My finest quality time with Johnny Goldsmith comprised a handful of raucous waterborne fourth-of-July weekends in various states of undress and inebriation, ranging from hollering hilarity to quiet contemplative conversation. Johnny could talk about anything, and competently, whether clothed or not. He was the definition of good company with an easy, nonjudgmental manner and quiet charm, but there was so much more to time spent lying about with Johnny Goldsmith. Even lazy, dumb hangover conversations about nothing failed to remain so for long. He brought such depth of knowledge and insight to even the most trivial subject. At his funeral service, old friends lauded that gigantic brain of his, and confessed that at times he would acknowledge the emotional and intellectual toll of carrying around all that knowledge and 50 years of nearly complete recall. Johnny’s acute intellect may have been a burden to him, but it was a joy to trigger. Johnny Britannica, quick with a hug, warm glint in his eye.
—Benn Lewis ’84
Pound Ridge, New York