By Louisa Finn, fourth generation Smiley family member
Episode #1: “Love controls all things”
When I first read one of my Great-Grandmother Effie’s letters in the Mohonk Archive, over a year ago, I was struck by an overwhelming sense of the softness and power of the language she used to communicate with her family. It was as though my ear was hypnotized by the sound of her words, making evident what seemed to be missing or lost from much of the communication of our present time. Most prominent was the difference between the use of “thee” and “thy” to express “you” and “your.” A gentle respect and love, a deference, is implicit in these terms.