Friday, March 27, 2015

May 1997 - Life in Oak Springs, the Homeplace


Life in Oak Springs, the Homeplace
May 1997


This series of posts on each Friday during 2015 continues the stories of “The Homeplace Saga” series of family saga, historical fiction families in the area of Oak Springs following the novel “Christmas at the Homeplace.” Here is a peek at ‘Life in Oak Springs,’ and the surrounding valley, in May of 1997.



At the High School year-end awards ceremony, among those recognized for outstanding achievement was Heather Gates for her FFA (Future Farmers of America) Project. Her instructor noted that she achieved the highest rating in school history on complexity, as well as execution and recordkeeping. Her project would be in competition at the next state convention, he said, and he added he would be very surprised if it did not win there.

Heather’s project involved the breeding of her Palomino mare, Sunshine, who recently gave birth to a healthy foal. A yearlong project, Heather had recorded the mare’s vital signs daily, and chose an optimal breeding time. She fully participated with Dr. Jennifer Bevins in the artificial insemination process and fully documented it. She then continued to keep track of the progress of the mare throughout the gestation period and the live birth.

The Commencement Speaker at the Oak Springs High School was Professor Dr. Raynor Crimmons, with Central Arizona University. Dr. Crimmons is on the Graduate Faculty of Management and teaches all his courses online. He is currently a resident of Oak Springs. The topic of his speech was “Be All That You Can Be!”

Lyle Cunningham announced that after being in the business for 42 years, he had sold his “End-‘O-the-Road” auction house business effective May 31, 1997. Lyle thanked all his customers over the years. He said that the new owner would be making an announcement about the new operations in due time. When asked when came next for him, Lyle said he was pleased to say that he would continue, and probably increase, his volunteer time with the McDonald Conservancy. As a board member, he added, he felt there was much more he could now contribute to this fine community asset.



Locals:

Graduation exercises for Ozarks Community College were held on Saturday, May 24, on the college campus, in the Community Theater building.


Travis Inman, of Inman Real Estate, invited members of the community to a tour of open houses on Sunday, June 1, starting at the Inman Real Estate Office in downtown Oak Springs. Five three-bedroom homes will be featured, each of similar size but each with differing amenities. The tour will begin promptly at 2 pm.



Social Notes:

Several graduation parties were held around the valley in connection with the families of graduates of this year’s High School Seniors.

A graduation recognition party was held at the Homeplace Country Inn Heritage Room on Saturday night, following Commencement at the High School, honoring the graduating seniors of workers of The Bevins Trust and affiliated companies. Commencement Speaker, Dr. Raynor Crimmons, was honored guest. He was pleased to spend some time with each of the graduates and their families.




"May everyone have a homeplace, if only in your mind."
Dr. Bill  ;-)


Friday, March 20, 2015

Apr 1997 - Life in Oak Springs, the Homeplace


Life in Oak Springs, the Homeplace
Apr 1997


This series of posts on each Friday during 2015 continues the stories of “The Homeplace Saga” series of family saga, historical fiction families in the area of Oak Springs following the novel “Christmas at the Homeplace.” Here is a peek at ‘Life in Oak Springs,’ and the surrounding valley, in April of 1997.



Source:http://www.freeimages.com/photo/1162290
User smithwil

Oak Creek Outfitters, Inc., providing canoe and kayaking adventures on Oak Creek, announced plans to expand their service through a joint venture with Big Thunder Lodge and the Oak Creek Mill and Mill Market, in cooperation with the National Forest and State Natural Resources Department. Jonathon Offutt, General Manager of Oak Creek Outfitters, said that services comparable to the 1976 season would begin on Monday, April 7, of 1977, from the “bend of the creek” south of the Mill Pond, down Oak Creek, to the Oak Creek Outfitter facilities at the township line. Under a new agreement with Big Thunder Lodge and the Oak Creek Mill and Mill Market, Oak Creek will be available to float from Big Thunder Lodge, in Dent County, south to just north of the Oak Creek Mill. Portage will be provided, if desired, off the ridge to restart at the “bend of the creek” to continue down the Creek.

