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It’s kind of a bittersweet thing, Memorial Day. Sure, it’s a three-day weekend, barbecues, and local parades. But at its heart, it’s about remembering those we’ve lost, particularly the ones who fought for our freedoms. And there’s this whole tradition—maybe your family does it too—of going out to cemeteries and decking out graves with flags, flowers, and all that jazz. Except, here’s the kicker, it looks like this tradition might be on its way out. more
I read some of the most interesting bits of history in a cookbook this week. That’s right, a cookbook: “Missouri Back Road Restaurant Recipes: A Cookbook & Restaurant Guide” by Anita Musgrove. more
All a telephone was good for when I was a boy was talking to people beyond earshot. more
Last week, I had intended to write about a book written by my relative and long-time Ozarker, more
Dear Readers, more
The Oxford Dictionary defines a dream as “a cherished aspiration, ambition, or ideal.” Six simple words, yet they hold the potential to ignite innovation, progress and personal growth. It’s the belief in possibilities beyond the realm of the ordinary, the courage to envision the future, and the relentless pursuit of those aspirations. In a world where innovation thrives on bold ideas, embracing the power of dreaming big is not just a luxury but rather a necessity for achieving the extraordinary.  more
If humming is a sure sign of happiness, we have some very happy children creating Lego masterpieces as I write my column this Saturday morning. The lovely harmony created by one family reminds me of bees buzzing in a flowerbed! more
It was one of those random conversations spurred by a bit on the news about population growth: Benton County, Arkansas, has experienced phenomenal growth. more
This week, I’d like to feature a book called “2 Good 2 Be 4Gotten” by Dr. Max Decker. Written in 2012, the author of this book, Max, was my Cousin Twice Removed (my Grandpa’s first cousin.) His mother, Gladys Martin Decker, was a sister to Katie Martin Patillo (my great grandmother.) My second great-grandparents were Richard Cowden Martin and Tennessee James Martin. more
Last weekend, as the pulsing beats and eclectic vibes of Coachella's second weekend filled the air of Palm Desert, many of us found ourselves far from the action, yet deeply connected thanks to the wonders of technology. There I was, sprawled on my couch, streaming the festival live on YouTube, a makeshift festival-goer in the digital age. more
Hello readers, more
Summersville Friends of the Library will hold their popular Spring Plants & Books Sale on Friday, April 26th, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Donated plants may be dropped off @ the library the day before the sale or the morning of. more
I told myself I wouldn’t write this column, but Angela just won’t let go, nor would I wish it so. This is for all who mourn Angelas of their own: more
This afternoon as I was driving down the road on my way home, I looked to my right and saw a living picture of the Ozarks. There were two handsome brown horses grazing in a pasture. Behind them was a tree line with a steep hill rising up to the sky. Everything was green, or in the process of turning that way. It made me feel grateful that I get to see such beauty every day of my life. more
Last weekend unfolded like the pages of a vibrant, deeply inspiring storybook in West Plains, one penned by the visits of Charly Palmer and Dr. Karida Brown. The anticipation in the air was palpable as Crockett and Tonya Oaks, the transformative figures behind the Lincoln School’s renovation, introduced these luminaries to our community. And I was there, right in the thick of it, thrilled beyond words to sit down with both of them for what turned into an unforgettable morning. more
April is National Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) Awareness Month, and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are 20 million new STD cases in the U.S. every year. more
It’s time to be honest with you. more
Benjamin Franklin once said, “In this world, nothing is certain except death and taxes.” But for Missouri farmers, taxes are about to become a lot more uncertain. Barring action from Congress, many key tax provisions from the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will expire at the end of 2025, leading to a significant tax increase for our state’s agricultural industry. more
Dear Readers, more
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