Less than a week after Noel returned to us, he's off again -- and this time on a somber errand. His stepfather's father died last night after a short hospitalization. The memorial service is Wednesday in Nashville.
Alexander McDowell Smith, a retired stockbroker and an avid follower of the markets, was gracious enough to welcome me and our children into his extended family. He and his wife had no biological grandchildren, and so they embraced the children of their son's wife. They were generous always. I'm glad I got to know them in the years before illness began to claim their vitality.
Archer's middle name is Alexander, after Noel's stepfather, Alexander McDowell Smith, Jr. -- and therefore after his stepgrandfather as well. We were proud to carry on that name for them. This is a picture of the three generations of Alexanders, taken at Christmastime 2001. We'll miss you, Pops.