Monday, October 23, 2023

Milliron Monday: Letters Home April 7 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. 

"...thank you most of all, for the biggest birthday gift of all, all my maternity clothes."
― Jody Smith

Jody's letter home to Mansfield, Ohio. Backstory: Gary and Aggie are Jody's brother and sister-in-law. For some reason page 4 of this letter was intentionally torn in half and is missing. 

917 Remington
Fort Collins, Colorado
Thursday, April 7, 1960

Dear Mom, Dad, and Jessie,
    Been meaning to write every day this week but with no success. Received a birthday card from Gary and Aggie and I judge by the return address that you now have the Andover household to yourselves again. When did they move? and where is Wilging Drive? This has been a busy week for activities and studying. I attended two lectures (required for my modern poetry class) given by John Ciardi. You've probably heard of him, Jess, since he's the poetry editor for the Saturday Review of Literature. He was quite interesting, but I found his views on poetry much more meaningful than his own poetry, some of which he read. He was brought to the campus in connection with the CSU Fine Arts Festival.
#johnciardi  #balletcentercompanyofdenver

    Pete and I celebrated my birthday an evening early by going to a ballet Friday evening, which was also in connection with the festival. Pete also got me something I've been wanting and needing for quite a while - a pair of scales, and my present weight is 130 so I guess I can't complain. Thank you also, in an indirect way, since I understand that a certain ten-dollar bill found its way to us.
    Bright and early Saturday morning the doorbell rang and your birthday package arrived - certainly excellent timing. Everything arrived intact except for one of the little eggs which you look into, which was rather smashed. Thank you very much for everything. There were so many goodies I'm sure I'll forget to mention some of them. The money was certainly instantly welcomed by both of us and the little chickens inside the eggs were welcomed by Pooh before we could get one of them away from him. The other little chickens are now, of necessity, remaining inside the plastic eggs. I have six of the plastic eggs, the one fancy egg which wasn't broken, and some of the candy arranged on Easter grass on our "Dining" room table in the living room. It looks nice and "Easterish." Thank you also for all the kitchen things - I think the aprons are awfully cute and have already found much use for the nuts - which certainly dress up our desserts and have already found their way into a chocolate marble cake, some tapioca pudding, raspberry Jello, and brownies. The little scoops are distributed about the sugar, tea, and such containers. The basket liner is lining an old fruit basket which serves as a clothes hamper of sorts. Thanks also for the apple cutter and extra sets of silverware. Pooh has confiscated one of the nailbrushes for his own private brushing but at least he left us the other one and now with daily brushings, his hair manages to shed a bit more neatly.
    Also, thank you most of all, for the biggest birthday gift of all, all my maternity clothes. I'm really beginning to appreciate them now that I'm wearing them every day. I wore the blue and white checkered suit to church Sunday, and it looked quite nice with my navy and white heels and my blue leather coat.
    I've been having quite a bit of trouble with my contact lenses the past three or four weeks. They are getting so cloudy I couldn't even read the board at times. I went to one eye doctor here in town with no success and then a week later Pete insisted I go to another (he's certainly a pest where my health is concerned, won't give me a day's peace until I have whatever doctor's appointment made he thinks is important). At any rate I went to Dr. Wickersham, husband of our Tri-Delta alumna advisor; he polished the lenses and they're clear as can be now. He also tested my eyes and, as I feared, they've slipped a bit. He said this could be from studying or from my pregnancy, and he suggested waiting until at least August if they didn't bother me too much. I'm sure they'll be alright until then. He also said he could get my lenses insured for us for $11.50 a year plus $12.50 per lenses at time of breakage or loss. We hadn't been able to find anything for less than $25, so they haven't been insured. I'm going to write to Dr. Nupuff for the specifications on my lenses which is necessary for the insurance. It'll surely be nice to have them insured again. I've been awfully careful with them, but it still worries us. (Dr. Wickersham is a contact lens specialist and seems quite competent). 
    I'm in the midst of attempting to write a research paper on James Stephens, a modern Irish poet. Unfortunately, our CSU library doesn't happen to have any of his books of poetry so I'm going to have to drive down to Boulder this Saturday and spend the day in the library there. Marilyn Bush, Helen Bingham, and a graduate student in our poetry class are also going with me so it ought to be a fun trip as well as an interesting one.
    I received a nice card and note form Arlo and Virginia for my birthday. [The remainder of page 4, torn in half, is missing].
Previous Letters Home: 

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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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