Ozarks Viewpoints

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

A few weeks ago, we had an outing with Chuck and Melva Peterson, formerly of Cassville, and a couple that annually visits them for a month each year. They became acquainted and good friends while both were working in Saudi Arabia.

Chuck, a former U.S. Navy pilot, and Mike, a former RAF technician, both were employed by the Saudi airlines, and their friendship has lasted over a long period of time.

There were so many humorous things that could be noted, but a few were the following:

After going out to eat one evening, they noted that American waitresses were anxious to serve their customers, and noted that the English waitresses were rude.

Mike commented on the American Government situation at the time and said, "he had never seen so many buggered around by so few."

In another comment, he said, "If the debt problems couldn't end, England will have to take over again, and we'll have to play proper football."

He also thought you could change the names and the English politicians could easily become their American counterparts.

Incidentally, they were well satisfied with their medical care system of socialized medicine.

Black gold

According to most of those who gather black walnuts this time of the year, there is a good crop in the process of being harvested. Hullers are grinding away in several local communities.

I wonder how many people know that what was probably the first huller to be designed, in this area at least, was by the Packwood family of Exeter. Prior to this machinery becoming available, it wasn't uncommon to be driving down a rural road and come to an area covered with green walnuts. Some folks in those days let autos run over the walnuts to do their hulling.

Every time we happen to be on Highway 86, it's interesting to see the grove of walnut trees initially planted by John Elston, a one-time Exeter banker, and was later owned by the Worth Keens.

Dakotas

We're just back from South Dakota, and noticed there wasn't much of a change in that area, although the crops were considerably better than in previous years. As most hunters from this area noted, the Fish and Game commission was correct in estimating the bird crop was down about 60 percent from previous years. Deer hunters in that area were also holding unpleasant news, their herd had been depleted in some areas with a plague of Blue Tongue.

So, their revenue in both instances was going to be down this year and possibly for several years to come. Fortunately, for us hunting on our own land, which is managed for birds, provided a good outing with the trip since visiting the group was the main objective of the travel.

Vet breakfast

This Saturday, Nov. 11, is the annual Veterans Day breakfast sponsored by Irwin-Easley American Legion of Cassville. It's the Legion's opportunity to thank the community for all the past and present assistance given the veterans' group. The breakfast, beginning at 6 a.m. and continuing until all the chow is gone, is open to everyone in the community.

While the Legion Post is well established in community and makes several contributions to our way of life, there was a time in early post life, that the community was asked and responded with assistance for the fledgling group who had served their country.

Foremost was the community response when Irwin-Easley purchased the Bill Holman land on Highway 112 that is now the post home and land for various activities. Also, constructing a building meant financial support had to come from the Legion program, which many of them had community support to the extreme. Beginning with the basement, Legion members moved slowly over the initial years before branching out in their efforts to build the existing Legion Home.

Fly flags

This could well be one of the most important designated times to fly the flag of the United States of America both on businesses and private homes. This could be a tribute to all those veterans who have served in the military and made our way of life what it is today.

Each year about this time, I am reminded that there are no longer any World War I veterans in our midst. The last two to fall under that category that I can remember were Charley Willis and Charley Riddle, both of whom were honored for longtime American Legion memberships shortly before they departed this life.

The American Legion will, as usual, take care of displaying the flags on white way poles through the business district of Cassville, which is another of those recognition services provided by the Irwin-Easley Post.