Richard Eyer Smith's Excellent Adventures in Paradise

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


In the late 1960's, I had the thrill of a lifetime. 

A 23 year old kid with a passion for firepower, my couple-month-long Infantry Branch course at Ft. Benning, GA, was a real trip to the candy store.

As I mentioned in a previous post, "Tasting Victory", I loved guns and all things lethal. It's a hormone thing, I imagine. Males that age should probably be quarantined for a few years.

Anyway, the course had us learning about, then seeing - then using - just about every weapon that the Infantry had back then.

Ever lead a rifle platoon armed with quick-firing M16s - with a murderous M60 machine gun squad tossed into the mix - on a night fire exercise? The ear-splitting roar! The acrid smell of gun smoke!  But mostly the brilliant blood-red tracer rounds slicing the black night sky!

Absolutely beautiful!

How about leading a formation of angry tanks across an open field, their 90 mm guns belching a riot of smoke and flame? 


Or, have you stood next to a Howitzer as it launches its deadly thunder, shaking you to the very core of your being? 


And can you imagine my reaction to taking part in an air assault with a group of noisy, thrashing, troop-filled Hueys, their door gunners ready for some serious mayhem? 


Or, the piece de resistance, lying on a hilltop and calling in an airstrike order to two F4 Phantom jets. Then watching them dive from the pale blue sky. Then seeing these two Banshees unleash their ghastly barrage of rockets across the valley floor as they howl just a few feet overhead?

Even though the expression didn't show up for quite a few years, I believe I may have whispered,"OMG!" I was in love!


So, why am I writing about this now? 

Why do I, a pretty typical old American guy, take these moments of your time to reminisce about such a beautifully violent experience? 

And why today, just a few days after the insane mayhem of Newtown, CT?

It is because I believe we owe it to those lovely angels and their guardians - and we owe it to ourselves - to look inward and acknowledge some of our core American beliefs, our values and our heritage. 

Where we may have been wrong, we need to change. 

Where we could have been misled, we need to make amends. 

Where America seems to have headed down a path we no longer wish to follow, we need to pivot in a new direction.

And, no, I will not own a gun!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

RETIREMENT (in paradise) by El D'Rage


I live at the beach, and this sort of thing is going on all the time! 

A few years ago, my musical alter-ego, El D'Rage (sounds like Elder Age), wrote about his - OK, my - upcoming retirement. Back then it was just a dream.

Now, the dream has come true. Through careful planning, I managed to get canned from my job at just the right time. So now I'm livin' in the Briar Patch.

If you have a moment to spare from your busy day, take a look at the video below and see if you don't spot a dream or two of your own!

Sunday, December 2, 2012


Lately, I've put up a few posts about my musical alter-ego, El D'Rage. I've posted a few videos in the past from the album, and also a few "Minit Rap" vids, the most popular - due, no doubt, to my creative talents, not the thumbnail - is "Cognitive Dissonance", which has had more than 20,000 hits.

by El D'Rage

These posts got me to thinking . . . it's time to make another video! 

I used to have a Mac, and creating a video was a piece of cake. Now, my 6 year old Acer with Windows Vista has changed all that. Creating a video - heck, creating anything - is a royal pain. But, enough about my problems. I'm sure there are lots of folks who have it MUCH worse (read: Windows 8 users), so I need to just shut up and share the new video with ya'll.

by El D'Rage

A bit of background: this tune is from the CD I made about 10 years ago, "When We Were Kids."  The album is a quirky collection of songs I wrote and performed, most of which deal with the process of growing older. 

Well, over the past 10 years I actually have gotten older. Who knew!

Some of these songs have come to have particular significance in my life. Track 5, "I Love Your Love", is about my wife, Cath, and our relationship over the past 40+ years. 

Track 1, "Retirement" and Track 7, "Money", are pertinent for me these days. (I have the first, still looking for the second!), and I suppose there's a "Sunday Morning", Track 11 is store for many of us.

 Oh, and one day ahead we can get together to reminisce about the "Good Old Days", #4, on "The Other Side", Track 9.

Sunday, September 30, 2012


Rage of the Age

Local rapper making name for self on Internet

By Fawn Porter
Mustang News
Thursday, May 25, 2006

It’s quite alright if you call him elderly because that’s his rap. Literally.

Mustang’s “El D’Rage” is 60 years old, but he’s not about to let that slow him down from his side career – creating and performing rap music.

Rich Smith said he’s on a mission to create rap music that transcends generations and that all people can listen to – without being offended.

“I was always interested in music and listened to rap and was turned off,” he said. “I thought I could do a lot better than that and I started doing it.”

A Minnesota native, El D’Rage said his music is about three things: a celebration of baby boomers and their parents, unwrapping the rappers and sharing life experiences accumulated through the years.

"Picking Cans"

“First, it’s a celebration of two proud generations – the aptly named ‘Greatest Generation’ and their notoriously funky kids, the Baby Boomers,” he said. “These two generations have experienced it all – the Great Depression, wars, peace, poverty, riches … and El D’Rage’s rap puts lyrics to their lives.”

Secondly, El D’Rage said his music is about “unwrapping the rappers” – a phrase meant to abandon certain aspects of modern rap music.

He said rap music originated as an “insightful drama of life in American ghettos,” but quickly became nothing more than violent, racist music geared toward making the artist money.

“It’s everything America shouldn’t stand for,” he said. “(Rap music) had denigrated into a foul-mouthed expression of all that is wrong with America. Much of it is racist, sexist, obscene, hateful and just plain wrong for our kids.
El D’Rage said rap’s modern take propagates the wrong message – crime pays, disrespect pays, being offensive pays and doing one’s worst will “reap the rewards of a nation growing too fat, too dumb and lazy to give a hoot.

