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Healing the sick through psychic medicine

Philip Smith grew up in Miami in the 1950s and '60s, but his upbringing was just a bit different than yours. His dad, famous decorator Lew Smith - who worked with Caribbean dictators, The Jackie Gleason Walls Show and was heralded (by the Herald) as "the King of Beads" for his drapery designs - was also a psychic healer. And here you thought it was tough growing up in a strict Catholic family.

Smith went on to become an artist - his extremely cool paintings hang in the Whitney Museum, among other spots - and now he's written a memoir, Walking Through Walls, which he'll talk about at 7 p.m. Saturday at Books & Books in the Gables.

And if you think you need to believe in psychic healing to be thoroughly engrossed in Walking Through Walls, think again. Even for a skeptic, the book is endlessly intriguing, with a couple of moments that just may make the hair on the back of your neck stand up. It's just fascinating. It's also kind of a kick to read names like Food Fair and Super X Drugs and remember that this place really did used to be one big redneck swamp.

You can read my story on Philip here.

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