Opinion

Bob Mitchell: Thereís a New Year approaching

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Anyone who might have experienced difficulties in the ďoldĒ year, will have much to look forward to beginning of a new year, just ahead in a couple of days.

Our first television

Mid-January back in 1952 marked the first broadcast of the Today Show over TV that we just happened to see since we were still in the Navy in San Diego. Our television was naturally a black and white that Sue bought at Sears in advance of our folks coming to visit. We thought it would be neat for them to see this new fan-dangled entertainment machine.

She was a dental assistant, having been trained locally by the late Dr. Sanders, before packing up to set-up housekeeping in southern California. In this capacity, she was frankly making more money than I was as a second-class petty officer.

Despite her income, the credit guy at Sears said it was necessary for me to come by and sign the papers.

Good state citizen

Taking an afternoon off, we went to the store and waited for our interview for quite sometime, since there were lots of military folks making purchases. Finally it came our time, which nearly ended in a disaster.

Immediately, the credit guy let me know that he not only wanted to certify us as a good credit risk, but also as good citizens of the state of California. For some reason this went all over me as having nothing to do with our credit rating.

So, I informed him I wasnít sure about California, but if there was any question, he could pick up the phone and call anyone in Barry County, Missouri, and they would confirm my status. I really didnít know what I was going to do had he accepted the challenge, but anyway, we got the credit rating needed to purchase the television set.

Good old Uncle Sam bundled that set up out of our apartment on West First Street in San Diego and shipped it right to our apartment in the Avon in Cassville. The late Oscar Hutton was pretty sure he had an antenna that would bring in the Springfield stations, which had just come on the air so Hutton Electric, with Johnny Tucker supervising, put that tall pole on top of the two-story building and the programming was received.

Later that same time, the antenna, resembling a bed springs, was moved to Sunset Heights atop our first home in the summer of 1955. My memory doesnít recall the number of years that TV lasted ... it was our last black and white. The next one came from Bob Lee and later became a cabinet.

Some complaints

Keeping in touch with a few folks in and around Cassville remains a pleasure these days. They donít have any idea how much their contact means now that weíre situated in Greene County, although we mailed a check for taxes to Barry County last week.

Itís somewhat comical that those conversations always lean toward municipal problems, mostly centered around the lack of adequate utilities in some areas and the everlasting desire for better streets.

One of those complaining concerned Main Street, which ďrumbled as a vehicle traveled that route. Hopefully they will realize that is a state problem. Although there are plenty of those who arenít happy with city streets as they should be.

Look at this

When considering the problems facing municipal issues, look at it this way, change is always just around the corner and that corner might not be far away.

Thatís not directed in any particular direction, it could be applicable to any problem, solution or individual.

These same problems have existed since Gravel Street was truly a gravel-covered street, and since the townís first Sewage Disposal System was built by WPA make-work programs on land that is now part of R-4 campus. There are not many folks around these days that remember trips of inspection down there that I made with my dad who was a foreman on the project.

The Music Store

A long-standing business, remembered at the southeast corner of the square, the Music Store, started by Carl Mitchell, was also the bus station. It was two stories for years, and once hosted youth dance parties on the second floor. The building was demolished and rebuilt by Maud Reynolds and son Deck. Itís now Willis Insurance.

For the days ahead in 2022, itís my hope that Barry County will experience a prosperous year, and the health and welfare of the people will be of the highest level possible. Hopefully, all those precautions necessary for overcoming the pandemic will remain in memory for the safety of the people.

Once again, all the Mitchells, wherever they might be, wish everyone a Happy New Year.

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 Universityís Regional Media Hall of Fame.