Monday, April 26, 2021

Milliron Monday: Even President Kennedy... 4 26 2021

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

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. 

Another engaging article by Dr. Smith's mother, Elizabeth Cooper Saunders Smith. I believe I am missing the ending to this particular article; however, it is entertaining just the same. 

"Betty" was a prolific writer, writing for several publications at different times throughout her lifetime. An excerpt from her obituary...

Elizabeth was a longtime member of the Millbrook Garden Club for which she wrote their newsletter for many years. She also wrote a column, My Side of the Street, for the Millbrook Round Table for 12 years. In 1996, the family moved Abbott, overtaken by Parkinson's and related medical conditions, to Farmington to reside at Edgewood Manor until his death in 1998. After selling their Millbrook home, Elizabeth moved to Kingfield in 1996 to live with her daughter Susan. In addition to a short stint writing a column for the local (Kingfield, Maine) paper, The Irregular.  

From Pete's mother, Betty, My Side of the Street: Even President Kennedy borrowed material...

     The river is quiet this morning, with no appreciable change from the thunderstorms during the night. Perhaps we will get some fringe benefits from Bonnie before she passes from the scene.
     I am sure the emphasis on the weather and the Russian financial problems has been welcome in Washington, as well as to the rest of us who are weary of the domestic problems in the capitol.
     In Boston, the Globe's management problems relative to Mike Barnicle have interested me very much. On the few occasions when he appeared on Lehrer's News Hour I thought he was a breath of fresh air and that he expressed himself well - agreeing with me of course! As for borrowing material, I agree that something totally fabricated (if that is true) is wrong, but who among us has not admired a thought, phrase, or even a word, from another writer. President Kennedy among others was one of many important people who has used material from others.
     One author I would not be tempted to imitate would be James Joyce. I am astonished that his novel Ulysses was named at the top of some list as the best. Years ago when that was proscribed in the United States, Abbott acquired a limp theater edition of the book, and it has been on our shelves ever since. Several times I have attempted to read it but always lost interest within a dozen pages or so. As far as I am concerned it has no social value, and is not even well written.
     That comment probably says something about me. My choices for best novels would begin with Pride and Prejudice and list such works as Kristin Lavransdatter and Proust's mammoth Remembrance of Things Past, which took me several years to get through!
     Often the last book I've read has been the best in my mind, and that would list London by Edward Rutherfourd. At the moment I am involved in that author's previous one, Sarum. This one will overlap London a few years, but a the moment, one-third the way through, I am at 877 A.D. The town Sarum becomes the town Salisbury, and a good deal of space is given to the author's version of how the nearby Stonehenge was constructed. Here again we follow the growth and tribulations of several families.
     There were apparently many "henges" built in those early days in Britain, but this one near Salisbury is the most famous. As travelers these days know, we are not allowed close to the huge rocks laid out for astronomical knowledge, which is probably very fortunate for their preservation.
     On our junket around the U.K., we stayed at a bed and breakfast in the town, hosted by a retired army couple. I noted on a nearby house that the thatched roof had what appeared to be a pigeon on one end. The next morning it was still there, and I asked our hostess about it. She said that various thatchers left their "signature" on roofs, and that happened to be the designated trademark of that one. I looked for similar things after that, but never saw anything more of that nature. It made a good story ...
     Getting back to what we like about a book, in my case it is a bit of history mingled with biography, especially if the history looks to be fairly close to fact. Recent biographers I've read - Katharine Graham, Pamela Harriman, Ben Bradlee, and on. Mrs. Harriman's was the most interesting and factual, covering many famous people with whom Pam was intimate, so say the lest. She gave her biographer free rein and permitted him to be honest.

Have a great week ahead.

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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