Mitchell: Roaring River needs better upkeep

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

My latest trip to Roaring River State Park produced an overview that would not be a personal preference for the appearance at Missouri's No. 1 park.

Probably harking back to the days of superintendents Don Reid and Lige Frost when the weeds were clipped and the stream was kept clear of debris, this trip produced high weeds in some parts, small trees in the stream and limbs caught on the baffles.

Perhaps the stream debris was a result of some storm surge that was yet to be cleared. However, it was not what would have been preferred for Roaring River to present to the public.

The current look might be the guideline of today's going back to the appearance of days gone by. If that be the case, the instructions need to be changed.

If the wild and badly-kept look is done in the vein of economy, someone needs to provide more funds for the upkeep and improvement of the appearance at the park. Undoubtedly, there is no shortage of equipment to keep the park's appearance more upscale, which should mean fewer hands to accomplish the work.

It just might be a matter of preference. If given mine, the weeds would be gone, the stream clear of any obstructions and Roaring River State Park would be a showplace for all the visitors who use the facilities during the year.

Devil's Kitchen

How many of you know that Devil's Kitchen, a feature located on one hiking trail in Roaring River suffered considerable damage several years ago?

A part of the rock formations that made the Kitchen a featured spot in the park gave way to Mother Nature and her weather patterns.

That trail was once the favorite of young boys who would divide into teams and participate in hide-and-seek activities along parts of the trail. So far as can be determined, there aren't as many people on the trails these days as once traveled them.

Fact is, not many people walk anywhere as much as they once did.

Spike stuff

Hats off to the Missouri Highway Patrol and their effort for funds to make a concentrated effort to eliminate texting while driving among all drivers in the state. Their statistics show that youths involved in accidents might be using instruments while going down the road. The same would apply as well to adults prone to this practice. The patrol is contacting people in the state to help with the effort since, apparently, the legislature doesn't think this program is sufficiently important to provide the needed money.

Flag display

Belated congratulations to the Community Faith Chapel located just outside Cassville on Highway 248 for their American Flag display on Memorial Day. The effort isn't new and it's good to see the congregation is continuing the practice of outlining their property line with small flags. It wouldn't hurt this community to adopt this or other unique displays for holidays. It's always a pleasure to drive into Siloam Springs, Ark., and see each of their light standards carrying a flag each day of the year, not just on holidays.

Predictions

Under the heading of predictions, these have been uncovered:

* In 1936, a New York Times article concerning space travel concluded, "a rocket will never be able to leave the Earth's atmosphere."

* In 1938, Fortune Magazine had this to say, "Few scientists foresee any serious or practical use for Atomic Energy. They regard the splitting experiments as useful steps in trying to explain the atom more accurately, not as the key to unlocking any new or additional power."

* In 1939, the New York Times argued, "The problem with television is that people must sit and keep their eyes glued to a screen. The average family doesn't have time for it, arguing that television would never be a competitor for broadcasting."

* In 1966, "Remote shopping, while entirely feasible, will flop, declared Time magazine. Patronizingly they added, "Women like to get out of the house, like to handle merchandise and like to be able to change their minds."

* In 1995, InfoWorld published a column concluding that the Internet would soon go spectacularly supernova and, in 1996, catastrophically collapse.

If you wanted to go to a McDonald's, travel wouldn't cause you much concern. There are 13,381 of them in the United States, 3,598 in Japan, 1,400 in Canada, 1,276 in Germany, 1,250 in Britain and 660 in China. At least that's in the last count.

You might not think much of this one, but Bill Maher said recently, "The government did more in 1812 without electronics than it is doing today."

As for me, there are green tomatoes on my vines and we're looking forward to a bumper crop, which might be a warning to the squirrels of the trees that surround our abode to stay out of the garden.

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