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November 2017

Beyond barriers we are all related

Angel Gowns

l u f k n a Th comfort when needed


Memories restore us

Community recollection of holidays past

Spread the message Christian bikers take to the road for charity

Connection Magazine | 1


of Southern Missouri GoLdEN WILLARd CASSVILLE ShELL KNob SELIGMAN Hwy 37 & 36042 Hwy 86 502 S. State Hwy AB 97 S. Main Street 24829 Hwy 39 Doc Meyer Rd. 417-742-1776 417-271-3814 417-846-1719 417-858-3136 417-662-7000

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2 | November 2017 A magazine dedicated to Southwest Missourians

PUBLISHER Jacob Brower EDITOR Kyle Troutman Marketing director Lisa Craft ADVERTISING REPRESENTATIVES Sheila Harris James Craig Marion Chrysler CONTRIBUTORS Murray Bishoff Meagan Ruffing Lisa Ramirez Darlene Wierman Melonie Roberts Sheila Harris Susan Funkhouser Pam Wormington Brad Stillwell Jared Lankford Julia Kilmer Dionne Zebert Jane Severson Verna Fry Angie Judd Cheryl Williams Sierra Gunter

Financial Advisor

Financial Advisor 103 East Olive, Aurora, MO 65605 417-678-0277 • 1-866-678-0277

802 West Street, Cassville, MO 65625 417-847-5238

Nathan Roetto AAMS®

Jim Haston

PHOTOGRAPHERS Chuck Nickle Brad Stillwell Jamie Brownlee Amy Sampson

Financial Advisor

Financial Advisor

594 North Spring Park Blvd Mt. Vernon, MO 65712 417-466-4620

7 East Broadway, Monett, MO 65708 417-235-8216

DISTRIBUTION Greg Gilliam Kevin Funcannon

Donald E Weber

TO ADVERTISE 417-847-2610 - Cassville 417-235-3135 - Monett Send email inquiries to 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.

Jeramie Grosenbacher, CFP®

Shane A Boyd

Nicole Weber Financial Advisor

Financial Advisor

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603 Dairy St., Monett, MO 65708 417-235-7465

Scott Young Financial Advisor

1418 S. Elliott, Aurora, MO 65605 417-678-2102


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Connection Magazine | 3

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Hablamos Espanol 4 | November 2017



On The Square - Cassville, MO 417-847-2195

Features: 7 | Only Tippy

Not all cats listen as closely

21 | so that happened

Appreciating the unexpected during the holidays

24 | Biking with cause

Chariots of Grace roll in with a blessing and a message

29 | Happy memories

The best thing about Thanksgiving is always family

38 | Thankful words

Cassville High School encourages thankfulness

39 | Sewing compassion

Shirley Barnett of Ozark makes angel gowns to comfort great loss

N o v e m b e r 2017


Have an idea for a story you would like to see in Connection Magazine?

12 Recipes: Classic taste

47 Submitted photos

19 Healthy Connection

57 My Connection

16 Bottles & Brews

28 Proud Parent contest

35 Community Calendar 37 Cutest Pet contest

44 Pam Wormington: 8 to 5 abandon

52 Familiar Faces 58 Parting Shot

Email it to


45 Sheila Harris: What we share

Connection Magazine | 5


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6 | November 2017

Serving The Area Since 1978

Side dishes:

Family cat adds to the holiday menu


Art by cirodelia |

Narrative by Melonie Roberts

While my sister and I were sure we’d never hear the likes of rock ‘n’ roll again... We at least had the comfort of our beloved pets to sustain us in the lonely days ahead.

n the fall of 1972, my family pulled up stakes in Nebraska and headed home to Missouri, complete with two kids, a cat that had a passel of nursing kittens, and a German Shepherd. While my sister and I were sure we’d never hear the likes of rock ‘n roll again, (it seemed all of the extended family’s radios only played country music when we visited here in the Show-Me State), as well as our favorite television programs, we at least had the comfort of our beloved pets to sustain us in the lonely days ahead. My cat, Tippy Toes, a white-toed calico with a crooked tail, was a good mama to her babies, and took an inordinate amount of care over her humans, to boot. As soon as we were enrolled in school, she took it upon herself to escort us to the bus stop every day, grumbling the entire way. When the bus dropped us off in the late afternoon, Tippy was there to greet us after a long day of academics and walk us back home. Still grumbling, but happy to have her “kids” back in the fold. A few weeks later, the Thanksgiving holiday was upon us, with all manner of aunts, uncles, cousins and second cousins descending upon our humble home to avail themselves of food, drink and reminiscing. Connection Magazine | 7

Mom was driving herself batty in the kitchen, checking on the turkey and ham baking in the oven, mashing up mounds of potatoes, making sure the gravy was lump-less, and whipping out 13 dozen hot rolls. Tippy would wander from the bedroom where her kittens lay snoozing at each new knock on the door, calmly eyeing yet another group of strangers entering her realm, and observing the general chaos surrounding the day as coats were stacked, hands warmed and greetings exchanged amongst a dozen people.

Tippy watched as my mother would dash out to greet the latest guest, before dashing back into the kitchen where she reigned supreme over the potatoes. She watched some more as people started grazing among the appetizers. She became very aware when the television came on, blaring out the events of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Eventually, Tippy tapped my leg with her paw and walked to the door, indicating her desire to go outside. I didn’t blame her. The place was a madhouse. Festivities ensued, and although we did not have an airing of the grievances, some absent family members were briefly remarked upon and not missed. Then Tippy knocked in the bottom panel of the screen door, her usual signal to be let back inside. As the Keeper of the Cat, it was my duty to attend to her needs and desires. Ah, yes, she owned me, not the other way around. I opened the door, and there she sat, on the bottom step, proudly offering up her gift for the season. A very large, very dead field rat lay across the top step.

