Monday, June 3, 2024

Milliron Monday: The Recordings 5


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. 

"We named her Lollipop because I was such a sucker."
― Jody Smith

A few of these stories were told to me several times. Listening to old recordings, each one has a bit more information than the last. I have two stories from Jody about how she came to cut her long braid (will post the other story in the future). First, we begin with one of Jody's treasured tangible possessions, now belonging to her son, a picture of Pharaoh's Horses. Hearing the story again, I am certain that the memory of the old harness-maker was just as meaningful to Jody as the picture. Then, Jody looked at her notecards and we moved on to other stories...

When I was a young girl, we would go into town to shop. While mother went to the dress shop, my favorite thing to do was to go to the harness shop down the street. I loved the shop; leather, tack, and the smell of it. But most of all, I adored the large picture on the wall of Pharaoh's Horses. The old man who owned the shop was nice. One day when I went into the shop, everything was in boxes and the man said that he had to close the shop and this would be the last day I could see the picture. I asked him what I was to do if I could no longer see the picture. Could I buy it? The old man said I could buy it for five dollars. Of course, I didn’t have five dollars, so I ran out of the shop, found my mother, and she gave me five dollars. Pat has it hanging in his office.

When we first moved to Athens, the neighbor had a donkey for sale. I told Pete I bought a donkey. He laughed. He said, “You didn’t pay money for a donkey! They should have given it to you!” Well, we named her Lollipop because I was such a sucker.

My hair was very long from the day I was born until high school. When I was in high school, I was going with a boy my mother and grandmother didn’t like. Mother was always fusing with my hair and kept it long. There were bows and ribbons when I was younger. But then when I started dating, this boy didn’t like long hair, he liked short hair. Mother and grandmother were upset that I cut it.

I had short hair when I first met Pete. He wanted me to grow it long. I did, kept it in a braid. Of course, when Pete wanted my hair long and I let it grow, mother wanted me to have short hair. At one time, my hair was so long I could sit on it. It was a terrible nuisance around the farm. One day, I was out with the sheep and my braid got caught in the top strand of barbwire fence. It was cold and rainy, I couldn’t deal with it any longer. When I got home, I said to Pete, “Would you be upset if I cut my hair?” He said, “No, no.” I’ve kept it short ever since.

Have a great week ahead.

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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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