Bob Mitchell: Cassville is frequently in the picture

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Here we are in September, and for my part, it’s good to see August get out of the way.

Between a lawnmower crash and surgery, it will be some time before Yock doesn’t do the grass cutting on our yard.

What began the last of July was an incident that the mower actually “slung” me out of the seat and sent this old body crashing against the steel culverts in the lower part of our house. Out for a few seconds, I was sure there would be someone passing by shortly to help me get up.

Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, Austin, the grandson of the Lawsons who live up the street, heard me, came to the crash, used his phone and called an ambulance.

To shorten this phase of the month, competent care at Mercy emergency cleaned wounds, X-rays showed no broken bones, and it was back to Chinquapin Woods. A few days later, we were off to Overland Park to catch Navy doctor LCDR Andrew Parsons and family on their way to San Diego and his next assignment at Balboa Navy Hospital, which is about a half mile from where we lived back in the early 1950s.

Hurt wasn’t finished

At OP, problems continued and it was decided I’d go back to an emergency room, this time Memorah, which was Shelley’s choice. At the ER, the doctor on duty noticed the home address of Cassville and took time out to visit.

His experience, while in medical school at UMKC, which had to be years ago, included some experiences and training in Cassville. He was under the guidance of Dr. Durham, a partner with Dr. Vance Cridling, when our hospital was named Cassville Osteopathic. He said his experience in this community was a good one, with some good experiences, both professionally and time off.

He ordered a CAT scan to explore what the problem might be. This led to the obvious need for surgery.

Surgeon from Seneca

First encounter with the “cutter” had him pinpointing the home address, quickly announcing he was from Seneca. This sparked some Indian and Wildcat conversation — his information covering an era when his team was among the strongest in the region.

I discovered a few days later that he would be no poster boy for Branson fishing. In a few days, he was planning on going for water sports and fishing at Table Rock Lake.

Before my surgery, I asked him how many fish he caught. His reply was, “ask me how many bites I had.” With that he indicated a zero with his fingers.

Fortunate to be there

My luck stood good for location of required surgery, since Dr. Lehr was accomplished with robotic equipment. So far, the process has been highly successful.

Now, if the crash bruises could just heal, the return to normal would be much appreciated — not only by me, but for Sue as well.

Back in Cassville

I was transported back home by Bruce, who had come from Colorado for a week, and now it was rehab time for me. This lasted a few days, which provided a new encounter.

While I was speeding down one of the hallways on a walk experience, behind a trusty walker, I heard someone call my name from a room I had sped by.

“Are you Bob Mitchell?” this other patient at Cassville Rehabilitation asked.

Answering in the affirmative, he let me know he had been wanting to thank me for sending him the Cassville Democrat during his service in Vietnam.

James Hency related that his enjoyment of the newspaper was exceeded only by those members of the military from big towns that were in his group. He said the big city boys got more enjoyment out of the paper than he did.

All these experiences provided a full August for our family.

An unusual year

On a different subject, this has been an unusual year for our Chicken of the Woods mushrooms.

Each summer, at first, there would be one appear near a big oak tree in our yard, which Vern Petty annually pounced upon.

This year there were two, one of which Vern claimed as “the best mushroom there is.”

After these were harvested, we thought the run was over, but, while we were gone, Sue’s helper announced there were two more in the same place. She was instructed to take them for herself. This she did, leaving a portion frozen for us to use.

This is one of those odd happenings of nature, for only a few years one mushroom appeared, now this year there have been a total of four that poked through the ground to be captured for some future meal by those who enjoy this morsel.

Bob Mitchell is the former editor and publisher of the Cassville Democrat. He is a 2017 inductee to both the Missouri Press Association Hall of Fame and Missouri Southern State University’s Regional Media Hall of Fame.