Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Happy Birthday Claude!

Today would have been my grandpa Claude Argyl Smith's 100th birthday. He passed away eight years ago at the age of 92 (you can read his obituary in the Washington Post online).

He was born in a log cabin, learned to drive a Model T Ford when we was 12 years old, and studied for college by the light of an oil lamp. He also had a rather amazing life which took him around the world. As a large animal veterinarian for the US Department of Agriculture, he oversaw the arrival of giant pandas Ling-Ling and Hsing-Hsing to the National Zoo, and the import and quarantine of Jackie Kennedy's horse, Sardar, from Pakistan.

Most importantly, he was wise and funny and wonderful, as grandpas should be, and I miss him very much. To celebrate, here are some images my uncle recently scanned from Claude's old slides. Happy Birthday Grandpa!

a cheetah, a gamekeeper and Claude in Africa in the 1960s
Claude (left) and a colleague in Africa, 1960s
Claude (right) and a colleague in Africa
Claude and a colleague with an African termite mound
Claude in England in 1978, sporting some amazing trousers
Grandpa and me, England, 1978 (I still have that plaid shirt)
A  special Routemaster bus picked us up for my grandpa's 68th birthday! (Albuquerque, New Mexico, 1981)
the birthday boy, January 30, 1981
Grandma, Grandpa and my family on Oahu, Hawaii, 1984 (I'm in the red muumuu)
Grandma and Grandpa (Claude and Gerry) with my youngest sister in Hawaii, 1984
Claude in Jamaica, 1974