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B. Smith • Dan Gasby • Alzheimer’s disease (4/40)

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African Americans are more likely than whites to develop Alzheimer's. Why?

Gary Williams thought he had found a glimmer of hope. Six months earlier, his wife, Gwendolyn - 64 and a retired education professor at Bowie State University in Maryland - had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's. The disease, as Gary would come to describe it, was "a slow-moving train" in their lives.

EAST HAMPTON, N.Y. – It was 10 a.m., and B. Smith was shuffling around her house in socks and leggings and a bright red sweatshirt emblazoned with “Wilhelmina,” the prestigious modeling house to which she once belonged.

She is still model-slim at 69, actually. Her face, now framed with a halo of tight gray curls, is just as it was 20 years ago, when B. Smith was on TV, on the cover of magazines and books, when she had restaurants, when everyone seemed to call her “the black Martha Stewart,” as if it weren’t enough to just be B. Smith.

Not long after, B.’s restaurants shuttered. Her appearances dried up. With Dan Gasby, her husband and business partner of more than two decades, she turned her efforts to speaking about Alzheimer’s and advocating for research. Then, she didn’t do much talking at all.

Then, in December, Dan posted a Facebook photo of himself with a woman with a thick blond mane and delicate features. They are beaming, a dapper couple out to dinner. But the caption referenced, of all things, an old rap song by 50 Cent and the Game. “Hate it or love it,” it read. “You can debate, but for me, I’m feelin’ great.” He even used a hashtag: #whylie.

Dan had never been the type to bite his tongue, never bothered with niceties.

At 64, he had a wife, and he had a girlfriend named Alex Lerner. He was happy and in love.

And, well, why lie?

“B. is my mom,” said Dana Gasby, left, who is Dan’s daughter but was practically raised by B. Smith. Dana, 32, has moved into their East Hampton home to help care for B. It takes as long as 45 minutes to dress her. (Photo for The Washington Post by Karsten Moran).
“B. is my mom,” said Dana Gasby, left, who is Dan’s daughter but was practically raised by B. Smith. Dana, 32, has moved into their East Hampton home to help care for B. It takes as long as 45 minutes to dress her. (Photo for The Washington Post by Karsten Moran).

In sickness and in health. Every day, people say the words. But what could they possibly mean to you, until you’ve experienced sickness? B. and Dan and Alex are reckoning with it still.

A few days after Christmas, they were together under one roof. B. was munching on pretzels as she circled the living room. One of their five hulking Italian mastiffs was snoring contentedly on the floor.

“Hellllllo!” B. said as she shuffled over to Alex, whom she has come to know only as her friend.

“How are you?” Alex, 53, asked warmly. She has a room in this house, where she stays when she makes the roughly two-hour drive from her Manhattan home.

“Wait, wait, wait, lemme, Barbara,” B. said, wrapping Alex in a hug. “I was talking over there, with the baby . . . that was caught late . . . she’s a little, you know. We were there, we played candy, we do it all the time.”

Alex smiled and nodded, though she knew there was no baby. B. is still a charmer, quick to join conversations, full of laughter. But her sentences are often just words, incongruously strung together.

They settled onto a leopard-print sofa, where Dan was describing his family’s new dynamic: “If ‘This is Us,’ and ‘Modern Family’ came together, it would be us,” he said.

“You don’t bring your mistress in the house where your WIFE lives. She’s not dead,” one wrote on Facebook this month.

“She’s having her lifestyle funded by a black woman, and this white woman didn’t have to build a thing with you,” a YouTube vlogger inveighed in one video that’s racked up more than a hundred thousand views and thousands of unsympathetic comments.

They’ve called for court intervention, a petition or anything that might save B. Smith from what, to them, looked at best like cruelty and at worst, predation.

It riles Dan to hear how many of them assume he’s some kind of Svengali, manipulating B., living off his wife’s success, when he’d helped make it reality.

So, on social media, he pokes back. “Especially the ones who have a direct line with The Almighty I need your heavenly insights!” he wrote sarcastically in one recent Facebook post.

Dan believes his critics are racists who have targeted him because he happens to love a white woman, suggesting “that I’m flaunting her,” he said, looking at Alex.

“I have been married to a black woman for 26 years,” he said. “I have a PhD in black love.”

Alex reached over and touched B.’s hand, and then got up to pour her some ginger ale.