Big Thunder Lodge announced that the lake that had previously been built near the lodge on Oak Creek had been drained, gradually, over about 60 days, and that a new, floatable stream bed was being dredged from the north edge of their property to the south edge so as to return the creek, as near as possible, to its original path. Stream bed maintenance consultants are now supervising placement of rock along the creek to make the best float experience possible through the lodge property. Float options on the Big Thunder Lodge property, only, will be available, as well as continuing south down Oak Creek. Oak Creek Outfitters is the concessionaire for the entire float experience on Oak Creek. The float experience on these two new, upper stretches of Oak Creek will be available later in the year, as facilities work is completed.

In cooperation with the National Forest, and the Bevins Trust, floaters will be able to continue south on Oak Creek to just north of the Oak Creek Mill where a portage will be required off of the ridge. Floaters will have the option of stopping at that point (and returning to the lodge) or continuing from the “bend of the creek” below the Mill Pond.


Locals:

The Oak Springs Enterprise announced that they would sponsor publication of the “lost manuscript” of the Founding of Oak Springs originally prepared in the 1870s for the American Centennial in the community. Details of pre-ordering copies would be announced at a later date. Dick Nixon, Editor and Publisher, stated that is was very critical that this “historical treasure” be made available to a wide audience both locally and to interested people everywhere. Penny Nixon, Associate Editor, who is credited with discovering the manuscript, said she was very pleased that the Oak Springs Historical and Genealogical Society had set in motion the activity throughout the community that brought about this discovery. She challenged others in the community to continue to look for similar historical documents and artifacts.

Julie Barnes, Activities Director at the Big Thunder Lodge, invited interested members of the Oak Springs Community to take advantage of a Spring Weekend promotion being run at the Lodge to encourage people to get to know the Lodge better as a “getaway” from everyday life. Special room rates were available for the weekends of April 5-6, 12-13, and 18-19, along with discount coupons available for use at either restaurant on site. She added that Big Thunder Lodge was encouraging visits by the general public this year whereas in past years they were primarily noted for catering to Sportsmen Only. New management encouraged area residents to take advantage of a “getaway” weekend at the Lodge.


Social Notes:

Senior Prom for the Oak Springs High School was announced for Friday night, May 9 this year. A committee of students, teachers, and parents was responsible for planning the event for the benefit of the students approaching graduation. A Gala event was expected, committee members said.

“Arsenic and Old Lace” was the last play of the season at the Ozarks Community College Theater with performances on Thurs, Fri and Sat nights at 7 p.m., April 24-26.



"May everyone have a homeplace, if only in your mind."
Dr. Bill  ;-)


Friday, March 13, 2015

Life in Oak Springs, the Homeplace - Mar 1997


Life in Oak Springs, the Homeplace
Mar 1997


This series of posts on each Friday during 2015 continues the stories of “The Homeplace Saga” series of family saga, historical fiction families in the area of Oak Springs following the novel “Christmas at the Homeplace.” Here is a peek at ‘Life in Oak Springs,’ and the surrounding valley, in March of 1997.



Matt Winslow, President and CEO of Bevins and Winslow ISP, Inc., announced that effective April 1, 1997, the company name would be changed to Ozarks Communications, Inc. (OCI) due to the growth of the company, the area served, and the new services being offered. OCI now offered cable television services as well as Internet access services. The company was also positioned to provide telephone services to communities, as well.




Karen Winslow, Chair of The Bevins Trust, announced the formation of a Central Office for The Bevins Trust and affiliated companies, effective April 1, to be headed by Susan Winslow, Vice-President of Administrative Services. This action was a next step of the ongoing reorganization announced in February. The Central Office will consolidate all accounting, finance, human resources, benefits administration and risk management activities of the units and companies served. Susan Winslow was quoted as saying this centralized office will bring more efficiency to the operations as well as allow continued improvements in the effectiveness of each of the administrative services provided to the work force in each affiliated company. The Central Office will be located in The Bevins Trust building, next door to City Hall, which also houses the Ozarks Communications, Inc., offices and shops.

The Oak Springs Historical and Genealogical Society published a notice in the Oak Springs Enterprise reminding community members that they still seek information, documents, photographs, and other artifacts from the early days of the settlement of the valley we now know as Oak Creek Township. Items from the early 20th Century should also be considered. If you have materials, of any kind, that you think might be of interest, please contact Judy Winslow at the City Library. A hard-working volunteer committee will evaluate the material for you. The Society is not looking for the materials to be donated, unless you want to. They only want to inspect, perhaps copy, and record the information, materials or artifacts as part of their study of the early days of this fine community. Your help and serious consideration are appreciated.


