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Crescent Hotel Goulish tales

Perry House

OCTOBER 2021

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Real life horror

Raising Z

Unexpected breeds

A MAGAZINE DEDICATED TO SOUTHWEST MISSOURIANS


2 | October 2021


ConnectionMO.com | Connection Magazine | 3


EDITORIAL

Where did all the goodies go? Long time passing…

T

his is the month of pumpkins, autumn colors, spice coffees, lots of candy, ghosts and goblins. This is the season turning point, where we get excited because we can look forward to dressing up in that fantasy costume whether it be a beautiful princess, a vampire with fake blood running down from your lips to your chin or of course the ever-famous witch or ghost. I have seen some very unique costumes at contests and being at the office to greet all of the trick or treaters. I find it a lot of fun to watch the little ones go from door to door gathering all of the goodies that they can get. It is not quite like it use to be when I was growing up. Of course, that was many years ago... I just won’t say how many. Some of my neighborhood friends and I would usually take a pillow case with us and walk as much of the town as possible. It was always a contest to see who could get their pillow case the fullest. We usually did not have a chaperone, and we did not have to get our candy checked for bad things. We really did not have a care in the world at that time, just having total innocent fun. We had no cell phones to call and check in with. Most of the time we either had a watch and were told what time to get home, or would have to be home by sunset. After our trick or treating time, sometimes we would gather at someone’s house for a party or just get

4 | October 2021

together to take inventory of all of the goodies that we had collected. There was one home that I would make sure to get to very fast every Halloween, because she always made the best homemade popcorn balls. The main problem was that she only made so many so you always had to be one of the first ones arriving to get one. I loved them so much. They were not prepackaged and were made in her kitchen with her hands, but yet no one worried about them having anything bad in them. The only concern was getting one!! I am not sure how old I was when I quit going door-to-door to make sure my sugar tooth was satisfied, but it seemed like even though I was older, we could still go out and have fun without the worries of the world. One year, we gathered at a friend’s house, had a scavenger hunt, and then returned for a Halloween party. I can’t remember when it all changed. I can’t recall when it became dangerous to go trick or treating. When did the world change to the point that our children had to have these types of limitation on their fun? When my children were small, I made sure I drove them from house to house, and I usually chose the houses, or we walked certain neighborhoods. They could not just go to any door. We had to check their candy before they started to go through it, and at one time would take it to the hospital to have it X-rayed to make sure there were no razor blades, needles or


A MAGAZINE DEDICATED TO SOUTHWEST MISSOURIANS

GENERAL MANAGER Lisa Craft monettcommunity@gmail.com EDITOR Kyle Troutman editor@cassville-democrat.com ADVERTISING REPRESENTATIVES Vicky Abraham Marion Chrysler

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CONTRIBUTORS Meagan Ruffing Darlene Wierman Melonie Roberts Susan Funkhouser Pam Wormington Jordan Troutman Christa Stout Cheryl Williams Sierra Gunter Jennifer Conner Annie Lisenby Smith Mike Gervais PHOTOGRAPHERS Chuck Nickle Jamie Brownlee Amy Sampson DISTRIBUTION Greg Gilliam Kevin Funcannon TO ADVERTISE 417-847-2610 - Cassville 417-235-3135 - Monett Send email inquiries to connection@monett-times.com Mailing address: P.O. Box 40, Monett, MO 65708 Connection is published monthly and distributed free in Cassville, Monett, Exeter, Washburn, Pierce City, Mt. Vernon, Aurora, Verona, Roaring River, Eagle Rock, Shell Knob, Purdy, Wheaton, Freistatt, Marionville, Seligman, Golden and other surrounding areas. Connection is a publication of the Cassville Democrat, The Monett Times and Rust Communications.

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knives in them. And now these poor kids not only have to face these dangerous consequences on what is supposed to be a fun-packed night, they are now facing an invisible enemy, the Covid virus, in many variances. If you are a cautious parent, you can still make this a fun time for those kiddos by creating a party for them and having friends or family over. When we lived in W. Germany, my children did not know very many kids so I took a big delight in having a Halloween party for them. I baked cakes in the shape of pumpkins, made cookies, different kinds of snacks and they invited the few friends that they did have. They all dressed up and had a great time. We are up against a lot of negative times right now, but that doesn’t mean we can’t give our children memories to hold onto and fun times with others. They may not get a pillow case full of goodies, but there are alternative ways of creating a night full of Halloween fun, laughter and spooky stories. You can create your own scary spook house, on an elementary level of course. We may always have to find different ways to celebrate different holidays or celebrations, but use your imagination and creativity to make it fun and memorable. It is not the children’s fault that the days of the past are gone, but it is the adult’s fault if we let them totally disappear. Keep the days alive one way or another so we can always hear the children’s laughter and they will forever have the happy memories to keep for themselves and share with their children.

MISSOU

RIANS

1

Lisa Craft

General Manager, Connection Magazine Lisa Craft is General Manager of Connection Magazine, The Monett Times and Cassville Democrat. She can be reached at monettcommunity@gmail.com or connection@monett-times.com


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FREE

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OCTOBER 2021

GO TIME

Crescent Hotel Goulish tales

Dragonfest is upon us

Perry House

Real life horror

Raising Z

Unexpected breeds

A MAGAZINE DEDICATED TO SOUTHWEST MISSOURIANS

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Dragonfest, one of the fastest growing Renaissance Fairs in the world, is coming to Mt. Vernon this year. The event will feature costumes, live, full-contact jousting, live music, craft vendors, food and more. Cover photo courtesy of Wayward Images

CONTENTS 19 Healthy Connection: Preserving for health

21 Parenting Column: My favorite fall things 23 Recipes

25 Cutest Kid

35 Mental Health Column 43 Date Night

45 Familiar Faces

47 Rescued, My Favorite Breed 49 Cutest Pet

51 Parting Shot Morgan Stanley recommends that investors independently evaluate particular investments and strategies, and encourages investors to seek the advice of a Financial Advisor. The appropriateness of a particular investment or strategy will depend on an investor’s individual circumstances and objectives. © 2021 Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC. Member SIPC. FAS015 CRC 3396084 02/21 CS 9976336 02/21

8 | October 2021

Have an idea for a story you would like to see in Connection Magazine? Email it to connection@monett-times.com Facebook.com/MyConnectionMo


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10 | OZARKS CHILLING TALES

Around the corner, under the bed, right behind you! Prepare for the spooky and barely understood.

14 | DRAGONS!

The Knights of Mayhem bring their burly, dragon busting Renaissance show to southwest Missouri, Oct. 30.

26 | GHOSTS OF PERRY HOUSE

The modern day Basin Hotel holds the stories of terrifying real events, recorded in a new book featuring the historical location and surrounding Eureka Springs, Ark.

31 | A GHOUL’S DELIGHT AT THE CRESCENT HOTEL

Connection moonlighting paranormal investigator Melonie Roberts tells her tale of the creepy corners at the classic Eureka Springs hotel.

37 | RAISING Z

Zebras aren’t the first thing you’d expect to see driving through southwest Missouri. Regardless, prepare for the unexpected.

