Monday, May 27, 2024

Milliron Monday: The Recordings 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 thought, the hell with this, I’m getting out of here!"
― Jody Smith

As in previous weeks, I am sharing Jody's conversations. As usual, Jody has her notecards in hand…

Jody: When I was in college in Colorado, I was out riding Starboy. I found a nice spot, unsaddled Starboy, took off his bridle, and began reading a book I had brought with me. All of a sudden, there were four or five young Mexican men coming towards me. They were drunk, drinking beer and throwing their empty beer cans at me. I didn’t hesitate, I jumped on my horse, which I was able to do in those days, and went off down the hill in a gallop. I thought, the hell with this, I’m getting out of here! I was riding down into a reservoir area, and I met this guy riding up that I knew. He started lecturing me, “What in the world are you doing riding bareback, without a bridle, alone?” I said, “Well, my saddle and bridle are up there…”. He had a rifle, like many men carried on their saddles in those days. He said, “We’re going back up there to get your saddle.” We rode back up the hill. The drunks had knives, they had cut up my books. We weren’t about to go over there, so we rode to the stable where my friend kept his horse, put the horses in the corral and went back up the hill in his truck. When we got up the hill, the drunks had taken my saddle and carried it about halfway to the nearby road. When they saw us, they dropped it. I suppose they were going to sell it. They didn’t damage my saddle, it was okay, but my books were all cut up. We gathered up everything and went home. After that, I sold the saddle. Not because there was anything wrong with it, I just didn’t want it after that. One of my sorority sisters admired it and I sold it to her. I just didn’t want to remember that day. Of course, I had another saddle, an Army officers saddle which I really liked. Pat has it now, along with Pete's saddles.

Years ago, being the new veterinarian in Athens, Pete was assigned to the local livestock sale. It was on a Saturday. I walked into the sale and I’m carrying Pat, Jessica was beside me. I am trying to find Pete. I don’t remember why I was trying to find him, if I needed to tell him something, or I needed money, I don’t remember. At any rate, I am asking people where Pete is and I am walking on. Of course, there were no cell phones then. I must have looked desperate and a bit determined. I hear this guy behind me, an old farmer, he said, “Well, Doc Smith’s gonna have to claim them two, they look just like him!” [Jody begins laughing out loud and rolling her eyes]. I told the old guy, “Well, I’m his wife!”

Around that time, Pete had a client call the clinic with an emergency. The client was concerned that a rattlesnake had bitten his horse. The client had seen a few rattlesnakes around and was concerned because his horse’s nose was red and beginning to swell. He was concerned for his other horses, too. Pete was in surgery and told the guy he had to wait and that he would be there as soon as he was out of surgery. He told the guy to keep all of the horses in the barn and to keep the bitten horse as quiet as possible. Well, the guy didn’t know enough about horses to put all the horses in the barn. He just put the one horse in the barn and left the other horses out in pasture. The horse in the barn began to panic. By the time Pete got there, the horse was down and wasn’t breathing. The horse was still warm to touch, but not really breathing. Who knows, if the guy had left the horse where it was with the other horses, it wouldn’t have gotten so agitated and may have survived until Pete got there. The horse didn’t make it.

This one time, we were at the Nelsonville theater – years ago when they had a theater on the Public Square. We went to see a movie about animals, I can’t remember the name of the movie. The theater was full of mostly kids. Halfway through the movie, we learn that the veterinarian was the bad guy, he collected animals and sold them to laboratories for research. Pete was upset. He said, “That’s terrible! They’re ruining an entire profession!” Every few minutes, he would say out loud, "That’s terrible.” The kids around us would say ssshhhh and tell him to be quiet. I’ll think of the name of the movie about 4 o’clock in the morning. That’s why I keep a pencil and paper by my bed. At any rate, we’re driving home, Pete’s ranting and raving about how terrible the movie was. I said to him, “Well, you’re always telling awful jokes about lawyers!” Pete said, “I’ll never tell another lawyer joke!”


Have a great week ahead.

Connect with Gina...

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. 

Saturday, May 25, 2024

Ed Bruce, Prolific Singer-Songwriter, Honored with Posthumous Album, ‘AFTER HOURS’


Ed Bruce, Prolific Singer-Songwriter, Honored with Posthumous Album, AFTER HOURS

(NASHVILLE, Tenn.) – The late Ed Bruce found success as an actor, singer and songwriter, but it was the latter for which he most wanted to be remembered. Some of his best-known songs included “Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys” (Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson), “Restless” (Crystal Gayle), and Tanya Tucker’s “The Man That Turned My Mama On” and “Texas (When I Die).” One of his biggest hits, as a singer, was “You’re the Best Break This Old Heart Ever Had,” which reached number one on country charts in 1982, while others he recorded reached the Top 10.


