Opinion

Bob Mitchell: Finishing up my many hats memories

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

I just couldn’t squeeze all those hat things in last week’s column, so bear with me as I travel down memory lane with my hats.

It was a complete pleasure for me to recollect all the memories that went along with obtaining each and every one of them. Here is the rest of the list:

“ComPhibGroupThree” was one of the Navy’s amphibious groups operating in the Far East during the Korean War (remember it?) The principal commands were Group One and Commander, Amphibious Forces, Pacific Fleet. The latter was Vice Admiral Keelind’s command that we returned to the states, and Sue bought a new Ford and drove to San Diego.

Another Nebraska One Box Pheasant Hunt hat from 2001 when the Missouri team won the hunt, actually, Spiz Stephens and I were the only Show Me Staters on the team. I also won the handicap sporting clays and trap competition, and have the plaques to prove it.

Cassville Democrat was one we had when conducted open house on our new plant at Sixth and Main, moving off the square for the first time in history, Mom was in charge of this part, and she was somewhat conservative.

Flat Creek was the name of my kennel in Chinquapin Woods were my English Setters lived and litters of pups were raised. Out of this facility came some of my most pleasured and memorable events. Unfortunately, most of the pups went to people who didn’t care for their dogs very well and they died on highways. Last two residents were Maggie and Kate, sisters that came from Arkansas had to rank the highest.

USS Harry S. Truman, one of the nation’s largest atomic aircraft carriers, which Sue and I had plans to attend the launching, but were unable to obtain necessary documents from one of our politicians. To attend without the paper would get you about a mile from the site. That politician’s news releases went in the circular file after that.

Shoot n’ Shout, another Nebraska event held in September, for hunting dove. We never did well in this event, usually drawing a site that had been shot-out. Allen Sparks was usually our ranking shooter.

Another Nebraska One Box Hunt, never worn, presented at check-in by mistake, will always provide a reminder of all the tomato juice Spiz and I made, usually around 80 quarts annually, using over 500 pounds of “maters.” Then using a good portion providing Bloody Marys to most of the group, after shooting was completed.

NCAA Final Four Basketball, came from Texas where Dennis and friend attended games as Kansas Jayhawk fans.

A Monettan remembered

Springfield folks are extremely proud of their Gillioz Theater on St. Louis Street, just west of Jefferson. Built in 1927, it has been replenished a couple of times, each project restoring the original luster. Builder M.E. Gillioz of Monett was a highway builder, banker and clothier and had many business interests in the Barry County town.

Coming in contact occasionally at the men’s store, he always called me The Democrat Boy.

Gillioz was a credit to early Monett successes toward acquiring industry and payroll for the Barry-Lawrence county community.

There’s an interesting story that came from a short-time resident of Cassville named Fitzpatrick; they owned the late Lamoine Weathers property located just off Sale Barn Road. From Wichita, Kans., he was a retired postmaster of that city, he was also Democrat state chairman. This made him a natural for conversation with my Uncle Means Ray. Their conversations were always interesting.

Fitz and the GOP chair of Kansas were good friends and lunched together frequently. This story came out of one of their lunches.

He was relating to his GOP counterpart that he had been visited from a road builder from Missouri who donated $5,000 to the Democrats. This was an achievement for his Kansas party

His friend smiled and said, “his name must have been Gillioz and he gave us $15,000,” and that was the end of the conservation. M.E. was a staunch Republican, only playing the odds in his jaunt over the state line west.

Reminders

If there are any Bobwhites around, you bird hunters might oughta be out with your dog trying to find them. Lots of luck to you and your bird dogs, whatever breed they might be.

Then, there’s an important date tomorrow, Nov.11; it’s Veterans Day, once called Decoration Day.

I’ve been a veteran 68 years and consider this part of my life among the most important part. My years of service were between WWII and Vietnam, often thought of as the Forgotten War, a title you can believe in today’s remembrances.

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.

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