Bob Mitchell: Important December days ahead

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Here it is, the final month of 2018 with some significant dates, which should be on the minds of us all.

First of all, it’s just 20 days until Christmas, without a doubt the most important holiday for humanity. Without considering the commercial aspects of the event, preparations must be made for observing the birth of Jesus Christ!

Then just a couple of days from now, Friday, Dec. 7, will be the 77th anniversary of the sneak Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor. Deemed a day of “infamy” by then president Franklin Roosevelt, which thrust America into World War II. Four years later, the USA and her allies became victorious over her aggressors.

Somewhat notorious

The four years of war were somewhat notorious for this area, even in Cassville were items were difficult to obtain and many of the essentials were rationed. In some instances things were obtainable for a price, and there were those in positions of responsibility or in the business of dealing in hard-to-get items that would provide them for the required number of dollars.

Cassville even lost a prominent family when officials suspected his dealing with the difficult to obtain sugar was investigation in the family home and they discovered several 100-pound sacks of the sweet stuff, which was highly rationed at the time.

Rather than face charges and the embarrassment that might result, the family left the state.

Tires at premium

People still needed to get around in those days, and the absence of paved roads gave them a need for tires on their vehicles. But, to obtain a new or recapped tire, a ration certificate was required.

Once again, “for a price” either was readily available through a required certificate or sometimes through a retailer that would set his own price, not withstanding a law prohibiting price gouging in those days. In both of these requirements fortunes in those days were accomplished by individuals.

One of the tire problems was “casings” that were available to the population. They were generally rayon, which didn’t fare very well on flint rock roads in many Barry County communities. And then, some of the recaps that went on wheels of the area were said to carry a guarantee only “to get you a very few miles down the road.”

Small item

As small as it might seem, if you needed toothpaste, the requirement was that you return the empty tube in order to purchase a new tube making it imperative if you wanted to continue brushing your teeth. The reason behind this was the metal in that empty tube was one of the materials on the list that was being used in the war effort.

Lists went on and on as the home front was doing its part and surviving while the Armed Forces were hopefully ridding the world of problems that caused death and destruction.

Now-a-days, we’re in worldwide situations where we’ve technically been at armed conflict with someone for over 10 years.

Christmas is coming

Unless you are paying attention to the calendar, it’s just 20 days before Tuesday, December 25 and the top holiday for the civilized world, Christmas is to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.

An Almanac weather predication has the possibility of unsettled conditions in many regions of the nation, including our own. The weather outlook is a result of warm air supposed to come out of the south and override a cold rush dropping out of the north.

Almost overlooked, this being the first of the month, fishing dates from the Almanac, best days are Dec. 13, 14, 22 and 23. Good days are Dec. 3, 4, 10, 12, 19, 30 and 31.

None of the cold weather-types for cruising Table Rock Lake will be restricted to these days–they’ll be there when time is available.

Holiday humor

Credited with the American Legion Magazine, here are a few notes of holiday humor, as Christmas is just around the corner:

This holiday season, in lieu of gifts, I’ve decided to give everyone my opinion.

It was the night before Christmas and all through the house, everyone was on their phones.

The office Christmas party is a good opportunity to catch-up with people you haven’t seen for 20 minutes.

And, from elsewhere, some things you might not have known:

If the bull leads the cow to pasture, expect rain. If the cow precedes the bull, the weather will be uncertain. Ask some of the local stockmen about this one.

When spiders weave their webs by noon, fair weather is coming soon.

The first frost in Autumn will be exactly six months after the first thunderstorm of the Spring.

Many springs, which have gone dry, will have good flow of water before a rain.

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.