Friday, April 17, 2015

August 1997 - Life in Oak Springs, the Homeplace

Life in Oak Springs, the Homeplace
August 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 August of 1997.

Sheep waiting to be judged at the fair

Image source:

The 118th Annual Oak Creek Valley Fair was held successfully on the first weekend in August yet again. What started as a one-day event those many years ago has grown to a four-day-event that attracts visitors from surrounding counties and across the four-state region. License plates were seen in the parking lot from 12 different states, as a matter of fact… and, of course, there could have been more over the four days. Held on the fairgrounds south of Patton Pond in the southwest corner of the city, the fair offers township residents an opportunity to show off their animals, crops and projects. The higher ranked entries can be assured of good placement at the upcoming county fair as well as the possibility of being selected for the State Fair.

Pioneer crafts from the 19th Century were a favorite of Fair visitors as they are every year. We all enjoy being reminded of the simpler (but not easier) times of our pioneer ancestors. A new exhibit this year that drew a lot of attention was that of the new Oak Springs Historical and Genealogical Society where a few of the family artifacts identified earlier in the year were on display along with family stories related to the artifacts.

Six different bands and musical groups took turns performing on the two stages set up at each end of the fairgrounds this year. The carnival was set up in the middle of the fairgrounds, as usual.

The Bevins Corporation announced in the Oak Springs Enterprise that Scott Gates, recent graduate of the Farm Operations program at the Ozarks Community College, had been named Assistant Farm Manager. In this role, he will be involved in the planning and direction of all farm related activities under General Manager, Bart Bevins. The Bevins Corporation is primarily involved in row crops, hay and pasture land management, and a large cow-calf operation.


Virginia Hollingsworth was moved to the Serenity Nursing Home [] from the Oak Springs Regional Hospital [] where she had been undergoing care following a serious fall she took while gardening at her home in the east valley.

Late in month, Heather Gates, a junior at the local high school, was to present her FFA annual project at the FFA (Future Farmers of America) State Convention in Kansas City. She had received high praise for the project from her teacher and FFA advisor [], and all her supporters wished her well at State.

Peter Bevins, Managing Director of the McDonald Conservancy, announced that two more persons had accepted appointment to the Board of Directors of the emerging Land Trust. One was a professor in the Biology Department at the State University and the other was a Regional Director of the Missouri Nature Conservancy organization.

Social Notes:

Dr. Raynor Crimmons welcomed his daughter, Randi, for a two-week visit from her home in the Washington, D.C. area, where she works for the Department of Defense. During the visit, they also spend a long weekend in southeastern Iowa visiting relatives and friends. While in Oak Springs, Randi said she especially enjoyed spending time with Karen, Lori and Matt Winslow with whom she grew up as a youngster in Tucson, Arizona. She added that she also enjoyed meeting and getting to know Matt’s wife, Susan, and their two children, Tyler and Emily.

Peter, Sheila, and Jeremy Bevins enjoyed a week of camping along the Buffalo River in northwestern Arkansas early in the month. It was their first out-of-town vacation since had Jeremy became part of the family last year. [Learn more about this in “Christmas at the Homeplace.”]

Cop Shop:

Local police were investigating a fire at the playground in Patton Park, in the southwest part of the city. It appeared that vandals had set fire to the wooden swing set as well as the rubber pelts on the ground about 9 p.m. last Thursday night. An empty container of flammable fluid was discovered near the fire. As of this reporting, no one had come forward with useful information on who may have set the fire or why.

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


  1. Wonderful update Bill, I see in the last and in this post you are bringing Raynor Crimmons back into the story. Always glad to see the progress in Oak Springs.

    Thanks Sam

    1. This series of stories needs to keep the whole set of stories updated. It is a challenging new approach... probably will be some variations, as well, as we go along. ;-)

  2. Just like reading the local newspaper and hanging on every story. Have a great weekend, my friend.

    1. Loved seeing my Dad read the paper in the kitchen... in the 1950s... thanks, for the memory! My weekend will be great, thanks, hoping yours will be, as well! ;-)