Friday, August 7, 2015

October 1998 - Life in Oak Springs, the Homeplace

Life in Oak Springs, the Homeplace
October 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 October of 1998.

Winnie and Beverly (Bevins) (Gates) Threshold arrived at the Oak Springs Motel late Thursday afternoon, October 1, 1998. They had driven up from their home in Jackson, Mississippi, in anticipation of the birth of the first child of Beverly’s son, Scott, and his wife, Rachel. They hoped they were not too late. They had not received word on the car-phone Winnie had in his car, so they assumed they had made it on time. Winnie was known in Mississippi at Winston T. Threshold III, a wealthy local industrialist. Here in Missouri, he insisted on just being “Winnie” the southern gentleman visiting his second wife’s hometown. He had built, and did own, the Oak Springs Motel so their arrival did not go unnoticed by the local staff.

Normally, they stayed northeast of town, in the adjoining county, at the Big Thunder Lodge, where he was a major stockholder and a member of the Board of Directors. A board meeting was his normal excuse to get Beverly to come up and visit her children by her first marriage to Paul Gates, Scott and Heather. She always enjoyed seeing the children, but had also always been reluctant to stay more than a few days in her hometown. She had left for Jackson right out of high school, and at the time, said she would never return. However, in 1987, in order to assure a family inheritance for her children, she had come “Back to the Homeplace” as the wife of Gates and the mother of their two young children. She soon returned ‘home’ to Jackson, divorced Gates, and sometime later, married Threshold. Paul Gates and the children, Scott and Heather, remained in the Oak Springs area to participate in the Bevins Trust, created by Beverly’s parents to preserve the family farm and related assets. They had been very happy living in Oak Springs. For this trip, Winnie had insisted they stay nearby Scott and Rachel at the Oak Springs Motel.

Beverly had come back for Scott’s graduation, both High School and Community College, and his marriage to Rachel (Rachel was one daughter of the local newspaper editor and publisher). But, each time, Beverly had retreated back to Jackson in short order. Now, with a grand baby arriving, Beverly really wanted to be a part of this new phase of her life, if she could. She called Scott and learned that, yes, the baby was still pending… but it wouldn’t be long, for sure.

The baby, a girl, arrived early on Saturday morning, October 3. They named her Faith Gates. Mother and baby were able to have family visitors at the hospital, for a brief visit, late that afternoon. Along with Winnie and Beverly, Paul Gates was there, of course. Paul and Beverly now had a friendly, civil, relationship based on their mutual love of their children. He still didn’t understand her motivations, nor she his, but they had worked it out. Also there, whom they had met at the wedding, was Richard ‘Dick’ Nixon, Rachel’s widowed, and still single, father. The grandparents took turns going in to see the baby and her mother. The young father, Scott, was mostly happy to have a healthy wife and baby. He was pleased the grandparents were each there to visit, but really hoped they wouldn’t stay too long.

Baby Faith had two aunts, Penny Nixon and Heather Gates. Each decided to wait until Sunday afternoon to come for a visit. Penny was the older sister of Rachel, and was Associate Editor to her father at the Oak Springs Enterprise. Penny had never married, and assumed she would not have children, so she felt a special relationship to her new little niece. Heather was now in her Senior Year of High School. Her feelings toward the baby were very similar to those that Penny was feeling.

Winnie and Beverly returned to Jackson a couple of days after Scott and Rachel took baby Faith home.

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

Dr. Bill  ;-)


  1. And the family keeps growing in Oak Springs :) Thanks for the update Bill, and have a great weekend.

    1. I appreciate your comments each week, Sam. Thank you. A great weekend to you and yours, as well! ;-)

  2. A capsule of life all around us. In every town in every country around the globe, life is playing out. New births, new deaths, round and round we go, the constant flow...that's what this reminds me of.

    1. Well stated. With occasional aberrations that make a difference... we'll want to watch for them... ;-)