Exile's End: A Memoir (2024)

Table of Contents

Exile's End

Holy Innocents

Brooklyn Prep

The University of Vermont

General Cover Underwriters

The Army

The Night March

The Russian choice

The Army Language School

The Gilded Cage

The Long Drive Home



Bad Kreuznach

New York

Buenos Aires

Back to Argentina in 1966.


The Threefold Society

The German side

The Argentine side


Adios to Argentina


The Anthroposophical Society

The Free Education Fund



The Dream

An Important Choice

Buenos Aires

Seminario Pedagógico Waldorf

Lai Reborn

Fraud Prevention



Exile's End

On-Line Activities

Other Books

Exile's End –

a Memoir

by Frank Thomas Smith

Anthroposophical Publications

Fremont, Michigan USA

Exile’s End – A Memoir

By Frank Thomas Smith

© 2024 Frank Thomas Smith


No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except as permitted by U.S. copyright law. For permission requests, contact the publisher at:


Published by

Anthroposophical Publications

Fremont, Michigan USA


Anthroposophical Publications has no responsibility for the persistence or accuracy of URLs for external or third-party Internet Websites referred to in this publication and does not guarantee that any content on such Websites is, or will remain, accurate or appropriate.

First edition

Printed in the United States of America

Exile's End ...

a Memoir

by Frank Thomas Smith

Exile's End

My faraway home is a land of lovers.

A greeting there is no touch of the hand,

No nod of the head, no Guten Tag, Herr ...

In that distant land my friends all embrace me

And kiss me and tell me: Estás en tu casa.

A cleansing wind blows in from the Pampas,

It swirls even now in the streets of my mind ...

… to be continued.

In order to make an intelligent choice, or even a stupid one, you have to have reached a certain age, not necessarily a legal age, but at least one which allows thinking to function. On the other hand, according to some, including myself, your spirit exists both before birth and after death. And during the time between death and the future birth you train for the big moment, which includes choosing your future parents. If your future parents live in Brooklyn, NY as mine did, you will necessarily be born there — as I was. This implies that I made my first choice (possibly influenced by previous events and choices, intelligent or stupid) before I was even born. The way things turned out it was a very good choice. My parents were neither rich nor poor, originally working class, but after my father somehow became the U.S. sales representative for a Cuban tobacco company (before Castro), we at least approached middle class. When Castro took over Cuba the company lost its tobacco source, but the owners had moved their money and themselves to Florida. We stayed in Brooklyn and my father traveled a lot seeking tobacco in Mexico, and South and Central America. I had no sisters or brothers, don't know why. Neither my parents nor other relatives of that generation were intellectuals, nor did they have much faith in education, which they had lacked, having gone to work before finishing high school. So, they left me on my own in that respect.

What follows is a description of choices I have made during my life on earth. I have sometimes wondered to what extent they are strictly true. You may see what I mean by that from what follows. The descriptions are not necessarily or completely true, for memory is never exact and egotism tends to bend events to favor oneself.

I was born on October 23, 1932, in Brooklyn, New York, to Mabel Johnson and Alfred Smith. Mabel was born in New York City to Mabel McGlynn, of Irish extraction, and Harry Johnson, born in Norway with a Norwegian name later anglicized as Harry Johnson — known in the Lower East Side of Manhattan as Dutch Harry. There is some doubt concerning my father's place of birth. I, and everyone else, assumed it was in the United States, but when my cousin Barbara investigated the family tree, she concluded that he had been born in England and arrived in the U.S. as a two-year-old infant. Both his parents — Gertrude Wellman and Francis Smith — were English immigrants. My grandfather became a captain in the New York national guard during the Second World War, something a working-class Brit like him could never have dreamed of becoming back on the old sod. I can still see the large photo of him in his captain's uniform on their living room wall.

My name at birth was Francis Smith. (I have a baptismal certificate to prove it.) When an adult and for a while a student of astrology, I worried if I was really a Scorpio, October 23rd being on the cusp of Libra. I asked my mother exactly when I was born, and she told me nine-thirty P.M. in Greenpoint Hospital. That made me definitely a Scorpio because 9:30 P.M. Brooklyn time was already 0:30 A.M October 24 Greenwich Mean Time. What a relief! I mean who wants to be a Libra who can't make up his mind about anything, especially choices.

