Bob Mitchell: Almanac says storms are brewing

Wednesday, May 14, 2014
Mitchell

It's probably safe to say there were a lot of prayers answered this past week with the rain showers that visited the area.

Generally, gauges put an inch and a few tenths on the ground before the rain departed this area.

At the top of the list of those grateful people were those who were in their second and third plantings in their gardens after cold snaps visited the area in weeks past.

Shelley and Dennis did our major planting a previous weekend, thinking we were close enough to Mother's Day to avoid any killing frost. That hasn't always been the case, but as a rule of thumb, this date has proven to be a fairly safe time to put plants in the ground. Temperatures in the 90s prior to the rains should have warmed the ground sufficiently to put plants to growing.

Now, the period of growing is the type self-satisfaction enjoyed around our house, which has been about all that was realized so far as a crop was concerned for the past three years.

Some of those who were successful were ever so kind to supply us with Barry County-grown tomatoes throughout last summer. They were the ones who benefited from the veggies we secured down in Mississippi earlier this month.

A Republican friend (there are some of those in existence) was kind enough to share his bountiful supply of tomato plants to put into the ground. It took a Democrat friend to till the garden, a spot that hadn't been touched for three or four years.

Weather

It would appear the area would be clear from damaging cold weather through the end of the month. Almanac weather, which a lot of people are considering highly reliable, says that there should be storm systems moving through the plains and central states sufficiently to provide moisture for growing things, beginning next week.

Toward the end of the month, the forecast is saying severe thunderstorms will be coming our way from Texas and Oklahoma.

Out of past

Saturday is Armed Forces Day. This takes me back to 1949, when the military forces of this country were unified. That was in President Harry Truman's days. I was in Norfolk, Va., at Atlantic Fleet Headquarters. The commander of that fleet at the time was four-star Admiral William H.P. Blandy.

Around the headquarters, he was called Horse Power, but not to his face. The admiral was slated to become Chief of Naval Operations, the Navy's highest position, and was invited to appear on an early television interview in Washington, D.C.

When the day arrived, the public information officer informed a couple of us in the office that we would be going along, probably to carry briefcases, and we did as ordered.

During the interview, a reporter held up a copy of a Washington paper that was reporting on an incident the occurred in Hampton Rhoads, off Norfolk, where the battleship Missouri had run aground on a mud flat. The article was accompanied by a cartoon showing Air Force B-36 aircraft, harnessed together with tow ropes, pulling the ship out of the mud.

This incident was more than the admiral could take as he responded in some rather salty terms and left the interview. Unfortunately for the Navy, he found himself a few short weeks past the incident in a retired status, instead of rising to the highest post in the service.

After this event, things were pretty touchy in the military, as the merger of the military became the Armed Forces. Some of the more ardent of military branch services still observe their own particular founding dates in special observances.

Shortly after the USS Missouri incident, the Korean War came along and forged the Armed Services somewhat closer toward each other.

Memorial Day

Coming in just over a week, a first of the summer holidays will be upon us. Memorial Day is Monday, May 26, which has been observed since first being proclaimed in 1883.

I should have realized this holiday was coming shortly after receiving notices seeking contributions to maintain Oak Hill Cemetery.

The same situation will exist throughout the county as city and rural burial sites will be decorated for the occasion.

In this respect, it is important to indicate the graves of those who served in the military with an American Flag.

Each individual is now responsible for performing this task as the cost of the grave size flags has escalated to the point that former sponsors of the program no longer provide the staffed-flags. This should not deter from the fact that these burial sites should be recognized on this special holiday, which designated in their honor.

Bob Mitchell is the former editor and publisher of the Cassville Democrat.