Conversations with Papa Charlie: A Memory of Charles E. Smith

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Capital Books, 2000 - Family & Relationships - 119 pages
At first David Bruce wanted to write a traditional biography of his remarkable grandfather, a Russian Jew who immigrated as a child to America in 1911 and built a real estate empire here. But that format seemed to violate "Papa Charlie's" impatience with verbosity. So David adopted the more accessible vignette style to pass along his grandfather's singular humor, wisdom, and enthusiasm. Now in this charming little book, readers will feel they are sitting at the knee of this kindly Jewish grandfather, listening to stories about his amazing life and to gentle advice for succeeding in your own. Along the way, you'll learn about the importance of family devotion and the care of each of its members, responsibility for and generosity to community and to those who have less, good nutrition and a regular health regimen, devotion to religion, and some very savvy business tips - all spiced with memorable Yiddish expressions. If you never knew your own grandfather, or are missing him, this book will instruct, inspire, and soothe your ruffled feathers.

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Conversations with Papa Charlie made me miss my grandfather and the stories he used to tell me. Growing up in the Washington area, Charles E. Smith was a familiar name to me. I always thought it was a made up corporate entity. It's nice to see that Charles Smith was a real person, and not a heartless corporate giant. I recommend this book to all those who are looking for a little guidance in life, and for anyone who just wants to read some heartwarming stories. --A reader from Bethesda, MD
Every day, we hear names of business giants such as Bill Gates or John D. Rockefeller. But what we don't hear is the story of what makes or made these men who they were. How they lived. Who they loved. What inspired them. What they ate for breakfast.
Conversations With Papa Charlie gave me a real look behind the scenes at Charles E. Smith one of the biggest names in real estate. I discovered who Charles E. Smith really was his successes, his failures and lessons not just for business but for life.
It is a magical and charming memoir that I would recommend for anyone of any age who wants to be inspired. --A reader from Washington, DC

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