41 | GIVING FROM THE HEART O C T O B E R 2021

Lauren Cook of Rebulic prepares “journey bags”to encourage local youths ConnectionMO.com | Connection Magazine | 9


The Momo takes a break from filming “Momo: The Missouri Monster.” The film follows stories of the Missouri Monster sightings during the summer of 1972. Courtesy of Small Town Monsters.

Photo courtesy of Small Town Monsters.

(below) From the film “Momo: The Missouri Monster,” Ken Rose portrays Momo.

A Ghost, Photo postcard of Virgin Bluffs by George Hall, circa 1915. Courtesy of Lens & Pen Press.

10 | October 2021


, a Monster, and a Lover’s Leap: Spooky Stories from the Ozarks

I

n October, when the winds turn cold and the nights lengthen, many people enjoy sharing ghost stories. In the Ozarks, there are many to choose from. Anyone from this corner of Missouri has heard of the spook lights outside Joplin. And whether they’re haunted or not, there are many rural graveyards that can easily give someone the heebie jeebies on a dark night. And it’s been recorded that people have heard a train whistle and seen a lone train caboose streak through the night on tracks not used for years. With the long history of this area dating to the Civil War era, there are ghost stories passed down through the decades. From Fayetteville, Arkansas, came the sad story of a fire on a wedding night. The story goes that a cou-

Story by Annie Lisenby Smith

ple went back to their cabin after their wedding. While tending their fire, a spark struck the bride’s dress. The dress caught fire, and in a panic, the bride ran outside and through the wooded hollow setting it ablaze. All was lost in the fire, including the bride. When in 1872, Judge David Walker built a two-story brick home near that land, servants refused to stay overnight in the home. There had been too many reports of people hearing the bride’s screams echo through that area and even some who saw a woman in white walking amongst the trees. These stories carried over to the Walker home and continued to be embellished. Servants saw a ghost descending the stairs in the Walker home. And Judge Walker’s grandson recalled that his father warned

The Walker Stone house in Fayetteville, Arkansas, built in 1945 by Judge David Walker is a historical home that survived the Civil War. Judge Walker built another house for his daughter near Ghost Hollow, which was reportedly haunted.

him to stay away from the water well where a monster supposedly lived. Today, “Ghost Hollow” still stands behind the Walker home and is one of the few undeveloped areas of Fayetteville. Monster stories, like the one of the monster in the well, aren’t uncommon in these parts. Stories have been shared of the Ozarks Howler, a cat-like animal that is recognized by its odd howling. But there are also stories of a Sasquatch-like monster in these Ozark hills. One monster story starts off with a doctor who was a murder suspect that hid from authorities for nearly 20 years near Peter Bottom Cave outside War Eagle, Arkansas. Once his identity was

ConnectionMO.com | Connection Magazine | 11


revealed, he spent the rest of his days in a mental healthcare facility. Before his death in the early 1960s, he told the story of a very tall, hair-covered beast that lived near Peter Bottom Cave. In 1966, two men in their 20s decided to seek out the monster. Much to their shock, they encountered an animal that stood eight or nine feet tall and was covered in thick white hair. They also observed that the animal had a strong, offensive odor. The men raced away from the area and suffered from shock for days afterward. While hunting parties sent to find the animal never were successful, stories continued for years of cattle torn apart in fields near the cave and of chicken houses plundered. The monster at Peter Bottom Cave was never given a name, but a similar monster found in Missouri was nicknamed “Momo,” a shortening of “Missouri Monster.” This monster is described much like the one in Arkansas with the exception that its hair was darker. Still reported as very tall, covered in hair, and having a strong odor, this monster appeared in Mt. Vernon in 1959 where it cleaned out a chicken house. This Momo was also described as having glowing orange eyes. It was also seen near Cape Fair around that time when a man driving a Jeep came around a sharp corner one night and his headlights landed on a Momo in the middle of the road. The Momo also made an appearance in Louisiana, Missouri (north of St. Louis), in 1972. The story goes that a girl was in her house while her little brothers played outside. When she heard the boys screaming, she looked out her window and saw the Momo standing in her yard and holding her lifeless dog. There were a number of sightings in this area during that summer which led to numerous hunting parties but to no avail. The story caught the eye of the producers with Small 12 | October 2021

Virgin Bluff today. Courtesy of Lens & Pen Press. Town Monsters, a production company based in Ohio that produces films about small-town monsters. In 2019, they released the independent film “Momo: The Missouri Monster” that documented the summer of 1972 and the hunt for the Momo. Dating back to the earliest days of explorers to the Ozarks is the starcrossed lover story of Moon Song. In the early 1800s, Spanish soldiers passed through and explored the Ozarks. A young soldier met Moon Song, the daughter of the local tribe’s chief. They fell in love and made plans for her to return to Mexico with the soldier. But when Moon Song’s father discovered their plan, he attempted to stop them so Moon Song could marry a member of their tribe that her father had chosen for her. Hearing of the chief ’s plans, the Spanish soldier escaped never to return. Moon Song was heartbroken and refused to marry the man her father had chosen. After months of waiting and hoping for her soldier to return, Moon Song acknowledged that he’d never return. She walked to the top of a 325foot bluff and leapt into the James River below. The chief forbade any members of their tribe to go near that area and had a medicine man curse the bluffs. The legend of Moon Song was car-

ried to settlers as they came to the area. The waters below her bluff were called “Virgin’s Shoals” and “Virgin’s Swirl” because of the unusually turbulent water found in that part of the river. Many boats capsized in Virgin’s Swirl and many people drowned below the bluffs. Eventually, the name Virgin Bluffs became the common name for the area. In 1912, a wealthy lawyer and engineer purchased these lands and began construction on a dam and reservoir. The project was plagued with machine failures, rock slides, and multiple injuries and deaths of workers due to accidents. The workers believed in Moon Song’s tale so strongly that they refused to work. When World War I began to stir in 1913, investors abandoned the project and the land. When this area of the James River was flooded with the construction of Table Rock Lake in the 1950s, many people thought the legend of Virgin’s Bluff would disappear. Instead, there have still been strange incidents and reports of the sounds of a woman crying near the bluffs. Legends, folklore, ghost stories, they’re all part of the history of every part of our world. The Ozarks are no exception to stories of lost loves, ghosts, and monsters roaming these rugged hills.n


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Costumes are a traditional feature at Renaissance Fairs, and vendors and guests alike are encouraged to dress in their medieval best for Dragonfest, scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 30 and Sunday, Oct. 31 in Mt. Vernon.

14 | October 2021


Here, there be dragons T

his Halloween area residents have an opportunity to see knights in shining armor battling for glory and bragging rights as the sixth annual Dragonfest Renaissance Fair comes to Mt. Vernon. Dragonfest features all the traditional renaissance fair events and activities, from dozens of crafters selling handmade goods, to costumed performers and guests strolling the grounds to live music. But one thing that makes this festival stand out is full contact jousting by trained knights. The Knights of Mayhem, featuring multi World Jousting Champion Charlie Andrews, will perform multiple shows each day of the festival. “We’re the only festival in the fourstate area with full-contact jousting,” said Dragonfest Founder and Director Matt Carra. “Ours is completely full contact and it’s almost fully historically accurate.” Because the jousting display is not choreographed, Carra said he would encourage everyone to check out each of the shows the Knights of Mayhem puts on each day. “It’s always going to be different because it’s not choreographed,” he said.