Now, some of Bruce’s previously unreleased songs can be heard for the first time on AFTER HOURS, a posthumous16-track album released by Music Row Talent Records (MRT) in collaboration with Old Hat Productions, a creative partnership formed by Bruce and two of his songwriter friends, Mike Morgan and Jeff Elliott, who co-produced the album as a tribute to his memory.


“This album is a look back at Ed when he was in his prime,” Elliott said. “He was extraordinarily talented and great fun to be with. He did voiceovers for national commercials, he was an actor and a great singer.


“Ed would always say he came to Nashville to be a songwriter,” Morgan recalled. “He wrote and recorded hundreds of songs. We have selected what we think are some of his best unreleased songs for this album and mixed them the way we think he would have wanted them to sound.”


The project is as much a personal labor of love for Ann Stuckey, president of Music Row Talent Records, as it is for Morgan and Elliott. Stuckey was married to the late singer-songwriter Nat Stuckey, who was also a longtime friend of Bruce’s.


“The bond between Ed and Nat was very strong,” Stuckey said. “They worked so well together; they were like brothers. His talent was so great in so many facets.”


AFTER HOURS consists of original recordings, in Ed Bruce’s voice, some initially recorded with just a guitar. Additional tracks were added later.


Born in Keiser, Arkansas, William Edwin Bruce, Jr. grew up in Memphis Tennessee, where he began working with legendary producer Sam Phillips at Sun Records at age 17 and, later, at other record labels, most notably RCA, and MCA writing songs for other singers throughout the 1960s, 70s and 80s. Beginning in 1988, Bruce shifted his professional focus from songwriting to acting, appearing in several made-for-TV movies. His most notable role was that of “Tom Guthrie” on the NBC series “Bret Maverick” from 1981-82, which starred James Garner, after which Bruce returned to his music career.


On AFTER HOURS, the songs range from sweet, sad and somber to humorous and uplifting. Though he was unmistakably a country music artist, at least four songs on the album cross over into other genres.


With a spirited Mexican feel, “Who Wrote Her Name On the Wall” has Bruce questioning the truth about the woman he loves, after finding her name written “on the wall, up there by the mirror in the corner by the stall.” The happy-sounding, up-tempo melody belies the singer’s disheartened realization that he is apparently not the only man in his lover’s life.


Both “Never Thought About You” and “After Hours” are mellow, smooth-jazz songs that could sound as fitting in a hotel lounge as in a country-music bar. In the title track, Bruce contemplates how “It’s hard to think it’s over / What happened to forever? / I thought forever meant I’d never be alone…”


“The Things I Couldn’t See” is a mid-tempo, classic Nashville-sound song reflecting on a lost love: “Have you seen those arms that used to hold me? / Have you seen those lips that used to thrill me? / Have you seen the heart that used to only love just me? / Then you’ve seen the things I couldn’t see...”


“Good Jelly Jones” is a bluesy ballad about a man who skirts the law to support his wife and kids: “They used to call Good Jelly Jones ‘Big Evil’ / But Mama dressed good and the kids had enough to eat / Now Good Jelly had him a barbecue joint just a block from the general hospital / If you was hungry he’d put you on the cuff for a plank of ribs / If you went dry but you had the money / You could buy a little taste from Big Evil on Sunday.”


“The Feel of Bein’ Gone” is a slow, sad song about a man who fears his wife might be planning to leave: “Early in the morning she’ll be leaving / To visit with her mother for a spell / But I know that’s really not the reason / ‘Cause I know what she’s doing all too well.”


“Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys” is, arguably, Ed Bruce’s best-known composition, which became a megahit for Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings. The version on AFTER HOURS is a recording of the song on the TV show “Larry’s Country Diner.” Unlike other songs on AFTER HOURS, this recording is the raw original, of just Ed and his guitar, giving listeners a sense of the simplicity of a newly written song that would later become a classic.


