Monday, August 7, 2023

Milliron Monday: Letters Home Jan 17 1960


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 hope the poor baby survives being raised like a combined colt, puppy, or kitty, but that's all we know about."
― Jody Smith

Jody's letter home to Mansfield, Ohio. Backstory: Simmy is Jody's best friend and her Maid-of-Honor; Starboy, Jody's beloved Quarter gelding, was given to her by the McArthurs; I have omitted certain personal items in this letter as I think they are just that - personal (the bun in the oven evidently required a detailed explanation to Jody's mother).

917 Remington
Fort Collins, Colorado
Sunday, January 17, 1960

Dear Mom,
    Winter has finally settled down on Colorado and Pete and I had a lot of fun sleigh riding yesterday morning. These sleigh runners really make that little cart whiz along.
    I was dually initiated in Phi Kappa Phi which I have since discovered is an honorary for faculty members, graduates, and graduating seniors in the upper 6% of the senior class.
    Starboy is just fine. He's still as much of a pet as ever. He now comes over to the gate and up to the barn without a rope or halter, and after I've ridden and fed him, he waits until I run back down to the corral and he trots right along. I hope to be able to get out to see him at least three or four times a week this quarter but the studies are surely piling up already.
    I'm sorry I haven't been writing you as much as I'd like to or as much as I know I should but needless to say, I've found lots of spare time that used to exist, now being taken up in housework, cooking, etc. Writing isn't the only thing that I've had to ease up on. Last year I rode Starboy every day. This last quarter I was lucky to get out once a week, sometimes twice.
    Thank you for all the surprise packages that have been pouring in. We got the jelly, which arrived in fine shape. It surely is delicious. We had been getting awfully sick of pineapple-peach jelly which is the cheapest kind at the Safeway store. Thought for sure that we'd thanked you for the Christmas presents. Pete surely appreciated the socks and my hose supply had been dwindling. We love the wedding pictures. It's sure nice to see what all was going on. I was in such a fog at the time. The color is beautiful. Tell Mr. Smucker when you see him that he certainly did a nice job. I particularly love the shot of the church when we were kneeling. Simmy thought that they were the prettiest wedding pictures she'd ever seen. I wish we would have taken them down to McArthur's with us but we'd put all of our Christmas packages together to wait until the day before Christmas before we went down to Denver to open them. I'm certainly sorry to realize about you're expecting us for Christmas. We had no idea that you thought we were coming since nothing much had been said. We had talked it over and Pete and I both agreed that we didn't have either the time or the money. We were pretty concerned about the car and the tires on the trip down to McArthurs. It would have been a real worry to have started for Ohio with no chains or snow tires. We had lots to do here with the rooming house and apartment and cut our Denver visit and our trip to McArthurs as short as we could. Pete got most of the house painted which was a big job, and I got the floors in our apartment washed and waxed, plus much painting done on the horse trailer. Also we had no one to leave Pooh with. We just left him on the porch with access to the basement and his box by the furnace for three days we were at McArthurs but I'm sure we couldn't have left him enough food for much longer than that.
    I'm not sure what you mean by saying that I got pregnant since Pete didn't use "double precaution." ...Evidently this baby was certainly meant to be if it survived all that to get it's start.
    Thank you so much for the pictures of your Christmas. Gary Franklin certainly looks happy.
    Thank you very much for all the April birthday presents in January. I hope I won't need them for two more months but it's wonderful to know I'll have such nice things. Pete and I ordered two things from Sears catalogue in order to see what their merchandise would be like in case we wanted to order more. We ordered a maternity sweater on sale at $5 and a light top and skirt for $6 but we haven't gotten them yet as they may be out of stock or something. It'll surely be nice to have clothes I'm proud to wear when I have to go to classes everyday in them Spring quarter. We got two boxes from Lazarus and I think everything will probably fit although a 12 might have been better, but they really aren't enough too large to send back and I may grow into them more than I think I will! A very sweet note from the saleslady was also included in which she said she had waited on such a nice "Grandmother-to-be." Thank you also for the other package we received with the plaid outfit and the darling baby outfit. I'm almost getting excited about the whole idea of having a little baby all or our own, much as it's interrupted our plans. Thank you also for the books on babies and prenatal care. It's nice to have at least a vague idea of what's going on. It seems to be such a miracle no matter how much a book tries to explain it, though.
    Pete doesn't want me to work in the Bookstore at all next quarter so I won't be. I'm only working five hours a week (from 12 to one on weekdays) this quarter so I shouldn't have much of a problem there.
    Guess I'd best get back to homework. It surely does take a lot more time now that I'm taking so many 100 series classes. I'd hoped that things would get easier when I got to be a senior but this has all the earmarks of being the toughest quarter yet.
    As far as you taking care of the baby so that I could get my masters is concerned, I'm sure it just wouldn't work out. It's kind of you to offer but I'd think you'd already done your share getting your own children through the diaper, spitting, etc., stages; besides I'm sure Pete and I won't want to be away from our baby any more than we have to. It's our responsibility so I guess we'll just have to do the best we can. I hope the poor baby survives being raised like a combined colt, puppy, or kitty, but that's all we know about. I'm sure we'll learn fast or else!
    Hope everyone's feeling fine; and that Mike isn't too pesky. Is he getting along better with Gary Franklin now? Pooh dislikes children in any way, shape or form and does his most to disappear until they leave his happy home.
    As far as anymore things for the baby are concerned I guess we won't have to worry about that for a little while longer. I read over a list in a pamphlet on prenatal care which Dr. Rumley gave me and it is surely amazing that anything so tiny could need so much stuff, but I guess I'll be finding out in about six more months.
    By for now - I'll really try to write more often.

P.S. We now have a phone in our apartment - It's a 2-party line and sure is handy to have. Thank you for the $600 addition to the bank account. It's great to be sure to have enough money not to have to skimp on textbooks or school supplies. It's also a wonderful feeling to be able to pay Birky's for Starboy's rent without having to worry about not being able to pay it.

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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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