Bob Mitchell: Roaring River opening and the NRA

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Anyone who has been to Roaring River State Park openings over the past 90 years realizes that little has changed, at least over the past few decades.

Itís still a drive down Missouri Highway 112, and then carefully drive down the steep hill, turn left, and you are in the thick of things.

This year is no exception, with about as perfect weather conditions as one might be expected. Water conditions, after 11 inches of rain fell over a few days, were perfect for the signature Twin Falls, that were sounding the name for the stream. There were a few areas that were closed for access due to flooding conditions. Dry Hollow contributed most of the damage, due to heavy run-off from areas west of the park toward Washburn.

Anglers undoubtedly had to use more lead to get their baits down to rainbow trout lurking in the fast flowing and colored water. There were obviously ample good fish for the catching as evidenced by the full nets being carried to a crowded cleaning station during the post-opening hours.

There were 1,620 daily permit tags sold during the day, up some 300 from the opening. At a premium early in the morning was parking space, indicating many of the anglers came to the park one to an auto.

Carman Rogers, co-concessionaire at the park, said opening morning that the event went well, with no problems so far as she knew, and there hadnít been anyone falling into the river at that time.

Recent openings have been tame compared to openings decades ago, when the coon barbecue and card events of the past were held at the old park bathhouse. I remember when the last steak cookout and gaming event was held at the group camp during which a friend of mine left with his pockets bulging, sufficiently to purchase his wife a full-length mink coat!

With Roaring River now open, as far as many are concerned, spring has unofficially arrived in Barry County!

No reasonable answer

Obviously, this country and its government is going to face a battle with the National Rifle Association concerning the type of guns that have been used in killings at gatherings, on streets and in schools of this nation. The incidents of killings are obviously getting out of hand. Thatís why Iíve used something of the initials to label the gun group ó No Reasonable Answer group.

With the NRAís capabilities of garnering and actually capturing government levels and congressional people with their millions of dollars in contributions, or bribes, whatever you might use as a label, they could surely contribute to a solution to an obvious problem.

Many consider solutions of arming teachers or raising age limits to purchase weapons as not being the answer. Outlawing military type weapons is a step in the right direction. Even this is not an absolute situation, but the NRAís wide reaching influences are apparently hard and fast in opposition.

There is no way the framers of our Constitution in making the second amendment that there would be instruments of death available today, beyond the one-shot musket around in their era.

Remember the Washington-based rifle group NRAís influence was so steadfast that the House of Representative passed legislation making gun permits acceptable nationwide. The Senate has yet to act on this bill, following the Florida school shootings. Apparently, there are some of lawmakers that are completely in the pocket of this lobbying group.

Gardener warning

With spring just 13 days away, there were warnings in February, beginning the 19th when lightning and thunder visited the area for a couple of days. This is a long-standing indication there could well be frost in May. Such a situation in past years has sent early planting gardeners back to the plant or seed sources a number of times in their anxiety to be the first to harvest a crop.

My late father-in-law, Kenneth Brown, was a staunch follower of the theory of waiting for heavy planting until after Motherís Day, and he was quite successful with his crops.

This thunder in February, frost in May, isnít always the case, but it has happened.

Time change reminder

On the list of coming dates to mark on your calendars, donít forget that Daylight Saving Time begins this Sunday, March 11.

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.