Friday, June 26, 2015

Yes, it is Friday...


Yes, it is Friday...

June 1998 in Oak Springs...

Will appear in a couple of weeks...


I'm taking a couple of weeks off to work on some other projects, thank you so much for stopping by.

Here was a good short read, in the meantime (and, there is more where that came from):


OR...


Most of you have not read "Back to the Homeplace" yet, the first novel that started this all. It is still an excellent read, and sets up all the subsequent stories, in the 1990s and the 1800s... now would be a great time to read it. [It is free to download to Kindle, if you have Kindle Unlimited, and you surely do! The print copy is great fun to have, as well!]



In either event, Happy Reading!!

Dr. Bill  ;-)

Friday, June 19, 2015

May 1998 - Life in Oak Springs, the Homeplace


Life in Oak Springs, the Homeplace
May 1998


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,” which ended as 1997 began. Here is a peek at ‘Life in Oak Springs,’ and the surrounding valley, in May of 1998.


[Palamino Horse - Wikimedia Commons - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Palomino_Horse.jpg]

Heather Gates, in the Junior Class at Oak Springs High School, at annual awards day, once again earned the Most Outstanding Project in the FFA (Future Farmers of America) competition. Her project involved her Palomino breeding program, again, this year, but also added the rest of the breeding program at the Bevins Stables to her project program. Once again, her instructor predicted success for Heather at the State level and mentioned that it would also likely qualify for the National FFA convention, based on his experience with these things. Heather was quoted as saying; “I’m really just doing my job with the horses at the Stables. I am very pleased that others feel that I am doing a good job.”

On May 11 and 12, Monday and Tuesday, the McDonald Conservancy hosted workshops and tours involving current and prospective directors, invited expert guests in four natural conservation fields, and selected primary donors/sponsors totaling 24 persons. The participants interacted with the experts, took in-field tours of related Conservancy land, and discussed plans and prospective plans presented by Executive Director Ronny Cox and Board Chair Peter Bevins. This event was based at the Homeplace Country Inn Heritage Hall and activities were scheduled to provide time for informal discussions among the participants. Meals were catered in the Hall to provide maximum time for interactions. Cox said following the event, “This gathering was one of the most productive I have had the pleasure to participate in. New ideas were generated, some prior plan assumptions received confirmation, and many possible future activities for the Conservancy were considered. The Board and I look forward to the opportunity to digest all that was discussed in these two short, very active, days.” Bevins added, “This gathering demonstrates why we hired Ronny Cox as our Executive Director. We’ve wanted to do something like this. He got it done, and more successfully than we could ever dreamed of. Very good two days of discussions. Much focused work ahead of us.”


Locals:

Sullivan End-‘O-the-Road Livestock Auction held a well-advertised Cattle Auction on Wednesday, May 20. Among the lots were 9 cows and calves, including two cows with twin calves, and 2 bulls, from the Bevins herd offered by Bart Bevins and Scott Gates.

The Oak Springs Enterprise on Wednesday, May 13, featured a special graduation section with a photo and feature article on each of the 2015 Oak Springs High School graduates.


Social Notes:

Heather Gates was feted for her FFA Project success with a reception at the Homeplace Country Inn Heritage Inn hosted by her mother, Beverly (Gates) Threshold, and her husband, Winnie, of Jackson, Mississippi, her father, Paul Gates, of the east valley, along with her aunt, Karen Winslow, proprietor of the Country Inn. About 35 guests, family and friends attended the reception, held on Saturday afternoon, May 23.

Graduation parties were held around the valley for this year’s High School graduates of Oak Springs High School through the latter part of the month of May.

Lori Winslow and Trace Watkins were seen dining at the Oak Springs Country Club, Saturday night, May 30th. Also seen dining there that evening were Don and Linda Kirk, Christopher and Nicole Ogden, and Brian and Jennifer Kirk, at a table for six.


Cop Shop:

Six juveniles in two cars were arrested for DUI following the High School Junior-Senior Prom late Saturday night, May 2. The cars were impounded and the juveniles were remanded to the custody of their respective parents as they were located during the overnight hours.