You may have noticed that Francis Smith is not the name I use as the author of this memoir. I owe you an explanation if you've gotten this far. When I was about fourteen years old, my father took me on a business trip to Havana, Cuba, for which I needed a passport, for which I needed a birth certificate. I went to the Board of Health, where they keep such documents. I told the lady who attended to me that I was born on October 23, 1932, in Greenpoint Hospital, Brooklyn and I wanted a copy of my birth certificate. After having retreated to the inner sanctum of files, she came back to me and said that on that date only a baby boy Smith was born. I guess they forgot to register my name, it happens sometimes. What did you say your name is?

I saw an opportunity. I never liked having Francis for a name, for it sounded exactly like the girl's name, Frances. Everyone called me Frank or Frankie anyway. Also, it was only a year or two after World War Two and my hero was my uncle Tom, who had been a sergeant in the army having fought from Africa through Italy to victory. I told the lady that my name was Frank Thomas Smith. The lady yawned, put a paper in her typewriter and typed me out a cool birth certificate, signed, stamped, sealed and handed over. Thus, Baby boy Smith became Frank Thomas Smith. Good choice.

Holy Innocents

When reading the following event, you may think, What's the big deal here? The choice was obvious. Nowadays maybe, but please understand that way back then morality mores were different. Clark Gable caused a sensation when he said, I don't give a damn, Scarlet, in Gone With the Wind. Sex was unseen and unheard in movies; even double beds couldn't be shown because it implied that people of the opposite sex slept together, let alone same-sex couples, who were unmentionable. Furthermore, I had been brought up a Roman Catholic. My parents were far from practicing, they preferred to sleep in their double bed to going to mass Sunday mornings. But my Aunt Gertie decided to save my soul before it was too late. She dragged me to mass every Sunday and Holy Days of Obligation. I also had to attend religious instruction for First Communion. I'd had it drummed into me that messing around with sex was seriously sinful and dangerous to body and soul — although there was little opportunity for playtime with the opposite sex because girls were even more terrified than boys of mortal damnation, also-known-as eternity in hell.

Ironically, it was Bill Desmond who started the whole thing, probably because he was older and more interested in sex stuff than the rest of the kids. It wasn’t that we weren’t interested, it’s just that we hadn’t realized how interested we were until Bill brought it up. Bill called a meeting at the basem*nt entrance of the last building in the row of apartments we all lived in on East 22nd Street in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn. The entrance led down a short flight of steps into the basem*nt, so if we sat on the steps, we couldn’t be seen by grownups passing by, although hardly any passed by there anyway. There were Bill and Simon and me: the boys, and Muriel, Miriam and Janet: the girls. Muriel was born sexy, not that she was sexy, but she was very interested in sex. Like when we played our brand of Leap Frog, when one kid would stand back against the wall and the next kid would bend over and put his or her shoulder against his or her waist and the others would form a line by putting their heads under the ass and between the legs of the kid in front until a line of five or six bent-over kids was formed that looked like a giant worm caught on a hook. Then the first kid of the other team would run and leap up over the line and land as far up on the worms back as possible. Then the next until if all of the opposing team was able to jump on the worm and not fall off and the worm didn’t break, the worm won; if it did break under the pressure the opposing team won. Our parents thought it was good clean fun. Whenever I got to stick my head under Muriel’s ass, she started to squirm around on my neck and, if the game lasted long enough, wet my collar. What a smell, wow! But she was homely and had braces on her teeth. Miriam was Puerto Rican, at least her parents were, and she was born there. She was sexy too, but she was scared sh*tless of her father, who would have beaten her to an inch of her life if he ever heard what we were up to. She was kind of pretty, but her nose was too big.

Janet was different, dark, beautiful and shy and we were all secretly in love with her. I say secretly because no boy at that age would dare to admit that he had anything more than a passing interest in girls. You know how it is. Janet kept still when your head was under her ass and she didn’t wiggle around when she jumped on your back either, like Muriel did.

Bill had the habit of scratching his pimples when he was nervous. He scratched his ass, too, which meant that he probably had pimples there as well. His proposal was simple, direct and exhilarating. He wanted to look at the girls’ sex organs; in exchange, they could look at ours. (He also informed us that Chinese girls puss*es were horizontal, whereas white girls' puss*es were vertical.) We all sort of sat there with our mouths hanging open, turning various shades of pink. But no one said no, so Bill went on. We should think of some place to go, like one of the apartment house cellars (he had one in mind) and just look. He made it sound scientific. Simon, to everyone’s surprise, was the first to agree, albeit monosyllabically: When? Bill, who had never said a kind word to Simon until that moment, patted him on the shoulder. Soon, he said, right now if you want. This was the moment when I had to choose — to risk eternity in hell in exchange for a glimpse of some female puss*es — one in particular. I chose the glimpse. (whew!)

