Bob Mitchell: Whatever happened to Cassville?

Wednesday, June 8, 2016
Bob Mitchell Ozark Views & Comments

On PBS recently was a final concert by a favorite group of mine, The Statler Brothers, who have been around about as long as I have. One of their favorite songs, "Whatever Happened To Randolph Scott?" is also one of mine.

During their presentation of this particular number, came this realization: "Whatever happened to Cassville's past activities and organizations?" For those who don't know, it might be well to wonder what might be going on in our community.

Harvest Show

Long ago, when Cassville leaned more heavily on agriculture, this industry was recognized each fall with an outright effort of The Harvest Show.

This might not appear to be much of an effort, but for those who can remember two sides of the square being filled with livestock pens, built each year out of oak lumber and covered with tin roofs, it was a major undertaking. The effort brought out Cassville people from all walks of life to do their part in promoting the industry that meant so much to the community.

Targeting the dairy and beef cattle industry, with a heavy show list of swine, there was always a large demand for the spaces that covered the west and north sides of the square.

That area of West Street in front of the post office was the judging area with agriculture people both from the Extension Service and breed organizations doing a quality job of rating the entries.

To the best of current-day knowledge, and the fact that traffic was disrupted throughout this area, there was never a complaint -- even from those with offices or working in the courthouse -- concerning parking or access close-in to their work. Perhaps one reason was that there were fewer automobiles on the streets in those days.

Whether this type of undertaking would be possible these days is doubtful. As a concern that was put forward recently stated, "Cassville has lost the fire in her belly."

Organizations lost

One of the most active groups in Cassville several years ago was the Lions Club, whose annual chicken barbecues raised lots of money for youth activities and other club promotions. The reason for its demise was pretty well known and surely doesn't need to be discussed at this time.

Lions Club members really promoted this activity and community members came out in large numbers to support the effort. It was a long day for the club members during the hot summer or fall days. Cooking was done at the old football field and later in the pavilion at Memorial Park, which the Lions constructed after Irwin-Easley American Legion donated the park land.

Then, there is the Cassville Garden Club and other women's groups that were once active in providing an interest for the community. Very little is heard of Silver Leaf Benefit Club, whose members promoted the last dogwood planting in Cassville.

This list could go on and on. Unfortunately for a vibrant town and community, a promotion executive in Springfield recently asked, "What has happened in Cassville?"

Could go farther

These events and organizations active in Cassville's past could go on and on, and might even fall deeper in disappearing should some current administrative failures to function become reality. The points being made might hinge on the fact that the folks who made these things happen are no longer with us. The businesses that supported Cassville are either not around these days or are not in a position to help, as were those in the growing days of Cassville.

Whatever the reason or cause, those who have been in contact with this columnist are doing so with deep regrets that the City of Seven Valleys isn't what she once was. Regrettably, many of these folks are not financially or physically able to do much about what needs to be done. But their concern and that of others who are looking for solutions to problems, are something current generations need to grasp and possibly find a solution to any problems that exist.

Flag Day reminder

Tuesday is Flag Day, another opportunity for Cassville to really show her colors, with a large display in the commercial and residential areas.

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

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