Monday, April 5, 2021

Milliron Monday: My Side of the Street - Spring 4 5 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. 

This month we remember Dr. Smith's mother, Elizabeth Cooper Saunders Smith. "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...

Taking advantage of transportation in both directions, I have just returned from one of my visits to Portland. After leaving relatively barren Kingfield, it was a thrill to roll into that busy city on Casco Bay. There were golden banks of forsythia, leaves emerging on birches, and maples had their spring bloom to brighten the landscape. All along the road through Belgrade and beside 95 from Augusta it was a different story - brush was piled high awaiting chippers or to be hauled off in trucks. All this as a result of the ice storm in March.

On what turned out to be the sunniest day, my hostess drove me up to Norway (Maine) for a picnic out of doors with her grandchildren - school being out that week. Afterward we drove up to Paris Hill, not far from the Poland Spring House. What a glorious village - my nomination for the prettiest one in America. Paris Hill was settled prior to the turn of the century by such important people as Hannibal Hamlin and other Washington personages. It is an historically important preserve, big white houses immaculately kept, not a piece of trash in sight! A small jail constructed of neat granite blocks has been transformed into a historical museum. It is hard to imagine who the tenants of that jail might have been when it was functioning!

Crowing it all is a magnificent view of Mount Washington and the White Mountains of New Hampshire. The yearly residents surely chose this location for the summer breezes and the view. Probably they were attracted while guests of the famous old Poland Spring House. 

A major occupations for me when I'm visiting my friend Mary is reading books I don't seem to see in other places. Notably, this time was a book by Elliott Roosevelt, "Murder in the Blue Room." This is only one of seven murder mysteries he wrote, in all of which his mother, Eleanor, is the detective who figures out the guilty party. It is not a long book, but a real "page turner." It's reminiscent of Margaret Truman's mysteries written about Washington, particularly the Senate. Both, children of presidents, were in a good position to write such stories. Elliott uses real people who visit the White House, and we learn interesting bits about them, often from remarks made by the household staff. This particular book is based on a period when a Russian personage was the guest. Nelson Rockefeller enters into the picture, as well as some World War II personalities.

Well, that was but one of several books I read while away, and now, back in Kingfield, I have a quantity of well-recommended volumes brought to me by other very literate friends. All that and the "Maine Times," which has an interesting array of columnists covering the various points of controversy which seem to pop up in any place in habited by homo sapiens. We have an ongoing battle between sportsmen, woodsmen, and preservationists. The latter have the most difficult time, since the aforementioned groups are interested only in themselves and their way of life. Perhaps this has something to do with the recent figures that some 18% of Maine people are unable to fill out forms and presumably read very few books of any kind. At least we may say they have their hearts in the right place because we read that they always come to the aid of the victims of disaster.
    
My 92-year-old neighbor gets back from Florida today, and I shall be glad to see her lights again. The couple who rake her lawn have done their usual good job, so all is in readiness. It is also good to note that the mountain ash tree which we share is putting out buds - and I had thought it was a lost cause!

I read that the ice is out on Moosehead Lake - the earliest in years. It cleared on April 27; the average is May 7-10-last year May 11. And Paul Bunyan's statue in Bangor is being sanded and repainted. Last year, Longfellow's statue in Portland was cleaned with crushed walnut shells - a method that keeps the pigeons away!! I hope that all this good news cheers you, and finds Millbrook ready for a great season.


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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