Opinion

Bob Mitchell: There’s a need to protect eligible voters’ rights

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Remember Jacob Brower? He’s the person who became the publisher of the Cassville Democrat and The Monett Times when the previous owners purchased the publications from the Schlichtmans.

After this assignment, he formed a public relations firm headquartered in Springfield. He’s hit on a new idea that deserves support. It is called VOTE 417, designed to essentially bring to the forefront the importance of people casting their ballots in upcoming trips to the polls.

Brower’s intentions are to overcome some of the negative thinking and attempts of legislative bodies to curtail the right to cast a ballot by any eligible voter in this region.

Gaining support

The last conversation I had with Jacob was that his early response to the program had been satisfactory. He will advance the concept of the program to appropriate groups while continuing to accept individual support.

Brower’s interest in the political process started in McDonald County where his grandfather once served as a county judge.

In these days of voter manipulation happening throughout the country, including in some instances eliminating the right of some people to legally cast their vote. This practice must be eliminated for the sake of preserving a basis of the U.S. Constitution.

The Needle’s Eye

A recent mention in the paper of the Troop 76 land in the Forest Grove community that came into the ownership of Cassville Boy Scouts brought to mind the Needle’s Eye on the bluff overlooking the spot.

Regardless of their portly situation, every individual was required to climb the bluff, take the narrow trail to the rock formation in the form of a needle’s eye, and go through on their hands and knees.

For the young Scouts this was no problem, but for the accompanying adults, some had a tight squeeze. But most made it through with a “grunt and a groan.”

One feature that will remain in the valley is Needle’s Eye.

Good spring

There was a good, cold water spring years ago on the property, drinking water was transported or boiled.

John Pottebaum, once owner of Crystal Springs Trout Farm, gave the Scouts a good supply of Rainbow Trout at one time. These disappeared in a short time. It was never determined what happened to them, although there were tire tracks at the top of the bluff.

There was a good chance some humans found out about the existence of the trout and figured they had better use of the fish than did the boys.

Several efforts through law enforcement produced no information and the fish fry was scrubbed.

The Scouts never did get to cook their trout over an open fire.

An experience

Command tent, as it was called, was a large tent for leaders and visitors to sleep in during the outing. There were always adults along during the required “walk-in, carry-in” method of getting to the camp.

For those not experienced with this, perhaps first time in a sleeping bag, the large tent withstood the snores of the night.

There was usually a crowd in the tent, Scoutmaster Charles Vaughan, Bill Ash, Spiz Stephens, T.J. Smading, Max Fields and myself. Those were the days.

Temperature, hot or cold, didn’t matter when an outing was scheduled. Time was during severe storms, anxious parents would await word out of the wooded area about the safety of the troop. Smading, the telephone company representative, handled this problem.

There were times when wet Boy Scouts didn’t have to walk out of the area, instead they were picked-up by parents entering the area by an alternate road.

Wonder what’s left

While on the outing, Scouts would build a table and other facilities, including privy sites for the troop, leaders and visitors.

Being out of contact several years there is no certainty the Broken Arm area is still used on a regular basis by the modern-day Scouts.

Past milestone

Having past Daylight Saving Time and the first day of spring, what should be a more desirable time of the year for enjoying the out-of-doors and activities more connected with getting out from under a roof.

Before space catches up, better welcome the new Cassville Democrat owners, CherryRoad Tech of New Jersey. Hope you have an enjoyable and fruitful career in Missouri newspapering!

I’m beginning my 69th anniversary on the keyboard, and the publication is in its 151st year. My great-grandfather Dr. John Ray got off his horse, hung-up his doctor’s saddlebags, and purchased the Cassville Democrat in 1872.

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.