Bob Mitchell: White squirrel mystery solved

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

For some time now there has been a mystery in our backyard involving the disappearance of a white squirrel that fed on the ground off droppings out of a bird feeder and watered in a bird bath that we keep for whatever varmint that might need water. The presence of the unusual animal was somewhat of a pleasure to watch as the natives seemed to take exception to his being in our trees or possibly digging up acorns they had planted in the ground for their substance last winter.

It was also amusing to watch Sue’s white cat give the other white animal looks around the one-time fountain near our back door.

The mystery of “Whitie’s” disappearance was solved during a recent conversation with Lex Elliott, who lives up the street in Chinquapin Woods.

Lex related that most mornings, there are three of the “Whities” playing in their backyard, seemingly undisturbed by any other animals.

This leads to the determination that Neeley, the white cat that lives with us, and dominates the household most of the time, has chased the squirrel to such extent that he has moved further east to conduct himself without any interference.

Since there are three of them, who knows, perhaps this area will become another Marionville, capable of boasting about the existence of this species.

Not good business

A recent traveler, who stopped overnight in the area, was looking for information about Cassville and other locations, including where might be a good place to have dinner. The response the couple received was certainly not good for business.

The couple was promptly told if they wanted a good dinner they might drive to Springfield!

They really had plans to explore this area and seek information possibly about other attractions, but decided their one-night stay would be sufficient if locals were not that interested in keeping people in the area. An effort toward improvement concerning knowledgeable employees in contact with tourist was once an annual project of the Chamber of Commerce.

Ballot suggestion

It might be in order to suggest that the county spend a little more on future election notices to make them readable to those with vision impairment.

The April ballot notices, with instructions to voters and purpose of a proposition, were not within the size range to make such small print readable to many. It would not have cost that much more to make the print readable to properly inform voters, which is the intent of such published notices.

If my memory serves at all, a reasonable presentation, or facsimile of the ballot, meaning about the same size, was once the measure of what was published in a general circulation newspaper.

This is just a suggestion, since future elections could be of great importance to our nation.

Gardeners getting itchy

Itchy hands or feet in this area usually indicate that a purpose is about to happen before time might be correct to accomplish a given task. Such is the case of many gardeners who have witnessed recent cold snaps not in the best interest of early plantings.

Most seem to justify their anxiety in the fact that they probably have enough large buckets, etc., to cover plantings if a “blackberry winter” was to blow through this area.

Turning to the Almanac, Robert Moore says planting under the influence of a full moon is past. But, my pages tell me there should not be any inclement weather for this area during the next couple of weeks. Beyond that, storms could well develop in states to our west, moving in a general direction toward the Ozarks.

A children’s reminder

This Sunday, May 13, is Mother’s Day! Those with memories prone to forget such occasions, might ought to tie a string around a finger and then not fail to recognize what it was placed there to remember.

A treasured possession

One of the most treasured possessions on my desk came from a Cassville Democrat reader, whose correspondence has been misplaced. It was a float trip map of White, Kings and James rivers compiled in the 1920s and 1930s by Morris (Pinky) Funk and Roy Brooks.

Funk was the lead graphics man for Phillips Petroleum Company in Bartlesville, Okla., who maintained a home on Cassville’s Main Street. Brooks was an early director of the Barry County Welfare Department.

Their original blueprint type maps of the area at that period were somehow lost when Funk passed away.

If the former resident here, or possibly in Oklahoma, is still on the list, his communication and possibly furnishing another copy would be appreciated.

My plans are to photo copy a new print and frame it so that it will last longer than this old copy. The drawings and markings of historical points along the rivers is indeed something this area needs to preserve.

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.