Locals:

The Annual Alumni Basketball Exhibition Game, featuring an Oak Springs Alumni Basketball team versus the Oak Springs High School Boys Team, which represents the end of the current season, will be held on Saturday night, March 29, at the Oak Springs High School Gymnasium. Proceeds from the game benefit the High School Athletic Equipment Fund. This is always a fun game for everyone in the community.

Paul Gates, General Manager, announced that the Oak Creek Mill and Mill Market would resume a full seven-day a week schedule for the season beginning on Monday, March 24. Hours will be 10 am to 6 pm daily. The admission price for the Mill tour will stay the same as last year; admission to the Mill Market is free. Gates also announced that for the first full week, from March 24 to 30, as an Area Appreciation promotion, admission to the Mill Tour would be half-price and many other activities would have special pricing as well. He added they were hoping for good weather so that many people from the community would be able to participate.

Social Notes:

The Annual St. Patrick’s Day Party at the Oak Springs Country Club was well attended as usual. Harry and Sarah Flanders chaired the arrangements committee this year and were able to have an authentic Irish Pipe Band from Houston provide the featured entertainment for the event.




"May everyone have a homeplace, if only in your mind."

Dr. Bill  ;-)

Friday, March 6, 2015

Feb 1997 - Life in Oak Springs, the Homeplace



Life in Oak Springs, the Homeplace
Feb 1997


This series of posts on each Friday during 2015 continues the stories of “The Homeplace Saga” series of family saga, historical fiction families in the area of Oak Springs following the novel “Christmas at the Homeplace.” Here is a peek at ‘Life in Oak Springs,’ and the surrounding valley, in February of 1997.




The Bevins Trust announcement in the Oak Springs Enterprise in early February was direct and to the point: “As of the first of the calendar year, The Bevins Trust put into effect a reorganization plan which included the formation of a non-profit land trust, the McDonald Conservancy, and, a new for-profit corporation, the Bevins Corporation. Henceforth, all commercial agricultural activities of the Bevins Trust will operate through the Bevins Corporation, which will be headed by CEO, Bart Bevins. The McDonald Conservancy will be the recipient of selected assets of the Bevins Trust, over the next five to ten years, and be governed by a nine-member board operating under a mission statement and operating plan approved by the board. The mission will relate to stewardship of land and water along several miles of Oak Creek in eastern Oak Creek Township. Three board members will represent the Bevins Trust and the other six members will represent the general public selected for their expertise in land stewardship and conservation practices including the use of the water and land assets of the land trust for recreational and educational experiences. At a future date, an Executive Director will be hired to carry out the policies set by the Board of Directors. Peter Bevins will serve initially as Coordinating Director as the McDonald Conservancy goes through its initial organization.”

Karen Bevins, Chair of the Bevins Trust, said that this reorganization has been in the planning stages for several months and implementation steps will be spread over the first several months of the current year. The changes were prompted by the growth of the organization and the family, as well as by tax considerations.

Locals

News from the Oak Springs Historical and Genealogical Society: Penny Nixon and Brian Kirk announced that the Society Committee examining the manuscript found in the Oak Springs Enterprise office back room was indeed a History of the Founding of Oak Springs and the surrounding valley dating back to the first settlement in 1833. On closer examination it now appeared that the manuscript was prepared for the Centennial celebration in 1876, but was shelved because of the financial difficulties related to the Panic of 1873 in the nation and the community. It appeared that the stories were collected and compiled by Jerry Potts, publisher and editor of the Enterprise, at the time, and his assistant, future editor Alex McDonald. Plans were begun to arrange to have the manuscript edited and published by the Society, for the community, in the near future.

Social Notes:

At the Bevins Corporation hosted Valentine’s Day party held at the Homeplace Country Inn Heritage Room on Friday evening, February 14, two couples announced nuptial-related dates. First, Scott Gates and Rachel Nixon announced their official engagement with a wedding planned for September. In addition, Dr. Jennifer Bevins and Brian Kirk announced that they planned a June Wedding, with a date set of June 14.


"May everyone have a homeplace, if only in your mind."

