Ogden Nash, died of myasthenia gravis and complications from
    pneumonia July 28 at her Sparks farm. She was 90.

    “Linell was an extremely classy woman, a sweetheart, and just a great person, and she was one of my first clients,” said Dr. Michael J. Harrison, a Butler equine veterinarian, who has cared for her horses since the 1980s, and was also a thoroughbred
    breeding and racing colleague.

    “People today can be rather abrupt and driven by self-serving reasons and they don’t treat others with courtesy and respect,” said Dr. Harrison, former president of the Maryland Horse Breeders Association. “Linell was the epitome of graciousness
    and class and an example I wish younger people would follow.”

    Douglas M. Parker, the author of “Ogden Nash: The Life and Works of America’s Laureate of Light Verse,” described Ms. Smith’s personality as “elegant but down to earth, and that’s a combination you don’t often find.”

    The former Linell Chenault Nash, daughter of Frederick Ogden Nash, and his wife, Frances Leonard Nash, a homemaker and patron of the arts, was born in New York City, and later moved with her family to a home on Rugby Road in Guilford.

    She attended the Bryn Mawr School and graduated in 1950 from Miss Porter’s School in Farmington, Connecticut, where her roommate was Lee Bouvier, who was Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy’s sister.

    “As children, she and her sister, Isabel Nash, were treated to a front row seat to their father’s linguistic creativity, from listening to his early drafts of humorous verse to watching him work with Kurt Weill and Vernon Duke at the family piano,
    creating such Broadway melodies as ‘Speak Low’ and ‘One Touch of Venus,’” wrote a daughter, Frances Rider Smith of Sparks, in a biographical profile of her mother.

    It was through American operatic soprano and Metropolitan Opera star, Rosa Ponselle, who lived in the Greenspring Valley and who had recruited her for operatic singing in Italy in 1950, that Ms. Smith met and fell in love with John Marshall Smith, a
    Baltimorean and banker, who later became an insurance broker and founder of Marshall Smith & Co.

    The couple married in 1951 and later moved to Riderwood, before settling into a farm on Belfast Road in Sparks, where they raised their three daughters.

    “She was an avid reader, introducing her children to the world of Tolkien and T.H. White in the 1960s as she read aloud to them almost nightly — as her father and mother had read aloud to her and her sister,” according to her daughter’s profile.

    She was able to weave her love of children, horses, literature and her father, becoming a successfully published writer in her own right.

    Ms. Smith first turned to children’s literature, and in 1959 illustrated and published her first book, “Molly’s Miracles.”.She published “Parsifal the Poddley” under the name Nell Chenault the next year.

    All of her books were published by Little, Brown & Co. of Boston.

    “Parsifal Rides the Time Wave,” was published in 1962; “Miranda and the Cat” in 1963; “The Auction Pony in 1965; and finally, “Who’s Who In the Zoo,” which was done in conjunction with Baltimore photographer Sally Foster, in 1981. The
    book featured an introduction to zoo animals by Ms. Smith with photos by Ms. Foster.

    Ms. Smith developed a deep appreciation and respect for Arabian horses through her friendship with Carl and Jane Asmus, who introduced her to the story of Witez II, a Polish Arabian stallion who survived World War II in Poland. Gen. George S. Patton Jr.,
    who commanded the Third Army, and was a devoted and accomplished equestrian, had the horse sent to safety in the United States.

    Captivated by the story, Ms. Smith traveled to Poland to research the story, and along the way encountered and interviewed those who remembered the animal. The research resulted in “And Miles to Go: The Biography of a Great Arabian Horse, Witez II,”
    that was published in 1967.

    Ms. Smith illustrated three of Mr. Nash’s books: “The Christmas That Almost Wasn’t” in 1957; “Custard the Dragon” in 1959; and “Custard the Dragon and the Wicked Knight” in 1961, all published by Little, Brown & Co...


    Most of what I posted in 2012:

    (photos and covers - this includes wedding pictures!)

    (ceremony marking the Ogden Nash 37-cent stamp; this includes a photo
    of Smith)

    (more covers)


    Molly's Miracle, Little 1959.
    ("Story of Molly, an old mare, who finds a young horse which she names
    Dawn. A lost race novel of sorts, as Dawn is from a forgotten valley
    with a group of Eohippus, Dawn horses.")