She became very aware when the television came on, blaring out the events of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

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“Dad!” I screamed. (Rodents are not exactly my cup of tea. Especially, dead or not, big, ugly, wild ones.) “Tippy’s got a rat!” “Naw, it’s probably a mouse,” he said, getting up out of his recliner and making his way to the door. He eyed the rodent. “Well, I’ll be damned.” He eyed Tippy and she eyed him right back, glancing between him and her gift. “Alright,” he finally said. “Thank you, Tippy. You’ve done a good job.” Satisfied, she turned tail and went about her business while he ordered me to clean the disgusting lump up. Several Black Friday advertisements later, the lump was in the dumpster and I was back to hiding out in my room. “Tap, tap, tap.” It was the unmistakable sound of Tippy Toes tapping on the screen door. I opened the door, and there it was. “Dad! Tippy brought another rat!” The noise volume died down a few decibels as guests started to catch on to what was becoming a very unusual Thanksgiving tradition. My dad pulled himself back out of his recliner and made a second trip to the door, checking out Tippy’s latest haul. It was indeed, a second, completely different rat than the one previously delivered. “OK, Tippy,” he said. “That’s enough. I think we’ve got enough vittles to feed everybody.” He and Tippy held gazes for a minute. She seemed to nod her head before dashing into the house and resuming her place before her hungry kittens. She was soon grooming them and purring away while I had to use even more Black Friday ad pages to dispose of her second offering.

Tippy has long since crossed that Rainbow Bridge, but her memory lives on.

While rat wasn’t on the menu that day, I have to believe Tippy, with her uncanny instincts, thought she was contributing to the festivities. Other than that one time, she never again brought ‘groceries’ to our doorstep. Tippy has long since crossed that Rainbow Bridge, but her memory lives on. And every Thanksgiving, at least once, I check the front steps (just in case) and remember her efforts to provide for her humans on that first Thanksgiving in Missouri. Connection Magazine | 11


Grandma’s Green Bean Casserole Ingredients 2 tablespoons butter 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon white sugar 1/4 cup onion, diced 1 cup sour cream 3 (14.5 ounce) cans French style green beans, drained 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese 1/2 cup crumbled buttery round crackers 1 tablespoon butter, melted

Directions n Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. n Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in flour until smooth, and cook for one minute. Stir in the salt, sugar, onion and sour cream. Add green beans, and stir to coat. n Transfer the mixture to a 2-1/2 quart casserole dish. Spread shredded cheese over the top. In a small bowl, toss together cracker crumbs and remaining butter, and sprinkle over the cheese. n Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the top is golden and cheese is bubbly.

Perfect Mashed Potatoes Ingredients 3 large russet potatoes, peeled and cut in half lengthwise 1/4 cup butter 1/2 cup whole milk salt and ground black pepper to taste

Directions n Place the potatoes into a large pot, and cover with salted water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Drain, and return the potatoes to the pot. Turn heat to high, and allow the potatoes to dry for about 30 seconds. Turn off the heat. n Mash the potatoes with a potato masher twice around the pot, then add the butter and milk. Continue to mash until smooth and fluffy. Whisk in the salt and black pepper until evenly distributed, about 15 seconds.

Thanksgiving classics 12 | November 2017

Roast Turkey and Gravy


2 tablespoons kosher salt 1 tablespoon ground black pepper 1 tablespoon poultry seasoning 1 (12 pound) whole turkey, neck and giblets reserved 2 onions, coarsely chopped 3 ribs celery, coarsely chopped 2 carrots, coarsely chopped 3 sprigs fresh rosemary 1/2 bunch fresh sage 1/2 cup butter 1 bay leaf 6 cups water 2 tablespoons turkey fat 1 tablespoon butter 1/4 cup all-purpose flour 3 cups turkey pan drippings 1/4 teaspoon balsamic vinegar (optional) 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage salt and ground black pepper to taste

Directions n Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. n Mix 2 tablespoons salt and 1 tablespoon pepper, and poultry seasoning in a small bowl. Tuck turkey wings under the bird, and season cavity with about 1 tablespoon of the poultry seasoning mixture. Reserve remaining poultry seasoning mix. n Toss the onion, celery, and carrots together in a bowl. Stuff about 1/2 cup of the vegetable mixture, rosemary sprigs, and 1/2 bunch sage into the cavity of the turkey. Tie legs together with kitchen string. Loosen the skin on top of the turkey breast using fingers or a small spatula. Place about 2 tablespoons butter under the skin and spread evenly. Spread the remaining butter (about 2 tablespoons) all over the outside of the skin. Sprinkle the outside of the turkey with the remaining poultry seasoning mix. n Spread the remaining onion, celery, and carrots into a large roasting pan. Place the turkey on top of the vegetables. Fill the pan with about 1/2 inch of water. Arrange a sheet of aluminum foil over the breast of the turkey. n Roast the turkey in the preheated oven until no longer pink at the bone and the juices run clear, about 3-1/2 hours. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, near the bone should read 165 degrees F. Remove the foil during the last hour of cooking. Baste the turkey with the pan juices. n While the turkey is roasting, make stock. Place neck, heart and gizzards in a saucepan with the bay leaf and water. Simmer over medium heat for 2 hours. Strain the turkey giblets from the stock and discard giblets. There should be at least 4 cups of stock. n Remove the turkey from the oven. Cover with a doubled sheet of aluminum foil, and allow to rest in a warm area for 10-15 minutes before slicing. Pour the pan juices, about 3 cups, into a saucepan and set aside. Skim off the turkey fat from the pan juices, reserving about 2 tablespoons. n Heat 2 tablespoons of the turkey fat and 1 tablespoon butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Transfer the onion from the roasting pan into the skillet. Cook and stir until the onion is browned, about 5 minutes, then stir in the flour. Continue to cook and stir for about 5 minutes more. Whisk in 4 cups of the skimmed turkey stock and the reserved pan juices until smooth. Skim off any foam. Stir in the balsamic vinegar. Simmer until the gravy is thickened, whisking constantly, about 10 minutes. Stir in 1 tablespoon of chopped sage, and season to taste with salt and black pepper.

Connection Magazine | 13

Yummy Sweet Potato Casserole Ingredients 4 cups sweet potato, cubed 1/2 cup white sugar 2 eggs, beaten 1/2 teaspoon salt 4 tablespoons butter, softened 1/2 cup milk 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 1/2 cup packed brown sugar 1/3 cup all-purpose flour 3 tablespoons butter, softened 1/2 cup chopped pecans

Easy Cranberry Sauce Ingredients 12 ounces cranberries 1 cup white sugar 1 cup orange juice

Directions n In a medium sized saucepan over medium heat, dissolve the sugar in the orange juice. Stir in the cranberries and cook until the cranberries start to pop (about 10 minutes). Remove from heat and place sauce in a bowl. Cranberry sauce will thicken as it cools.