Story by Mike Gervais

In addition to the costumes, food and live jousting, Dragonfest is expecting to have more than 60 vendors selling handcrafted goods throughout the weekend. On tap for music, Matt said Dragonfest is planning to have a number of different groups performing from different genres, including Gypsie music and pirate shanties. He also said there will be roaming performers serenading guests. Dragonfest will also feature a number of food vendors, including area favorite London Calling, fresh fudge and kettle corn. Matt also said organizers also manage the Three Dragons eatery, which will be selling a selection of food as well as beer and ale from local breweries. He also said this booth will be selling souvenir Dragonfest glasses.

“There’s going to be lots to see,” Matt said. “We are going to have more than 60 vendors and we strongly encourage costumes. We’re the fastest growing festival in the state and we’re expecting to have 4,000 attendees each day.” As for costumes, while performers and vendors are often found in medieval garb, Matt said that because this year’s event is going to be Halloween weekend, Dragonfest is going to host its first-ever costume contest. “It’s not just for Renaissance costumes, it’s about costuming in general. We’re going to do the contest on Sunday,

ConnectionMO.com | Connection Magazine | 15


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with kids and adult divisions. We’re also helping our vendors and planning to have candy to hand out so people can come and do their trick-or-treating.” Dragonfest began in 2016 as a school fair and fundraiser for Infinity Academy, a small, private school that caters to special needs students by providing a learn-at-your-own-pace experience with small class sizes and specialized attention for individual students. The school currently serves 20 students, but Matt said the plan is to grow in the future. The first year, Dragonfest featured eight vendors, kids games and live entertainment, and saw approximately 300 guests. In subsequent years, the event has grown leaps and bounds, hosting the event at the Springfield Riding Club until 2020, when COVID-19 put a stop to large gatherings. This year the event is moving to a 20-acre parcel of property near the intersection of U.S. 55 and Missouri 174. Matt said the new location should provide a great backdrop for this year’s event, but he and the volunteers who manage the Renaissance Fair are looking to purchase or possibly have a piece of property donated to the event so they can begin constructing permanent features and plan for continued growth. Matt said anyone who would like to get involved in Dragonfest as a volunteer, or who might have a piece of property for sale that would meet the festival’s needs is encouraged to contact him at info@dragonfest.net. Dragonfest will be held Saturday, Oct. 30 and Sunday, Oct. 31. Advance tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children per day, or $13 for adults and $8 for children for the weekend. Tickets at the gate will be $12 for adults and $7 for children. Children under 5 years old are free with the purchase of an adult ticket. n


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HEALTHY CONNECTION By Abbie Lambert

Abbie Lambert is a Missouri State University dietetic intern and graduate student who is passionate about helping others live long and healthy lives through nutrition. Her nutrition interests include community nutrition, Health at Every Size, and intuitive eating.

Grow, Preserve, Enjoy Later

A

s fall winds down and winter sets in, the ability to find fresh fruits and vegetables begins to decline. What if there was a way to have your favorite produce available all year round? Through home food preservation – you can! Home food preservation is a way to extend the life of homegrown or locally purchased foods by slowing the growth of bacteria and oxidation of fat that causes spoilage. Three traditional preservation processes include canning, drying and freezing. Canning is a process that uses heat and pressure to preserve vegetables, fruits and meats. There are two types of canning methods: pressure and water bath canning. The type of canner used is dependent on the acidity of the food. Low acid foods provide a good environment for the growth of the bacteria Clostridium botulinum (C. Bot), which is naturally found on the skins of many fruits and vegetables. In a low acid, high moisture, anerobic (without oxygen) environment like the one created by low acid food canned foods, C. Bot can produce a harmful toxin called botulism which causes illness and can be fatal. To prevent this, pressure canners are used to can low acid foods as they reach a higher temperature than water bath canners, which are used for high acid and acidified foods. Low acid

foods include vegetables and meats, while high acid foods include fruit. Tomatoes and any fermented or pickled products like sauerkraut and cucumber pickles are acidified foods as they have acid added to them. When preserved correctly, home canned foods can be enjoyed for up to 18 months. Drying or dehydrating foods is another way to preserve food, especially for herbs and spices. Dehydrating methods include electric dehydrators, oven drying, microwave drying, or air drying. Sun drying is not recommended in the Midwest due to the high humidity levels. A bit of a lengthier preservation method, dehydrating foods can take anywhere from a few hours to days to complete. After the food is dried, it should be stored in an air-tight container. Freezing is an easy and convenient way to preserve food and leftovers for later. This method slows the growth of bacteria and enzymes, therefore slowing the deterioration of foods. However, frozen foods often have a softer texture once they thaw. As foods freeze,

ice crystals form and burst cell walls that provide structure within the foods, resulting in a softer or musher texture. Regardless of what preservation method you use, foods should be preserved right after harvest at their peak ripeness. This not only provides the best results but also locks in the nutrients – including vitamins and minerals – within the food. Where to find safe home food preservation resources: It’s important when preserving food at home to always follow safe food preservation processes, including appropriate recipes and canners. Recipes should be evidence-based and tested within a lab for their acidity, sugar, salt, and water content. When prepared correctly, these recipes are scientifically safe to use to preserve food. Information on preservation recipes and methods can be found through state Extension websites, the U.S Department of Agriculture website, and the National Center for Home Food Preservation.

Scan the QR Code to read more Healthy Connection ConnectionMO.com/HealthyConnection | Connection Magazine | 19


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PARENTING COLUMN

By Meagan Ruffing

Parenting journalist Meagan Ruffing loves everything fall-related. She can’t wait to use this list with her kids and make this October a fun time for everyone.

Falling into fun

T

his is one of my favorite times of the year. The weather has cooled down enough to where you can go outside without sweating buckets, and the air has a nice crispness to it. October is the epitome of fall fun. There are so many family-friendly activities that will have you wishing it was October all year long.  Pumpkin patches – Hands down…one of my favorite things to do this time of the year is to go to a pumpkin patch with my kids and let them each pick out their own pumpkin.

 Hay rides – One of the most fun things to do with your family is to pile onto the back of an old trailer and cozy up with one another for the fun ride ahead.  Corn mazes – I have a love/hate relationship with corn mazes. I love the idea of following the tractor-driven paths through corn stalks with my kids…until I get lost and can’t find my way out.  Bonfires – When I think of bonfires, I think of my friends and all the catching up we get to do. I see my kids’ sticky faces from making s’mores amidst the crackling from the fire – best time ever!

 Apple picking – Let’s be honest. I’ve been apple picking one time in my life and it was when I lived in Maine, but I loved it. Murphy Orchard in Marionville or Vanzant Fruit Farms in Lowell, Arkansas, are two places you can check out.  Fall festivals – I love fall festivals because you never know what you’re going to find. There’s something really exciting about getting a hot cup of coffee, picking up your friends, and heading to a craft fair in the fall that gives me all the feels.

 Horseback riding – I love horseback riding, but I don’t get to do it very often. It’s something I would love to do more of and I think my kids would agree. Check out some of your local horse farms and set up a time for you and your family to explore the outdoors.  Costume parties – This is a great way to get the most use out of Halloween costumes for your kids. Go to all the costume parties you’re invited to (or throw one yourself) and get your money’s worth for that costume!

