Monday, October 2, 2023

Milliron Monday: March 16 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. 

"It's certainly wonderful to get out in this wild, open country."
― Jody Smith

Jody's letter home to Mansfield, Ohio. Backstory: It's Spring break from college, Pete and Jody are spending a few days with friends Les and Hope Rivers.  

917 Remington
Fort Collins, Colorado
Wednesday, March 16, 1960

Hi All,
    Pete and I survived finals week with no major casualties. We both seemed to do a bit better than last quarter.
    Right now we're out at Les and Hope Rivers, on a ranch in the foothills about 30 miles from Fort Collins. We've been here since Sunday morning after church and are going back to Fort Collins this afternoon. It's been a nice break - no meals to get - for both of us. Pete has been helping Les with the feeding and calving. This country is really beautiful. I took some slides which I can show you when they get developed. From the hill across the meadow there is a beautiful view of both the Never Summer and the Mummy Ranges. The ranch is in pretty wild country and there's lots of coyotes, deer, etc. all around. I saw an eagle and three deer yesterday. Sure, wish I'd had Starboy up here but we still haven't gotten a trailer hitch. Besides, it took us about an hour to get up one of these icy hills with just the station wagon. We'd never have made it with a trailer. We've had snow and blizzards since last Saturday.

Les and Hope Rivers

    I rode Les' horse for a couple hours. It's certainly wonderful to get out in this wild, open country. I surely hope we'll be able to live somewhere like this in the not-too-distant future.
    Thanks so much, Mom, for the latest slack's outfit. I really like the styling of the black and white blouse with the clever bow and stripe in back and, of course, I like the turquoise checked top very much. It's really wonderful to have such a nice wardrobe in readiness.
    We register this coming Friday so actually only had four days of spring vacation - not counting the weekend. I've been advised not to take any more hours than I have to. I was planning on taking 15 or 16 hours as per usual, but I think I'll probably cut it down to just 12 hours. I've been getting pretty tired (or else lazy) lately and according to Jana Little Williams (she's dropping out of school this quarter to have a baby in May) she sleeps an extra hour in the morning and another one or two in the afternoon. She was only carrying 8 hours and said she was having trouble keeping up. I only need 9 more hours, only four of which are required (4 hours of Social Science) but I want to take at least 12 hours since that is the minimum required to be considered a full-time student.
    I'm planning on not continuing with the third quarter of the creative writing series since it's offered at night every year. If it's not too expensive to audit it, I'd like to take it next year. Pete said he's quite willing to babysit at night. I've been enjoying the Creative Writing classes quite a lot. At least it keeps me writing regularly and would give me something at least a little bit challenging (intellectually, that is, I'm sure this baby will be quite a challenge, too!).
    I have another appointment with Doctor Rumley on Saturday, so will let you know later how things are progressing along that line. They've progressed sufficiently to the point that I've moved buttons as far over as possible on my gray wool slacks, Bermuda's, shirts, etc. My ski sweater has certainly been a warm, bulky "cover up" but in another week or so I'm certain to begin taking advantage of the nice clothes you've been sending.
    "Willie", a blue parakeet, is helping me write this letter. He is staying with the Rivers' since his owner, another tenant on the ranch, just got back from the hospital; he surely is a pesky little creature. I'm rapidly coming to the conclusion that I've outgrown the parakeet and hamster stage - much to Pete's relief, I'm sure! He gets a kick out of Pooh, though, and I'm becoming more and more attached to the conceited little alley cat.
    Hope and I just went for a hike. It's awfully pretty back up in the canyons and hills behind the house. We saw lots of deer tracks and a coyote track. We started out in warm, sunny weather and came back in a blowing, drifting blizzard. The snow's up above our knees in some places, some spring we're having in Colorado! There's been several inches of snow on the ground since Saturday.
    Thanks for sending the article about the English Channel, Jess. Looks like quite a project.
    Bye for now - I'll try to write again before classes, homework, and such start. 
P.S. Just returned home to find it still standing and Pooh very happy to see us. Thank you for the letter awaiting us. No, I'm sure I won't need an evening dress but thanks for thinking of it anyway.
    I have an old pair of Levi's which fit so far so they ought to last a little longer and I probably won't be able to ride for more than another month or so but, of course, will still be out feeding, brushing, and lunging Starboy as long as possible.
    Guess we'll tramp over and buy our textbooks for next quarter before the big rush begins. I'll be taking a 5 hour English course which has 2 fat books, a 5 hour English History course which has another monstrous book and then another smaller book for an honors course in Science and Religion which sounds real interesting, new and different!
By again.

See 1960s photos @ Milliron's Facebook album Colorado.

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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