Remembering an old friend

To the editor:

For some time, I have wanted to write to the newspaper about my friend Etcyl Dee Smith. Smith was a genuine character.

A colorful character, it was reported, with some collaboration, that as a youthful teenager he threw a horse shoe, tied to a rope, across the power line at the city's sub-station and when he pulled the rope, the shoe connected the wires, the voltage blew the system and caused an explosion and major power outage. People said Etcyl could not see for several hours or days, depending on what you believe.

Etcyl graduated from Willow Springs high school in the class of 1951. He was in my sister's class and one of their most loyal supporters of the Willow Springs Bears, especially their debate and speech efforts. He never missed a Bear football game, but went mostly for the social aspects, more than the athletic efforts.

Etcyl attended five universities. Five universities for a total of 10 weeks for all five. He averaged a couple of weeks per school before

getting bored and dropping out. Etcyl was extremely smart, he just didn't march to the same drummer as most. He was a person who read Wm. F. Buckley and other noted authors, and often commented that his was the hand that shook the hand of Socialist candidate Norman Thomas.

Etcyl did not pay federal Income taxes during the Vietnam war period, this was his protest against the war, in action. After the war ended, he leveled out, and paid his taxes with the IRS.

Smith ran the Smith Insurance Agency, the one that his father, Bill Smith, had started. Etcyl took it to a higher level after attending

many insurance institutes in Chicago. He was brilliant in his insurance work, and had a large clientèle. I traveled with him to south east

Missouri, where his agency insured large farming operations. The agency specialized in commercial insurance. His agency was located in the building now occupied by the Mexican restaurant on West Main Street in Willow Springs.

Etcyl loved literature and music. His library was extensive. Etcyl read prominent authors, including Wm. F. Buckley. His love of music brought him to a high fidelity system that was second to none in this town. He had massive speakers with woofers and tweeters that were huge in size and gave Etcyl the purest in sound. Dave Brubeck's jazz was one of his favorite venues. Brubeck was an innovator in modern jazz. Brubeck was credited with the largest seller album in Jazz history with "Take Five,” where he composed in unusual meters 5/4 time.

Etcyl drank some alcohol. That caused him a lot of grief in his later years. He told me on many occasions that, "Drinking was not his

problem, he drank because of his problems." On occasion, Etcyl was an excellent speaker. In a speech to the staff of the Missouri treasurer’s office he spoke of drinking alcohol for 30 years, so it was about time for sobriety.

I think of him often,

Wendell Bailey

Willow Springs

Distrustful of Biden

To the editor,

I think of lives lost over there fighting for something to believe in back home. Meaning our Constitution, the Bill of Rights therein, justice for all and fair elections. Things we were told that set us apart from Third World banana republics.

We’ve always had corruption, but never on today’s scale along with hatred and divisions as lawlessness abounds.

As the mountain lady said on an episode of “Bonanza,” “Theres a law for you’ns and a law for we’ns and may I add theres no law for some of them’ns.” Mobocracy is democracy at its whose without the rule of law, as rioters loot inside the stores, fraud loots inside the polls.

Biden admitted on camera, “We’ve got the best fraud origination ever.” Joe also says its time to unite, hug and heal. Joe, it’s not that easy after 24/7 hate.

Trump removing him with lies, calling his supporters, reprobates, irredeemables, smelly Walmart shopping racists. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the most radical dangerous person in Congress, wants an Enemy List to punish Trump’s most ardent supporters, it’s called “The Trump Accountability Project.”

America, if you ever let this person in the White House you’ll then have Fidel Castro minus a beard.

Joe, that’s not healing, “come on man,” if you’re really serious, have some class, go to the mic and announce President Trump deserves the “Nobel Peace Prize” for the United Arab Emirates peace alliance in the Middle East.

Remember, Joe, the false second coming got it for, what? It won’t happen, your handlers and hate-Trump media won’t allow it, for orange man must stay bad and hounded after leaving office. Some Trumpsters equate Trump as godsent or God’s man. I’ve never gone there. Though I feel Trump was figuratively crucified by corruption everywhere that couldn’t stand for this man outside the circle to call them out inside the circle for what they really are.

I supported President Trump because of promises made, promises kept and his natural ability to negotiate for Americans and not himself, for love of country.

The law of average shows us there is going to be one-term presidents and it’s been 28 years since. Beginning from 1840 to 1960 every president elected 20 years apart died in office and since President Kennedy it’s been 57 years. Something to think about.

Bernard M. Collins

West Plains

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