Scan the QR Code to read more Parenting Column ConnectionMO.com/ParentingColumn | Connection Magazine | 21


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 Fall mix making – I was first introduced to this yummy concoction when I attended a MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) retreat. One of our mentor moms made this for all of us to snack on. (See recipe at the end of the article).

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 Leaf-peeping – This is what we people from New England call “looking at leaves”. Jump in the car and take a nice leisurely drive through town looking at all the changing colors.

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 Football – Watching football on the television (Go Pats!) or playing a game of pick-up football in the backyard is the perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

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 Carving pumpkins – Use the pumpkins that you got at the pumpkin patch and have a carving contest at your house. Bonus tip: get cheap prizes (Target dollar bins) and award prizes for each kid.  Fall baking – Think apple pie, and pumpkin pie. Your kids will love rolling up their sleeves and taking part in a new fall tradition. Have fun checking off your “Falling Into Fun” bucket list. Feel free to add your own ideas to this list and keep it going every year. n


RECIPES

Halloween Bark

Halloween Ghosties

INGREDIENTS 2 (4 ounce) bars dark chocolate, chopped 1 (8 ounce) package purple candy melts 1 (8 ounce) package green candy melts Assorted sprinkles and candies

INGREDIENTS 1 (12 ounce) package white chocolate chips, or as needed 24 peanut-shaped peanut butter sandwich cookies 48 miniature chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS

1. Place chocolate chips into a microwave-safe bowl and heat on low in microwave for 1 minute; stir. Continue heating on low several more times, 30 seconds at a time, stirring after each time, until white chocolate is warm and smooth.

1. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. 2. Divide dark chocolate, purple candy melts, and green candy melts between 3 microwave-safe bowls. Heat each separately for 1 minute, then stir. Continue heating in 30-second intervals, stirring after each interval, until completely melted. 3. Pour contents of each bowl onto the pan in random spots; don’t worry if they overlap. Shake pan to spread melted chocolate and candy. Use a knife to swirl colors together and shake pan again to spread even more. Sprinkle Halloween sprinkles and candy over chocolate mixture. Let set, about 15 minutes. Break into shards.

DIRECTIONS

2. Use 2 forks to dip cookies into white chocolate; set cookies on sheets of waxed paper. Place 2 miniature chocolate chips onto one end of each cookie for eyes; set cookies aside until coating has hardened, about 20 minutes.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Brownies INGREDIENTS 1 (16 ounce) package truffle brownie mix ½ cup butter, melted 2 eggs ½ cup pumpkin spice-flavored morsels 2 tablespoons Halloween sprinkles, or to taste DIRECTIONS 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease an 8-inch baking pan with 2-inch sides. 2. Stir brownie mix, butter, and eggs together in a bowl until just blended. Stir in pumpkin spice morsels gently. Spread batter in the prepared pan. 3. Bake in the preheated oven until top is dry and edges have started to pull away from the sides of the pan, 25 to 30 minutes. Scatter sprinkles on top. Let cool before slicing and removing from the pan, about 30 minutes. ConnectionMO.com | Connection Magazine | 23


Bloody Skeleton S’mores INGREDIENTS 12 honey graham crackers 1 (1 ounce) tube black decorating gel 15 (1 ounce) squares dark chocolate 66 miniature marshmallows 6 skull-shaped candy decorations 1 tablespoon red cookie icing DIRECTIONS 1. Cut 2 small triangles from the top corners of a rectangular graham cracker using sharp kitchen scissors. Cut 2 long, thin triangles from the bottom of the graham cracker to create a coffin shape. Repeat with remaining graham crackers using the first one as a template.

Cupcake Graveyard INGREDIENTS 1 (18.25 ounce) package chocolate cake mix 2 (16 ounce) packages vanilla frosting ¾ cup chocolate sandwich cookie crumbs 24 chocolate covered graham cracker cookies DIRECTIONS 1. Prepare and bake cake mix according to package directions for cupcakes. 2. In a medium bowl stir 1 package of frosting with the cookie crumbs. Frost cooled cupcakes. 3. Fill a pastry bag, fitted with a plain tip, with remaining white frosting. Write R.I.P. on each chocolate covered graham cracker cookie. Stand a decorated cookie on top of each cupcake so that it looks like a tombstone. Place the cupcakes on a large cookie sheet that has been covered with green paper. Place paper ghosts and bats randomly through the graveyard. Serve! 24 | October 2021

Acorn Candy Cookies INGREDIENTS 1 tablespoon prepared chocolate frosting 24 milk chocolate candy kisses (such as Hershey’s Kisses®), unwrapped 24 mini vanilla wafer cookies (such as Nilla®) 24 butterscotch chips DIRECTIONS Smear a small amount of frosting onto the flat bottom of a candy kiss. Press onto the flat bottom of the vanilla wafer. Smear a little more frosting onto the flat bottom of a butterscotch chip, and press onto the rounded top of the cookie. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Set aside to dry, about 30 minutes.

2. Lay 6 graham crackers on a plate. Draw crosses and the letters “RIP” on the center of each coffin lid using the black decorating gel. 3. Break 3 dark chocolate squares in half. Leave remaining 12 squares whole. 4. Lay remaining 6 graham crackers on a baking sheet. Place 2 1/2 squares of chocolate on each, leaving room on for the skull. Arrange 11 miniature marshmallows on top of the chocolate in the shape of a skeleton: 4 for arms, 5 for the body, and 2 for legs. 5. Set oven rack about 6 inches from the heat source and preheat the oven’s broiler on the low setting. 6. Place graham cracker coffins under the broiler until marshmallows bring to color, 10 to 20 seconds. 7. Place skull candies above the marshmallow skeletons. Drizzle red icing over the s’mores. Sandwich the s’mores with the decorated graham cracker coffin lids.


Ellie Mae Patty is the 4-year-old daughter of Chase Patty and Billie Belt of Exeter

CUTEST KID

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Email your child’s photo to:

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ConnectionMO.com | Connection Magazine | 25


nted the hau f o r o o third fl kansas y on the rings Ar p S a k e r A hallwa in Eu rk Hotel Perry Basin Pa al hotel, in ig r o e s. h l now sit hoto of t e t p o A H ) k w r (belo asin Pa ere the B h w , e s u Ho

A real account of a haunted hotel stay

Ghosts of Perry House ‘The most haunted room, on the most haunted floor, of the most haunted hotel’

26 | October 2021

A

town that was started because of the power of its healing waters slowly turned into one of the most haunted towns in America, drawing people from all over the world. In Eureka Springs, Ark. are victorian homes, a historic downtown district, and multiple hotels with magnificent yet grim histories. Eureka Springs was built on natural springs that surround the city, and with a population of nearly 2,000, it draws more than 750,000 visitors annually. Recently, a pair of sisters, Schyrlet Cameron and Kathy Brown wrote a fic-

Story by Jordan Troutman

tional book based on true events around the city, as well as, a spooky stay at a haunted hotel in the downtown area. Ghosts of Perry House was published on May 24, 2021, under the pen name C.C. Brown. With 272 pages filled with embellished spins of historical events, readers follow two timelines and two stories that keep you guessing until the very end. The first storyline is based on a ghost said to haunt the now Basin Park Hotel, and the second follows the events based on a stay in room 310 by authors Schyrlet Cameron and Kathy Brown and their aunt. The sisters grew up in the Ozarks, and


The cover of the recently released Ghosts of Perry House.