B. Smith and Dan Gasby’s December 1992 wedding was held at the New York location of her restaurant. In the years that followed, the couple worked together on a television show, magazine and servingware line. (Photo courtesy of Dan Gasby).
B. Smith and Dan Gasby’s December 1992 wedding was held at the New York location of her restaurant. In the years that followed, the couple worked together on a television show, magazine and servingware line. (Photo courtesy of Dan Gasby).

Barbara Elaine Smith met Dan Gasby in the dining room of her first B. Smith’s restaurant, not far from Times Square.

A girl from rural Pennsylvania, B. worked as a babysitter, a governess and a lounge singer till she got her big break in modeling: In 1976, she became the second black woman to snag the cover of Mademoiselle. The work dispatched her to France and Italy, where she lived for a time, learning to love food, drink and beautiful things. At what seemed like the height of her career, she seemed to simply sashay into the restaurant business.

They’d both been married before. But this coupling was synergistic.

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At their 1992 wedding, Dan didn’t use flowery prose to describe their relationship. He used sports terminology. He and B. were each other’s cutmen, he told the models and city officials and celebrities who attended. “A cutman,” Dan explained, “is the guy in the corner of the boxing ring who cleans up fighters and sends them back to battle.”

“We’ll always be in each other’s corner,” he concluded.

They managed 18 happy years before B. got sick. B. Smith scored a television show, “B. Smith With Style,” and a regular stint on the “Today” show; launched a magazine; and opened three successful restaurants. (At Washington’s Union Station for nearly 20 years, B. and Dan ran what one critic called “the grandest dining room on the Hill and maybe in the city.”) She still has home goods for sale at Bed Bath & Beyond.

She parented his daughter, Dana, teaching her a love for cooking. Their house bustled with famous friends, Dana recalled, like Aretha Franklin and Maya Angelou. Dan was by B.’s side for all it.

“This is what I do,” she began. “I marinate it in reduced . . . ummm . . .” Guthrie tried to help, to fill in the blanks like a game of Mad Libs, but B. could not remember the name of the liquid in the bowl right in front of her. Her diagnosis came not long after.

There had been signs. Dana saw them in 2008, when she was away attending American University. “We would have the same conversation three times in one day,” she recalled. B. also told her she felt a tingling in her face. “I WebMD’d it, and I said, ‘Oh, she has Alzheimer’s.’ “

B. and Dan brushed her off.

“You know how, if you didn’t know a hurricane was coming,” Dan explained all these years later, “you would think it was only raining?”

For most of their marriage, B. and Dan split their time between a swanky Manhattan flat and a home on the water in Sag Harbor, a historic beachfront refuge for the New York’s African-American elites. As her Alzheimer’s progressed, B. began walking out the door, only to turn up later somewhere on the beach, located by neighbors.

But B. could not hide it forever. She made the newspapers in 2014 when, on her way to Sag Harbor from the city, she hopped off her bus and somehow ended up back in New York alone. She walked to Harlem and ferried to Staten Island and bused back to Manhattan before finally being recognized in a cafe in Midtown the next day, Dan revealed on Facebook later, adding, oddly, “So there are no rumors.”

Soon after, they moved to this East Hampton house, a sleek white box with a tennis court and a pool, in a clearing on 10 otherwise wild acres. But its primary draw was its gate, so B. can no longer wander away.

The reviews and interviews, the glossy ads in which she sold Vaseline lotion or sportswear have been tucked into a room devoted to B.’s achievements, few of which she can remember. As Dana pored over them that day in December, B. walked over to look, fixating on a photo she had taken with Dan years ago. “He’s handsome,” she said. She didn’t know who the woman in the photo was.

Dana moved back home to help in the caregiving. “B. is my mom,” she said. But even B.’s smile, Dana said, has changed somehow. So much has.

Dan Gasby, right, and Alex Lerner embrace as they leave his East Hampton home. “I didn’t want to go out with a married man,” Alex said. Then he asked her to meet B. (Photo for The Washington Post by Karsten Moran).
Dan Gasby, right, and Alex Lerner embrace as they leave his East Hampton home. “I didn’t want to go out with a married man,” Alex said. Then he asked her to meet B. (Photo for The Washington Post by Karsten Moran).

Dan and Alex had long been in each other’s orbit, two minor planets in Hamptons society.