His call is for parents to stand up and “do your job.”
Finally, through his raps, El D’Rage said he wants to take the life lessons of those over age 60, teaching future generations with them.

“Elder Rap is about teaching the three T’s – tent, twenties and thirties – about the values and experiences of their parents’ and grandparents’ generations,” he said. “I want to entertain them with things they like … but many (songs) have adult themes like life, death, loss, fun … you name it.”

"Wake Up!"

One of El D’Rage’s raps, “Sunday Morning,” compares spending a Sunday morning with a loved one to feeling the pain of loss. He said his inspiration came when he and his wife Cath – whose rapper name is Puppy Luv – were living in Puerto Rico. Having gone to Starbucks for coffee and spending the morning at the piers, El D’Rage said he saw a man at a nearby table whose eyes held the hollowness of having been with someone his entire life and recently found himself without that person.

“The look in his eyes … you could tell he’d never been alone like this before,” El D’Rage said. “I put those two concepts together … and if you listen to it there’s a bit of a twist.”

The rapper describes his music as, “what you’d like your grandfather to sound like … but not necessarily when you’re with him!”

“There are lots of messages, lots of moralizing and lots of reliving the good old days,” he said.

He also coins his rap as “Geritol for mature ears.”

El D’Rage’s debut CD “When We Were Kids,” completed last year with Puppy Luv singing backup, has received the “track of the week” three times on for the singles “Warrior Nation,” “Time” and “Bingo Man.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012



For years, I've loved studying human behavior and the tools we have to modify it. 

In the 1980's, both Cath and I studied hypnosis as a way to help people stop smoking and control their weight. As our experience grew, we developed a successful hypnotherapy practice in upstate New York that had us not only helping lots of folks, but making a nice second income. 

As we've moved around the country we've continued practicing hypnotherapy along with a whole host of other life improvement techniques such a Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) and Neuro Linguistic Programing (NLP), among others.

Now that I have more time on my hands, I'm refocusing on this passion of mine to help people discover the power of their own minds to create positive outcomes in their lives.

Cath and I are re-immersing ourselves in our Hypnosis Consulting practice.

Below are three videos: Stop Smoking, Weight Control and Phobia Cure - all parts of our practice.

Cath and I would love to answer your questions about hypnosis and discuss ways you can develop more control over your own life.

Get in touch!

Saturday, July 21, 2012


I'm going through a lot of transitions these days. I was asked to put some of my thoughts on paper. Here they are.


He leaned against the railing, as if by moving an inch or two closer he could absorb more of the magnificent view. The Grand Pitons glowed orange and copper in the late afternoon sun, their reflections shimmering to touch the five-masted schooner of the Windjammer fleet. He breathed in the intense beauty and felt a peaceful calm that he'd not experienced before.

"Hey, buddy!" Three crewmen in faux-French Navy striped shirts with red berets approached. His reverie broken, he smiled a silent greeting and turned back to enjoy the glorious view.

The three continued towards him and the largest put a massive hand on his shoulder. "Hey, guys," he said. "I'm enjoying a silent moment here."

Without a word, the three grabbed him, hoisted him over the railing and heaved him into the clear, dark waters.

"Captain's orders!" one yelled.

He saw them walking back to the bow of the ship, chatting and laughing as if tossing guests overboard was an everyday occurrence.

The water felt warm to him and the salty taste was not unpleasant. The sloop was slowly moving away. His hollow cries for help skimmed across the waves and were pulled into the sea. He was alone.

Now, the boat perhaps two hundred yards away, he saw her standing at the stern. He waved his arms to her and saw her climb over the rail and leap into the sea.

They swam towards one another and he heard her voice. She sobbed, she cursed and she called out his name again and again - her chant of love these so many years.

He swam faster, so thrilled to be with her, so grateful for her laser-intense love; even here in the swirling dark waters.

He reached out to her and his joy was so great that he failed to notice as their fate bumped his left leg.

Just below the knee.


A minister, a psychologist and a chiropractor walk into a bar.

The bartender brings their drinks and he says to the minister, "Rev, what's your take on the two tourists missing off St. Lucia?"

"I see the Holy Spirit at work here," he says, raising his beer to his lips. "We know from the Book of Jonah and the Twenty Third Psalm that no one is ever truly lost."

"And St. Lucia!" he continues. "St. Lucia is the Mother of Lost Travelers!"

So, now the bartender moves in front of the psychologist. "Doc," he goes. "What do you think about all this?"

"More to the point," he says, shifting his weight uncomfortably on the stool. "What do you think?"

With this, the chiropractor leans forward, turns to his companions and says, "I know what I think!"

"Oh? What do you think?" goes the bartender.

And the chiropractor goes, "I think: subluxation!"


The two women passed each other on the beach, as they had for so many years, and stopped to chat. The one walking the tiny white dog spoke first.

"Hey. Have you seen the couple from the ninth floor?"

"The gringos that always hold hands?" the other asked. "No, now that you mention it, it's been a few weeks."

"Me either." The woman looked towards the little dog at her side. "Little Frieda here just adores the wife."

"Well, have a great day!"

The women waved and moved apart.

Neither noticed the tear that fell from the little dog's eye.

Monday, June 18, 2012

El D'Rage Rants

My musical alter-ego, El D'Rage the Elder Rapper, is a cantankerous old guy. Here's a link to the blog he wrote a few years back.

El D'Rage's Rants.