If anyone represents this year's theme of "Small Town Living," it's retired veterinarian Norman "Doc" Vincent. Vincent provided care to animals big and small for almost 40 years through his North Fork Veterinary Clinic. To honor his service, Vincent was named grand marshal of the 73rd annual Paonia Cherry Days parade. He and his wonderful wife Connie will ride in style in a red 1998 Chrysler Sebring convertible owned by Judy Anderson.
The first 25 years of Vincent's career he worked on large animal -- horses and cattle, and for the remainder, on small animals -- cats and dogs and pocket pets. He provided all levels of care to thousands of animals, giving their owners sound advice on diet and exercise to end-of-life care and decisions.
Vincent had a reputation for being reliable, professional and affordable. Some of his clients traveled from other counties and even other states to have their pets treated by Doc.
After he closed his doors last February, the nonprofit Citizens for Animal Welfare and Shelter honored Vincent by naming its new cat shelter "Norm's Cat House."
The Paonia Chamber of Commerce also honored Doc Vincent as its Person of the Year for his "love and dedication to our furry friends," said acting chamber vice president Debbie Kimball. The chamber also created a scrap book of tributes, comments and photos submitted by those who benefited from his care.