Both were posted up at the same bar one night in summer 2017, when Alex, a few stools over, happened to overhear Dan talking with a friend. She recognized something in him, the same feeling the mother of three had during her divorce: A despairing grief, so thick it enveloped him. A loneliness bubble.

Before she left, she leaned in and told Dan, “If you ever want to talk . . .” She left her number.

So he met her for coffee. Eventually, she told Dan that he ought to visit Le Bilboquet, the new Hamptons boîte that was all the rage. “You know I work there, right?” she asked him. “Aren’t you curious what it looks like?”

Le Bilboquet was the new tenant in the old B. Smith’s.

“Ron owes me an invitation,” he sniffed, meaning Ron Perelman, the billionaire, who was one of its owners. A couple of days later, Dan came strolling in.

In their book, Dan admitted that he could be a bon vivant, that he enjoyed flirting. But, he wrote, he had never cheated on B.

So, it all moved so much more slowly than Tinder speed. “We were friends,” Alex said. “I didn’t want to go out with a married man.” Plus, she’d socialized with B. at charity events. But when Dan invited her to breakfast a popular hotel with B., she accepted.

Finally, she saw. “This is not a man cheating on his wife,” she told herself. In the middle of breakfast, Alex helped B. to the bathroom.

Alex had a nurturing spirit. And she saw the same in him. “What I admire about him,” she said, “is that he takes care of her.”

Soon after, they started dating, with Dana’s blessing. “When he told me,” Dana said, “I was like, ‘Thank God. I’m happy.’ “

Dana also pointed out that her father has not abandoned B. by any measure. “She’s in this house. She’s here every day,” she said.

And, on many days, so is Alex. “If I can be compassionate to her,” Alex said, her voice breaking, “if I can do anything for her, it makes me feel good. If it is giving her something to drink, or making her something to eat – she loves to eat – I feel good.”

When B. was lucid, she and Dan sometimes clashed over his flirtations. Now, in photos and videos Dan posts on social media, his wife and his girlfriend seem like friends. But are they?

As they talked, B. was in the background, chatty. “Boop-boop-boop,” she said, interrupting. “This looks like a . . . No, I’m not going to say that. I’m not going to say that. I’m not going to say it. Over there. He’s not in there. He’s not in there,” she said. “The guy.”

“What’s his name? What’s her name?” Dan asked, gesturing at Alex.

“You OK?” Dan asked, softening a bit.

B. looked over at her husband.


Video: Dan Gasby says his relationship with another woman helped him become a better caretaker to his wife who has Alzheimer’s. (Ashleigh Joplin /The Washington Post)

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Written by top40

Hello Again and Thanks for reading it is I David "IT40" Ellenberger with an update on the status of my lawsuit against Alphabet inc case # 4:20-CV-04877-SBA  and the website and life in general. By now if you regularly visit you may have read this section "author info" or Bio. So I am adding to it with more bio and more info. I originally liked the idea of voting on the internet 20-25 years ago when I first got online with WebTV (does anyone remember that?).

The technology at that time was not advanced enough to easily be able to vote online or watch videos or much else for that matter but I was hooked and look at what we can do now with videos, IOT, and everything else, but I digress. I started about 5 years ago and the user base has been going up steadily ever since. I wanted to be another Facebook, with music and voting and that is all coming together slowly but surely. BTW if you want to help or have any interest please feel free to email me anytime.

Now in my previous Author Info or bio page I made it clear or at least I thought I made it clear, I am personally suing Alphabet inc. in Federal Court for Fraud. I have evidence to prove they are not counting all the pageviews, among other things and defrauding myself and probably millions of other website owners and content creators out of Billions of dollars. So if I wasn't clear or you didn't know it's true I am suing Alphabet inc. in Federal Court for Fraud the case was recently moved from my state of Kentucky to N. California to make it easier for Alphabet inc. to steam roll me or so they think. Needless to say if you are interested and I hope you are you can look the case up online under my name "David Russell Ellenberger" or the case # which is 4:20-CV-04877-SBA.

Now, I want to make it clear to you and everyone that I am not suing Alphabet inc. aka Google for fraud just because I want a million dollars for nothing. I am suing Google for fraud because I think they are committing  a serious crime with worldwide and societal ramifications, it is a  very serious problem.  I am suing Google for fraud because to put it simply the analytics numbers don't add up at least not in my favor or yours, there is something very fishy going on with the Google analytics numbers. Of course Google has an excuse for every one of them but I have reasons and the actual numbers and they don't add up, more about the numbers later.