14 | November 2017

Directions n Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Put sweet potatoes in a medium saucepan with water to cover. Cook over medium high heat until tender; drain and mash. n In a large bowl, mix together the sweet potatoes, white sugar, eggs, salt, butter, milk and vanilla extract. Mix until smooth. Transfer to a 9x13 inch baking dish. n In medium bowl, mix the brown sugar and flour. Cut in the butter until the mixture is coarse. Stir in the pecans. Sprinkle the mixture over the sweet potato mixture. n Bake in the preheated oven 30 minutes, or until the topping is lightly brown.

Please the whole family with these Thanksgiving day staples

Pan or Bird Stuffing Ingredients

6 ounces sliced bacon 1 pound ground pork sausage 1-1/2 pounds sweet onions, peeled and chopped 2 green bell peppers, chopped 2 red bell peppers, chopped 1 cup fresh mushrooms, sliced 1/2 cup butter 1 tablespoon ground black pepper 2 tablespoons celery salt 1 tablespoon seasoning salt 2-1/2 tablespoons poultry seasoning 1 tablespoon dried basil 2 tablespoons garlic powder 4 cups water 3 (1 pound) loaves white bread, torn into pieces

Directions n Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. n Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble and set aside. n Place sausage in a large Dutch oven. Cook over medium high heat, stirring to crumble, until evenly brown. Drain. n Add the bacon to the sausage along with the onions, green bell peppers, red bell peppers, mushrooms, butter, pepper, celery salt, seasoning salt, poultry seasoning, basil, garlic powder and water. Bring to a boil; cook and stir 10-20 minutes, until the vegetables are soft. n Gradually place the bread into the mixture, thoroughly blending until all pieces are coated. Transfer to a large baking dish or two medium baking dishes. n Bake in the preheated oven 40-60 minutes, or until the top begins to brown.


Connection Magazine | 15

B o tt l e s & b r e w s



1. 1) Boulevard Calling IPA A favorite Missouri brewer, Kansas City’s Boulevard Brewing Company offers its Calling IPA in four-pack bottles year-round, filling it with heavy hops, tropical fruit and pine hop aromas. A dizzying 8.5 percent alcohol by volume rating ensures the beer to be a slow sipper, allowing beer enthusiasts to enjoy the flavor. On, the Indian pale ale has earned a 91 out of 100 rating from 1,397 people, and the site owners rate it an 87 out of 100.

2) Hendrick’s Gin Launched in 1999, Hendrick’s Gin is produced by William Grant & Sons of Girvan, Scotland. It is infused with the traditional juniper, and Bugalrian rose and cucumber are added for flavor. Hendrick’s suggests the best way to serve the gin is with tonic water and over ice, garnished with cucumber instead of the traditional citrus. Alternatively, it can be served with soda water. The gin was awarded “Best Gin in the World” in 2003 by the Wall Street Journal, and most recently, Hendrick’s earned medals in the San Francisco world Spirits Competition in 2012.

3) Shock Top Twisted Pretzel Wheat A new offering from the St. Louis-baed Shock Top Brewing Company, Twisted Pretzel Wheat is billed by the brewer as offering the taste and aroma of a bakery-fresh pretzel in a Belgian-style, unfiltered wheat ale. The beer is listed as limited edition, so enthusiasts only have only a short time to pick up a bottle. On, Twisted Pretzel Wheat has a score of 78 out of 100 from 405 people.

4) New Belgium Trippel A Belgian-style ale, Fort Collins, Colo., New Belgium Brewing Company altered the Trippel recipe to include a new yeast variety and a more complex malt profile, according to its website. New Belgium says the brew is a classically smooth and complex drink, singing with a high note of citrus before finishing with a dry, warm and boozy bite. On, Trippel has earned an 86 out of 100 rating from 2,942 people, and the site owners rate the brew a 92 out of 100.

16 | November 2017




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Connection Magazine | 17

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H e a l t h y c o nn e c t i o n

Diabetes and the miraculous non-starchy vegetable


any people struggle with differentiating between the starchy and non-starchy vegetable. Perhaps the potato is obvious, but are green peas? Starchy vegetables have higher amounts of starch compared to nonstarchy vegetables. They include sweet potatoes, white potatoes, peas, corn and winter squash. Starchy vegetables can be included in a healthful diabetic diet, but they should be treated as a carbohydrate. Including non-starchy vegetables in your diet can help manage diabetes and control blood sugar. Non-starchy vegetables come in an array of colors from red tomatoes, orange carrots, yellow squash, green beans and purple cabbage. Each color indicates different antioxidants, so variety matters. The non-starchy vegetable offers vitamins and minerals that are more efficient for the body vs. an over-the-counter multivitamin. Not a fan of vegetables? Try preparing them in new ways and you might be surprised to find ones you like. Asparagus tossed lightly in olive oil, cayenne, and black pepper with a squeeze of lemon juice is delectable fresh out of the oven. Adding slices of tomato, onion, and a piece of fresh cabbage to deli meat on whole wheat bread and it makes a fantastic sandwich. Not only are non-starchy vegetables full of nutrients, they can also play a pivotal role in diabetes management. Because non-starchy vegetables are low in starch content, they won’t spike

your blood sugar. When eaten as part of a balanced meal, their dietary fiber can help slow down the absorption of other nutrients, keeping your blood sugars more stable. Including non-starchy vegetables in breakfast, lunch, and dinner is a fantastic personal goal in controlling blood sugar. Breakfast could be an omelet made with bell pepper, spinach or onion. Lunch might include a tomato and cucumber salad drizzled with balsamic vinegar and paired with steak and couscous. Dinner might be roasted vegetables with salmon and brown rice. Using a flavorful recipe can help make the non-starchy vegetable the highlight of the meal—which will ultimately help manage diabetes. Non-starchy vegetables help cut excess calories and manage body weight, which is a key to diabetes control. Not only are they very low in calories, but they also help to keep you feeling full and satisfied. When

non-starchy vegetables are included as part of a meal, other foods such as carbohydrates are not consumed in as large of quantities. For example, instead of consuming a whole plate of spaghetti, serve a smaller portion of pasta and fill the rest of your plate with a salad. This will cut back both on calories and carbohydrates. Non-starchy veggies can help control blood sugar and lower the A1C over time, as well as provide a variety of nutrients to help the body stay healthy and strong. Making half the plate non-starchy vegetables is a giant step in improving one’s health and the management of diabetes.

Are you interested in learning more about how to control your diabetes? Call 417-354-1280 to learn how the CoxMonett Diabetes Center can teach you the skills you need to successfully manage your diabetes.

Stacey savage is a dietetic intern at CoxHealth and a graduate student at Cox College in the Masters in Nutrition Diagnostics program. She is working on establishing a career in clinical dietetics. In her free time, she likes to read and ride her bicycle.

Connection Magazine | 19

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20 | November 2017

Thanksgiving Bloopers


ome of the strangest things happen around the holidays. Last year, I was driving home from my in-laws’ house when something crazy happened. My son, Dylan, and daughter, Elinor, were in the car enjoying a movie and relaxing after a big Thanksgiving meal. I was on the phone with my dad when out of the corner of my eye I saw a large, dark “thing” fly from the treetops smack into my windshield. I screamed, dropped the phone and started crying. I pulled over to the side of the road and called my husband who was still at his parents’ house.

“I think a vulture just hit my car,” I screamed. Amused and holding back his laughter, my husband asked me to repeat myself. Once I had explained what had happened, he was pretty sure a turkey had hit my car. This “thing” hit my windshield so hard that the rearview mirror flew off and dangled back and forth. There were tiny bits of glass all over my dashboard from where the mirror used to be. There were so many cracks running up and down that it looked like a bunch of thin branches had sprouted right on top of my windshield. Once I regained my composure and reassured my children that we were, in fact, all still alive and what I had

thought was something out of Harry Potter was really just a turkey, we continued our drive home. I drove about 40 miles per hour the whole way and called the windshield repair people the next day. When I explained what had happened, the guy on the other end of the line thought I was joking. “You mean to tell me that a turkey hit your windshield on Thanksgiving?” he asked. “Um, yes. That’s right,” I squeaked. “In all the years I’ve worked here, this is a first. I have never had someone tell me a turkey hit their windshield on Thanksgiving.” he laughed. And the funniest part of all of this? I am a vegetarian. What are the chances that a vegetarian happens to be driving home on Thanksgiving when a turkey hits her windshield? Connection Magazine | 21

When I received my invoice in the mail, under “cause” for damage it said, “vulture strike.” Thanksgiving is a time for family to get together and share what they are thankful for. But with extra family members and friends who you haven’t seen in a long time, maybe even years, well, that lends itself to a breeding ground for funny things to happen. Take, for example, Brandon and Jene Barker of Mt. Vernon, whose family flew in a few years ago to celebrate Thanksgiving. “To make up for the lack of room at the table, my mom turned the couch to face the table, and that’s where Brandon and I sat,” Jene said. “My uncle sat at the table with his back toward us. Something you should know about my uncle is that he does not wear a belt and he always has a plumber’s crack. Always! On the bright side, my calorie intake for the day was much lower than years past!” Thanksgiving wouldn’t be complete without some sort of food mishap. Terry Kleeman of Mt. Vernon recalls the time when she was newly married and wanted to host Thanksgiving dinner. “I invited all of my family to come to our home and told them I would prepare the entire dinner,” Terry said. “I worked so hard making all of the traditional dishes, as well as a few new recipes. I got the best China and added pretty garnishes on each prepared dish. Slivered almonds topped the green beans, and sprinkles of unique spices added for taste and color dotted each dish. Everything was perfect! The feast was presented on a long folding table covered with a beautiful crocheted tablecloth. “Thanksgiving prayer was said while the family circled together with

22 | November 2017

held hands. I was feeling quite proud. My dad was first in line to the buffet when all of a sudden (like a thief in the night) one end of the table collapsed and I stood watching my long and hard work of a meal slide down the table into a large pile on the floor! I was in shock! I ran into the kitchen and sat down and began to cry as family members tried to catch falling dishes and salvage a turkey leg. My dad came into the kitchen and said, ‘It’s OK. I pulled some noodles out of the Jell-O.’ I looked up at him and my tears turned to laughter.” So, if you’ve ever had a Thanksgiving that did not go as planned, just know that you are in good company.

What funny stories do you have from Thanksgiving? I would love for you to share them with me over on my Facebook page, WriterMeaganRuffing, using the hashtag, #ConnectionThanksgivingBlunders. Be sure to make some memorable moments around the dinner table this year and don’t forget to tell each other what you’re most thankful for. A holiday like Thanksgiving is a great time to pause, hit the reset button, and give thanks.

Meagan Ruffing writes about all things parenting for regional parenting publications across the United States and in Canada. Check out her work at and snag a signed copy of her book, “I See You: Helping Moms Go from Overwhelmed to In Control.”

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Members of the Aurora-based Chariots of Grace Chapter of the Christian Motorcyclists Association at some of the monthly gatherings.


rolling thunder Chariots of Grace Christian motorcycle chapter offers service, fun


here are many organizations in the bi-county area, both service groups and some for fun. One such group is the Chariots of Grace Chapter No. 891 of the Christian Motorcyclists Association, which meets on the first Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m. at Mercy Hospital in Aurora. Mark Walter, one of the founding members of the group and its current president, has been active with the group for the past 17 years. “I moved here in 1999 from Virginia Beach,” Walter said. “I’ve ridden motorcycles all my life. I wanted to combine Christianity with the love of riding motorcycles.

24 | November 2017

“I was on the Web at the time, and I found a chapter in Springfield. We had several members from Marionville and Aurora. I got to meet them. After a while I felt it was time to ask them if they wanted a more local chapter.” When the local chapter organized, there were 13 members. Presently there are seven. Walter said the number has risen into the 30s, at one point drawing people from as far off as Bolivar and Miller. “It’s like planting a church,” Walter said. “Some wanted a more local chapter. That’s how we got started. People in Miller wanted one that was more in their area. Now there’s one in the Halltown area as well.”

In addition to having meetings in the community room at Mercy Hospital in Aurora, the group has fellowship rides on the third Saturday of each month. Members also provide service at public events. “We go to secular car rallies, bike rallies, concerts and four-wheel events,” Walter said. “We are helpers. We man the gates, pass out water and attend parking lots. We’re basically out there to witness to one-percenters. We believe our first duty is to God, and then to our community. We believe, as a group, it’s

Story by Murray Bishoff

Mark Walter, wearing sunglasses, and his grandson, Justin, at an event where the Chariots of Grace Chapter of the Christian Motorcyclists Association volunteers its time and energy.

Third Annual Lawrence County Toy Run Saturday, Nov. 4

important before going to another state and doing something to do our part locally.” Among the group’s regular activities is a toy run undertaken for the Ozarks Area Community Action Corporation, which distributes toys to needy families over the Christmas holiday. Chapter members also solicit donations of items for a raffle, proceeds of which all go back to OACAC to help children. This year’s event is slated for Nov. 4. The group also holds a Veterans Ride, which raises money to help veterans living at the Veterans Home in Mt. Vernon. Local members also participate in the Run for the Son, a national ride that last year raised more than $4 mil-

lion that helped three major charities. “The biggest contribution for me to get involved in was when the Hell’s Angels held their national rally in Eureka Springs,” Walter said. “They are people too. They were just as kind to us as we were to them. They talked to us as human beings. “I met several at a store. They were very respectful to Christian people. We looked over each other’s bikes and shared a little of the Gospel. It’s all in how you treat them and how you act, just to show the Jesus in you.” Walter has also ridden with the Galloping Gooses, a Springfield group that he described as one-percenters, “very outlaw bike riders.”

Aurora ABT Family Life Center 111 S Elliot Ave. Aurora, MO 65605 Start time: 9:30 a.m. Kickstands up: 11 a.m. For more information call or text Mark at 7722687 or James at 839-1286 Entry: 1 Unwrapped toy or donation for the children of Lawrence County

Flame On! Youth Movement Event Dec. 29, 2017 - Jan. 1. 2018 Iron Mountain, Hatfield, Arkansas Contact for Youth Movement event information or facebook/ or 870-389-6196 ext. 235

Connection Magazine | 25

A clean-up rag, distributed by the Christian Motorcyclists Association, wrapped with a card with “clean-up” instructions that encourages the user to find God.

Participating in the Chariots of Grace has meant a lot to Walter. “It’s made me more aware of myself as well as other people out there,” he said. “I know there’s more to this than just me. “My whole family is involved. My wife, Kimber, rides with me. I have five grandchildren that love to ride. My oldest grandchild, Justin, has been on the Ride for the Son with me. He’s been riding with me since he was 6 months old.” Club gatherings are family oriented, centered around cookouts. Often the group ends up at Braum’s or Andy’s Frozen Yogurt. National events have teen groups and a children’s missionary activity. Local groups have their own specific ministries. James Brown leads the Chariots of Grace’s prison ministry effort. There is also a ladies ministry. The local chapter elects officers annually. “There’s always something to do for kids and teens,” Walter said. “I have no problem recommending the group. If you have a passion to ride motorcycles and do the Lord’s work, this is the place to be.” The national headquarters of the Christian Motorcyclists Association is based in Hatfield, Ark. For additional information, people may call 417-2582519. 2 26 | November 2017

One of the tracts used by the Christian Motorcyclists Association targeting other bikers to share the message of God’s love and direction.

Members of the Aurora-based Chariots of Grace Chapter of the Christian Motorcyclists Association at some of the monthly gatherings.

Connection Magazine | 27

P r o u d pa r e n t

Reed Owen Brattin, 5 days old at the time of this photo, is the son of Anthony Brattin and Megan Gaches of Wheaton.

Are you a proud parent?

Reed is November’s cutest kid.

Congratulations, Reed! Email your child’s photo to 28 | November 2017

If so, take this opportunity to show off that cute kid of yours. We invite you to share a photo of your child to be featured in Connection’s very own proud parent cutest kid contest. Photos should be sent in the original JPG format at the highest resolution possible. Remember to include your child’s name, parent’s name, age, city and your contact information. The contest is open to children ages 10 and younger. The photos submitted will be used for the sole purpose of this contest.

Remembering Thanksgivings

Family, food line the memories of America’s special holiday


hanksgiving, the Great American Holiday, is one of those memory makers in households. While all the different turkeys and festivities may blend together, any sampling of people will bring out memories of special holidays from years ago.

Ellen Brown

Dorothy Badger Dorothy Badger: “Thanksgiving was all about family. There were nine of us, and with the children, we’d have as many as 23 come.” Everyone in the family came with food, someone bringing the meats, turkey or ham, and the pies. Dorothy, 94, remembered her mother was especially known for making her dressing, which included corn bread.

Story by Murray Bishoff

Ellen Brown: “I was raised on a farm in central Iowa. My mother, Dorothy Reed, and her sister, Evelyn, were special cooks.” Ellen’s special memory of the holiday was her grandmother’s lemon creme pie, something she found in a farming magazine. She’s thinking of making it again this year, and letting it bring back the memories of her four siblings, all of whom have now passed on. Cooking in southwest Missouri, she noted, is different from the way her mother did it, especially in making dumplings. “Mother would whip up the flour, spread it out and let it dry. She would put the spoon in broth, get the dough and drop it in and make nice round fluffy dumplings. That’s the way I make dumplings. The way they do it here is like making wide noodles.”

Barbara McDougle Paulus Barbara McDougle Paulus: “Thanksgiving was always a treat, with my [late] husband, the grandchildren and all the stuff. Just being together made it memorable.” Barbara’s mother was the master chef, she said, making the ham and turkey dressing. Her specialty was mince meat pie, which she made from scratch. Growing up, Barbara recalled her two brothers and one sister made up the household. Later, they brought nieces and nephews to the gatherings. Looming large in Barbara’s memories was her husband of 55 years, Selma McDougle, whom she described as “always fun.”

Connection Magazine | 29



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Lorena Wells Lorena Wells: “Thanksgiving was going to Grandma’s on the farm by Indian Springs, between Stella and McNatt. Grandpa has a large family. Grandma didn’t. Both of them had family in Webb City.” Lorena was especially fond of her grandma, and would stay with them three or four months at a time. She recalled her grandmother walked her to school for a month when she was five. Returning home, Lorena found her school would not take her until she was 6. “I learned more in that month that I did in my first year at school,” she said. “I went to see my grandparents every chance I’d get. My brother didn’t like the farm. He didn’t go with them.” Getting together for the holidays was great fun, Lorena recalled. “It wasn’t always turkey [as the main dish],” she said. “Sometimes they would butcher a pig and have a cured ham. Everything else was something they had grown. “I ate about anything they made. I was never very picky. Grandpa wanted everyone to clean up their plate. And I did.”

