Monday, June 11, 2018

Milliron: The Monte Foreman Saddle 6 11 18

Pete on the trail.

Traveling throughout Ohio and West Virginia, I collected hundreds of anecdotes from Pete’s clients, friends, and family. I had to choose one story that would entice the reader – the story that would connect Pete to the reader. Originally, the first draft of Dr. Pete Smith’s biography, Milliron: Abbott “Pete” Smith, D.V.M. The Biography, the first chapter was “Bud” – the thrilling story of Pete’s death-defying ride through the woods of Milliron Farm, dangling precariously from the Monte Foreman saddle with one logging boot stuck in the stirrup.

When I connected with the eyewitness to this event, Ibrahim Schubert, it was a thrilling conversation. I remember my sister was moving at the time. It was in the evening and we had just finished packing the last box of kitchen items. I was sitting in my sister’s kitchen, talking to Ibrahim about Pete’s Monte Foreman saddle; the noisy raincoat, Bud’s quick reaction, and Pete’s nightmare as Bud crashed through the woods. Ibrahim remembered every detail.

Monte Foreman was a famous horseman in the 1950s, writing about horses - training, riding, ethics and care. He created performance tack that enabled the horse and rider to stay in balance. Pete was proud of his Monte Foreman saddle and treasured the comfortable ride. However, and as I stated in Pete's biography, never mount up wearing logging boots. 

The funny thing about writing a biography is that the writer must listen to so many points of view. Weeding out fact from fiction can be difficult, especially if the storytellers are adamant about their story (!). Many people told the same story about Pete and his wild ride on Bud, but none of the stories matched; bits and pieces were the same, but none were exactly the same. As a biographer, I have to write the facts. Writing Ibrahim’s eyewitness account overshadowed the other stories, even though people said, “Well, that’s not the way Pete told it to me.” Even Pete exaggerated the story as time went on. 

After much deliberation and harried discussions with my editor, the story of Bud became the Prologue. Next week, I’ll post Ibrahim’s original conversation and the story about Pete’s pocket gun, that I originally wrote, but took it out at the last minute.

Pete's birthday is June 16. It was a year ago Friday, June 16, that Milliron was launched at Milliron Clinic, Athens, Ohio. As a writer, it was a lifetime event. I appreciate all of the kind remarks about the book and enjoy reading reviews! If you have an AmazonBarnes & Noble, or GoodReads account, write a review! Books do not have to be purchased online to write a review, you just have to have an account with the online bookstore.

Follow Milliron on facebook to view inside photos and much more!

Enjoy the week ahead! Thanks for connecting...

Through captivating, powerful, and emotional anecdotes, we celebrate the life of Dr. Abbott P. Smith. His biography takes the reader from smiles to laughter to empathy and tears. Dr. Smith gave to us compelling lessons learned from animals; the role animals play in the human condition, the joy of loving an animal, and the awe of their spirituality. A tender and profound look into the life of a skilled and pioneer veterinarian.

No comments: