I never knew that there were other Fairbankses, much less one that was an author and an artist. The bio of the stepdaughter sounds like it’s worthy of its own book.
My name is Kelley Smoot Garrett and I was Letitia Fairbanks’ stepdaughter.
My father, Harold (“Hal”) Nibley Smoot, grandson of Senator Reed Smoot (R. Utah, 1903-1933), first met Letitia in about 1938. Fate played a hand in having my father be the stand-in for his sick brother, resulting in his escorting Letitia to a ball in Salt Lake City, where she’d journeyed to be with her maternal grandparents. My father in his Randolf-Macon Academy uniform cut a striking figure at 6’4” and charmed Letitia, seven years his senior. This very pertinent age difference was unknown to me until the late 1980s, after my father died. Only then was Letitia forced to reveal that information, and be traitor to the ingrained Hollywood maxim, “A woman who’d tell her age would tell anything!” due to the persistent inquiries of a hospital admitting nurse, who demanded answers to such impertinent questions. “If only…
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