Leatrice Strother Leatrice Strother: “All my memories of Thanksgiving are good. I grew up on Marshall Hill in Monett. We typically had a house full of people for the holidays. I remember them more than the food. “We had so many generations in the family. We could easily have five generations together. My aunt was three years older than me, so her kids call my mother Aunt Joy. My kids would try to correct them, saying, ‘This is Granny.’” One memorable Thanksgiving, Leatrice’s aunt, Madelyn Lowe, brought a mince meat pie made from a real hog’s head.



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Connection Magazine | 31

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June Brandt: “I grew up in Exeter. We’d have five children and their spouses in the house for Thanksgiving. We’d have a traditional dinner. My mother was a wonderful cook. For her dressing,she’d put biscuits, homemade bread and corn bread in it. Then we always had our own sage. “We had pies. She made a very good raisin pie. She also made a delicious angel food cake for Thanksgiving. We were poor people, but we had neighbors just like us, we worked together and tried to help each other.”

“One time she put little wine glasses out. She was a teetotaler.

sue childress Sue Childress: Sue Childress remembers Thanksgiving on the farm near Aurora. With two families linked by one mother, their household was busy. Ella Robbins, her mother, made it special with her cooking. “She made a turkey,” Sue said. “The dressing practically made itself. She had corn bread in it, celery and onions. She made her own pies and her own crusts. There would be fruit pies, mince meat pice, and a gooseberry pie. She would pick the gooseberries herself.” After the meal, Sue would play the piano, and her parents would sing. The occasion also provided a chance to choose who would give gifts to which family members for Christmas. Even after Sue moved to Monett in 1951, family gatherings continued at Sue’s mother’s house, who also moved to this town. Sue carefully gathered her mother’s recipes, many written on scraps of paper and inserted into a book, leaving the taste of the holidays intact for another generation.

She served us all grape juice and made us feel like we were special.” - Carol Grimm recalling her mother at Thanksgiving

Carol Grimm: Growing up in Topeka, Kan., Carol Grimm vividly remembers the holidays as a time for family to gather. “There were five of us kids there, and Mom and Dad [Paul and Erma Jacobs],” Carol said. “My mother was so particular about her cooking. Nobody could duplicate her.” The house was small, and Carol recalled everyone crammed together, put the extension on the dining room table, and squeezed in together. All of them brought something for the meal. “My mother would work for days, weeks, to get ready for this,” Carol said. “She had a turkey, with wonderful dressing. I don’t know what all she had in there. She fried the onions

carol grimm and celery together. The smell was so wonderful. “She’d make a beautiful two- and three-layer chocolate cake for Thanksgiving. One time she put little wine glasses out. She was a teetotaler. She served us all grape juice and made us feel like we were special.” Not all of Carol’s mother’s cooking resonated with every palate. “She made a Shoofly pie,” Carol recalled. “Nobody liked it. She would sit and eat it by herself, year after year.” Carol recalled getting married at age 16 and moving away. She laments not carrying some of the cooking talent with her, but the memories linger on.

Connection Magazine | 33

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34 | November 2017

Comm u n i t y c a l e n d ar

November 2017 Nov. 1

 Blood pressure checks will be available

at the Central Crossing Senior Center in Shell Knob, from 10:30 a.m. to noon.

 Blood pressure checks provided by

Ozark Methodist Manor will be taken at the Cassville Senior Center at 10:30 a.m.

Nov. 2

 Festival of Flavors will be held at the

Monett Intermediate School cafeteria from 5:30-7:30 p.m. This event is sponsored by the Monett Chamber of Commerce. For more information, call 417-235-7919.

 Senior benefit enrollment counseling by

appointment. Call the Cassville Senior Center at 417-847-4510.

 Paint class begins at 9 a.m. at the Cass-

ville Senior Center, 1111 Fair Street.

Nov. 3

 First Friday Coffee will be held at the

Cassville Chamber of Commerce office and hosted by Keith Speers’ Repairs Unlimited from 8-8:30 a.m.

Nov. 4

 The Seligman Chamber of Commerce

will host a dance at the Seligman Chamber Event Center at 7 p.m. Admission is $4 each, and attendees are asked to bring a snack to share. No alcohol or smoking is allowed. For more information, call 417-662-3612.

Nov. 6

 Monthly dance for the Monett Senior

Center will be held at the Park Casino, beginning at 7 p.m.

Nov. 8

 Grace’s Foot Clinic by appointment. Call

the Cassville Senior Center at 847-4510.

Nov. 10

 A special Veterans Day celebration will

be held at the Central Crossing Senior Center in Shell Knob.

Nov. 11

 The annual Christmas Open House in

Cassville. Participating businesses will be offering refreshments for shoppers.

 The Seligman Chamber of Commerce

will host a dance at the Seligman Chamber Event Center at 7 p.m. Admission is $4 each, and attendees are asked to bring a snack to share.

(Continued) No alcohol or smoking is allowed. For more information, call 417-662-3612.

Nov. 15

 Blood Pressure checks will be available

at the Central Crossing Senior Center in Shell Knob from 10:30 a.m. to noon.

Nov. 16

 Paint class begins at 9 a.m. at the Cass-

ville Senior Center, 1111 Fair Street.

Nov. 18

 The Seligman Chamber of Commerce

will host a dance at the Seligman Chamber Event Center at 7 p.m. Admission is $4 each, and attendees are asked to bring a snack to share. No alcohol or smoking is allowed. For more information, call 417-662-3612.

Nov. 21

 Grace Health Services at the Central

Crossing Senior Center in Shell Knob. Call for an appointment, 417-858-6952.

Nov. 23

 The Pierce City Senior Center will hold

its regular monthly dance.

Nov. 25

 The Seligman Chamber of Commerce

will host a dance at the Seligman Chamber Event Center at 7 p.m. Admission is $4 each, and attendees are asked to bring a snack to share. No alcohol or smoking is allowed. For more information, call 417-662-3612.

Nov. 27

 Nell’s Nails will be at the Central Cross-

ing Senior Center by appointment. Call 417-858-6952.

Nov. 29

 WIC will be at the Central Crossing

Senior Center. Call 417-858-2114 for an appointment.

Nov. 31

 Nell’s Nails at the Monett Senior Center

at 9 a.m.

Connection Magazine | 35

Do you have an event you would like to have featured in our calendar?


