SmithDRay Blog
Thursday, 2 April 2009

Last night we attended the play Copenhagen at the University of Tennessee's Clarence Brown Theatre.  I was ready to be impressed and had read the book, so I thought I knew what to expect.

Yet, I was not ready for the quality and intensity of the presentation of Linda Stephens (Margrethe Bhor), the character who keeps your focus on target,  david Brian Alley (Werner Heisenberg) and Dan Dremer (Neils Bohr.) 

Neils Bohr and Werner Heisenberg, friends and two of the world's greatest physicists, met on an evening in September 1941 in Copenhagen, Denmark.  Two men who may well have held the fate of the world in their hands walked and talked outside Bohr's home for only 10 minutes.  What was said? What was intended?  World War II may well have turned on that meeting.   

The University of Tennessee's Clarence Brown Theatre is running the play in conjunction with the "Quark Matter 2009" international physics conference in Knoxville.  The three person, two act drama looks at the most unusual meeting between two friends who were designated enemies because Germany had overrun Denmark. 


Yet, Hitler's man running the uranium program made a personal call on an old friend and mentor, why?.  Between the two of them and Bohr's wife, their spirits return to take a look a that pivotal meeting from several perspectives.  Why was it held?  What was the outcome? 

Even the spirits have trouble with all the ramifications of this historical yet clouded meeting.   You will hang on every word. 

I attended last night and highly recommend it for those interested in Manhattan Project history.


Here is the link to information about the play, Copenhagen:


Here is the link to the theatre:


Here is the link to the story published in The Oak Ridger's Historically Speaking column:



Posted by smithdray at 9:16 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 11 June 2009 10:07 PM EDT
Sunday, 29 March 2009
Oak Ridge Opening Gates Celebration 60th Anniversary

On March 21, 2009, Oak Ridge celebrated the 60th anniversary of the Opening of the Gates on March 19, 1949.  The events planned jointely by the Oak Ridge Heritage & Preservation Association and the American Museum of Science and Energy were excellent events to commemorate the historic event.

See photos at:


Posted by smithdray at 12:51 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 11 June 2009 10:37 PM EDT
Robert Hicks and Widow of the South - Literacy Luncheon

Widow of the South is a great book by Robert Hicks

Robert was the speaker at the Altrusa International and Oak Ridge Breakfast Rotary Club's Literacy Luncheon of 400 plus held on March 19, 2009, at the Oak Ridge High School cafeteria lobby. I was honored to introduce him at the luncheon. 

He also was the feature at the One City One Book event on March 18, 2009, at the Oak Ridge Public Library, also a huge hit.

Robert held the audiences in both events spellbound for the entire length of his talks.  His story of how his family ate his uncle for dinner serves to capture the audience as they don't really know what to make of the frank and open way Robert tells how this story has affected others who have been told it before the audience he is currently addressing. He then goes into the passionate story of his love for the life of Carrie McGavock, the real widow of the South who dug up and reburied nearly 1,500 Confederate soldiers killed on or near her homeplace of Carnton Plantation in Franklin, TN, creating one of the largest private military cemeteries in existence.

The story of Robert's visit to Oak Ridge is covered in my Historically Speaking article of Tuesday, March 31, 2009.



Posted by smithdray at 12:41 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 31 March 2009 9:54 PM EDT
Sunday, 8 February 2009
Cherokee Caverns
Mood:  special

This past Saturday, I visited Cherokee Caverns.  Here are some photos:


Click to play Cherokee Caverns - 2-7-0
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Posted by smithdray at 11:16 PM EST
Monday, 24 November 2008
Cover photo for Bones of Betrayal
Mood:  happy

I took Dr. William Bass, Jon Jefferson and photographer Rebecca Leigh to four locations to shoot photographs for the cover of the upcoming book, Bones of Betrayal.  The book is set in Oak Ridge.  The cover photo was selected and can be seen at:

Some photos I took at the shoot can be seen at:

Posted by smithdray at 9:00 PM EST
Updated: Monday, 24 November 2008 9:05 PM EST
Historically Speaking books - available in hardback
Mood:  happy
Topic: books

The following books have been published IN HARDBACK online and are available at  and at

2006 Historically Speaking - articles published in The Oak Ridger during 2006

2007 Historically Speaking 1944 Troop Train Wreck - articles publishe in The Oak Ridger telling the story of the 1944 troop train wreck in Jellico, Tennessee

Historical Sketches of Oak Ridge Schools - articles about the history of the Oak Ridge Schools (this book is published in FULL COLOR)

2007 Historically Speaking - articles published in The Oak Ridger during 2007

Delina - the history of a small crossroads community in Middle Tennessee written by Haskell Roden and edited by me

2008 Historically Speaking - COMING January, 2009


Posted by smithdray at 8:51 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, 11 June 2009 11:14 PM EDT
Saturday, 23 August 2008
Historically Speaking Books

Historical Sketches of Oak Ridge Schools is the first book of the Historically Speaking weekly columns that has been published.  This book contains selected columns relating to the history of Oak Ridge Schools.

Here is the link to order:

2007 Historically Speaking: 1944 Troop Train Wreck  is the second book of the Historically Speaking weekly columns that has been published.  This book contains selected columns relating to the historic train wreck near Jellico, TN.

Here is the link to order:

Historically Speaking: 1944 Troop Train Wreck AUDIO BOOK is the first audio book of the Historically Speaking columns that has been published.  This audio book is an unabridged version of the troop train wreck book.

Here is the link to order:

Or all D. Ray Smith books and audio books are available at the online Secret City Store


Posted by smithdray at 6:15 PM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 23 August 2008 7:20 PM EDT
East Tennessee History Center
Mood:  celebratory
Topic: History

The East Tennessee History Center at 601 S. Gay Street in Knoxville, TN opened Voices of the Land: The People of East Tennessee on August 23, 2008.  Go here for photos:

Ribbon Cutting:

VIP Reception:


Posted by smithdray at 5:10 PM EDT
Friday, 29 February 2008
Photo of bat in cave
Mood:  a-ok

A recent trip to Cherokee Caverns provided the opportunity for the photographs found at this link: Cherokee Caverns Photos on Webshots

This bat is covered with moisture...a most unusual sight!


Posted by smithdray at 11:20 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, 16 March 2008 11:33 PM EDT
Saturday, 17 November 2007
Sunrise and mist - photo
Here is a recent sunrise on the Clinch River in Oak Ridge, TN.  I like it and hope you will too.


Posted by smithdray at 11:34 PM EST
Updated: Saturday, 17 November 2007 11:39 PM EST

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