Bob Mitchell: He was the type of friend everyone needs

Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Cassville has long been under-rated in business potential despite the wealth and size of the trade territory. Individuals and yes, groups had put resources together in an effort to obtain the necessary franchise for a McDonald’s. Each effort was told the population of the town did not warrant issuance of the needed company approval.

Early in the turn of this century, Chuck and Melva Peterson landed in Cassville, he following a distinguished career as a Navy aviator and she in education. The magnet that drew them to Cassville had been her being a native of the White River community and graduate of Cassville High School.

Chuck’s flying career took him all over the world, often flying weather observation missions. His rise to the rank of Captain was completed in the Kansas City area recruiting service where he and Melva met; she was an administrator in the Shawnee Mission School District when Arzell Ball was superintendent.

Their decision to settle in Cassville came after both had exercised their careers in Saudi Arabia.


It was through their persistence and determination that Cassville’s true possibilities were presented to the company and ground was broken on South Main Street for the much- sought-after business permit.

To the Petersons, the business obligation was not the only task they were taking on in Melva’s home area they assumed many church and civic obligations, including spearheading a drive to complete a full-scale Christmas drive-through in City Park spaces along Flat Creek. The brilliantly lighted Christmas exhibits were later destroyed by vandals that were never caught.

A personal note

From their early arrival in this area we became close friends, mainly through the game of bridge and their living as neighbors in Chinquapin Woods. Chuck used my riding mower on occasions.

The card-playing experience expanded to New Year’s stays in our place in Branson, frequently never leaving the units unless there was a really good attraction to see.

Chuck, 87, was a native of Larned, Kan. His Navy career covered 26 years, including tours in Jacksonville, Fla., as executive officer of a Hurricane Hunter Squadron. His career also included shadowing Soviet submarines in the Atlantic. He also served aboard the Aircraft Carrier USS Oriskiny.

Family connections moved them to Clinton in 2002. In 2016, their home became John Knox Village in Lee’s Summit.

For a few lines let some personal feelings enter this particular column since this individual meant so much to our lives.

This guy was the type of friend everyone needs at one time or another in their lifetime. There could never be a more compatible companion on a number of coast-to-coast trips together.

Captain, let you always have smooth seas, the wind at your back and smooth landings!

It’s April folks

With all its opportunities, we’ve finally reached what is finally supposed to be a spring month. We will wait and see what happens in the opening couple of weeks.

Listed in the Almanac are some interesting facts about this season, including setting hens and incubators and kill farm meat all in the first few weeks of the month. Transplanting and weaning chores should be finished by the end of the month.

Then a heavy religious holiday, Easter Sunday begins the third full week of the month. This could spark some real memories for some of the senior citizens who are still around if they will only set their minds to the subject.

Then, for fisherpeople, there will be the prospect of warmer temperatures, keeping one eye on possible storms, The best fishing days are the 7th, 8th, 16th, 17th, 25th and 28th. Good fishing on the 13th, 23rd and 24th.

April showers

The month of April is known to be among the heaviest rain producers in the 12 months, a sure sign of caution for growers of about anything. Also, a time for caution for traveling in the vicinity of streams that was subject to flooding.

The oft spoken warning, “turn around, don’t drown” is about the best advice that can be issued.

There are plenty of indicators through the Almanac that rainstorms could come through the Ozarks on their way to the east coast and northeast sections of the country.

According to the publication, this might be a year when an outdoor Sunrise Service is possible. The last one I tried to photograph was at Viney Creek with downpours at the appointed hour. The service was moved indoors to the Golden Baptist Church.

Another was the Scenic Overlook on Highway 39, north of Shell Knob that went to the United Methodist Church in the lake community.

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.