Bob Mitchell: 7 original members return to show
When the 24th consecutive The Show hits the Cassville stage this year, it will mark 24 years that seven members of the band have been with the local entertainment group. Their performance this year will highlight a busy mid-October for the Cassville Chamber of Commerce.
Greg Beck -- original organizer of the band and professional drummer who came out of the Cassville R-4 music program and individual professional instruction -- once toured with the late Bob Merideth throughout the country.
Now sales coordinator for Able 2 Products, Beck has continued his interest in music by promoting The Show, which all have been professionally written by Beck and acquaintances in the music industry.
Staying with the program for all these years are: Beck and his wife, Brenda; Bruce and Debbie Nickle; Jack Reed; and Don and Carolyn Bowen. There are a number of other long-time performers who will be included in this year's three-performance presentation.
Altogether, there are 11 band members, with the entire cast of the 2016 presentation returning. Rehearsals and tryouts have been in progress for several weeks. With about half the crew being veterans, a good continuity for this year's program is assured.
This year's show is themed around the 1970s and 1980s and will once again be produced in the FEMA auditorium at the north end of the main R-4 campus, just a short distance west of Wildcat Stadium.
Split shows on tap
Accommodating Friday night football in Cassville, The Show performances are set for 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 20 and Saturday, Oct. 22. A 2:30 p.m. matinee is set for Sunday, Oct. 23.
Brittany Farris, Chamber of Commerce executive director, says ticket information and scheduling for special tables are available at her office on Main Street. Groups desiring tables are asked to get their requests in as early as possible.
Chili and salsa event
Just in time for at least part of the Flaming Fall Review in the Ozarks and in conjunction with The Show, Cassville's square will be crowded throughout the day Saturday, Oct. 22 with the Annual Chili and Salsa Cook-Off. The annual event also draws a square full of promotional stands, handcraft entries and undoubtedly, this year, politicians.
Entertainment of music, games and exhibitions will be featured throughout the day. There are usually some opportunities to win prizes at some of the activities. Opening of competitive events and other programs will begin at 8 a.m.
Farris said there could possibly still be openings for participation. She said the chamber would attempt to work with anyone who wants information concerning any of the up-coming events.
Flaming Fall Review
Normally, Barry County is about a week into the Flaming Fall Review by the time these events roll around, giving visitors a full menu of activities of sightseeing around the Table Rock Lake and Roaring River State Park area during the daytime, and then top-notch music and comedy program in the evening.
There once was a time when it was possible to consult with local Mark Twain National Forest employees to check on their prediction of when the fall colors would be best for viewing, but that is no longer possible since their local office is now closed.
That probably doesn't make much difference since even when they were consulted, their top date was mid-October, which is just about where we are at the present time.
For those out of the area who may be thinking of getting a little fishing in, the best days for October are today, tomorrow and Thursday, Oct. 20, with other good angling possibilities on Sunday and Monday.
This time of the year once provided a couple of events that attracted wide interest amongst a couple of groups in the county and even casual observers. These included the Fox and Coon Hunts for their respective county organizations. Coon hunters would generally gather on the Earl Sparkman place down Flat Creek from Cassville. Theirs was a three-night event with drag hunts and bench shows for coonhound owners to show the skills of their animals.
The Cassville Rotary Club would normally operate a food stand for this event, producing as a fundraiser, breakfast, lunch and dinner for participants and spectators alike. That breakfast shift with the late George Joslin was a real experience.
Fox hunters normally chose the Jim Fogg place off Washburn Prairie, just south of the old Cassville Golf Course. Here again, the highlight of the event was the bench show, this part of the event even the most unschooled fox hunt individual could at least partly understand.
Bob Mitchell is the former editor and publisher of the Cassville Democrat.