**Reviews** Out of 13 reviews on Amazon, Ghosts of Perry House has a average of 4 star rating. Reviews include: 5 stars “A town with a dark history, a haunted hotel, and a cowboy”

their grandmother sparked their interest in all things paranormal at a young age. Schyrlet said she and Kathy would often visit their grandmother on the family farm. “There was no electricity or running water,” she said. “During the day we could stay busy with feeding the chickens, riding a pony, or working in the garden, but at night, once it got dark, the only thing to do was go to bed — or listen to stories.” The girls would gather around their grandmother’s rocking chair, she would light her kerosene lantern and she would tell her granddaughters stories about the

Ozarks, about Jessie James and other outlaws, and she would also tell maker stories about ghosts and monsters that lived in the woods. “As we got older, we didn’t think too much about the stories — until five years ago,” Schyrlet said. “Kathy, our Aunt Connie and I decided to go to Eureka Springs for a girls’ weekend. We didn’t know anything about the Basin Park Hotel, but we booked a room and checked into room 310.” Eventually, the ladies fell asleep, only to be awoken by a bump in the night. “My sister and I heard a strange noise by the foot of Aunt Connie’s bed,” Schyrlet said. “We didn’t think too much about it and fell back to sleep. But, we heard the noise again, and this time it was followed by something else.” The events in the book surrounding Nichole and her friend’s stay at a hotel, are an accurate description of the events that took place that night in room 310 at the Basin Park Hotel. “The next morning we went to the front desk and asked about the noises, the visual aspect, and noises we heard throughout the night on our floor. We were told we were the only ones on the third floor that night. “The desk clerk said, ‘Well, you stayed in the most haunted room, on the most haunted floor, of the most haunted hotel in Eureka Springs.’” Over the next three to four years, Schyrlet and Kathy returned to Eureka Springs several times, staying in different rooms, of different hotels trying to figure out the reason behind the paranormal experiences. “We were just like one of the characters from the book, who tries to find scientific explanations for the paranormal,” Schyrlet said. “Ghosts of Perry House ends with a transfer to the Crescent Hotel. That is the direction for the book we are working on now.” The sisters are currently working on

a book about the ghosts and hauntings of the Crescent Hotel — deemed one of the most haunted hotels in America. “We are writing it surrounding the life of Doctor Norman Baker who ran a fraudulent cancer treatment center there back in the 1930s,” she said. “We are shooting to have it released by October next year, but that will depend on how long it takes to gather information and write it up.” According to the Forward of Ghosts of Perry House, in 1880 a four-story hotel called the Perry House was erected on the current site of the Basin Park Hotel. The “healing waters” of the local springs brought both the rich and those looking to get rich to the area, which also attracted gambling, drinking, and prostitution. Before builders started using the limestone of the area to build, all the hotels were built from wood. In 1890, multiple fires devastated the area and nearly cleared Eureka Springs from the map. The Perry House was one of the buildings that suffered from those fires. In 1905, the limestone Basin Park Hotel replaced the Perry House in the historic downtown district. It is reported that the guests who were on the third floor of Perry House the night it burnt, never left the grounds. Rooms 307, 308, and 310 are allegedly the most haunted rooms in the hotel. One ghost, a cowboy with a white canvas duster and six-shooter on his hip reportedly ask guests about his horses, while other guest report hearing people shout “FIRE!”. The cowboy on the third floor is the inspiration the cowboy from the book is based on. During the late 1800s the Ozarks, a four-state area was known as the ‘Lawless Ozarks’. This lawless time is when the book, Ghosts of Perry House, takes place.

ConnectionMO.com | Connection Magazine | 27


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From the Kansas Border Wars, the Great Cattle drives from Texas, the Civil War, Bald Knobbier, and Outlaws and Lawmen, the Ozarks have a grim, historic, and hauntingly mysterious history. People can step back in time to experience this rich lifestyle, as well as, get a bone-chilling scare in the pages of Ghosts of Perry House. Schyrlet was a teacher for 34 years and she has co-authored over 50 teacher resource books. Kathy has been the owner and operator of Hickory Kids Day Care for 15 years. Schyrlet and Kathy began writing together in 2011, and have co-authored three fiction books and six cookbooks. Ghosts of Perry House is available on Amazon in paperback and on ebooks, as well as, at the Basin Park Hotel in Eureka Springs. “No one believes in ghosts, but everyone is afraid of them,” Schyrlet said. n

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Restless spirits roam

Theodora was a nurse at the Crescent Hotel when it was owned and operated by Norman Baker, a self-proclaimed doctor who touted his cancer cure would work in as little as six weeks. Her spirit is often seen fumbling for keys outside Room 419, the room where she died.

Prankster, child and nurse are among the ghostly guests

Crescent Hotel T he grand hotel is filled with elegance and old-world atmosphere, but more than that, it is home to several ghostly guests who have never checked out. Welcome to the Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs, Ark., touted as the most haunted hotel in America. While guests are not greeted by the sounds of clanking chains or unearthly screams, there is a little “hocus pocus” that occasionally occurs in the hallways and hotel rooms of this “Grand Old Lady of the Ozarks.” The hotel, built in 1886, is set on the highest point in Carroll County, Arkansas, and originally constructed of drystacked limestone (meaning no mortar was used between the stones). The resort

Story by Melonie Roberts

catered to “the carriage set,” or the most affluent families in the nation. Cost of construction was $294,000. Among the genteel activities offered were bridle trails, afternoon teas, dances, musicals, tennis and shuffleboard courts and two bowling lanes. The opulent hotel only hosted “invited guests” at the time. During its construction, a young Irish stonemason, Michael, fell to his death from the top of the hotel, landing in Room 218. And it is there that Michael stayed. He is classified poltergeist due to the nature of the unexplained activity. “He was known to have an eye for the ladies, and enjoyed flirting outrageously with ladies passing by the construction area,” said Xavier.

ConnectionMO.com | Connection Magazine | 31


An antique wheelchair is stored in the basement morgue of the Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs, along with dozens of jarred specimens containing what was purported to be cancerous tumors from the patients who desperately sought a cure for their ailments at the Baker Cancer Curing Hospital, between 1937 and 1940.

32 | October 2021

“Guests in Room 218, especially the female variety, have reported feeling a hand rubbing up and down the length of their arm or someone touching their hair, the door opening, slamming shut, and unable to be opened again. He likes to hide things. Change, keys, cell phones, and even once, a set of false teeth.” From 1908 to 1924, the hotel was home to the Crescent College and Conservatory for Young Women, while continuing to serve as a resort during the summers. It is there that Breckie, a four-yearold son of Richard Ryan Thompson, college president, and his wife, Mary Breckenridge Thompson, died of appendicitis. “Guests can sometimes see the spirit of the little boy, dressed in early 20th century play clothes, playing happily in

various spots of the hotel,” said Xavier. “He can sometimes be seen bouncing a ball against the door on one of the rooms. Can you imagine how coddled that little boy must have been in a school full of girls?” Then the tour took a dark turn. During the time that the hotel served as Baker Cancer Curing Hospital, between 1937 and 1940, Norman Baker remodeled the hotel at a cost of $50,000. Among those renovations were those in the area once used as a conservatory for the young ladies of the women’s college, where he covered the windows, soundproofed the walls and installed a 9-inch thick steel door for his asylum. He then lured hundreds of desperately ill patients seeking a cure for cancer, bilking them out of nearly $4 million while he practiced his “six-week cure.”


