Bob Mitchell: Major dates to remember in December

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Here we are in the second day of 2015's final month, with many notes one needs to stay on top of what is happening in the community in the next few weeks.

First, there is the Cassville Christmas Parade at 6 p.m. Saturday. This annual event is the second nighttime parade in the region, Branson being the first, dating long before the night-time march down Main Street Cassville in 1979.

This "experiment" was an undertaking of the Cassville Chamber of Commerce to add something new and exciting for local residents. Parade units took to the idea in big fashion, with some of the most outstanding units ever seen here, appearing in the parade 26 years ago.

Challenge lighting

Float entries took on the challenge of the evening by designing their units to reflect what lighting they might have aboard their units. Some relied simply on battery power, while others had access to generators that hummed their way along Main Street to illuminate the float.

Simple float construction went out the window that year, as I remember Wells Aluminum -- whose plant once stood on Sale Barn Road -- built their unit totally with aluminum foil, which reflected their lighting perfectly, and took first place in the open division.

Later years have found more generators available, some borrowed from farm units. Their hum provides more than enough lighting for the units.

Lives in infamy

President Franklin Roosevelt went before Congress after the Japanese sneak attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, said the day will "live in infamy."

Today's relations between the two nations notwithstanding, there will always be a thought this time of the year of what was going on in that generation's mind on that fateful day.

That was went the Ozark Theater was located on the south side of the public square, owned and operated by Mrs. Nolan. That Sunday afternoon, youngsters were gathered at the Music Store (later the Corner Store), waiting for the movie matinee time when news of the attack was broadcast over the radio.

There were at least two in the party who were holding small toys, obviously made in Japan, which were quickly stomped by each of us on the wooden floor of the business. We later cleaned up the mess we made.

Appropriate photo

In the American Legion calendar, closing out the year, is an appropriate photo concerning the above subject.

With the Battleship Arizona monument in the background, the memorial is framed by the 16-inch guns of the USS Missouri, moored in a permanent display in Pearl Harbor. This photo is significant since the Unconditional Surrender of Japan, ending World War II, was signed on the foredeck aboard he Missouri in Tokyo Bay.

The Arizona was one of the Pacific Fleet's ships sunk as Japanese planes swarmed over the harbor, beginning the conflict. Hundreds of sailors were entombed in the sunken vessel. A permanent memorial now rests above the ship.

Winter arrives

Dec. 22 is the first official day of winter. There's no concern of what might be upon us previous to this date, so far as the calendar is concerned, those cold winds of the season are cleared to arrive on this date.

There is plenty of time between now and then to add to the woodpile, stop air leaks between doors or do any of those chores related to making the home more comfortable and less costly to heat during the cold-weather season.

23 days until Christmas

In case you haven't been keeping track, there are just 23 more days until Christmas. For those of you who don't have any gifting ideas, my suggestion is to get hopping and do some looking around for an appropriate gift, lest you are left out in the cold when it comes selection time.

Celebrating the Birth of Christ, Christmas this year falls on a Friday -- affording a long holiday observance and an opportunity to gather with family members.

Or, perhaps if you are in the same boat as we are, with a number of great-grandchildren to gift this Christmas. Writing a check might be the best way out of the situation.

Gifting these days, with all the electronic gadgets on the market, might not be as difficult as it once was. And, if you have doubts about the younger generation having any problem with electronics, just go around where they exist and watch even the youngest attack them without hesitation. And they can make the most difficult of games go with a bang.

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