Monday, December 19, 2022

Milliron Monday: Meme's Musings Part 4


Abbott "Pete" Smith D.V.M.:  June 16, 1938 - February 22, 2010
Virginia Joyann "Jody" Haley Smith: April 2, 1938 - May 9, 2021
Welcome to Milliron Monday where every Monday we celebrate the legacy of Milliron Farm and Clinic, Dr. Pete and Jody Smith. 

"I sang in the choir at various churches as part of my training in music. If I wore a brown dress, I'd walk back to the college with Colonel Moore. If blue, I'd walk with Buddy, the Cadet. At Easter, I had a problem. Too many corsages so I wore one from Bart."
― Virginia Wurl Rhonemus Haley 

Here we are again, a new Monday and revisiting Virginia Wurl Rhonemus Haley's pink pamphlet of history. Part 4:

Gloria Swanson Bob (plus the Green Worm)

Soon after returning from camp, because I was complaining about headaches, Uncle Doc was sure they were coming from the heavy 15 curls and my thick hair and I should get a haircut. There were no beauty salons and one woman didn't go to the barber shop and it was too big a job for "home cutting". So I was taken to Toledo which meant a four hour train ride. Opal, Carl's wife, Uncle Doc's daughter-in-law, took me to a big store and by the time the cutting was in progress, people were standing and watching - making all kinds of remarks: "Why would anyone want to get rid of those beautiful curls?" "Wonder, how thick and heavy that hair is?" etc. I got what was known as the Gloria Swanson Bob and oh! did it feel good and the headaches went away.

    When I went to school on Monday, I was center of attention. Finally, the principal had me go into each room and walk around so they could see the Gloria Swanson Bob. The next Saturday, the barber, Whitie Hafer, called Mother and asked her to bring me down to the shop so he could see what it was all about, he had had so many calls. So we walked by a couple of times - women did not go to barber shops - and he came out, asked all kinds of questions. "How long did it take?" "Did they start at the top or underneath?" "How much did it cost?" "What did they do with the gorgeous hair?"
    Mother almost lost her teaching job because she had my hair cut. It was upmost part of the school system and took too much time to get the studies back in the student's minds. Too many complaints from parents that kids were cutting each others hair.
    We were sitting on Uncle Doc's porch and the subject of boys that I had been dating came up on purpose by Uncle Doc as he seemed concerned. He said, "I hear Dick Price's grandson has been calling on you?" I said, "You mean Russell?" "Yes, I am saying I'd rather you would go out with the first man that comes around the corner than for you to get serious with Russell." And the first man came around the corner and he was not the one. Uncle Doc was embarrassed, saying, "The second man." Many years later, I found out Uncle Doc's concern. Russell's mother, Gwen, and my Mother graduated together as the first females to get a high school diploma. That was 1902. And Russell's mother was so thrilled that her son was seeing such a nice girl.
    But Uncle Doc's concern was real. There was a history of consumption and insanity in the families. A story often told was Russell's father went to the barber shop and the barber said, "You got feathers in your hair." Mr. Price said, "Yeah, I know it, why should I bother them when you could do it?"

Men in my life that were friends:

  1. Bart [her future husband]
  2. Uncle Doc, his son Dr. Carl Munday
  3. Justin Myers, the Banker
  4. Mr. Nye, Butcher, always gave me liver for my kitty
  5. Mr. Snider, Baker, always gave me a sweet roll.
  6. Mr. Crum, always put an extra piece of veal on my sandwiches
  7. Leo Jones, helped me with my math
  8. Scrap Weiderman, brought me Whitman Samplers every Tuesday evening.
  9. Daddy Stoll, owner of Camp Twa-ne-ko-tah
  10. Colonel Moore, Brown Uniform
  11. Buddy Blake, Blue Cadet
  12. Robert Thrush, Schoolmate
  13. Walter Crawley, Minister's son studying to be a doctor at Emory Atlanta
    One time we went to Kenton, 12 miles away, to a movie. When we came back I offered him [Scrap] some candy and he said he liked the bottom pieces from the lower layer. So we took the layer off and there wasn't but one piece. He was very upset as his uncle was a distributor and he worked for him. He took the box and gave me another. Later, we found out Uncle Doc and Mother had eaten more than they realized and switched the layers.
    Robert Thrush put our names on the telephone pole in the school yard. He spent a lot of time, sometimes being late, as the sun had to shine just so in the mirror to reflect and burn the writing. He needed a friend as his mother had a little girl and he was 17 and very embarrassed about it. When he was with me, no much was said to him, but alone, the other boys said unpleasant remarks: "How did it happen?" I actually didn't know what it was all about.
    I sang in the choir at various churches as part of my training in music. If I wore a brown dress, I'd walk back to the college with Colonel Moore. If blue, I'd walk with Buddy, the Cadet. At Easter, I had a problem. Too many corsages so I wore one from Bart.
    Before I was actually in the first grade, Mother would take me to school with her to wait on her. Stella Ash, the 1st and 2nd grade teacher, was kind and urged Mother to leave me there anytime, that I was no trouble. But she did something that has stayed with me for many years. She didn't trust me. A boy sat across the aisle and had his head on his desk nearly all the time. Then one day a big green worm came out of his mouth. I ran up to the teacher, pulled on her skirt to come see. She didn't move. I kept pulling and told her about the worm. She said, "Now Virginia, that's not nice to say such a happening, it can't happen. Don't make up such stories," and she continued to write on the blackboard. I kept pulling on her skirt. Finally, she went back to the seats with me and had one look and fell in my seat, then onto the floor. I later found out she had fainted. There was a lot of excitement. I went to find Mother. Years later, Stella married and was Stella Snider and lived next door to us. She tried to be friendly and said I taught her to listen what her pupils said. She and her husband owned a restaurant and bakery. They often would bring cinnamon rolls, which I really like. She never actually mentioned the green worm, but she knew that I knew she was remembering it.

~ ~ ~ ~

Christmas is a week away! We will return to Meme's pink pamphlet next Monday, if Christmas Day isn't too overwhelming at my house. Have a very Merry Christmas!

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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