Monday, July 4, 2022

Milliron Monday: Yellow-Iron Disease

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, including his wife Jody (1938-2021)

"He loved that giant dozer. He would drive 
past and do a double bicep flex!"
―John Smith

Jody often referred to Pete's obsession with bulldozers and heavy equipment as yellow-iron disease. According to Jody, Pete would purchase large pieces of equipment without consulting her or their bank account. Nevertheless, Jody said, "Pete loved his giant dozer."

There are many stories of Pete and his dozers, skid loaders, end loaders, tractors, mowers, etc. Each piece of equipment had a specific purpose, but could multitask between the clinic, farm, and sawmill. Most people were impressed with Pete's ability to assess a job and know which machine to use (yes, there are many types of dozers designed for specific work, so I learned). Jody said it was part of the disease - the feel of the smooth yellow metal, the smell of diesel, and the overall power of the machine. 

What I know about heavy equipment could fill a thimble, but I know the color of the machine really didn't matter to Pete because photos reveal red, blue, and yellow models. What did matter was the p-o-w-e-r! Heavy equipment was used to build miles of horseback riding trails, harvest lumber for the sawmill, build trenches, fill trenches, clean clinic stalls, load bedding/hay, excavating, maintenance, and more. 

Dozer Quotes
"When he got his first 350 bulldozer, the guy who sold it to him stood on the back of the hitch. Pete went straight up the hill towards the farmhouse from the clinic. When he got all the way to the top, he turned around and looked at the guy. The guy said, ‘What’s wrong with you? You can roll these things over! It will roll right over on itself!’ It didn’t.” ~ Dave Barger

"Pete hired me to work around the farm. The first day on the job, he had me clean the tracks of his bulldozer. I did such a good job, he put me on the schedule to work." ~ Eric Eisenberg  

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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