B. Smith—sweet lady full of grace
Florence Anthony | 2/27/2020, midnight
A gracious and beautiful woman, who always treated me with kindness and a smile, television, restaurateur and lifestyle expert Barbara Elaine Smith passed away on Saturday, Feb. 22, at age 70, due to complications from Alzheimer’s disease. A pioneer in every field that she ever touched, Smith started modeling in the 1960s and in 1976, became the first African American model to grace the cover of Mademoiselle magazine. From there, Smith broke into the restaurant business and opened a chain of her namesake restaurant B. Smith’s which had eateries in New York City, Washington D.C. and Sag Harbor in the posh Hamptons. I met my friend Barbara at her NYC restaurant on the corner of 47th Street and Eighth Avenue in the early 1980s. For many years, it was my after-work office. I had some of the best times of my life at B. Smith’s. When the Sag Harbor location opened, I loved to sit by the water and watch the fabulous yachts. My favorite dish was the Potato Leek Pancake. Whenever I wanted to set a table, I watched Barbara’s show “Lifestyles With B. Smith,” or looked through her magazine for ideas. I actually knew that Barbara was in the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s long before she and her husband, Dan Gasby, announced it, but I never said or wrote a word about it. She will truly be missed. Rest in peace Sweet Lady. Heaven has another ange.
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