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.”


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  ;-)


  1. Thanks Bill for another fine update on the happenings in Oak Springs. I do enjoy following your updates :)

    1. Some month as easier than others. I really appreciate your loyalty!! ;-)

  2. I was trying to figure out what I was doing in 1998. I know I was teaching in a local middle school....and I think I went to Washington D.C. that summer. Years fade with time, don't they, or at least events do. Anyway, nice installment. Yours is one of the few hubs I'll read on a weekend, and you never disappoint.

    1. The years do kind of run together, yes. In my "Back to the Homeplace" I started each chapter with New Events... to remind readers of the times. Got many positive reviews of doing that. It was set in 1987. It got this series started. I really appreciate your visits and comments each week! ;-)