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


Friday, June 12, 2015

April 1998 - Life in Oak Springs, the Homeplace


Life in Oak Springs, the Homeplace
April 1998


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,” which ended as 1997 began. Here is a peek at ‘Life in Oak Springs,’ and the surrounding valley, in April of 1998.





The McDonald Conservancy announced the hiring of Ronny Cox as Executive Director effective April 20. Cox had been affiliated with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources in Rolla for many years. In that position, he had many dealings with The Bevins Trust and the McDonald Conservancy so has been very familiar with their work, mission and direction. Peter Bevins, Managing Director of the Conservancy, was quoted: “On behalf of the McDonald Conservancy I want to extend our warmest welcome our new Executive Director. We never imagined that we could be so fortunate as to acquire the services of this outstanding public servant. Our working relationship, over recent years, has been exemplary, and very valuable in an advisory role as the Conservancy was conceived and founded. To have his expertise available on a daily basis will be extraordinary.” It was learned that Cox found that he qualified for an early retirement program offered by the state at about the same time as the Conservancy directors were considering the possibility of hiring a full time executive director. Cox added he had hoped to get “back into nature” when he eventually retired, and this opportunity was just too good to pass by. He said: “The McDonald Conservancy is one of only a few organizations across the country doing the kinds of things I would really support expanded in the way of public-private undertakings with respect to preserving and maintaining our natural environment. I am pleased to have the opportunity to contribute to that effort.”



Locals:

Lori Winslow met with Trace Watkins at the Jensen and Watkins office to go over the latest plans for the housing development in the east valley. At this stage, they were still blocking out possible combinations of green spaces and different proposed combinations of sizes of lots that might be incorporated. There were still some questions as to the precise borders of the property they would have available to develop, pending the Conservancy needs, the golf course placements, and access to current and proposed roadways. They were also each still getting to know and understand what each of them wanted to see in the develop, conceptually. Gary had stepped back and allowed the two of them to work on this part of the project. He knew they were each totally devoted to accomplishing it, and he was available to assist in any way he could.

Easter fell on April 12, so the Town of Oak Springs sponsored Easter Egg hunt on Centennial Square was held on Saturday morning, April 11.


Social Notes:

Paul, and his daughter, Heather, Gates hosted a family Easter dinner at their cottage in the east valley at noon on Sunday. Guests were Peter, Sheila and Jeremy Bevins, Scott and Rachel Gates, and Julie Barnes.

Matt and Susan Winslow hosted a family Easter dinner at their home on Sunday following church services. Guests were Karen and Lori Winslow and Raynor Crimmons.



Cop Shop:

Two young men were arrested late Tuesday evening, April 14. They were caught while still inside Bud’s Sinclair Auto Service store, rifling through the tools, following a tip called in my a concerned neighbor. Money from the cash drawer was in the pocket of the jeans of one of the young men. These two were identified as two of three juveniles also arrested in February on break in charges. This time, they were held in jail pending  a Juvenile Court appearance.


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


Friday, June 5, 2015

March 1998 - Life in Oak Springs, the Homeplace


Life in Oak Springs, the Homeplace
March 1998


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,” which ended as 1997 began. Here is a peek at ‘Life in Oak Springs,’ and the surrounding valley, in March of 1998.



 [Image Source: Wikimedia Commons]


Following are excerpts from an interview published in the Oak Springs Enterprise between reporter, Rachel (Nixon) Gates, and Diane Bevins, General Manager of Bevins Stables and Trail Rides in the east valley. The subject was their horse-breeding operations and the interview also included horse-breeding partners, Heather Gates and Dr. Jennifer Bevins.

Diane said: “Yes, we take great pride in the strides we have made in our horse-breeding program here at the Stables in the last couple of years. Heather Gates, although still only a junior in High School, has taken the lead for us and it has been an award winning process, to date. I see much more of the same in the future. We each get strong technical guidance from our veterinary partner, Dr. Bevins, of course. We breed both purebred Palominos and high-quality non-purebreds as well. We have two birthing stalls, and now try to have two births in January and two in March, if all goes as planned. And things usually go as planned.

