Monday, June 3, 2019

Milliron Monday: Wildflowers 6 3 19

Abbott "Pete" Smith, D.V.M.
June 16, 1938 - February 22, 2010

Above, Dr. Smith's Milliron sawmill wildflower photo collection taken by Dempsey Sharp. 
Photo courtesy Joy Miller-Upton

To see a world in a grain of sand and a heaven in a wildflower.
William Blake 

Welcome to Milliron Monday where every Monday we celebrate the legacy of Pete Smith, D.V.M., and  Milliron: Abbott “Pete” Smith, D.V.M. The Biography (Monday Creek Publishing 2017). A graduate of Colorado State University and a well-known veterinarian in southeast Ohio, Dr. Smith continues to motivate and inspire. 

Throughout our lives we collect items that have meaning only to ourselves. Trinkets, totems, knickknacks, old photos, things that people give us that have sentimental and emotional attachment. Maybe these things provide a sense of joy as we journey through life. This is the case with the wildflower photos in the Milliron sawmill. 

Dempsey Sharp and Dr. Smith were very good friends. Most every Spring they would take one day to look for wildflowers. Dempsey knew every wildflower native to Ohio and West Virginia. He was gifted in botany and photography. 

When Dr. Smith built his famous sawmill, Dempsey provided wildflowers. Hanging proudly above a second floor window are Dempsey's wildflower photographs (see above), a testimonial to the intricate offerings of the woodlands. 

Dr. Smith, a sometimes sentimental man who was a skilled surgeon; Dempsey, from the depths of West Virginia, was brave and humble. We see the picture of two hard-working men with calloused hands, the epitome of manliness, bent and engaged in conversation over a delicate blossom.  "Is it a Great White Trillium or a Western Trillium?" they banter in quiet observation. 

The photos are still there, waiting to be revered and enjoyed. Save your trinkets, totems, knickknacks, and old photographs. They are the things that we look to when we reflect on the past while we ponder the future.

"...I would see a flower appear on a hillside and I knew exactly what that flower was, most of the time from their color. When Pete and I went, we were out from early morning to late. When you start looking at flowers, and really look at them, you take your time and don’t look at anything else. Pete loved all wildflowers. We would never pick them. Well, once in a while we’d pick violets." 
From an interview with Dempsey Sharp for Milliron: The Biography

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 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 veterinarian.

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