Happy Milliron Monday ! It's a great July 30 as I continue Milliron Monday, a view into Milliron: Dr. Abbott “Pete” Smith D.V.M. The Biography (Monday Creek Publishing 2017, Gina McKnight).
Born in Augusta, Maine, Pete Smith enjoyed spending time with his Grammy Smith. Grammy (Ruth Smith O’Brion) was an exceptional artist. Her portrait (above) was painted by renowned artist Rutledge Bate who was Grammy’s neighbor in Rockport, Massachusetts. Here’s an excerpt from Dr. Smith’s biography…
Abbott’s mother Ruth, Pete’s grandmother, was an exceptional artist and adored Pete. Living in the artsy community of Bearskin Neck, Rockport, Massachusetts, everyone knew her as Smitty. “She was a character and a half. Pete and she were like 2 peas in a pod,” Susie, Pete’s sister, reflects. “He used to spend summers with her in Rockport. She was an artist. It was an artist’s haven. Everybody who painted in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s went to Rockport to study art. She lived right on the neck of the Maltese #2, the most painted image in Rockport. There was a red lobster house on the end of the pier. She lived right on the street that went down to the pier. My grandmother smoked, swore, and she was Rockport’s Number One character. She would go to Bermuda and be entertained royally by other artists because the Rockport and Bermuda group kind of went back and forth. Granny Smith was right in the thick of all of that. Pete had to have been influenced by her. She was a free spirit. We still have some of her art and a portrait painted of her. It’s a valuable painting. She was a big influence on Pete’s attitude toward life. She adored him and he her.”
Rockport artist and colleague Rutledge Bate painted Smitty’s lifelike portrait, which now hangs in the Smith home. The oil on canvas depicts her in an every-day cucumber green cotton buttoned blouse. Her hair is short and silver, her right hand holding a lit cigarette. Her expression is contemplative; blue eyes looking through rimless glasses, pondering her next creative endeavor.
As a youth, Pete enjoyed spending the summer months with his Grandma Smitty, eating lobster and enjoying the surf. On one of his summer vacations to Rockport, he asked his grandmother for eggnog. Smitty was from a long line of established people; she was raised in a well-to-do family that housed butlers, cooks, and maids. She never learned to cook. So, when Pete asked her to make eggnog, she asked him how to make it. Pete, with tilted eyebrows, naively explained that eggnog contained eggs. Smitty proudly presented Pete with an eggnog concocted with milk, ice cream, and hard-boiled eggs.
We remember the legacy of Dr. Pete Smith and his contribution to living. He was a fast arrow from a strong bow. Read more about Pete in his biography, available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or locally at Little Professor Book Center, Athens, Ohio. If you have a copy, write a review. Books do not have to be purchased online to write a review.
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If you have a story to tell about Dr. Smith, please send to email@example.com to be included in Tails of a Country Vet Volume II !
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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.