“I should also mention that we highly value our association with a number of the other members of the Palomino Horse Breeders of America in the region. We have had many interactions that have been mutually beneficial over a number of years. We couldn’t have done what we do without those colleagues and friends.”

Rachel asked: “What mix of purebred to non-purebred to you use in your breeding?” To which Diane replied: “One or two purebreds a year is our current goal. We don’t want to expand the lines too quickly. Quality over quantity is our current strategy. We also desire to slowly grow our trail ride options, which requires more non-purebred horses. And, we need to sell some horses each year, in each category, to help finance the whole operation.”

What are your primary responsibilities, Heather? Rachel asked. Heather replied: “I would say I have two primary responsibilities right now. First, because I am still in school, getting that done right is a high priority. The horses are my FFA project, so that meshes nicely. Second, I am responsible for all the ‘grunt work’ with the breeding process, directing and helped out by the other stable employees. The care and comfort of the brood mares and their foal are my responsibility. All the record keeping for the breeding stock and their offspring are my responsibility.”

Rachel turned to Jennifer,  “And Dr. Bevins, how do you fit in the equation?” To which she replied, “My responsibilities are general health of the animals and technical advice and assistance to the horse-breeding process. We use all artificial insemination, so I’m responsible for having both materials and equipment available, and I assist and supervise the operations, along with Heather, and others as may be required. I regularly monitor the reports Heather prepares on the condition of all the animals, and recommend and treat as needed. It is a real pleasure to be involved in this first-class operation and process. Our outcomes have been outstanding.”

Turning back to Diane, Rachel said: “Dr. Bevins may have answered my final question. Do you consider the horse-breeding operation here at your Stables to be a success?”

Diane replied: “Very much a success, for all involved. My first purebred Palomino was Marilyn, way back, many years ago. Sunshine, Heather’s principle Palomino mare, is an offspring of Marilyn. We have developed other excellent mares and have been able to sell a number of male and female offspring for premium prices. On the other side, we have continued to upgrade our trail horse herd, while selling a regular number of horses both old and young to help support the stables and the breeding. We also do some breeding for other horses that we board. For example, Christopher Ogden owns Shadow over there in the second birthing stall. This is her second foal in the last two years. We are all very pleased with how our program is succeeding.”


Locals:

The Sullivan End-‘O-the-Road Livestock Auction announced that the first “Cow-Calf” Auction of the season would be held on Friday, March 27, 1998. A find selection of locally raised stock was expected at the sale event. Refreshments would be available from vendors at the Auction House.


Social Notes:

Travis and Inman, and their children, Zach and Kayla, spent Spring Break week in Branson. They enjoyed Silver Dollar City and many of the other local attractions.

Peter, Sheila and Jeremy Bevins spent Spring Break at the Lake of the Ozarks, boating and fishing, they said.


Cop Shop:

There were no incidents reported this month.


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


Friday, May 29, 2015

February 1998 - Life in Oak Springs, the Homeplace


Life in Oak Springs, the Homeplace
February 1998


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,” which ended as 1997 began. Here is a peek at ‘Life in Oak Springs,’ and the surrounding valley, in February of 1998.




The following are excerpts from an interview published in the Oak Springs Enterprise by Rachel (Nixon) Gates with Paul Gates, Manager of the Oak Creek Mill and Market, regarding planning efforts by The Bevins Trust, the McDonald Conservancy, and related entities up and down Oak Creek in the near future and in the long range:

“Based on the feedback we constantly receive from both our local and visiting customer base, several projects are now in various stages of development, Paul Gates explained. The Bevins and McDonald interests are also looking “outside the box” at opportunities that may be there that no one has yet recognized by visiting other sites around the country, even around the world, for ideas. The Internet has certainly begun to make this much easier, of course. I’m talking to you here, today, in hopes of giving the community some additional insights into some of things we are working on, recognizing that most of them are still in early stages of planning and development.