Email it to

 Celebrate Recovery meets at the Family

Life Center in Cassville every Tuesday at 6 p.m. Meeting at the same time is Celebration Station for children.  Grief Care Support, sponsored community

support by Integrity Hospice, is held the last Thursday of every month at 10 a.m. in Marionville at Methodist Manor, 205 South College Ave. in the Alice Lounge. Care group is for anyone experiencing grief through loss.  The Aurora Diabetes Support Group

meets the third Wednesday of each month at Mercy Hospital in Aurora in the Private Dining Room at 4 to 5 p.m. It is free and open to the public. There is no meeting in December.  The Parkinson’s Support Group meets

at 2 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church, 1600 N. Central in Monett on the second Thursday of every month. No charge to attend. Call 417-269-3616 or 888-354-3618 to register.  The Grief Support Group meets the first and third Tuesdays of each month at Oak Pointe of Monett, 1011 Old Airport Road, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. For more information, call Kathy at 417-235-3500.  Celebrate Recovery meets at 7 p.m. at

the Golden Baptist Church on Route J in Golden every Monday of each month. Dinner is served at 6:15 p.m. This is for anyone with hurts, habit or hang-ups.

 The Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)

Group of Cassville meets at 8 p.m. at 1308 Harold Street in Cassville on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays every month.

 The Caregiver Support Group meets at Oak Pointe of Monett from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on the first Wednesday of each month at 1011 Old Airport Road in Monett. For more information, call Kathy 417-235-3500.  The Turning Point AA Group meets at

7 p.m. at the west corner of Mitchell Plaza on Highway 86 in Eagle Rock on Mondays and Tuesday every month.  Cassville Al-Anon Family Group meets at 8 p.m. at the United Methodist Church in Cassville every Thursday of each month.  Narcotics Anonymous meets at 8 p.m. the

first Tuesday of every month in the basement of St. Lawrence Catholic Church, located at the corner of Seven and Cale streets in Monett, 417-442-3706.  Narcotics Anonymous and Alcohol-

ics Anonymous group meets at 7 p.m. the

first Tuesday of every month at the First Baptist Church Activity Center, 618 Second Street in Washburn. 417-489-7662.

Cassville Senior Center  Dominos every Tuesday and Friday at noon. Call 417-847-4510 for more information.

 Computer classes are starting at the center. They will be on Mondays from 10:30-11:30 a.m.

Anyone interested must call the center at 417-847-4510 to sign up.

Monett Senior Center Regular events:  Pinochle every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 12:30 p.m.  Pitch every Tuesday and Thursday, 12:30 p.m.  Bingo Monday through Friday, noon.

Central Crossing Senior Center 20801 YY 15 Road, Shell Knob Regular events:  Alzheimer Support Group meets at 2 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month.  Friends’ Bridge every Friday. Call Quita at 417-271-9803 for details.  Cards Galore every Friday, with Pitch beginning at 9 a.m.  Domino Poker every day from 12:45.

 Mah Jongg every Monday and Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.  Line dancing every Tuesday and Thursday from 9-10:30 a.m.

 Quilting for Charity every Wednesday and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.  Balance and Flexibility class is held every Monday from 9:30 to 10 a.m.

36 | November 2017

Cutest pet

Meet Abby.

Abby belongs to Wendy Lewallen of Lampe.

November ’s winner! 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. Email your pet’s photo to 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.

Connection Magazine | 37

Students embrace the attitude of gratitude


hen the Thanksgiving season rolls around each year, people are prompted to remember and express all of the people and things for which they are grateful. However, expressing gratitude on a regular basis, which research has shown to have many psychological, emotional and spiritual benefits, is an act worthy of expression all year long, and a group of Cassville High School students has found a way to do that — by inviting it into their classroom. While students learn all manner of academic skills in school, learning the art of gratitude is a life skill that will serve them well. ‘Thankful Thursdays,’ started by CHS 10th-grade English teacher Mandy Boone, began with this simple assignment to students: write a note stating the things for which they are thankful. But Boone didn’t stop there. She decided to implement the practice of expressing gratitude on an ongoing basis, not just during an annual holiday. During Thankful Thursdays, she devotes the first five minutes of class to helping students not just learn, but really ‘get’ the attitude of gratitude. Students watch an inspirational video, then complete a short writing assignment. Or, they can write a private journal entry about the things for which they are thankful, write a public note of thanks on the white board, or they can write a personal thank you note that will be

38 | November 2017

High school students Garrett York, left, Haven Brookes, center, and Grace Baxley contemplate the things in life for which they are thankful during their first few minutes of class. Their English teacher, Mandy Boone, started the practice of teaching students to show gratitude on a regular basis to help them shift their thoughts to positive ones, in a world so often bombarded with negative information and events.

delivered to the recipient via mail or hand-delivered by their teacher. At first, Boone admitted she didn’t know how students would respond. “I thought that students might think it was silly, but to my surprise, they have embraced it,” she said. Students have expressed gratitude in their assignments for everything from family, friends, medications, teachers and gaming systems. Boone expressed that herself and other teachers feel there is more than enough negativity in the world, and by teaching students about gratitude, maybe they can help dispel some of it so that they can grow up and learn in a world that focuses on gratitude for what exists that is good and right, verses focusing on negative events the world and news anchors so often highlight. The idea behind the practice is prompting both students and teachers to shift their thoughts to a positive frequency, and teaching them that they are in charge of their thoughts and attitudes.

“It just takes about five minutes of class time, but if it can make somebody’s day a little brighter, we think it is worth it,” Boone said. “It has been a great project to work on with our students and coworkers throughout the district.” The practice has spread to other classrooms, too, with other communication arts teachers following suit. Teachers have also found ways to incorporate Thankful Thursdays lessons into class work requirements, such as letter and email etiquette, and journalwriting practices. Richard Asbill, superintendent of the school district, praised the practice, emphasizing its importance in life. “We are proud of our teachers for taking the time to teach our students how important it is to be thankful,” Asbill said. “There is no doubt it is easy to become focused on the bad things happening to us or around us. Teaching our students to find the positive is hopefully a life skill that will follow them beyond the halls of Cassville.” 2

Story by Julia Kilmer

Sending the angels home Ozark woman finds peace in creating angel gowns


new mother reclines in her hospital bed staring in wonder at her newly delivered child; counting fingers and toes, overwhelmed with a sense of responsibility for this new life. Across the hall, her arms empty, another woman holds only an aching heart, overwhelmed at the loss of a dearly loved and anticipated child who arrived too early to survive, died in utero or shortly after birth. Details, decisions and arrangements cloud what should have been one of the happiest moments of her life. “That’s where I feel I can help,” said Shirley Barnett, founder of Nana’s Angel Gowns in Ozark. “I deliver angel gowns to hospitals in the southwest Missouri region, and parents have the opportunity to choose a gown for burial. It’s one less detail they have to think about.” Barnett delivers gowns to both Mercy and Cox Hospital facilities, as well as a Bolivar hospital and another in Arkansas. St. Luke’s, in Kansas, is also requesting a supply of angel gowns. Barnett first began her angel gown ministry in 2014. “Someone gave my daughter a wedding dress,” she said. “My daughter didn’t want it, and we didn’t know what to do with it. I kept looking at it, and thinking about it. Then I found a Facebook post about angel gowns for premature and stillborn infants and knew that’s the inspiration I had been waiting for.”

