He Can’t Win For Losing
Laurel Leader
Dec, 1962

To the Editor,

Almost every day in any newspaper one may read someone has won a divorce.” The article is certain to continue and state the material items “awarded”, neglecting the fact that the breakup of marriage is a loss of love and social prestige.
(Ask the winners if you don’t believe me.)

“Winning a divorce” puts me to mind of some of my own winnings.

  1. I argued with my boss and won unemployment.
  2. My children misbehave and win a spanking.
  3. Autoists drink and speed and as a reward win eternal sleep somewhere in a great highway in the sky, policed by a cop who won a bullet in his chest for doing his job. That’s all the winning we can afford today.

Milton J. Smith Sr.


Who Cares About Liz?
Laurel Leader
Dec, 1962

To the Editor,

Persons at the polls often vote against a principle or person and a candidate who under ordinary circumstances would have no chance of winning, is elected.

With this in mind I am about to suggest a novel way in which American movie-goers can serve a great American company.

It has been rumored the high costs of production and unfavorable publicity given Elizabeth Taylor have jeopardized the status of Twentieth Century, and if the picture Cleopatra is unsuccessful a fine company will fall.

My plan is simply this: See the picture and as you do; drop your ticket stub in the receptacle provided. Also drop a short note of protest.

How to word it? “I am seeing this picture for entertainment and to help serve a great company. I am not in sympathy with Elizabeth Taylor and will not see any picture she makes in the future.”

From Milton J. Smith Sr.


Laurel, Md.
3rd Place Contest.

In the past, only CBS Yankee rooters had the right to command respect for the playing ability of their chosen team. This year fans of Baltimore and Chicago proudly joined the Yankee fans. The Ameri­can League race, thanks to the Orioles and White Sox, has been a treat. Answer: They made it a fight instead of a cake-walk.

(Publisher’s note: This answer is in response to a contest Milton J. Smith Sr. entered.)


He’s Bothered by These Things

To the Editor,

Plenty of nothing in this world bothers me, such as:
    • Students who learn nothing.
People who speak and say nothing.
Persons who promise but deliver nothing.
People who think nothing of themselves and say nothing good about others.
People who sue. needlessly. They deserve nothing.
People who pay high taxes and claim they have nothing.
Would I change the world? Nothing doing. What would we have to talk about?

Milton J. Smith Sr.
Laurel, Md.


To the Editor,

Someday I am going to promote a party. The largest party ever. Invited to the extravaganza will be writers who sound off in Voice of the People.
The editor is invited as chaperone.

Regular readers will recognize the names of this strange society. And wouldn’t it be interesting to find out if Sheridan F. Smith is really 100 years old?

FURTHER, I’d be able to see if Irving Glass* wears glasses.

*Footnote. Mr. Glass did respond to this letter. He said he “would take great pleasure” in going to the party and “incidentally, Mr. Smith, I do wear glasses …”
Does R.L. Messenger work for Western Union?
Does Jesse Rushton rush uptown to park now?
Does Doris J. Mayer really believe Mother Murray will accept a one-way ticket to Russia? Mayer she will, but I Feel she won’t.

Milton J. Smith Sr.


Voice Party

To the Editor,

Promoting a party for the sake of having a party is no great feat. Therefore, my party for letter-writers will be held on Will-Reading Day, a little known Maryland holiday.

Old timers and historians may recall the first Will-Reading Day which took place in 1896 at Eliphalet Thomas’ farm. The “reading” of the will” left Marylanders with a large legacy. Incidentally, those who attend my party will leave richly rewarded.

Writers of letters to “Voice of the People” are particularly needed to pay tribute to Eliphalet Thomas. Known as The Great Deliberator, foes claimed he was The Great Againster. We shall see about that on Will-Reading Day.

ITS TRUE, Eliphalet Thomas was against many things but we must consider The Againsters do make a stand. It’s also true, those who voice no opinion or take no action are unsympathetic to society.

And say, Irving E. Glass, please bring your glasses as Hyman Pressman may wish to use them when he reads the will. If he will accept my invitation, of course.

Milton J. Smith Sr.