“Apportioning land along Oak Creek, owned by The Bevins Trust, through donations to the McDonald Conservancy, is an ongoing project. Roughly, all of the land on either side of Oak Creek, from the National Forest boundary on the north, just south of the county line there, to the south county line, is involved in this process. The challenge is to develop the proper mix of public and private use of that land both for now and into the future. Preservation and maintenance of the ecosystem is an over-riding concern. We hope to eventually have trails on both sides of Oak Creek, accessible to the public, with some, but limited, crossover opportunities.

“My most recent project, Paul Gates continued, is the possibility of putting in a Par-3, nine hole golf course, on the west side of Oak Creek from just above the Mill, down the slope and possibly around the Pond. Integrating this with the proposed Conservancy Trails systems and nearby other private developments is now being worked through with all persons and entities involved. The grant proposals submitted on behalf of the McDonald Conservancy currently being reviewed are a key element in those discussions as well, of course.

“The final major piece of this puzzle appears to be the desire of the families involved to create a residential housing development on original McDonald farm land just to the south of the Pond and Creek, that would also tie in from the west to the Bevins Stables and Trail Ride location, which is also the headquarters of the Bevins Agricultural Operations. These are complex projects, but it feels like we are beginning to see the long-term “light at the end of the tunnel” on this integration of ideas. While much of the detail work must necessarily be done “behind closed doors,” we do want the community to be aware of the outcomes being sought. That is why I’ve been authorized to talk to you about it all, today. I hope this has been useful.”

Locals:

Big Thunder Lodge was advertising weekend specials for couples through the months of February and March.

Oak Springs Food Village ran a series of ads for their new fresh fruits and vegetables department through the month.


Social Notes:

Matt and Susan Winslow returned from a week of vacation that they spent skiing and relaxing at and around the Breckinridge area of Colorado.

The Valentine’s Day Dance at the Oak Springs Country Club was well attended and a good time had by all, according to several reports. The local band, Swingtime, was especially appreciated.

Cop Shop:

Three juveniles were arrested, booked, and remanded to the custody of their parents following discovery of their involvement in a series of recent break-ins and acts of vandalism in the downtown Oak Springs area, along Main Street, police said.


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


Friday, May 22, 2015

January 1998 - Life in Oak Springs, the Homeplace


Life in Oak Springs, the Homeplace
January 1998


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,” which ended as 1997 began. Here is a peek at ‘Life in Oak Springs,’ and the surrounding valley, in January of 1998.




At the January meeting of the Oak Springs Historical and Genealogical Society the following new officers were elected:

President: Rhoda Offutt
Vice President & Program Chair: Mona Evans
Secretary: Penny Nixon
Treasurer: Lisa Flanders-Howell
Membership Chair: Sarah Flanders
Immediate Past President: Brian Kirk

Rhoda Offutt reported on sales of the “American Centennial” book that had exceeded expectations, but there were still copies available for those interested. She also encouraged all members to continue to look for old documents about the community and local families in unusual, as well as the usual, places.

Free with Kindle Unlimited]

The Jensen & Watkins Construction Company held an Open House on Wednesday, January 7th, to celebrate the First Anniversary of the Company. The notice in the paper reminded the community that Gary Jensen had been in residential construction in the community for more than ten years. His nephew, Trace Watkins, had come to Oak Springs to join him, just over a year earlier. It was on this date in 1997 that they had officially opened business as the company we know today, located on the west side of State Highway 37 about 2 miles north of the intersection with State Highway 24. Watkins, in his early 30s, had been in construction work in the Kansas City area for more that ten years, as well. The company specializes in single family residences, duplexes and four-plexes.