I don’t want to go into no cellar, Janet said demurely. What did she mean — that she didn’t want to do it at all, or she only didn’t want to do it in a cellar? I wanted to say something so they wouldn’t hear my heart beating, but I couldn’t think of anything, so I just stared at Janet’s knees, pressed firmly together, imagining what wonders lay north of them.

It don’t have to be no cellar, Muriel said. Light’s no good anyway.

We could take a flashlight, Bill insisted.

Your parents both work, Miriam, Muriel, who didn’t like the cellar idea much either, said. How about your place?

Oh no, Miriam gulped, my father would kill me if he found out.

Why should he find out?

Leave her alone if she don’t want to ... Simon began.

I don't not want to, just not in my place, Miriam said and blushed scarlet under her olive skin.

I’ll think of something, Bill offered. The question is if you all want to. He looked at the girls one by one, taking it for granted that we boys certainly wanted to. The only girl who hadn’t agreed emphatically was Janet, but she was the most important one, possessing the tropical Shangri-La between her legs that we all wanted to examine, if only from a respectable distance. I don’t know, she said. I gotta think about it.

What about right here Simon said eagerly, now?

Are you crazy? Bill admonished and punched him on the same shoulder he had fondly patted a minute before. Any one of those windows could open — he pointed upward with his thumb at four stories of apartments above us — and we’d be seen. Shut your stupid trap if you can’t say nothing intelligent.

I gotta think about it, Janet repeated and stood up from the step she’d been sitting on and smoothed out her cute little skirt. (Girls wore skirts then, remember?) I gotta go home now."

Me too, Miriam said, and followed Janet around to the front of the building. The rest of us sat there a while deep in dirty thoughts, until Muriel, realizing she was the only girl left, jumped up and yelled, Hey, wait for me, and ran after them.

Bill sneezed three times hard and held his head. Jeez, I got a headache.

The next morning, Saturday, Simon rang my bell at eight o’clock. I was up already; in fact, I woke up at six o'clock and couldn’t get back to sleep for thinking about what we were planning and if anything would come of it. My parents were sleeping, and my father yelled: Who the hell is that? I told him it was only Simon and I had to go out. He grumbled something and went back to sleep.

I couldn’t hardly sleep all night, Simon said as we ran down the three flights of stairs. Do you think the girls will do it?

Do what? I was trying to seem calm about it.

"You know, it, what Bill said."

How should I know? Then, after letting Simon suffer a while, They seemed pretty hot to go, though. At least Muriel and Miriam.

What do you think we should do?

About what?

About finding out whether they’re gonna do it.

Ask them, I guess.

Yeah, Simon grinned. Should we go ring their bells?

Nah, that’d be suspicious. They’ll come out. It’s Saturday.

What about Bill?

"What about him?

Does he have to know?

It was his idea.

Yeah, but he’s a pain in the ass.

And he’ll bust our asses if we try to do it without him.

That convinced Simon that Bill couldn’t be avoided, so we went to his apartment and rang the bell. His mother opened the door: Yeah?

Can Bill come out? I asked her.

Bill’s sick, I think he’s got the flu or somethin', though I don’t know how he could have the flu in summer.

That was too bad, but I never saw a happier kid than Simon. Actually, I was glad too, because Bill was a pain in the ass, although he sometimes had good ideas. We hung around for an hour or so until the other kids started coming out. We kept by ourselves though, like we had a secret, which we did. Finally, Miriam appeared.

Should we ask her if she wants to do it alone? Simon asked.

Nah, she’ll never do it alone. Let’s ask her to get Muriel and Janet.

Simon ran up to her before she could get involved in something with the other kids and said, Hey, Miriam, how about gettin' hold of Janet and Muriel? She didn’t ask why, she knew. She ran to Muriel’s building first and about five minutes later we saw the two of them running to Janet’s building, and after another five minutes the three of them came sashaying out arm in arm. Simon and I put our hands in our pockets and walked towards them, not directly of course, kind of diagonally, and at the last minute we swerved as though we’d just thought of something and intercepted them.

Hey, Simon said, his face all red. How about doin' it? which was probably the worst thing he could have said.

"Doing what?" Janet said, looking at me instead of Simon with her big black eyes and throwing her hair back. God, she was beautiful.

Ahr ... what Simon means is doing what we talked about yesterday.

Where’s Bill? Muriel asked, looking like she wanted to drop her panties right then and there.

Bill’s sick, can’t come, Simon explained anxiously, but that don't matter, we’re here.

That makes us three to you two, Muriel said, probably disappointed at having one less pecker to look at.

Good, Janet said. "I’m not about to show anything

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