He Doesn’t Want To Be First
Jan 01,1963

To the Editor,

First is a desirable position. To be first is the goal of everyone. Teams desire to place first. Runners and racers want to be first. Inventors aspire to be first with new products or appliances.

Again, everyone wants to be first- except me. The last place I want
to be is first on the automobile death list. That’s why I let the other driver go first.


American Stupidity
Jan 01, 1963

To the Editor,

Immediately after each speech broadcast on radio or television by prominent people the newscasters come on the air and tell us what the speaker said. Americans, are we that stupid?

M.J.S. Sr.


Thinks His Boss One of Smartest
Jan 07,1963

To the Editor,

Yesterday my boss had to reprimand me for something I failed to do in my work The work I failed to do is now unimportant. It is important that he took me aside from my fellow employees and in a polite, friendly and firm voice let me know his position on the matter. His policy was made very clear to me and I accepted it because:

He is right; and
The manner in which he handled himself and me regard­ing the situation.

I think my boss is one of the smartest men I know. He knows that by loudly castigating me in front of my fellow workers I would have fought back, whether right or wrong.

His handling of this particular situation lends stature to his title, The Boss, and leaves me with my self-respect. What more can an employee ask?

Furthermore, his knowledge of human nature has left us friends and there will be no ill feeling between us. What more can an employer ask?

Milton J. Smith Sr.


Drivers’ Reactions As Years Go By
Jan 14, 1963

To the Editor,
Let’s study the reactions of drivers.
17 -year-old- Everybody get off the highway, I’m coming through.
27 -year-old- Everybody get off the highway to let a safe driver through.
37 -year-old- Everybody get off the highway, I’m not sure I can make it through.
47-year-old- Everybody get off the highway and I may make it through.
57-year-old- Everybody get off the highway, I’m not through.
67-year-old- Ten more years and I’ll be through.
77 -year-old- Life begins at 80.
87 -year-old- I thought I’d never get through.
97 -year-old- Sorry, no comment. No driver has ever lasted this long.


California City Needs Hoboes’ Help
Jan 18, 1963

To the Editor,

“Hoboes are supposedly different from tramps in that they have been known to work for a short period of time.

Now city officials in Ventura, Calif., need hoboes help to dispute a reclaiming effort on the pan of certain heirs to recover a 30-acre area which was donated for a camping place. The heirs claim the area was never used as a park. City officials claim it was so used.

The hoboes claim train tickets and expense back to Ventura. Of course this must be accompanied by a shorter work week. I’d like to claim the park and give it to the hoboes. No hobo is satisfied unless he has a jungle. Unlike the asphalt jungle we have heard about, hobo jungles very seldom hurt anyone, except the officials of Ventura, Calif.”
No Signature.


Jan 24, 1963

Dear Miss Poe,

Many thanks for presenting to the public the plans which are in progress for the building of a modem library in Laurel.

Although I am not a “crusader” I feel strongly about this subject for many more reasons than those I mentioned in my last letter.

Among these reasons is the fact that few persons would work under the clausual which prevails at our library. These dedicated women, always helpful and pleasant, are in my opinion doing work “above the call of duty.” Their ability to maintain composure and courtesy in the too small confines of their working area is remarkable.

I suspect it is a very trying experience for one who enjoys her work as a librarian to have to say “no” repeatedly in answer to requests for unavailable books.
And who likes no for an answer?

I also view with much discomfort the last two sentences of Miss Hage’s letter to
Mrs. Block; “You will hear from us again when there is further information.”

Please do not interpret my letters on this subject to mean that I believe it wise to rush headlong into building a library that in ten years would be inadequate. Vision is needed in foreseeing the needs of the future but inaction will create no future.

It’s been years since plans were made. Thus action is now imperative.
So, how about it friends, let’s get that library built!

Milton J. Smith Sr.
316 Gorman Ave.
Laurel, MD.



Dear Miss Poe,

The recent decision by the Mayor and City Council to remove three members from the Laurel Police is of great concern to most citizens . of Laurel. Mayor Harrison and the Council in their honest and sincere desire to keep taxes down have not considered many aspects of this situation.

Our increased crime rate tells us there is no such enjoyable position as an overstaffed police force in Laurel; or any other city in the world. Some cities are reduced to recruiting 19-year-olds for police duty.