Locals:

It was learned that Paul Gates, Manager of The Oak Creek Mill, had presented a proposal to The Bevins Trust to build a Par 3 Golf Course on the slope from just above the Mill down to and around the Mill Pond below the Mill. Each tee would be located above the green and hole below on five of the nine holes proposed. He was said to have presented the plan as a compliment to the 18-hole golf course on the west side of Oak Springs at the Country Club, not as competition. He felt that both local and visiting golfers would support both courses.

Lori Winslow confirmed to our reporter that she had met with Gary Jensen and Trace Watkins at the Jensen & Watkins Construction Company office on north Highway 37 northeast of Oak Springs regarding possibly creating a housing development on Bevins Trust land south and east of the Mill Pond, running parallel to Oak Creek as it exited the Mill Pond. It would be designed to integrate with the proposed Par-3 Golf Course, the kayak/canoe portage and serve as a direct link to the Bevins Stables and Trail Ride facilities from the west. It was known that several Bevins family members had talked of building new homes, and it appeared this development might meet those and other local needs. Winslow also confirmed that she had been involved with a residential housing development group in Los Angeles before her move to Oak Springs. She had enjoyed that work, and believed some of what she had learned there could be incorporated into a development here in the valley.


Social Notes:

Trace Watkins, of the Jensen & Watkins Construction Company, created a bit of stir at the local McDonalds last Thursday when a teenager mistook him for the country music singer, Trace Atkins, and set off quite a ruckus. Watkins was a bit embarrassed by the attention, but admitted to this reporter that it had happened to him before, in Kansas City, in years past. He said he preferred to think of himself as resembling his uncle, Gary Jensen, his business partner. But, he added, he really didn’t have much control over what others thought when they saw him, and, admitted it was flattering.


Cop Shop:

A total of four vehicles abandoned on public roadways in the valley following the January 15 blizzard were ticketed and towed to the police compound area. This occurred only after owners had not retrieved their vehicles themselves in a timely manner.


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


Friday, May 15, 2015

December 1997 - Life in Oak Springs, the Homeplace


Life in Oak Springs, the Homeplace
December 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,” which ended as 1997 began. Here is a peek at ‘Life in Oak Springs,’ and the surrounding valley, in December of 1997.




Town Merchants again ran weekend specials both weekends before Christmas for the benefit of the entire community. Local citizens have become accustomed to and appreciate the efforts made by the local merchants to meet their holiday needs.

The Town Council awarded the Cable Contract for the community to Ozarks Communications, Inc. (OCI). President of OCI, Matt Winslow, said that his company is dedicated to getting service to all interested residential and commercial customers as soon as possible. The OCI Internet infrastructure is already in place and will also carry the cable signals. Specific information will be provided to customers as each segment of the community is made cable ready. Orders can be placed online, by telephone, or by stopping by the OCI office, he added.

The Oak Springs Historical and Genealogical Society at their monthly meeting announced that new officers would be elected at the January meeting. Several new committee chairs would also be sought, so members were urged to think about which positions they would be willing to fill for the coming year.


Locals:

The annual Bevins Trust Christmas Dinner for employee families was held on Friday afternoon, December 12. Eligible employees and their families were fed and entertained in assigned shifts again this year at the Heritage Room of the Homeplace Country Inn, so that all work assignments could also be covered. Santa Clause appeared at each shift with gifts for the children aged 12 and under. This is an annual event for the Bevins Trust affiliated companies that reached across the community in its impact. All participants welcomed this event as a fine company benefit.

The United Methodist Church Choir presented Handel’s Messiah on Sunday evening at the church with standing room only for this fine seasonal concert.


Social Notes:

Christmas eve candlelight services at the United Methodist Church were each well attended this year, as has been the custom. By holding services at 8, 10, and midnight, each individual and family can attend a service that meets their needs and fits with their family traditions.

Family Christmas dinners were hosted by, among many others: Matt and Susan Winslow, Harry and Sarah Flanders, Peter and Shiela Gates, Travis and Laura Inman, Bart and Linda Bevins, and Don and Linda Kirk.

Cop Shop:

A total of only five DUI charges were made following several Christmas parties at the Oak Springs Country Club this December, down from nine the year before.


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