A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from March 26, 2008
Juan Smith (El Paso’s “John Q. Public”)

E. M. (“Ed”) Pooley, editor of the El Paso (TX) Herald-Post from 1937-1963, was sympathetic to the “average Joes” in El Paso. Instead of John Q. Public or John Smith, Pooley called El Paso’s largely Spanish-speaking citizens “Juan Smiths.”
Pooley died in 1969 and El Paso’s E. M. Pooley Memorial Apartments were named after him in 1975. Pooley term “Juan Smith” has been used infrequently in El Paso since his death.
Wikipedia: John Doe
Informal names for unknown or unspecified persons in various countries/regions
Different fictitious names are used for unknown or unspecified persons in different countries in an informal context, rather than in a court of law or similar. These names are generally understood to be generic.
John Doe, Jane Doe, John Q. Public, Joe Blow, Joe Schmoe, Joe Sixpack, John Smith, Eddie Punchclock (for blue-collar workers), Joe Botts (particularly in New York City), J. S. Ragman (U. S. Navy), Vinnie Boombotz (particularly in New York City)
11 May 1937, El Paso (TX) Herald-Post, “Juan Smith Is Stuck” editorial, pg. 4, col. 2:
But if Juan Smith, private citizen with a wife and one child, earns $5500 he pays Uncle Sam $82.
14 May 1937, El Paso (TX) Herald-Post, “Tongue-Tied Tax Eaters” editorial, pg. 4, col. 1:
But from the remainder of the tax-exempt boys who live on Juan Smith’s taxes there has never come a chirp.
14 May 1940, El Paso (TX) Herald-Post, “Let’s Sit Tight” editorial, pg. 4, col. 1:
The opinions of the two learned gentlemen have no more force and effect than as far as the law or the courts is concerned than Juan Smith’s. They are opinions, that’s all.
17 March 1952, El Paso (TX) Herald-Post, “Barbecued Baloney” editorial pg. 18, col. 1:
We suggest to Tax Assessor Graves, Mayor Hervey and City Council—since it has been proved in an ordeal by fire that the company does not have its own fire and police protestion—that they make a full-fledged citizen out of Standard Oil Company (and its neighbors) and assess its property for taxation on the same basis as Juan Smith’s.
The Truth About Texas
by Lewis Nordyke
New York, NY: Thomas Y. Crowell Company
Pg. 198:
For years (El Paso Herald-Post editor Ed—ed.) Pooley has referred to the Latins as the “Juan Smiths.”
Time magazine
Crank’s Crank
Monday, Mar. 18, 1957
“Give light,” proclaim the mastheads of all 19 Scripps-Howard newspapers, “and the people will find their own way.” By generating heat as well, Scripps-Howard’s El Paso Herald-Post (circ. 39,794) has long made its way as one of the chain’s most profitable and independent-minded dailies. Under Editor Ed Pooley, a Tabasco-tempered maverick who has run the paper for 20 of his 59 years, the Herald has earned Texas-wide renown as an ardent defender of underdogs, whom Pooley, in deference to the border city’s heavy Spanish-speaking population, invariably calls Juan Smiths. On their behalf, Pooley, one of U.S. journalism’s last curmudgeons, wages daily war on the “s.o.b.‘s.” his all-embracing designation for city officials, cops, the opposition El Paso Times (circ. 52,538) and any other non-Juan who incurs Pooley’s ire. 
Time magazine
The Chain Scripps Forged
Friday, Oct. 19, 1962
In El Paso, on the Rio Grande, the Herald-Post is the prosperous and aggressive reflection of Editor Ed Pooley. 64, who has spent 30 years fighting everything from pigeons to cops on the make. Pooley has steadfastly championed the cause of “Juan Smith,” his symbol for the city’s Mexican-Americans, helped elect El Paso’s first Mexican-American mayor in 1957.
5 June 1969, El Paso (TX) Herald-Post, “The Pooley Years” editorial, pg. B2, col. 1:
The death of Edward M. Pooley, retired editor of The Herald-Post yesterday, has written “30” to an era referred to by many El Pasoans as “The Pooley Years.” Mr. Pooley came to El Paso as an editor in 1937 and retired in 1963, after an eventful, influential and colorful career. He rose from a cub reporter to receive nation recognition as a courageous, civic-minded and hard hitting editor. He loved El Paso and his impact on the city was incalculable.
Mr. Pooley was a campaigner and a fighter, known as an editor who did not hesitate to take a stand. His forceful editorial influenced the affairs of El Paso and the State.
The door to Mr. Pooley office was never closed. He campaigned for the underdog, writing for the “Juan Smiths” of El Paso, a tag he adopted in recognition of El Paso’s Spanish-American residents.
20 March 1975, El Paso (TX) Herald-Post, pg. A4, cols. 2-3 photo caption:
ED POOLEY APT. START CONSTRUCTION—Contractors are busy building the Ed Pooley memorial Apartments for the El Paso Housing Authority at Cortez street and Blanco avenue in south central El Paso. The public housing apartments honor long-time El Paso Herald-Post editor Pooley who often wrote of the common man’s problems in a column, calling him “Juan Smith.”
25 December 1975, El Paso (TX) Herald-Post, “E. M. Pooley housing dedication scheduled” by Wayne McClintock, pg. 1, col. 2:
But this is a special Christmas time, with a gift for the often-forgotten El Pasoans—the “Juan Smiths.”
THE “JUAN SMITHS” were a favorite of a former editor of the Herald-Post, E.M. Pooley. it was his way to say that El Paso was special and different. Other editors might write in defense of John Doe or John Q. Public, but Pooley took pen in hand to champion the rights of those special El Pasoans, the Mexican-American and the American. Thus he chose to combine Spanish and English to devise “Juan Smith” to say his thoughts on his adopted home town.
The spirit of Christmas past of the late Mr. Pooley will now merge with the spirit of Christmas Future as the El Paso housing Authority next Monday at 10 a.m. will dedicate a memorial to Pooley, and, in a sense, to all the “Juan Smiths” that Pooley held dear to his heart.
The memorial is a seven-story, $3,425,027 public housing project for the elderly named for Pooley— the “E.M. Pooley Memorial Apartments.”

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • Wednesday, March 26, 2008 • Permalink

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