Thankfully, we have a young police force which promises us men who will be with us many years. It’s a fact the average age of Laurel’ s policeman is 28 years. Thus we receive the services of mature men.

“No one gets a summons tonight unless it’s a case of murder,” a Baltimore policeman once said to me. He then went on to complain of long hours, no time off and being very tired.

When one considers that policemen appear in court on their own time and at their own expense one can readily perceive why tired policemen are in-efficient and often unwilling to do their job.

Laurel, by virtue of its geographical position, enjoys some of the finest police protection in the country. With Maryland State Police and Prince George’s County Police patrolling nearby and the Laurel Police on the’job it’s a big deterrent to criminal activities. If we desire a much greater increase in crime we need only cut police from any or all three of these law enforcement agencies.

In many dealings with the local police I have found them to be patient, understanding and very knowledgeable. And they still get the job done. Like any policeman who receives respect our police will give respect. Pity those persons who don’t for they are asking for trouble.

As to knowledge of his job we find our local force is very well educated. Under Chief Kaiser local officers attend many law enforce­ment schools. The benefits of this program are rewarding to the citizenry. In one case Officer James Harris was complimented by a Judge of Peoples Court on the knowledge he had of new laws. Thus, the educational program is evidendy paying off and it proves the money spent on that education is well spent.

The major part of the Mayor’s and Council’s argument seems to be salaries paid to policemen but I personally can voice no objection. Being a policeman is one of the few jobs where a person puts his life on the line every time he reports to work. How many persons are willing to take this step.

Concluding, we do not wish a Gestapo state, but if we have more police per person than the national average let us be thankful and be willing to pay the price. Laurel will cenainly grow and three more policemen may not be available when we need them.

Further, anytime you run a business and people rush to work for you somebody’s doing something right. And when the job is a dangerous one it proves good leadership.

Right on, Chief.

Sincerely, Milton J. Smith Sr.


Objects to Being Blocked by Bus
Dec, 1964

To the Editor,

Fellow drivers, we must unite! Let us gear to action, throw out our clutches and lurch forward recklessly. For this is the one way to move around the bus which is parked with its rear end many feet away from the curb.

As we unbuckle our seatbelts waiting for one traffic light to change three times, let us be reminded, “In your heart you know he’s right in front of you.”

Milton J. Smith Sr.


Needs Money for “SHORT ACCOUNT”
Dec 03, 1964

To the Editor,

A financially embarrassed man found a bag of money in a Maryland bank. He returned it and was told that the bank keeps the money though they don’t know to whom it belongs.

The explanation given: “It goes into our ‘cash-over and short account.”

Question: What’s the bank doing with such an account?
And are shortages and overages in one account?

If the bank retains this money, I hereby make claim for all money found east of the Mississippi. These funds will go into my ‘short account’ because I’m not familiar with overages.

Milton J. Smith Sr.


Thursday Feb 10, 1966


“I feel no sympathy for whoever lost big money on this most recent tragedy at Bowie.
Number 1: Why race at this time of year?

Number 2: Why not build fire-proof stables?

Why? Easy.
The’ greedy ones’ want to make a fast buck all the traffic will allow.
The hell with worrying about the health and welfare of the horses.

Where’s the S.P.C.A.? Where are the laws protecting dumb animals? This isn’t the first fire with great loss of blooded stock, and it won’t be the last. unless something is done to make ‘the greedy ones’ put forth enough money to properly house animals. and run them during milder weather.”

signed “Disturbed” *

*Footnote: Milton J. Smith Sr. informs us he did not write this letter.

He did respond however. As follows.


Thursday Feb 24, 1966


Dear “Disturbed”,
You certainly are “disturbed” as your unsympathetic letter recently proved. To quote you, “I feel no sympathy for whoever lost big money on the most recent tragedy at Bowie.”

Now, I’ll ask you? Have you ever seen the results of a stable fire?

Ever seen the carcasses of horses as they lay in the ruins? Have you ever seen grown men cry over a “poor dumb animal?” Have you ever heard a woman wail because a dead horse was the only living thing she loved?

In answer to your question, “Why race at this time of year?”

To gain tax money for the state of Maryland. (You are probably sympathetic to this reason. Otherwise, your state taxes would be higher.)