“Homecoming 1945” is a poignant song about wounded soldiers who form a musical band after World War II. The lyrics are in the form of a conversation between two buddies returning home: “I sure have missed that good home cooking / Say, what are you doin’ after the war? / Thompson said ‘I don’t know, with this scar on my neck that got me my purple heart / I can’t sing anymore / But I’m dyin’ to get my hands on that old guitar’…”


“They Don’t Play Double Headers Anymore” has Bruce reminiscing about days gone by, when neighborhoods were safe and people were more patriotic: “I wish things were like they were before / When we knew where we stood and what for / And little kids said ‘sir’ and ‘ma’am’ / We gave a damn for Uncle Sam / But they don’t play double-headers anymore.”


“The Outlaw (A Tribute to Waylon Jennings)” is essentially one now-departed musician paying homage to another: “They called him an outlaw / He wasn’t their kind / But he done it his way without walkin’ the line / God bless the outlaw and thanks for the music my friend…”


“Outrun the Wind” is an inspiring song about self-confidence and not giving up on one’s dreams: “Sometimes he’s not sure he’s not crazy / That’s just because sometimes someone says he is / But like him or not, he’s still his own man / He’s just tryin’ to outrun the wind.”


The album ends, fittingly, with “Old Timer,” which sounds as if it may have been intended as a self-penned obituary: “There’s a gold record that hangs on the wall in his den / ‘Cause he once wrote a big song that reached number one / Had a chance for a Grammy back then / But that was a long time ago / They’ve forgotten a new hat’s a rockin’ the boat / So he sits in the sun and he sings to the one / Who inspired all those love songs he wrote.”


I have lots of  good memories of spending time with  Ed playing and listening to songs on his back porch, always followed by food,” Morgan said. “This album is a way of paying tribute to a great songwriter and an even greater friend.”    


AFTER HOURS by Ed Bruce on Music Row Talent Records (MRT) and through most digital platforms. Physical CDs are available by sending a check for $16 to Old Hat Productions, 80 Highland Drive, Jackson, OH 45640-2074.


  1. What’s a Girl Like You Not Doin’ Here
  2. Who Wrote Her Name On The Wall
  3. After Hours
  4. Like You Like Me
  5. Never Thought About You
  6. The Things I Couldn’t See
  7. Good Jelly Jones
  8. The Feel of Bein’ Gone
  9. Mama’s Quilt
  10. Homecoming 1945
  11. Never Did Get Close Enough
  12. They Don’t Play Double Headers Anymore
  13. Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys
  14. The Outlaw (Tribute to Waylon Jennings)
  15. Outrun the Wind
  16. Old Timer

More from Ed Bruce...

Thursday, May 23, 2024

This Week @ Monday Creek: Welcome, Breeze! The Kentucky Mountain Horse


We really enjoy Monday Creek Publishing Author NC Matheny’s new little stallion, Breeze. Of course, no horse can replace NC’s beloved horse, Casey, but Breeze is making Casey’s pasture his own.

On March 28, 2023, NC brought home Breeze, a six-month old, rescued nurse mare foal. Born in Louisiana, sent to Kentucky along with a nurse mare (not his mother), Breeze was a “teaser” foal - he kept the nurse mares in milk. When he was six months old, he was rescued along with other nurse mare foals by Rolling Oaks Rescue, Cambridge, Ohio.  Shortly after, NC bartered for Breeze, the beautiful Kentucky Mountain Horse.

NC writes, “Casey was my horse of a lifetime, but now Breeze has come into my life. I’ve always wanted a Rocky Mountain or Kentucky Mountain horse and began searching over a year ago. When Tabitha at Rolling Oaks Rescue told me about Breeze, I was super excited! Like Casey, Breeze is intelligent, has a tenacious personality and kind temperament. I suggested to Tabitha that I trade my services (networking, digital design, and business consultation) if she could find a Kentucky Mountain registered Palomino colt. I had an airtight list of requirements – not just any horse. Well, the airtight list got thrown out the window. Breeze can never be registered, but he’s definitely Kentucky Mountain horse foundation stock, a golden Palomino with a blonde main and tail.

“At the time, I thought, ‘Oh, am I ready for this? Could I possibly let another horse back into my life? Will this horse be Casey #2?’ Well, 20 months later, yes, he’s Casey 2.0. Remembering Casey and his Hard Way to Go moments, I know that it’s not all about the horse that makes a 2.0, it’s about horsemanship and the connection between me and Breeze.”

Visit Breeze and follow his amazing videos and photos on Facebook @ The Kentucky Horse, Breeze. Read about NC’s Casey in his award-winning memoir Hard Way to Go: The Horse of a Lifetime

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Twin Flame Love: Soulmate Poetry by N.R.Hart


N.R.Hart's whimsical romantic flair captures the true essence of love in her poetry. She authentically expresses her insight on love as she believes love to be many things, least of all predictable. Love will surprise you when you least expect it. Twin Flame Love is a book of poems about love and romance, passion and longing, loss and heartbreak. Understanding that all these things...are in the name of love. This book is for anyone who has shared a sacred bond, an unexplainable bond, an unbreakable bond, a soulmate or twin flame experience; an ancient bond between souls.