Norman Baker, a charlatan and former showman, opened the Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs in 1937 as the Baker Cancer Curing Hospital. While luring many desperately ill patients with promises of a cure for cancer, Baker amassed nearly $4 million between 1937 and 1940, when he was arrested for mail fraud and the hospital was shut down.

MORRIS THE CAT “DR.” NORMAN BAKER

“Formula 5” was made from alcohol, glycerol, carbolic acid, ground watermelon seed, liquified corn silk and clover leaves,” said Xavier. “It was administered by injection at the site of the cancer — up to seven times a day. When patient conditions worsened — and they did — Baker removed them to the asylum, a large sound-proofed area protected by 9-inch steel doors, to keep others from hearing their screams.” To those who did question, Baker told them that his patients had gone mad. Then there is Theodora, Baker’s assistant. Her spirit can often be seen fumbling through her purse to get the keys to her room — 419. This is where she lived and died after coming to work at Baker Cancer Curing Hospital. She is known to be neatness obsessed and guests often report having items in their rooms straightened while they are gone.

“If you toss a handful of change on the table, Theodora will stack it by denomination,” Xavier said. “She doesn’t like discord. Once, a couple was arguing in her room and then went to meet friends. When they returned, their suitcases were packed and put neatly by the door. They left.” Following a tour of the morgue, which was cool and smelled of dampness, the evening’s activities concluded. My goal for this plum assignment was to capture evidence of paranormal activity — or ghosts, if you will. So, as recent guests in Room 419, my companion and I sought to incite the spirit of Theodora to action. Upon entering at check-in, I spoke to the empty room, introducing ourselves and thanking her for allowing us to stay the night. I dropped a handful of loose change on the table. We turned on the electric fireplace and watched the flames flicker and dance while enjoying a glass of wine. We went to dinner and returned to find loose change still scattered. We went on the ghost tour, which took about 60 minutes, and returned to catch an initial glimpse of our camera

Morris the Cat was an ambassador for the Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs, Ark., residing there for 21 years. Some guests have reportedly felt the ghost of the hotel’s beloved guest-greeter, as he continues to spend time on a coffee table in the lobby near the stone fireplace. images before downloading them to a computer. The change was still scattered. We set the alarm for the “witching hour,” and rested for a couple of hours before creeping out into deserted hallways, snapping photos of nearly every staircase, nook, cranny and resting space offered on the four floors we were allowed access. We giggled like children breaking curfew as we tiptoed down creaking stairs and dimly lit hallways, keeping an eye out for the “ghosties.” I was certain my boss would be disappointed in the fact I had failed to capture even one ghostly orb or shadowed figure, and that I was, in all likelihood, a ghost failure. We returned to the room after 3 a.m., enjoying another glass of wine and unwinding with a bit of mystery television before calling it a night. My

ConnectionMO.com | Connection Magazine | 33


The hallways of the Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs sport a wide array of historical articles about the structure and its various operations throughout its existence.

companion dropped off to sleep like a rock tossed into a lake. I tried. I really did. I thought watching the flames wavering in the fireplace would be relaxing. It was not. Those flames seemed to stretch out and create their own ghostly images. I blamed my tired eyes when I thought I caught a glimpse of movement from the corner of my eye. “Is that a ghost?” Snap a photo. No orbs. No ghosts. Repeat that process for the next few hours. Watch flames. Snap photo. No orbs. No ghosts. Finally, exhausted, I adjusted my blankets to a comfortable cocoon and closed my eyes, drifting into a state of relaxation in which I hoped there were no unearthly spirits. I felt a firm tug on the blanket from below me, the kind a nurse might give when settling a patient for the night. My companion still snored across from me. There was — supposedly — no one 34 | October 2021

else in the room. “Figment of my imagination,” I said, adjusting the covers again and trying to regain that state of unconscious bliss. Another firm tug. Eyes open, I verified there was no one else in the room, nothing that could explain those tugs on my covers. But I didn’t move them again. Sunrise in Eureka Springs is lovely this time of year. I know, because I watched it. Maybe Theodora was watching it, too. n

Xavier, one of the tour guides at the Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs, explains how the hotel’s former feline ambassador, Morris, walked into the lobby in 1973 and decided to stay. Morris greeted guests for 21 years at the hotel. (above) Lens reflection or ghost? The green misty streak that appeared along the hall on the right side was not visible to the naked eye during a recent ghost tour at the Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs, Ark. The mist appears to be moving, leaving a comet-like trail behind.


MENTAL HEALTH COLUMN By Brad Ridenour

CEO of Clark Community Mental Health Center and a Licensed Professional Counselor

Faint not

M

y sister had a fainting goat. Fainting goats do not lose consciousness when they “faint,” but they have a condition that causes them to bodily stiffen and fall over when startled. That goat caused me to have conflicting feelings, for when I yelled at it I felt joy by seeing its reaction while also feeling a bit bad after I made it fall over …... repeatedly. Hey, don’t judge.

could impact an entire country. In his first inaugural address he suggested, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” It seems obvious to me that FDR was telling the country that fear was making matters worse, specifically economic matters, (The Great Depression). Interestingly, fear can lead to a great psychological depression. Fear can cause individuals to feel powerless and paralyzed, preventing them from taking healthy, positive action.

Fears can become crippling to humans as well. Sure, we do not technically stiffen up and fall over when we become afraid, although my warped mind thinks that could be pure entertainment. But I digress… Franklin D. Roosevelt recognized collective fear

Fortunately, nothing is going on in the world today that is causing widespread fear, right? Unless you have been living under a rock the last couple years you know this is wrong! We are being inundated by negative news. Whether it’s the pandemic, the economy, Afghanistan, the border, natural disasters

or racial discord just to name a few, topics like these are causing some to live with fear that is promoting mental unwellness. With the backdrop of all this bad news, it is not uncommon for individuals to begin to experience symptoms of anxiety and depression. If you have been gripped by fear and stricken by such panic that your dayto-day functioning has been negatively impacted, first, it is probably time to limit your news consumption. Second, it might be time for you to talk to a professional who can help you to shift your focus away from the negativity that is overwhelming you. When the world is doing its best to knock you down, look for help from others who can prop you up.

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ConnectionMO.com | Connection Magazine | 35


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It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a zebra? Exotic critters get a second look from highway travelers

T

here’s nothing like taking a Sunday afternoon drive in the country and discovering new things. Whether it’s a hidden pool of water hiding at the base of a bluff, or fawns peeping from behind spring foliage, nature is at its best when someone takes time to unplug and go adventuring the day away. Near Monett, one of those sights might include a couple of wild Mustangs, miniature horses and miniature cattle grazing in a field adjacent to Highway 60, along with a couple of zebras. Wait… zebras? Well, yes.