  1. We also race to keep horses in condition. It’s also expen­sive to put them on farms. Because there are more horses available they race less but again, they stay in condition. And all too often for long-shot players they run truer to form in other states because of this conditioning.
  2. Winter racing gives trainers and grooms jobs, too. Believe it, over 5,000 people remain employed in Maryland because we have winter racing.
  3. The northern racing season (summer and fall) ends in this state. If there were no winter racing those who wished to could draw unemployment compensation if they chose. But, racetrackers are hardy people and wherever there is a race, they work; seven days a week I might add.Horses stabled anywhere are subject to a fire.

Your second question, “Why not build fire-proof stables?”

Again, I’ll ask you? Why don’t you have everything you need or want?
The simple answer is MONEY. Or, are you one of “the greedy ones”
who has all you need or want?

No official of Maryland racing desires a fire at any racetrack. No racehand does, as a fire endangers his life if he is present; his livelihood if he loses his horses. You must consider the fact that Maryland was one of the first states to have horse racing. Therefore, our tracks are older than those in other states. Truthfully, the barns are old, wooden and often fire-traps. But each year finds more stringent methods of fire safety in force.

Our racing officials by lack of foresight have been lax, but there is a new era upcoming. It is not impossible that all racing in Maryland will take place at one site, mainly Laurel, within the next ten years. Should this occur, Maryland will advance itself with one of the world’s most modem racing plants. Then, and only then, will ALL barns be fireproof. Each racetrack, as it now stands, cannot tear down present barns and rebuild fireproof barns. Unless YOU’VE got the money.

Your third question, “Where’s the S.P.C.A.?” is pointless.
The cost of Thoroughbred horses is such that they receive the best care available. There are few cases of cruelty to these animals. When there is cruelty shown you may rest assured the horsemen, or Thoroughbred Racing Protective Bureau will deal with the culprit. Their penalties are much stiffer than any meted out by state courts.

Further, there is an unwritten law that all racetrackers are behooved to respect. It is, “The horses come first.” That they actually do; is to the racetrackers’ credit.

Milton J. Smith Sr.
411 Prince George St.


Laurel Leader
August 18, 1966

Dear Editor,
It’s heartening to view the aggressive leadership of Laurel Race Course and Laurel’s political figures. By making the race track . facilities available for functions other than racing. Certainly, all officials involved ought to be commended for their foresight.

Most race tracks lie cheerless and useless after their racing dates. This is the rule; while Laurel Race Course by its actions becomes an exception. It is hoped the town organizations will support the programs offered at the track.

Perhaps it is needless, but I’d like to indicate that expositions,
conventions, etc., will boost the economy of the Laurel area.
The success of the Jaycees convention last spring is proof Laurel is a desirable location. They will be back next year, incidentally.

The availability of Laurel’ s track by its proximity to major highways is favorable.
Its large parking area and beautiful clubhouse will prove adequate.

One need not be clairvoyant to visualize the magnitude of the track’ 5 program.
This town’s slogan should be, “There’s always action in Laurel.”

There are numerous towns and cities in this country named Laurel,
but there’s no doubt that Laurel, Md., is by far the best known and probably the most liked. Though there are some undesirable situa­tions present, one cannot fail to perceive the potentiality of Laurel Race Course’s actions.

One question I’d ask of Laurd Race Course officials is the feasibility of athletic programs in the infield of the track?

Milton J. Smith Sr.
411 Prince George St.
Laurel, Md.


Laurel Leader
August 18, 1966

Dear Editor,

Laurelites have a pride in their town. However, it concerns me the little regard they have for their Mayor in matters financial.

Although, it’s true our Mayors have not had to devote full time to the job, the task is growing as the town blossoms. It is entirely reasonable to expect to be paid for one’s efforts but our Mayor receives a mere $300 a year for his services.

As yet we’ve heard no complaints from that office about the pay. It surely must be due to good sportsmanship on the present and former mayors’ part. Certainly our progressive towns people can appreciate the need for an increase to our major official. Perhaps readers of this column are interested in voicing their views on this subject. They might also state the amount they think is fair. How about $3,000 per annum?

Milton J. Smith Sr.


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