67 Reviews

Best-Selling Author

Twin Flame Love

Beauty and Her Beast

Love Poems to No One

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Reviewed in the United States  

I was not expecting my Twin Flame Love book got hear early on December, 24th. I am so excited to add it to my collection I read the entire book the same night, I could not put it down, not until I finished it. Even after I finished reading it. I wanted to read it again. I felt this poet's words, seeing myself in the love story. I know it was not written for me, but it sure felt as if it was ~N.R Hart is truly a Romantic if you've ever felt your heart broken, read this love story you will fall in love again as I have, and not give a care where you spill your heart out. What a beautiful, writer she is. Thank you for the love story you brought it back into existence in our hearts, and we, your fans get to keep it forever.

Monday, May 20, 2024

Milliron Monday: The Recordings 3


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 always liked unicorns."
― Jody Smith

This recording needs a bit of backstory. We began talking about Jody’s life in Colorado, then on to random conversation from her notecards. The banter may read impassive, but there are many giggles and emotional sighs throughout. Like always, Jody has her notecards ready. Every week, she would make a list of the things she wanted to talk about. After we talked about it, she took the small, worn pencil from her smock pocket and marked each topic off her list.  

Jody: When we were living at Birky’s and Pete was in vet school, the college hired me to type up the necropsy reports. I got the job because Pete was a student, and we needed the money. I usually rode Starboy over to the vet college to drop the reports off or pick them up. This one day, I tied Starboy outside and when I came back out, he had bolted from where he had been grazing. Someone had turned on the building’s exhaust fan. I suppose they didn’t expect anyone to tie their horse near the fan. They should have had a sign Do not tie horses here. Of course, the smell from the exhaust fan probably scared him, too. It was from inside where the students were performing necropsies. I found him nearby. I never did that again.

Gina: He probably wanted to be found. The smell must have been overwhelming.

Jody: Oh, it was, but only when they turned on the fan. Let me see… what else. I told you about my experience with Edgar Cacey/A.R.E., if thou be of Christ, didn’t I? Pete and I attended several A.R.E. meetings. We were interested in Casey. We have several of his books. We studied the Urantia Book, too. It has the most lovely description of Christ. At any rate, one night, after Pete died, I felt something in my room after I had gone to bed. Whatever it was, it was standing over me. I wasn’t afraid, but said, “If thou be of Christ, welcome. If not, be gone.” Whatever it was left because I’ve not had that feeling again.

Gina: My dad is a fan of Casey’s, too. I have several of his books.

Jody: There used to be a group of us who would meet and discuss Casey’s books. I told you about the unicorns. Abbott, Pete’s dad, got all bent out of shape because his daughter-in-law [Jody] had pictures of unicorns everywhere.

Gina: Why would he dislike unicorns?

Jody: He thought it was folklore, and whatever. Fortunately, I have the book that shows during the Middle Ages that unicorns were the symbol of the purity and the mystery of Christ. Once I showed him that, well, then he was fine. Of course, now, he would really be upset because it symbolizes something else…

Gina: I was told unicorns were mischievous and they played around, missed Noah’s Ark. But, then again, I read where “unicorn” was mistranslated from the original text, and the real meaning is rhinoceros.  

Jody: Well, I don’t know. I always liked unicorns. There’s the art by Charles Addams of the two unicorns watching the Ark float away.

[Jody gets distracted by a very large dragonfly. It lands on the light fixture above our heads. She comments on how much she loves dragonflies. We take a break, begin talking about a local story that can’t be repeated, totally off-track. Jody looked at her notecards…]

Jody: I told you about Pat’s accident, didn’t I? The trial? The accident on Court Street?

Gina: Not in detail.

