Bob Mitchell: Destination Imagination

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

In all probability very few individuals in this area have ever heard of Destination Imagination.

It’s an international organization that brings elementary and high school level students together in competition for both scientific and skills related to other abilities.

It’s personal

Here’s where this column gets personal, so, if you aren’t interested, there’s no need for you to read any farther in this column.

One of our great-grandsons, Henry Mitchell Parsons, a third-grader, is the son of Andrew and Janna Parsons. The father is Commander Parsons, a Navy doctor now stationed at Balboa Navy Hospital in San Diego, Calif.

Competing in California statewide science fairs, Henry and his two young lady teammates placed, which qualified them for DI international competition this year in Kansas City, which had 1,400 entries.

The scope of this event might be better understood if you realize agenda events were held in Municipal Auditorium, Sprint Center and the Plaza. Imagine if you can the scope of getting this many teams, numbering from three to 10, together for virtually a week of events.

Widely scattered

Our purpose of being in the city was mostly aimed at seeing the Parsons family, which includes three children, and hearing about some of the adventures the team was experiencing during the several days in K.C.

No telling how many accommodations in the Kansas-Missouri area were housing the teams and their families, often including a number of children that accompanied the group.

There were 80 teams in Henry’s division where a couple of miscues during their presentations dropped them to the 33rd rank. Winner in this division was a team from France.

Of interest was the team from China, which came to the event with the most elaborate backdrops and accessories of the event. Each member of the team, possibly at the high school level, was in smart uniforms, and they were obviously well prepared for the event. Whether they were awarded prizes or not escapes me.

Interesting people

Most of the families we encountered were anxious for information about our family and this region of the country.

A highlight of the several days of being together was the trading of pins that were symbolic of the home or of the team. Although Henry’s team wasn’t in the winner list, he might have been one of the champions in the trading department.

All the folks we encountered during the nearly weeklong stay were congenial, polite and extremely helpful for senior folks getting around our accommodations.

From our family point of view, the event was a worthwhile experience that will probably be repeated, if qualified, again next year. Incidentally, it’s coming back to K.C. in 2020.

Local information

Robert Moore of Butterfield seems somewhat perplexed that his tomato plants aren’t producing yet.

Robert was one of those pre-Mother’s Day planters that had to dress for cold weather and be prepared to protect his plants. This was during some of those cold snaps last month.

At last report, plants were doing well, which seems to be the status of most of those who put their plants in the ground a little early and had to make sure they took good care of them.

No Cato sign

Visiting recently with a resident toward the east end of Hailey Hollow recently, it was disturbing to learn there is no longer a sign on the highway designating the arrival of travelers through Cato.

This would be in stark contrast with the thinking of the late Ruth Stumpff, who with her husband, were the patriots of the community with their store.

During Ruth’s reign in Cato, there were several instances where the sign would disappear. Ruth was a community correspondent for the Cassville Democrat for much of her lifetime and would make strong appeals in her column for the return of the missing sign.

Since whoever took the sign was probably long gone from this area, it was never returned. This left Mrs. Stumpff with only one resort, have a new sign painted and place it on the bare post.

One thing for sure is that Cato was never without an identifying sign during Ruth Stumpff’s days. But that was long before the roof of the old store was beginning to fall in, according to this nearby resident.

Time to remember

June 6 was the 74th anniversary of the D-Day landing in Europe during World War II, which brought about the defeat of Axis powers in Europe by the Allied Forces.

Then this Friday, a little heads-up notice, June 14 is Flag Day.

Both of these events deserve the display of the flag of the United States of America. If you don’t have a flag display set, contact someone active in the Irwin-Easley American Legion Post, they can fill your need.

Present day situations obviously call for the need of patriotic actions at every opportunity!

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.