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In the year 1920, a large crowd of people looked on as one of the most exciting accidents in the history of West Plains occurred. An object fell from the sky and crashed into the downtown area of West Plains. more
Did I see a leaf on a tree turning color from green to yellow in my neighbors yard? I did. more
Dear readers, more
Social Security strives to deliver great customer service and helpful information to everyone, including people who are more comfortable reading and speaking Spanish.    more
Editor’s note: Author Lacey Miller and her family are Missouri Farm Bureau members. After losing her father, Ralph Griesbaum, in a rollover tractor accident on their Marion County farm, the family has become farm safety warriors, working to spare others a similar tragedy.  more
In 1837, a ten-year-old boy named Washington P. Hawkins embarked on a journey with his family to the Ozarks of Missouri, traveling by oxcart. Wash, as he was affectionately called, happened to be my 3x great grandfather. His family, hailing from Warren County, Tennessee, found themselves in a situation where the encroaching presence of neighbors and civilization had become rather uncomfortable. The old saying "If you could hear your neighbor's dog bark or rooster crow, it was time to move!" applied in this situation. They loaded up the wagons and headed West. more
Jim told me, “I would write in a notebook with a pin several pages; Marilyn would type them, and she would cry.“ more
I never understood as a young man why Dad didn’t fix the barn door. All it needed was a proper hinge. more
“Hey hey. Hey hey, baby, hey.” That’s all it took, I was hooked. more
I love witnessing the power of Missouri agriculture throughout the entire month of August. From watching children and adults of all ages roam the grounds at the Missouri State Fair to producers from all over the state attending the annual Missouri Farm Bureau Commodity Conference, it’s an invigorating time. It’s a reminder of the impact that farmers and ranchers have not just here at home but throughout the country and the world.  more
I took care of my baby brother Stephen when he was a baby. I never wondered what he would grow up to be, and I never had the chance to see. more
Ah, Fall! The season of contradictions. The Goldilocks of seasons where the weather is not too hot, not too cold, but just right! As the days grow shorter and the trees don a vibrant cloak of reds, oranges, and yellows, the Ozarks become the very canvas of nature’s masterpieces. The crisp mornings beckon us to wrap our fingers around a steaming mug of coffee, while the cool evenings are an open invitation to sit outside, basking under a starlit sky. It's a season so picturesque that if it were a movie, it'd sweep all the Oscars. more
I had dropped a story off for the Quill article, “This, I Remember,” entitled “Dan and Dan.” I am always standing in the need of exercise, so I leave the Quill article at the office on Washington Avenue, cross the street and walk to the Square and walk clockwise to West Plains Bank. I am always visiting as I go in the bank is a good place to stick your head in, maybe grab a cup of coffee and say hello. more
This month I’m traveling back to Gainesville, Missouri, to relive a 57-year-old memory of Hootin’ an Hollerin’ ! You can join me at the festival this year on September 21, 22, 23. I remember my excitement as a six-year-old, walking in the costume parade. My sister and I were dressed in little pioneer girl dresses and bonnets that our mother, Rosalea, made for us. Taking place on the square by the courthouse, it was full of people, music, and food. I still can still smell the sorghum being squeezed and cooked down. We lived in Gainesville at that time, and my father, Sergeant Dan Cargill (retired) of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, was the lone patrolman for Ozark County from 1966-67. He tells us stories of working with Herman Pierce, the Ozark County Sheriff. We all have good memories of Gainesville. more
On the last day of July, a storm blew through Springfield and surrounding areas, leaving thousands without power. Our house missed that first wave of outages in the middle of the night. more
Dear Readers, more
I recently made a remark in a column about being a “rhubarb fan” and Melinda Ray picked up on it with an interesting introduction. She said her 90-year-old mom has been eating this since childhood, so it is an heirloom in her family. It sounds delicious! (Next on my dessert menu.) I love fruit dumplings! She prefers pink rhubarb. Thanks, Melinda. more
Kids are back in school and yellow buses run up and down country roads night and morning. more
Years ago, at the old library, we had a strange oddity that could never be explained. I had purchased one Curious George stuffed toy for the children’s corner, but a second one just appeared one day without explanation. Very weird, indeed. more
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