Jody: I was invited to Helen Baker’s house to meet this young man who had been an Ohio University student and was going to run for judge in Athens. I was determined that the then current judge needed to be replaced. During Pat’s trial… our attorney was young… at any rate, the young woman who ran over Pat shows up dressed to the nines, the whole bit. Her attorney was very good. By then, Pat wasn’t on crutches. The judge came to the sentencing. “Well, young woman, since you turned yourself in..”. Well, she didn’t. It was a hit and run. Hearing the judge, I jumped up and began to disagree, but our attorney told me to sit down or I was going to be in contempt of court. The investigator had to search for the woman, it was a hit and run, she didn’t turn herself in… he told me to sit down. I have a transcript of the trial. We made an appointment with the judge after the sentencing for clarification. He said, “I know you’re upset, Mrs. Smith.” He was right. I had the part highlighted on the report where the accident stated hit and run. The judge said, “Well, if I had known that…”. The woman was given a choice of two weekends that she couldn’t drive. She almost killed Pat. I’ve been meaning to tell Jenny Lance that I really appreciate that she bought that piece of property. It reminds me of that man. At any rate, I went to Helen Baker’s house to learn about the new judge who was running. The judge had slept through Pat’s trial. He needed to go. I remember going to church that Sunday morning. They all had read my Letter to the Editor. A lot of people thought the case was mishandled.

Gina: What an ordeal! Pat is a survivor.

Jody: Well, I finally came to terms with it. Let me see… [looking at her notecards] …When I baked cookies, the kids would get one cookie and I told them to break it in half and share it. If it was Jessica’s turn, she randomly broke the cookie in two and gave Pat half. When Pat divided the cookie, he took out his ruler and cut the cookie exactly in two. Years later, down at the Clinic, someone asked Pat if he was going to become a vet, like his dad. He replied that he just couldn’t afford it. He knew the many times we almost went bankrupt.  

Have a great week ahead.

Connect with Gina...

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. 

Sunday, May 19, 2024

The Last of the Romantics: Romantic Poetry by N.R.Hart


N.R.Hart's whimsical romantic flair captures the true essence of love in her poetry. She expresses so authentically her insight on love as she believes love to be many things, least of all predictable. Love will surprise you when you least expect it.

The Last of the Romantics is a book of poems about love and romance, passion and longing, loss and heartbreak. Understanding that all these things... are in the name of love.

And, that's the thing about hearts. They are wild creatures. They have no rules and obey only the rhythm of love. There is no match against the power of love.

68 Reviews

Best-Selling Author

Beauty and Her Beast

Love Poems to No One

The Last of the Romantics

Follow on Facebook

Reviewed in the United States  

NR Hart has done it again in The Last of the Romantics. She has made you believe that love exists for everyone and she is here to bring it to life for all of us. She is a true romantic and tells you anything is possible especially when you follow your heart and soul and are true to your authentic self. She says that love is true acceptance, all your scars, your flaws and your secrets . Yes it is hard and yes it is scary but love doesn’t give up. It is unconditional. Her words are soulful and draw you in to a magical place. Do not miss this wonderful collection of poems . It is so worth it !!!!

Saturday, May 18, 2024

Adult Literacy Ohio: Adults with Intellectual and Development Disabilities IDD Survey


Dear Ohioan:


We are preparing to meet with state leaders to discuss the possibility of growing our program to include ANY adult Ohioan with a developmental disability who has an interest in improving their reading skills. To that end, we are working with Ohio Center on Autism and Low Incidence (OCALI) to collect survey responses. The more demand we can illustrate for our program, the better chance we have of securing additional resources to ensure its longevity and accessibility for ALL who are interested. We would be so grateful if you could take a few minutes to share in your networks! Please find details below and don’t hesitate to reach out if you have questions!


We are looking for adults with intellectual and development disabilities (IDD) over the age of 18 to complete a very brief survey about their interest in improving their reading skills as an adult (post high school). The survey can be completed independently by the person with IDD or with support from a family member or other support person.  


The survey is being conducted by ElevateDD and supported by the Ohio Center on Autism and Low Incidence (OCALI). ElevateDD’s mission is to increase authentic inclusion for people with developmental disabilities by amplifying voices, supporting families, illuminating opportunities, and launching innovative solutions. Through ElevateDD’s brand, Adult Literacy Ohio, we want to hear from adults with developmental disabilities about their interest and needs related to reading.


Those completing the survey who provide their contact information will be entered into a drawing to win one of 20 Walmart $25 gift cards, provided by ElevateDD. The deadline to participate is May 24.


Please click the link below to share your voice.


For ease of sharing on social media, here is a link to our post about the survey.


Thank you in advance for your advocacy and support!

Follow on Facebook: Adult Literacy Ohio

Stuff & Nonsense: Introducing Celeste Parsons, Ohio Writer

Greetings from southeastern Ohio! My name is Celeste Parsons, and I live here on a 48-acre former dairy farm with my husband Jim, our Westie...