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No one's more excited about the upcoming Summer Reading Program than the librarians!! more
As we honor this Memorial Day those military men and women who sacrificed their lives in service to our country, let us likewise honor those mortally wounded yet among us. more
You know, there are times when I look around and just scratch my head in confusion. We’re living in an era that I don’t understand and, to be honest, don’t really like. It feels like we’ve become a society that’s quick to anger and even quicker to take offense. And it’s not just about politics, although that's a big part of it. We seem so divided on so many levels, and it’s heartbreaking to witness. more
Last week, I wrote about my earliest Martin family history. I continue with this story because I believe it is very similar to the ancestry of many people who live in this area of the Ozarks. I have talked to a large number of people here in Howell County (as well as Ozark County) who can trace their family trees back to Tennessee or Kentucky and before that North Carolina, Virginia, and Pennsylvania. Many of these settlers originated from Ulster in Northern Ireland. The label of Scots-Irish has been applied to those who arrived in the first great wave of immigration from 1700-1770. more
Dear Readers, more
Isn't it fascinating how music forms powerful connections to memories in our brains? Sometimes, the reasons for these connections aren't even clear to us. For example, every single time I hear the song "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" by Tears for Fears, I think of summer. Not only do I think about summer, but I get this overwhelming feeling that it must be the beginning of summer. The funny thing is, I have absolutely no idea why I associate that song so strongly with the start of summer. Was it featured in a movie about summer that I saw as a kid? Was it playing on the radio a lot when we were at Norfork Lake? more
I’m not sure I’ve ever been a farmer. more
This week I was asked if I was related to any Ozark or Howell County Martins. The answer was “definitely yes!” So, I pulled out my book “A Journey Through Time,” written by Glain E. Martin and published in 2008. This book is 377 pages of Martin history and I have used it extensively to research the family, especially during the tragic Civil War years. I know that there are many people in this area with Martin ancestors. Burden, Russell, Cobb, James, and Green are also names I see in our family trees. more
Dear Readers, more
Springtime: a season synonymous with blooming flowers, verdant landscapes, and the promise of warmer days ahead. For many, it’s a time to revel in the beauty of nature’s rebirth, a chance to shed the layers of winter and embrace the sun's gentle kiss. However, for a significant portion of the population, this idyllic vision is marred by an annual battle against the invisible foes of pollen, mold spores, and a myriad of other allergens. Welcome to the world of seasonal allergies, where the joys of spring are tempered by the discomfort of runny noses, itchy eyes, and a symphony of sneezes. more
In an exciting development for aspiring writers and community storytellers, the West Plains Daily Quill has announced an open call for a new columnist to join our beloved weekly feature on the Local Voices page. This opportunity, appearing in every Wednesday edition of the newspaper, represents a significant platform for locals to share their insights, stories, and reflections on a wide array of topics ranging from local history to modern-day culture. more
Though I have never lived in the town of Houston, I’m enjoying a book by Julia West Parker that started as a paper she wrote for an upcoming centennial of the founding of Texas County, MO. Her story of the early history of Texas County and the town of Houston is a page-turner as she recalls the churches, schools, courthouses, businesses, and families of Texas County, beginning with her birth at Elk Creek, Mo. in 1881. more
The farmer down the road was the first person to pay me for working. more
Have you ever heard of Bharatanatyam? For most people in the Ozarks the answer would be just like me with a “No- I don’t even have an idea of what that would be.” Although I still stumble over the pronunciation - buh-ruh-tuh-NAH-tyum, I do know the definition and have studied its origin and practices in India. more
Dear Readers, more
We celebrate National Women’s Health Week from May 12 through 18. more
In an exciting development for aspiring writers and community storytellers, the West Plains Daily Quill has announced an open call for a new columnist to join our beloved weekly feature on the Local Voices page. This opportunity, appearing in every Wednesday edition of the newspaper, represents a significant platform for locals to share their insights, stories, and reflections on a wide array of topics ranging from local history to modern-day culture. more
While April is known as the month that brings May flowers, it’s during the month of May that we set aside time to honor those who died in active military service, usually by placing flowers @ gravesites. Whether we call it Decoration Day or Memorial Day now, it’s always been a reverent day of remembrance in the Ozarks. more
My mother never made cinnamon rolls for breakfast or an apple pie for supper, leastways none that I can recall. more
Dear Readers, more
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