Story by Melonie Roberts

Gator, a stud Zebra living on the outskirts of Monett, is living the life of Riley after being purchased at an exotic animal sale and settling into a life of providing the goods for Zorses, which are the offspring of a zebra stallion and a horse mare.

Chad Kelly and Cheri Davidson, who live at the Davidson Ranch just east of Monett, have expanded their critter collection to include zebras, one of which just became a mama. Fancy, the mare who recently gave birth to Baby Z, are two of the latest

acquisitions of Kelly’s, who has raised, trained and sold horses for several years. “After they are gentled, they’re no harder to keep than a horse,” Kelly said. “We have to keep their excitement levels down. They are still wild animals.

ConnectionMO.com | Connection Magazine | 37


“The babies were sired by a different stud, so I can use my stud on these three females,” he said. “If No. 2 has a filly, that will be four. Zebras sell better than horses, and we like having odd things.” A zebra is born with camouflage stripes, immediate mobility and a mother’s lessons of survival skills. “In Africa, everything eats a zebra,” Kelly said. “They have learned to fight first. It’s a matter of their survival. If frightened, a horse will run away from you. A donkey will look at you and try to figure you out. A zebra’s first instinct is to fight you first and ask questions later. They know karate, kung fu and judo and they will do bad things to you.”

The as yet unnamed Baby Z is curious about new people intruding into her field, but dallied near the protective eye of her mother, Fancy, who would fight first and ask questions later. Once the stud gets old enough to contribute to the breeding program, Kelly plans to artificially inseminate Belgian mares to produce Zorses, which are the offspring of a zebra stallion and a horse mare. “The Belgians will have calming effect on the baby,” he said. “They’re calm and 38 | October 2021

All ears and eyes, Baby Z, who has yet to be named pending the results of a contest.

laid back and will help take out some of that flighty instinct of the zebra. Not many Zorses will stand 15 to 16 hands tall. It’s different.” One of the pitfalls of having an exotic grazing in view of the highway is the surprise visitors who think these very wild animals are like their Disney counterparts. “I pulled up into the driveway and found a woman who had pulled her car into my yard,” he said. “I saw her two kids trying to scramble under the fence

to get to the zebras. Gator was running back and forth along the fence, and I knew that meant a bad thing if those kids got under there. I asked what she thought she was doing and she said her boys wanted to pet the zebra. I told her, ‘Lady, that’s a wild animal. Those kids are going to get torn up.’ Who does something like that? “Another guy I talked to had a zebra in his field and someone drove by and shot it from the road,” he said. “Big game hunters. At least they think they are.” In an effort to protect his new livestock, Kelly has relocated them to a more secure area. “I keep most of the exotics out of sight now,” he said. “I don’t need anyone else driving up into my yard thinking it’s ok to just go out into the field and pet something. Or shoot it. I really don’t know what people are thinking when they do something like that.” In the meantime, Kelly and Davidson are awaiting the arrival of Baby Z No. 2, and hoping for another filly. “We are collectors of the odd or exotic,” he said. “Zebras are unique. This is something new to try.” n


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Making a difference Republic teen lends a hand

F

oster children are often some of the most at-risk community members and one area teen has made it her mission to provide a little comfort in dire circumstances. Lauren Cook’s family fosters children in need and the 14-year-old high school freshman quickly realized that many youngsters who end up in foster care often arrive at their new homes with nothing but the clothes on their backs. Heartbroken, young Lauren decided she could do something to help, and over the past year, she has created more than 60 journey bags for youngsters in foster care. The bags contain everything from toiletries and hygiene

Story by Mike Gervais

items, to comfort items like blankets and stuffed animals, all lovingly packed into an easy-to-carry backpack. The donations began as a Girl Scout project, but it didn’t take long for Lauren to realize she was making a difference and the journey bags were something she wanted to continue doing. “My family fosters, and I felt like this was something that could help,” Lauren said. “I was able to give some kids, maybe 11 or 12 years old, their bags. It felt really good. They were really happy.” Lauren’s mother, Liz Cook, said Lauren has always been the helpful sort, and has taken on other challenges to provide when she has spotted a need.

Republic High School Freshman Lauren Cook has created more than 60 journey bags for children entering into foster care with little more than the clothes they are wearing. The bags that Cook donates contain essential items like toiletries and comfort items like blankets and stuffed animals.

In sixth grade, Lauren noticed that her PE class did not have enough equipment to go around, particularly scooter boards. From there, she embarked on a social media and wordof-mouth campaign to raise money to ensure the school could afford to purchase enough scooter boards for an entire class. She ended up raising more than $750 to purchase 40 scooter boards for the school, including two larger scooter boards specifically designed for special needs students.

ConnectionMO.com | Connection Magazine | 41


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The lessons she learned from that campaign translated directly to her journey bag project, which relies on donations and participation from others. Rather than handing the journey bags out on her own, Lauren said she found a way to widen her distribution by working with Great Circle and foster care case workers. In early September, Lauren and Liz met with Social Worker Allison Scharbach at Great Circle to donate more than 40 journey bags. “She’s amazing,” Allison said. “This is so cool.” Scharbach said the bags will be made available to kids in need, and she expects the delivery will last Great Circle a month or two. Even though Lauren’s Girl Scout project has been concluded, she said she has no intention of stopping or slowing down helping the vulnerable kids in the community. “Some of these kids come into care with nothing, just the clothes they’re wearing, and if it’s the middle of the night, they might be in pajamas,” Liz said. “We can keep doing it for a while, we still have a lot of supplies,” Lauren said, adding that she is also continuing to accept donations. While she does have a good supply of toiletries for the journey bags, Lauren said the items she needs most are clean blankets and small, clean stuffed animals to provide the young kids going into foster care with some kind of comfort. Liz said the best way for community members to make donations and help Lauren support local foster kids is to contact either Liz Cook or Lauren Cook on social media, or contact Liz at 417-5761379. n


DATE NIGHT By Mike Gervais

Mad as a hatter on Date Night

T

his month as Kat and I sat down for our date night, we were surprised that we’d be channeling our inner poet and channeling the likes of Louis Carroll. The title of this date night was “The Mad Hatted Poet” and it’s a game anyone can play almost any time.

harder than that to create a poem with a bizarre hodgepodge of unrelated words. I think we did well. And we had a lot of laughs. My favorite part was coming up with a title for our poem once it was completed. To make the experience more memorable, and make sure we had

We were tasked with coming up with five words each, writing them onto a scrap of paper and dropping them into a hat. From there, we drew five words at random and were tasked with co-writing a poem.

Our first poem is as follows:

We had a couple things going for us heading into this date. One, I happen to own a hat in the style of 10/6: ie. the Mad Hatter’s hat. It was perfect for drawing words for our mad poems.

In a way, this game is a bit like Mad Libs in reverse. But it turns out it’s much, much

We also had an interesting mix of words to incorporate in our poems because Kat and I each took a different tact with the words we submitted. I may have misunderstood and thought we were going to attempt to write five-word poems using only the words out of the hat. So Kat was a little concerned when she starting pulling words like “Me” and “You” out of the hat. (I thought we were going to need little filler words to make a poem make sense).

The catch? We had to use each of the words that we drew in the order they were drawn.

Next, of all the things Kat and I have in common, it may be our love of literature that initially drew us together, so an evening that has us co-writing silly stanzas sounded like a perfect date for us.

