Bob Mitchell: Off the spike
Before this last snow, there was some moisture in the area, according to Allen Sparks' gauge -- a freeze-proof type. It measured two inches from the snow and rains that have come through the area.
Recent snows haven't been anything like they were back "in the good old days" when the Seventh Street West, or Old School House Hill was roped-off from traffic, and sledding was the recreation of the day. That was a day and night activity in those days, which has been a subject of previous columns, but will remain part of the history of Cassville. Such activity now would probably not be permissible in this modern era.
I wonder what happened to groups coming to Cassville for meetings? In the past, both the Rotary Club and the Democrats hosted their respective organizations here for outings or meetings. The process of housing these groups wasn't that difficult as the schedule coordinated with slack times for motels and Roaring River facilities. In each instance, the Cassville Golf Course, Table Rock, Roaring River, Branson, Eureka Springs and other facilities proved to be additional attractions. The Democrat hosting event brought people from throughout Missouri for a golf tournament. Today's course would be an even greater attraction.
It's interesting to look or think back to the 1950s, when most of the development of facilities in this area of Table Rock was becoming a reality. All those who were involved in the development of resorts, many businesses, developments and facilities are no longer with us. Most of them were involved in coordinated activities with Cassville, back in the days that fishing and golfing events were scheduled. Those of the most anticipated were the Cedar Creek Golf Course events, hosted by Skeeter Lewis. Cassville could never accomplish a win, since Lewis was a master of placing pins in places known by his people and not easily figured out by the visitors. His putting clock events were always in his pocket. Lewis later moved to Springfield, where he completely lost his sight and passed away a few years ago.
In those days, there was a theory around the Knob that people who came to the area to fish later would come back and become residents. The area quickly took advantage of the potential in opening developments to accommodate these folks. Included in those early developments were the Turkey Mountain development of Bill Shaffer, J.B. Gum and Jim Norman; Crestwood West of Jerry Jerome and Twin Rivers and Fox Woods by Cecil Davis and Ju-Mar-De by Bill Brame.
A good hot-weather story for current conditions would be my one and only trip to the baseball All-Star Game that was in St. Louis, in the first downtown Busch Stadium. Somehow, I got four tickets to the event, inviting Truman Baker and Glen Nicoll to join Bruce and I for the trip. Game day must have been the hottest day of the year. We anticipated this with a couple of gallon-sized water coolers in shopping bags with some purchases on top of them, since there were no containers admitted. After icing them down at the hotel, we made it through the gate. When others were sweltering, we enjoyed our cold water. There were no plastic water containers in those days. It was so hot people were being rushed to emergency facilities after fainting. Toward the end of the game, those around us were laughing heavily. We turned to discover Bruce pouring what water remained in one container on top of his head to really cool himself. Among those going to first aid facilities were the late Charley Bashe, at that time the Barry County collector.
I'm beginning to think that in these days of cutbacks and reductions that at least some packagers of potato chips aren't setting their machines to slice their produce much thinner and get more out of each original product. It's happened in many products, especially in the food categories as their cans or packages continue to shrink. I guess these actions are just signs of the times.
Sign of spring
As the snow melts and the robins return and the calendar shows just days until spring, plus warmer temperatures, which look to increase in coming days, could it be time to can put away the shovels and scrapers?
It is important to commend the job of service agencies that are in charge of snow removal in this area. Both Flat Creek Special Road District and the City of Cassville maintenance department did a commendable job during recent weather conditions. Circumstances with the snow and temperature readings didn't make their jobs any easier. Also the MoDOT crews that worked on highways handled their jobs in fine fashion.
Bob Mitchell is the former editor and publisher of the Cassville Democrat.