Bob Mitchell: Bright Worm Moon wonder!

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Years ago, when a full-moon event rolled around, we would be out with a telescope watching the event with intense interest.

A couple weeks ago when the full Worm Moon rolled around, I was once again totally amazed at its brightness.

It made me wonder how great it would have been to be on a Table Rock Lake point below Big Creek when the brightness of that moon came over the hills and possibly provoked a lunker bass to start feeding and maybe take a bait being offered.

Worm moon title

Actually, full moon titles were adopted by Colonial Americans who took the names from North Americans and applied full moon names to their own calendar names.

Most of them came from the Algonquin tribes who lived in regions from New England to Lake Superior.

There are even other names that have been applied to what appeared in the sky, on a perfectly clear night, seen by any Barry Countian out and about after 8 p.m. These include: full Cow moon, full Crust moon, full Sugar moon and full Sap moon.

If you’re interested in these sorts of things, April’s event is officially titled Full Pink Moon.

Names of significance

Most of the names that will be reviewed below won’t mean much to most of today’s generation, but they were highly important to Cassville in days gone past. There are not very many people around today that would have been in contact with these folks or even know they existed.

Their importance to Cassville put her in position to once lay claim to the title of “having more manufacturing jobs here than the town’s population.”

Pete Weiss

It was the FASCO plant in Ozark, whose secretary, the daughter of Dale and Angeline Rowland, of Cassville, tipped us off that a new plant was in the company’s future.

It was a phone call to Pete Weiss, manager of the Ozark FASCO plant, that let us know he was aware of Cassville and would entertain talking about the possibility. The processes proceeded, and the plant is now owned by REGAL Manufacturing.

Jerry and Joe McCaffery

A visit with Jerry McCaffery, of Monett, over some refreshments let us know former Jumping-Jacks Shoes wouldn’t be able to make all the shoes they had sold unless a new plant was in their future.

Jerry revealed that a letter to company officials back east, sent through his father, Joseph, would be held putting Cassville’s name in the pot.

The elder McCaffery quickly took to the idea of a Cassville plant, which operated highly successfully until a company collapse resulted in a closure.

That’s when Justin Boot came into the picture, with John Justin eventually approving the purchase and calling the Cassville facility “my little jewel manufacturing facility.”

Senator Stuart Symington

The Missouri senior U.S. Senator Stuart Symington was involved in the outset with Cassville obtaining federal loan funding of the initial grass greens at the Cassville Golf Course. It was his efforts that grasp local efforts, originating from information published in South Dakota, which became the first FmHA project of its kind in the state.

County officials of the government agency who worked hard to keep the project on track were Charles Crowley and John Harvey. The contractor that performed a first-class job was Maury Bell of Monett.

Paul Putzel

Possibly one of the most congenial firms to do business with was Alvey, Inc., headed by Paul Putzel of St. Louis. The conveyor pioneer’s expansion in Cassville with a new plant went without a hitch from location here, construction and through their operation.

Not to Cassville’s best interest, a subsequent sale of the firm was obviously a bad omen for the community as new owners from the east were obviously going to move out.

Their successor, Thorco, Inc., didn’t last that long and there was no payroll in the building for years.

Congressman Gene Taylor

During some of the most successful years gaining payrolls for Cassville, Congressman Gene Taylor, of Sarcoxie, was always in the saddle providing assistance.

For the FASCO and Alvey projects, he obtained a total of $l.3 million dollars in UDAG funds for the city for infrastructure projects for industry. The funds were later used for this and other projects.

Taylor’s district chairman at the time was Cassville attorney Joe Ellis who stayed involved in these projects.

Off the spike

Those sighs you might have heard recently during rain showers and the possibility of warmer weather producing green grass, are the cattlemen of Barry County who might have been concerned about their hay supply lasting long enough. Those who had bale supplies becoming short were quite concerned when cold weather resulted in heavy feeding.

Another sign of spring might be those tomato gardeners who grow their own plants from seeds. They are in the process of having the seeds in containers, hopefully in getting strong plants to eventually grow their crop.

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.