Bob Mitchell: Only 25 days until Christmas

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

If you had not noticed, there are only 25 more shopping days until Christmas.

Thatís unless you are one of those last minute types that might be going to a store on Christmas day. In such instance, you have 26 more days.

There are those who are still shaking their heads as we enter the 12th month of 2017 after finishing off Thanksgiving and getting ready for the big one to roll around toward the end of December.

While the Christmas season these days begins to appear even before December arrives, itís obvious commercialism has taken over the holiday, which is a subject that might be covered in a future column.

Items are getting smaller

Items of merchandise, especially those that can be eaten, continue to get smaller as manufacturers and canners continue to squeeze all the profits they can in these modern, inflationary times.

First example, I noticed of this reduction was in the size and slight increase in price for Pork Ďní Beans. Now, Tomato Soup has also begun the downsizing.

Latest to be noticed as containing fewer pages of information is the Almanac that is handed out by Shelter Insurance. This publication has been a guide for a lot of us over the years. Now, it is obviously noticeable as it has fewer page numbers from the 2016 edition. I noticed this recently since past issues are kept around to frequently make comparisons. Again, itís a matter of costs involved in material, composition and printing all having increased considerably since the Cassville Democrat had a commercial printing department.

Butterfield trip

Sometime ago, I attended Hank Mathisí birthday gathering at the Butterfield Community Center that brought back some memories of the first sports trip for many of us 75 years ago. Going past where the Butterfield school was located brought back some of these memories.

First in basketball, first under coach John Q. Hammons and then Eunice Thomas, the Butterfield gym was a difficult place to play. The end lines were a very short distance from the wall, which meant going in hard for a setup or any heavy contact under the basket could result in some bruises or worse.

Competition between the two elementary units also included softball, since in those days school organizations didnít participate in baseball. Like most school fields the infield playing area consisted of scraped ground. This provided plenty of dust in heavy traffic or wind and quite frankly there were times a rock could cause a bad hop. Outfields were generally no problem, so long as they were level, which wasnít the case at some of the rural school games.

This available trip for young players of the two sports came to an end in 1964 when reorganization combined Butterfield with the Cassville district.

Combining these two districts probably did as much to eliminate the problems between rural districts and those with high school facilities that caused hard feelings and promoted some eliminating sending their students to Cassville. Instead, students were bussed on through the R-4 district heading for the Exeter campus. This too might be a good subject for a future column.

NFL comment

Sunday might have been the final time for watching National Football League competition in our household. The controversy concerning the National Anthem has become so ridiculous that the TV networks are no longer showing the pregame activities that include the Star Spangled Banner. Perhaps those in opposition have their right to not provide the proper respect for this country. If that is the case, it might be suggested they leave the country and at the same time give up collecting their tremendous salaries.

Baseball is to be commended for that sportís continued respect for the Flag of the United States of America, and for the life style and freedoms that go along with living in this country.

Especially this time of the year, I can think of some who were First Marine Division in the cold of North Korea in 1950 that might be able to convince these folks that perhaps they should stand straight and in respect when this national salute is presented. This definitely will be a subject of a column sometime this month. Itís been 67 years since the evacuation of Hungnam, but my notes are still quite readable.

Final Almanac comment

Note the final Almanac comment for this month, ďStorms out of the southwest dump snow over Arkansas and Missouri. Very unsettled weather north of us.Ē This information is for the last three days of this month!

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 Universityís Regional Media Hall of Fame.