Companies like Google are making Billions of dollars a year in profits telling us data is the most valuable thing and misleading us and misdirecting the media and the world every chance they can.  Now data is valuable and they are making billions in profits seemingly like magic but there is no magic to it just corruption and lies. One thing Alphabet inc. aka Google is really making their money from and that is advertising dollars and they are putting all of this advertising on the websites other people have created.

Websites that I have created and  websites you have created and websites millions of others around the world have created websites or content. For example Just writing a text is creating content and that's where Google puts the billions in advertising they receive and keeping most of it for themselves. Yes content others have created and yet somehow they are keeping almost all of these billions for themselves and not distributing it equitably to the real workers the true content creators who actually deserve the advertising monies. Google has made it's billions on the backs of you and me. Think about that for a minute, how can they continue to justify this? They Can't, it has to change.

For example if I were to prevail in the current lawsuit just half of the monies or $20 billion put into a basic account and compounded at 5% annually we could realistically employ over 80,000 people at $24,000 a year, indefinitely.  Sounds unbelievable but its true and if we only employed 40,000 people we could pay them approx. $48,000 a year indefinitely. Its all true. Its simply a matter of having the money and the will to do it. Now is 40,000 people a lot well yes it would be a lot of employees but with more money simply put into a trust account we could employ more people

I David Russell Ellenberger through my website am suing Google to try to help right a wrong. A wrong committed by Google that has simply gotten out of hand. Most people may think they can't do anything about it. Nothing can stop Google, the politicians don't care they use all of Googles data to further their own campaigns and line their own pockets while the rest of us keep on creating the content for Google, nothing can be done, this however is not the case, we can do something.

The politicians and Alphabet inc. aka Google have done nothing to help society at large other than organize it so they can keep more money in secret and pay off all their buddies with their fraudulently obtained money. It's gotten so bad that the politicians and others in control won't even talk about it, they ignore it and hope it goes away, they won't even try to stop google because it is helping them too much and maybe they are scared of Google or who knows what they may be thinking. But it looks like fraud and it's coming to an end.

I'm telling you we can do something and I David Russell Ellenberger an average citizen Content Creator am saying to you, I'm not scared of Google because I have nothing left to loose.  I David Russell Ellenberger am telling you there is something you too can do, if nothing else, tell all your friends to come to aka IT40, believe these words and Create your Content.

Further I promise to you and all who read this if we do prevail in the lawsuit against Alphabet Inc. We will use half of any monies we may receive to pay "content creators" a living wage. I pledge to anyone who is reading this, we will use half of any monies we may receive to help those who really do want to work on the internet and create content and tell us what they think. We will use half of any money so you can Get Paid, we want you to get paid for the content you create and get paid everyday and Get Paid to Vote create data and to be able to do this work online and from your home or anywhere in the world you care to be. Because in the words of an ancient scholar Y-O-U are the business Y-O-U are creating all the data, Y-O-U are the content creators and Y-O-U are all that matters.

Now the main thing I want you to take away form this and to know, Alphabet inc. is and has been committing fraud against you, me and everyone who uses the internet. I don't think Google started out to defraud the world it has just degenerated into this endless morass of corruption and fraud and no one seems to care, Well I care and I know you care too.  Sadly Google has been doing this with impunity for years and it is only getting worse. Please don't let them fool you with their lies and obfuscation. Do some research create some content build a website and research the analytics numbers you will find I am right. Google owes you, me and everyone online thousands if not 10's of thousands of dollars for all the data and advertising dollars they have co-opted from you and the rest of the world. So join with me don't use any Google products or file your own lawsuit in federal court against Alphabet inc. I will be glad to help you any way I can and show you how to do it if need be. It will take a sincere effort on your part but it will definitely help your self esteem, society and the world.

Now that's about all I have to say on this subject for now.  I will tell you this if you want more information or you have questions or comments for me, my email is [email protected] Thank you for reading looking and listening and believing in Please tell all your friends about us and don't forget to vote Thumbs up or down and refresh your page when your done. One last Thing, I need all the help I can get I am only 1 person but together and with todays technology we can move mountains and reframe society and our world the way we want it to be. One final note let me tell you about a new website coming to the world called Thank you ttyl



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