Monday, June 19, 2023

Milliron Monday: Letters Home 1959-1960: After the Honeymoon

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. 

"...real lazy living."
― Jody, after the honeymoon

A neatly tied bundle of yellowed letters penned from Fort Collins, Colorado, to the Haley family in Mansfield, Ohio, rest in a box. When Jody's mother died, the letters Jody had written home returned to Jody. 

Today, we begin the first in a series of letters that bring insight to college days, and married life. The letters are addressed to Jody's Mom (Virginia/Meme), Dad (Bart), Jessie (maternal grandmother), Gary (Jody's brother), Aggie (Gary's wife), and G.F. (Gary and Aggie's son). The setting is after the honeymoon. Pete and Jody are setting up house and preparing for another quarter at Colorado State University:

Tuesday, September 15, 1959

Dear Mom, Dad, Jessie, Gary, Aggie, and G.F.,

    Sorry I haven't written sooner, but needless to say I've been rather out of contact with the world in general - guess I'll have to come down off this cloud pretty quick since school's nearly here. We've been real busy cleaning, painting, etc. Pete's a wonderful help waxing floors, fixing things, hanging pictures, putting racks up, and such. So far, so good with the cooking - we've been splurging on chicken, round steak, and I haven't had any catastrophes yet. We've even had two diner guests - Judy Binna, Sunday night and one of Pete's friends tonight, so I'm getting in all sorts of cooking practice. Fortunately I actually enjoy it, even the dishwashing - wonder how long that will last? Boy, that electric skillet is a lifesaver, Jess. Been cooking bacon, pancakes, etc. in it every morning and it surely gets the job done. The speed kettle is just that, it heats the water as fast as I can get the tea bags out of the cupboard. All my kitchen things are a big, big, help. I'm just beginning to appreciate them as I start depending upon them. Thanks so much to all of you for getting us set up so well. We're really lucky.

    The house is all rented out to 10 college guys, so that's a load off our minds. The DZ's (sorority) only wanted it for the next quarter so that would have been a losing proposition trying to fill it up again in the middle of the school year so Pete decided not to rent it to them. The Rattler's nearly sold, hate to see it go, that little car was a big help last year, but I'm afraid it could be a big expense this year. When an old car starts to go, everything seems to fall apart at once. Pete had to put $20 in it to get it running right to sell it.
    Starboy is still a real sweetie. He came walking up to me right off and follows me around same as ever. He's got a little more pep and spirit but he obeys just as though I'd been busy with him all summer, guess once he's trained he's trained for good.
    Thanks, Mom, for sending the clothes, the sunglasses, the box with Carolyn and Jim's present, wedding cake, etc. Everything got here in fine shape. My checks arrived today so I'll be able to get registered all right.
    It really means a lot to both of us to have been able to have had such a beautiful wedding. We certainly thank all of you for making it possible. I can hardly wait to see the pictures of it.
    We're fairly well moved in now, there's still lots of busy work to get accomplished but it's getting taken care of little by little. We went down to Pueblo yesterday to see Pete's sister and her husband. She's looking much better than the last time I saw her, but, of course, they're still having problems with the after effects of her illness. We're going to Wyoming tomorrow to visit some old friends and hope to get a little meat for the freezer. I thought I'd gotten away from vitamin pills when I left home, but Pete's real insistent that I take three of them every morning to help get rid of this cold and stay generally healthy. Guess it's a good precaution but you know how I hate to take pills. My cold (or whatever it is) is getting better so don't worry about it.
    Please send me George and Inez's address, also Carolyn and Jim Knapps. Thanks. These thank you notes may be the death of me if I don't get through with them pretty quick.
    Sorry I haven't time to write more and more but it's nearly 12:30, so guess I'd better go to bed. Don't really need the sleep though - we've been getting about 12 hours a night, real lazy living.
    Pete says to say hello,
    Love from us both; Bye now,

~  ~ 

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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