Bob Mitchell: Recently reliving past events was most enjoyable

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

If there are any “old timers” around south Barry County, especially in the Cassville area, who might have had a suspicion they were being talked about recently, there is a good possibility it was really happening.

The occasion was a long delayed meeting between Carl Smithson and myself.

The reasoning behind the delay was that I had lost his telephone number after a couple of calls generated from his end of the line.

Refreshing some memories about Carl, his father’s name was Don, a mechanic by trade, who at one time was an outstanding member of the Cassville City Council during some of the development stages. The mayor at that time was Evan Shore. His brother, Wayne, was a barber for a number of years and then reverted to the poultry growing operations in the Washburn area.

Carl, like myself, is living in a generation in which there is considerable concern about the future of these United States of America, a subject we won’t touch at the present time. He is well aware of what Cassville was in the past, having gone through high school and lived those early days of his life in the City of Seven Valleys.

He was raised under the guidelines that were once followed, “Cassville people, living the good life, in their own way.”

Having done well for himself in the business and construction ways, Carl, like those who are so endowed, is proud of what his family has accomplished. Most of this history was discussed over a three-hour period, consuming more coffee than either of us probably needed to consume.

Like I said before, this meeting was initiated by Carl after a couple of contacts, and it was a highly enjoyable time, discussing both good and questionable happenings and events that have occurred in Cassville. For certain, there were few subjects, which presented any difference of opinion.

Carl keeps in touch with his hometown through the Cassville Democrat’s internet site weekly, remarking that this column is the first part of the paper that he chooses to read. A couple of times he mentioned that it would be a good thing if some of the information would windup in a book.

To that, he received an answer... “ain’t going to happen, some of the families of those no longer living might be embarrassed about the full information such a publication might contain.”

Another of his observations voiced concern about the drop-off of actual and honest-to-goodness merchants in Cassville in recent years. Not living in Cassville since many years ago, he had the answer to this one.

This three-hour session ended with both of his agreeing there should be another gathering, jointly pressing for some review and possibility of covering some new subjects.

However, there was agreement that both our memories might not make this possible, so we’d just meet and possibly review what had been discussed initially.

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.