Friday, May 8, 2015

November 1997 - Life in Oak Springs, the Homeplace

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

We spoke with Peter Bevins, managing director of the McDonald Conservancy recently about the latest activities with the Conservancy. He first wanted to send out a public Thank You to Lyle Cunningham and a group of volunteers he began organizing over the summer and the ‘work days’ they conducted during the fall. Peter said these activities were so important for the non-profit organization. This fall, work days have been devoted to ‘creek bank’ cleanup, brush clearing along the expected walking path along the Oak Creek, and clearing brush and small trees from the pasture near the corner of State Highway 37 and the Mill Road. Records are kept, Peter pointed out, of all volunteer activities conducted and the number of hours of each. These can generally be applied, at some point, as ‘in-kind’ contributions that often are valuable in grant applications for matching funds.

The second major activity work for the Conservancy had been on-going planning for the use of the lands donated under the Land Trust laws. The directors each needed to become fully aware of what could and could not be done with the land, to meet legal requirements as well as to manage the land environment most effectively and efficiently within the Conservancy guidelines. Some of this planning activity also included identifying additional potential directors and others who could provide positive guidance.

Finally, but no less important, had been grant writing, Peter added. Each of the directors had been involved in this, as volunteers, as well. Ronny Cox, with the Natural Resources office in Rolla, had also been very helpful in on-going technical assistance on some of the grants, he noted. Several small grant applications had been submitted along with one large grant application to a special fund administered by the State National Resources Department. Peter said there were really very few eligible candidates for this grant, at this time, and he really hoped they had done all of the right things to earn it. Receiving the grant would be a real boon to the community, he added, in terms of additions to recreational activities as well as environmental contributions.


The annual Bevins Trust Thanksgiving Turkey Day for employee families held on Sunday afternoon, November 23, was another big success. Eligible employee families each picked up their frozen turkey plus a sack of fixings. Everyone enjoyed refreshments and a social time prior to the actual distribution of goodies. This has become an annual event for the Bevins Trust affiliated companies that reached across the community in its impact. All welcomed this event as a fine benefit.

Social Notes:

Reverend Clarice McCauley baptized baby C.P. Ogden at the United Methodist Church on Sunday, November 23. His parents are Christopher and Nicole Ogden. Also attending the service were grandparents Don and Linda (Ogden) Kirk, Bart and Diane Bevins, and Jack and Mona Evans. Great-grandfathers present were Doc Evans and Lyle Cunningham.

Cop Shop:

A disgruntled former city employee was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct for “keying” 3 cars sitting outside City Hall late in October. He has arranged to make restitution in lieu of jail time.

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


  1. Coming up on another Christmas at the Homeplace. Thanks for another update on Oak Springs.

    1. That year flew by quickly, didn't it, Sam! What will the new year bring, after Christmas?!? ;-)