I thought it was a cute idea. We ended up looking like we were creating ransom notes at our kitchen table. Strange, cryptic, slightly lyrical ransom notes.

“Heartbeat of a Bookworm” We got ENGAGED Because YOU love LITERATURE and that DIFFERENTIATES you From a DREAMY dunce! a keepsake from this date – we’ve grown accustom to having a physical reminder of our dates – we decided to write our poems on construction paper and paste the words we drew from the hat in their proper place in the poem.

I thought it turned out well, we ended up with a a few of Kat’s word submissions and a couple of mine, and incorporated our love for literature, our engagement and a little humor.

ConnectionMO.com | Connection Magazine | 43


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However, when it came to Kat’s word submissions she drew inspiration from our personal lives, using the names of our pets, our dogs Cap and Cordelia (and her nickname for the dogs – wigglebutts) and our cat Reever, as well as recent topics of conversation. So we did end up with a couple poems about our animals. That combination resulted in a poem we called “Puppy Love.”

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The THEATRICAL night CORDELIA’S mouth BRIMMING with toys and CAP Howls with jealousy, Like the moon on the EQUINOX!

Over the course of the night we went through several rounds of words in the Mad Hatter’s Hat and came up with some truly nonsensical and silly poems, with each entry seeming to be a little weirder than the last. From start to finish we were laughing, either as we agonized over a poem, debated an adequate title for our masterpiece, or simply giggled as we submitted our words. n


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Advertiser Index A Beautiful Image................... 29 Aire Serv................................... 17 Barry Lawrence Regional Library..........................................3 Bill Vance Marine................... 22 Bruner Pharmacy.................... 17 Cappy Harris Realtors........... 42 Carey’s Cassville Florist........ 17 Cassville Dispensary.............. 39 Clark Center............................ 35 Coldwell Banker..................... 40 CoxHealth................................ 52 CS Bank.................................... 30 Diet Center.............................. 46 Doug’s Pro Lube..................... 28 Dr. Jared Spears, DDS........... 20 Edward Jones.............................5 Exeter Corn Maze.....................7 Factory Mattress Direct...........2 First State Bank of Purdy..... 13 Fohn Funeral Home............... 29 Four Seasons Real Estate..... 30 Freedom Bank of Southern Missouri.................................... 39 Ganett Steel Buildings........... 28 Home N’ Stead........................ 44 Ken’s Collision Center........... 44 Kiddie City............................... 20 Lackey Body Works............... 16 Landscape & Design.............. 42 Larry Arnold............................. 36 Lil Boom Town Event............. 22 Missouri Farm Bureau........... 18 My Best Friends Closet......... 36 Ozark Methodist Manor....... 42 Peppers and Co...................... 18 Peachtree Village.................... 40 Pickin’ Patch Farm.....................7 QC Supply, LLC....................... 18 Race Brothers......................... 51 Roaring River Health & Rehab........................................ 29 Root Cellar............................... 28 Rusty Gate Flea Market........ 36 Security Bank of Southwest Missouri.................................... 16 Shelter Insurance................... 51 Tisha Trotter...............................8 Tombin’s Jewelry.................... 45 Trogdon Marshall................... 22 VisionHealth Eye Center...... 45 White’s Insurance.................. 30 Whitley Pharmacy.................. 13


RESCUED, MY FAVORITE BREED By Christa Stout

A little help goes a long way

T

he last two months have been tough for all rescues, shelters and pounds - very few adoptions and lots of dumped, sick and surrendered dogs. This is the environment that Wendy came into by starting her 501c3 non-profit organization, Triple H. Farm Rescue, outside of Washburn. Wendy is not inexperienced, quite the contrary, she has lots of rescue experience and is starting her efforts in the animal world on a small scale. She is working out of her garage and between April and September, does bi-monthly flea treatment distribution for dogs and cats, free of charge to anyone who wants to come by. The preventive is given by weight of the animal and kills all female fleas. A three months’ use of this

Find Triple H Farm on Facebook. flea treatment will get the infestation under control. If tick preventive is needed, a topical may be used, but since the flea treatment is internal, no other internal preventive can be given. Wendy and her volunteers give strict instructions how the treatment is to be used. Since Wendy has a captive audience, she also gives out a list of free and/or reduced price spaying and neutering clinics. She also provides dog and cat food for those who find themselves in a position of needing a little help to take care of their animals, she calls it her food pantry.

Her primary goal is to keep the animal population of southern Missouri healthy and eventually to start her own spay and neuter clinic for the area. I was amazed how many people stopped by to get the flea medicine and so many of these had multiple pets, many had five dogs and five cats. Wendy is an energetic person, who spent some time in the military, where, unfortunately, she wound up with neck, elbow and spine injuries and was discharged with neuro and spine disease.

Scan the QR Code to read more Rescued, My Favorite Breed online ConnectionMO.com/RescuedMyFavoriteBreed | Connection Magazine | 47


Grace Before

But this doesn’t keep her from working hard towards her goal of keeping the animal population of southern Missouri healthy and eventually to start her own spay and neuter clinic for the area. Working towards that goal, she purchased a few acres of land in late 2018. She says she has no close neighbors, which makes it easier for her to take in foster animals from Spay Arkansas. Her motto is “God gave us charge over the earth” and that, of course, includes animals and helping them. She does not house rescue animals, except those few who have had no luck getting adopted or those that have medical issues or are special needs pets. She currently has a foster cat named Dacs. This male cat is polydactyl and has extra toes, he has seven toes on the right front, six toes on the left front, five toes on the left back and four toes on the right back. Dacs was expected to go to rescue the Tuesday after my visit. He was thrown out of a car at her home which caused injuries to his hip. 48 | October 2021

After Wendy also has Grace, a foster dog who was emaciated at 17 pounds and run over in the driveway, which caused broke her pelvis and hip. Grace has had multiple surgeries for which Wendy paid out of pocket. In addition to all of that, she facilitates transport when an animal is adopted or needs to get to a rescue miles away. In case you are wondering, she has five dogs and five cats of her own, because she always keeps the at-risk pets. Her plan is not to house animals but to allow them to be in their home by helping their responsible owners with flea

treatment, free food and some education where needed. The big plans include securing a vet and a spay/neuter facility where cats and dogs may be spayed/neutered at a very low cost. This would also include getting all cats and dogs vaccinated. Any vet interested in helping Wendy reach her goal and improving the health of the cat and dog population? She is currently funding the operations of Triple H. Farm herself, but is hoping to obtain some grants to help with her efforts in Barry County. If you are able to help Wendy out by donating, any amount is appreciated. n


CUTEST PET

Flops

Flops is the 11-month-old New Holland Lop Ear rabbit fur baby of 11-year-old Luke Steele of Fairview

Email your pet’s photo to connection@monett-times.com

If you think your furry or feathered friend is the cutest in the area, let us know! We invite you to share a photo of your pet to be featured in Connection’s Cutest Pet contest. Photos should be sent in the original JPG format at the highest resolution possible. Remember to include your pet’s name, city of residence and your contact information.

ConnectionMO.com | Connection Magazine | 49


PARTING SHOT Photo by Trenton Boykin

50 | October 2021


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ConnectionMO.com | Connection Magazine | 51


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