Dr. Bill  ;-)

Friday, February 27, 2015

Jan 1997 - Life in Oak Springs, the Homeplace


Life in Oak Springs, the Homeplace

Jan 1997



This series of posts on each Friday during 2015 continues the stories of “The Homeplace Saga” series of family saga, historical fiction families in the area of Oak Springs following the novel “Christmas at the Homeplace.” Here is a peek at ‘Life in Oak Springs,’ and the surrounding valley, in January of 1997. 


Sunrise - the dawn of a new day
[Source: http://www.freeimages.com/photo/1442778 user smithwil]


The new Oak Springs Historical and Genealogical Society (Society) continued its local media campaign encouraging local folks to look for old family and community records that they might have hidden away in boxes, drawers, and attics. At the Oak Springs Library, Librarian Judy Watson took the lead in providing the record keeping to assure that each such item brought to the library was properly recorded as contributed by the person or family bringing it in and that it would be preserved in their name. Members of the Society then volunteered to process the information or artifact so as to continue to discover and record it’s place in the history of the community. It was a bigger project than expected, but most of the members of the Society found it a worthwhile challenge and pitched in to help as they could. These efforts were led by Brian Kirk, Jennifer Bevins, Rhoda Offutt and Sarah (Campbell) Flanders, among the founding members and officers of the Society. They worked closely with Judy Watson to keep their promise to the community.

Among the artifacts brought in during January, was an old manuscript found by Penny Nixon in the back room of the Oak Springs Enterprise. It appeared, on early examination, never to have been published, in the newspaper or otherwise. More research was underway, the committee reported.


Social Notes:

Local lawyer, Don Kirk, played Professor Van Helsing in "Dracula" at the Community Theater production at Ozarks Community College. Celebrating his performance with him after opening night were close friends and family, Brian Kirk, Jennifer Bevins, Linda Ogden, and Christopher and Nicole Ogden.

At the annual Chamber of Commerce dinner, Lisa Flanders-Howell, Vice President at Oak Springs Bank, was honored by being presented the Oak Star Award from the Chamber. This award was not given each year. Flanders-Howell was presented the award for 1996 as the business person leading the United Way effort to its most successful campaign in the 23 year history of the United Campaign in the Oak Springs area, along with the other local charitable activities in which she contributed. When she received the award, she was accompanied by her husband, City Manager, Jacob Howell and their 4-year-old son, Thomas Howell.


"May everyone have a homeplace, if only in your mind."

Dr. Bill  ;-)

Thursday, February 26, 2015

"3 Threats" Novel Project Update


"3 Threats to the Homeplace"
Novel Project Update


In recent weeks, I've shared some planning documents on this projected novel with my writing community colleagues as well as here on "The Homeplace Saga" blog.



Earlier this week, I shared my latest thinking on the project in this article:

On Friday, in this space, we will continue on with the story of the Homeplace and the good folks who live there with January 1997. I hope you will join me in this weekly journey of exploration.

"May we each have a Homeplace, if only in our mind!"

Dr. Bill  ;-)

Friday, February 20, 2015

3 Threats - 6 POV characters - Beverly is our sixth…



“3 Threats to the Homeplace” preview 
6 POV characters
Beverly is our sixth…



Beverly is the least well developed of the four primary siblings of the Bevins family in the entire “The Homeplace Saga,” series of stories. Although she was a principal focus in the first novel, “Back to the Homeplace,” she has been largely in the background in the more recent ones. That changes with “3 Threats.” The first threat is that she has returned to Oak Springs - “permanently” - in her words. What impact this will have on the rest of the family, and the community, is a focus of the story, of course.

To learn a little more about her, if you are new to the series, or as a reminder if you are a regular, following is a piece I recently published specifically regarding her role in the upcoming “3 Threats” novel:





As with the other major characters in “The Homeplace Saga” series of family saga, historical fiction stories, you can use the developmental wiki as a reminder. Here are links to Beverly, and the other characters:



There are currently 5, about to be 6, references under Labels (right sidebar, scroll down):


…where much of what we know about her comes through stories of her ex-husband, Paul, and her children, Scott and Heather, in Oak Springs.  Read “Back to the Homeplace” for more… ;-)


******
“May each of us have a Homeplace to hold onto, if only in our minds.”  Dr. Bill ;-)