    (Under name Linell Nash) Miranda and the Cat, Little, 1963.
    ("Its hard to make friends with an alley cat. Especially a thin, battle-scarred, terribly proud, alley cat with sharp claws and a deep
    distrust of anything that moves, people included. Miranda loved cats.
    She was also very lonely, and when she discovered where the Cat lived
    in the alley she was determined it should be her friend. Nightly she
    visited the Cat's corner with scraps and milk and each time his cold
    green eyes gleamed suspiciously at her from the shadows. Then one
    night there were no eyes shining in the dark, but a sad bundle of fur
    and bruises at Miranda's feet. How Miranda's care and affection were
    repaid makes a story which will appeal to all young people with a love
    for animals.")

    The Auction Pony, Little, 1965.
    ("The story of a boy and the small, unmanageable Welsh Pony his
    grandfather buys him. The boy's patient training turns the pony into a champion.")

    And Miles to Go, Little, 1967, 2nd edition published as And Miles
    to Go: The Biography of a Great Arabian Horse, Witez II, Arabian Horse
    Trust (Westminster, CO), 1986.
    ("Witez II, purportedly the most magnificent Arabian horse ever, was
    born in Poland in 1938 and survived the Nazi, Russian and American
    invasions. This is his story--a gallant one--told with irrepressible
    sentiment. Any youthful interest aroused by the general aura of the
    stable will be squelched by the appearance of the young twins Stacia
    and Stasik, both of whom utter only deathless prose. Stacia and her
    Babka (grandmother) are both clairvoyant, so that the grim future is
    always agonizingly clear. There are some interesting scenes which
    present the plight of Poland first under the Germans, then caught
    between the Russians and the Americans, but the alternately pedantic, rhetorical, and tearful style obstructs appreciation. Witez never
    emerges as more. than a sweet-tempered, adored specimen, even after
    the sudden (tragic) disappearance of the pompous twins., as one after
    another human falls under the spell of his beauty.")

    Who's Who in the Zoo, photographs by Sally Foster, Oak Tree
    Publications (La Jolla, CA), 1981.
    ("An introduction to the animals of the zoo using partial pictures and
    rhyming descriptions to entice the reader to turn the page for a full-
    page photo of the animal.")

    (Selector with Isabel Eberstadt) I Wouldn't Have Missed It:
    Selected Poems of Ogden Nash, introduction by
    Anthony Burgess, A. Deutsch (London, England), 1983.

    Candy Is Dandy: The Best of Ogden Nash, introduction by Anthony
    Burgess, 1985

    (Selector and author of introduction) Ogden Nash, Loving Letters
    from Ogden Nash: A Family Album, Little,
    Brown (Boston, MA), 1990.

    (With Sandra Magsamen) The Story of the Heart, Rizzoli
    International Publications (New York, NY), 2001.
    ("A timeless tale of self-discovery, inspiration, and empowerment, The
    Story of the Heart playfully and poignantly explores the many facets
    of love. This irresistible volume follows the Heart on its journey to
    find its place in the world. From uncertain beginnings, the Heart soon
    finds answers wherever it travels-- in the beauty of a small heart-
    shaped petal of an aromatic poppy, in the kiss of a just-married
    couple, in the memory of a lost friend, in a bold moment of
    adventure-- and in doing so, discovers its great capacity to love.")

    Under pseudonym Nell Chenault:

    Parsifal the Poddley, Little, 1960.

    Parsifal Rides the Times Wave, Little, 1962.
    ("While in the hospital recovering from an accident, Colin MacNeill is befriended by a strange green creature named Parsifal who claims he is
    a Poddley whose job is to make Colin happy again. Colin lost his
    beloved collie and Parsifal takes Colin back in time to meet Robert
    the Bruce in Scotland and a young collie dog.")

    "Illustrator of three other books by father, Ogden Nash: The Christmas
    That Almost Wasn't, Custard the Dragon, and Custard the Dragon and the
    Wicked Knight."

    Reader review of "The Christmas that Almost Wasn't":

    "The Christmas that Almost Wasn't is a poem for children of all ages,
    the story of Nicholas Knock, a seven-year-old boy, saving the kingdom
    of Lullapat from a dark conspiracy. The king's nephew Evilard has
    locked up the king and outlawed Christmas, and it is up to Nick to
    save the day.

    "This is a beautiful book to read aloud, being fully in poetic form
    and chock full of unforgettable images. 'The flour was unground into
    wheat at the mill, for the river turned round and flowed back up the
    hill. The spots on the leopard went rolling away - and were captured
    for marbles by urchins at play.' "

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