Smart Charles Allen

Charles Allen Smart Novelist During the late 1940s and early 1950s, Ohio University hosted a writer-in-residence. Charles Allen Smart was a noted author when he started at O.U. His biggest claim to fame was his book “RFD”. This was an autobiographical work about the time when city boy Smart inherited a farm in Chillicothe, Ohio. The book was not written in the tradition sense, with a plot and character development. There were many characters in this book, but they never developed. This was more of a snapshot of farm life in Midwest America during the 1930s. The book was very well received in middle 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 was the commanding officer of an LST (Landing Ship Tank). He saw a lot of action in Normandy, Okinawa, and New Guinea campaigns. During his time at Ohio University, one of Smart’s duties was to write a historical drama. The play was called “The Green Adventure”. It was written to coincide with Athens’ 150th anniversary. The story is about the hardships of the founding of Athens and the first university in the Northwest Territory. There were familiar historical characters mentioned in the play, such as Dr. Manasseh Cutler, General Rufus Putnam, and even Johnny Appleseed, but also the story follows the life of Dr. Perkins and his family as they move to Athens and create a civilized life in the wilderness and assist in the start of a university. The play made its debut on February 18, 1954. Eight more performances followed. The play was a big success. If anyone has any memories or comments about Charles Allen Smart, please drop me a note. I will add it to my files. John Halley jhalley@athensmessenger.com

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

Charles Allen Smart was a noted author when he started at OU. His biggest claim to fame was his book “RFD”, an autobiographical work about the time when city-boy Smart inherited a farm in Chillicothe, Ohio. The book was not written in the tradition sense, with a plot and character development. There were many characters in this book, but they never developed. It served as more of a snapshot of farm life in Midwest America during the 1930s. The book was very well received in middle 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 was the commanding officer of an LST (Landing Ship Tank). He saw a lot of action in Normandy, Okinawa, and New Guinea campaigns.

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

The play made its debut on Feb. 18, 1954. It was widely successful with eight more performances following the first.

If anyone has any memories or comments about Charles Allen Smart, please drop me a note. I will add it to my files.

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