Tag Archives: James Smoak

Clarifying a 2013 Entry

16 Sep

Recently I received an e-mail from Gloria de la Guardia de Alfaro, younger sister
of Olga Guardia de Smoak, pointing out her sister was married to James Smoak
from South Carolina and not to Pavel Smok. I responded she was correct and the error reinforced why the name of this blog was “woollywesterneye.”

Today, September 15, I re-acquainted myself with the February 2013 entry; I can easily see why Mrs. del Alfaro might object. The offending information read:

“The gossip from the Competition was that this energetic, slender, tiny-boned woman from Panama, with her sharp-nosed oval face was not only their interpreter, but the wife of the Czech juror, Pavel Smok. The different spelling went unnoticed in the heat and steamy excitement at that first competition in Jackson, partly because no one wanted to investigate, partly because there was no reason for anything official to bear Olga’s name at the time, nor the fact that this Vassar graduate listed New Orleans, Louisiana as her home and base of operations.”

Note: following Smoak’s name, I wrote “The different spelling went unnoticed….
partly because no one wanted to investigate….” I probably should have clarified at the time that Olga was married to James Smoak, but did not.

This entry is intended to acknowledge the partial ambiguity of my prose and the sisterly care demonstrated by Mrs.de Alfaro, a distinguished Spanish-language writer, active in PEN in South America. Unfortunately, for mono-linguists like me, her works have never been translated. The two Smoak sisters are tri-lingual; Olga added Russian as a fourth. –

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