Bob Mitchell: What's next?
It is quite obvious that eating is one of the pleasures of life that is enjoyed around our household.
That's is especially true around the casinos we visit, when one of us also enjoys the pleasure of pushing the buttons of some of the hundreds of machines. If there had to be favorites among those establishments (since that's the only reason l frequent those places), it would have to be Cherokee in Siloam Springs, Ark., and the Silver Slipper, west of Gulfport, Miss.
At the land of Razorbacks -- which actually is not in Arkansas, but just over the line in Oklahoma -- top dining is available at the Flint Creek Steakhouse, named after an actual stream that runs just west of the casino.
There isn't any better food served anywhere as far as I'm concerned, and the service is better than most places than this little corner off the gambling area. Everything in this place is first class, and the employees really take care of you. At Silver Slipper in Mississippi, the Monday buffet was half price, which found people waiting in line. This chow line went slowly because those seating and collecting seven bucks for the meal were slow in doing their job.
The folks at the Silver Slipper, located on a point of the Gulf, really know how to prepare seafood. Their service of butterfly shrimp especially attracted my tray the three or four times we were there with Ron and Mary Belle McGrath. The gals would finish eating early and proceed to their machines, while Ron and I could set and continue to enjoy the fare that seemed to never run dry. The boiled shrimp was replenished by the tub-full on a bed of ice, and the fried shrimp came out by the bucket-full.
We suspected that the casino might have their own fishing boat, because of the seemingly never-ending supply, but we never asked. There have been times when supplies of seafood were in extreme shortage -- some due to man's mistakes, and others because of Mother Nature.
Making all these comparisons makes me wonder what is next in the food supply situation in this country? Remember not long ago there was an article about vegetable prices in south Florida that were not conducive to farmers staying in the business. The same now comes to us on the other coast. Because of the water shortage in California, farmers are now, in some areas, selling their water rights to metropolitans because of the severe drought conditions. The farmers can realize the same profit in the water sales as they can without growing a crop, and at much less effort. What do you think this is going to do to the food supply situation coming out of those areas? In any case, it will cause problems in the food that goes on the tables of those from around the world.
These two situations tell us that there are going to be problems in our food supply lines that continue, either because of the trend of going elsewhere to buy what goes on the shelves, or water supplies inadequate to water fields or that water going for other purposes because of drought conditions.
On this subject, we always go back to a long-range proposal that appeared in this column several years ago -- tapping the supply of water about 12 miles from Cassville, Table Rock Lake, and making it available to this region when and if present water supplies, anywhere in the area, won't cover needs.
There have been talks about this possibility in recent years, but nothing concrete is in place should this need arise. Cassville's location to Table Rock is in an ideal location to be the water source for southwest Missouri. But the necessary planning for any water use for this need hasn't been touched with any certainty. A project such this needs to be in place now, not when there is an absolute need.
It is doubtful that some of us will be around when this need becomes a reality, but just in case we are, I'd like to know some of the table items of today would be available.
Bob Mitchell is the former editor and publisher of the Cassville Democrat.