Story by Melonie Roberts

In making the angel gowns for premature stillborns, Shirley Barnett chooses rich fabrics in a variety of patterns and colors to meet the needs of the grieving parents.

“It gives parents the opportunity to have their child dressed elegantly for burial, as they deserve. Maybe dad had hoped his son would enjoy hunting alongside him in the woods — there are outfits with camo vests and ties for him, or a football patterned vest for his little quarterback.” Connection Magazine | 39

Shirley Barnett, founder of Nana’s Angel Gowns in Ozark, displays a boy’s outfit barely larger than the size of her hand.

With each angel gown, Barnett includes a tiny angel wing charm, that can be interred with the infant, or removed from the gown and preserved as a keepsake.

40 | November 2017

Barnett started searching for patterns that would accommodate infants from about 17 weeks gestation to full term, and found a project about which she was passionate and consumed a majority of her thoughts. “I was sitting in church one morning and caught a glimpse of a man’s tie and thought it was perfect for the vest on a little boy’s gown,” she said. “I started asking men to donate their ties to me when they didn’t want them any longer.” Barnett constantly thinks of the little angels that will be wearing her gowns on their final earthly journey. “It’s sad to lose a baby,” she said. “Sometimes I cry a lot of tears. But [the gowns] turn out gorgeous, and this is my way of giving something back to those parents in their time of grief.” Since that first wedding gown that started her on this journey, Barnett has received approximately 100 wedding and special occasion gowns through donations. Each gown can be repurposed to make about 15 angel gowns, depending on the style and amount of material and embellishments included on the bodice, waistline and hem. “I lay the dress out and look at it and let it tell me what it wants to be,” she said. “Most bodice pieces will make a gown for a full-term baby. Other parts of the gown can be used to make premie and micro-premie gowns, which are very small. I can take embellishments from other areas of the gown to use on those. Sleeves make easy matching caps, because they are already formed. If there is enough material, I will make matching booties for outfits and hats for boys. “What starts out as a wedding dress, representing joy, love, happiness and anticipation, ends up as an angel gown, in hopes of giving someone peace.”

Although the wedding dresses are donated, Barnett still has to purchase ribbons to tie the gowns, thread, lace to make coordinating headbands, and most importantly, the angel wing charm she includes with each gown. “The parents can decide if they want to let the charm stay with the outfit, or to remove it for a keepsake,” Barnett said. “I package each gown in a tulle bag, with a card containing a poem on one side and the expected due date and actual due date for the child on the back. For the wraps, which will hold a child from 17 weeks gestation to the micro-premie size, I include one wrap for the baby to be placed in for burial, and another matching wrap for the parents to keep as a remembrance.” Unlike other infant outfits available at retail stores, the angel gowns only tie closed in the back. “The skin is so fragile that trying to dress a premature child in regular clothing is just not possible,” Barnett explained. Barnett hand delivers boxes of angle gowns to area hospitals, and asks to meet the staffers taking delivery of the package. She said CoxMonett only uses one or two a year. “I think it’s important,” she said. “And while I would be happy knowing the gowns were never used, that just isn’t the case. It’s comforting to me to know the gowns are available for parents if they are needed.” All parts of the dresses used in making the angel gowns are incorporated in some way. “I use the tulle netting to make the bags to hold the gowns and cards,” said Barnett. “The lining is used as interfacing. The embellishments are

Shirley Barnett, founder of Nana’s Angel Gowns in Ozark, creates burial outfits for boys and girls at various stages of gestation. Gowns and wraps are sized for premature babies from 17 weeks gestation to full term.

Not only does Shirley Barnett create angel gowns and wraps for premature stillborn infants, she incorporates whatever spare fabric she has to make matching booties, hats and caps.

Connection Magazine | 41


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used on gowns, lace headbands and some of the booties. Nothing goes to waste.” This mission, while admired by many, is not an easily accomplished task. “I made a gown for a woman who was at 35 weeks when her baby quit moving,” Barnett said. “She went to the doctor and he could not detect a heartbeat. At 26 weeks, a woman in fully invested in bringing home a healthy baby. At 35 weeks, she is ready to deliver and take her child home. The baby would be premature, but able to survive. To lose it so close to delivery is devastating. “Others offer to help sew and package the gowns. I had one woman from the church take several home to be ironed, and she brought them back and said she just wasn’t able to do it. This isn’t something everyone can do. I have two daughters and one son, and while they are supportive, it’s too emotionally draining for them to help me.” Even having made more than 300 angel gowns, there are times it is difficult even for Barnett. “Sometimes it haunts me,” she said. “Especially when I know the people involved. It’s heartbreaking. But it’s one last thing I can do for the parents, for the child.” Since finding her niche, Barnett has forged ahead, content in helping others find peace. “Once I started making angel gowns, I’ve never looked back,” she said. “I believe this is my calling, what I am meant to do.” Those wishing to make financial donations for purchased materials and delivery expenses may send them to: Nana’s Angel Gowns, 1398 Prairie Hollow Road, Ozark, MO 65721. For more information, visit Facebook. com/NanasAngelGownsAndWraps. 2



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Connection Magazine | 43

TIME MANAGEMENT Farm work will bring out the best


o everything there is a season and a time, and that time is a gift. I guess that is why it is called the present. This precious gift was graciously given and so the boss and I knew that we must use it wisely. The saying goes “behind every successful rancher is a wife who works in town.” I believe that to be true, but then there is the family business and behind that success is a wife who knows when it is time to leave her comfortable job and take on the job of… well, we aren’t really sure what that job is yet, but we are figuring it out as we go. Who am I kidding? I don’t think I’ve figured out a thing except: • The generations before me, worked really hard picking up milk in cans and pickup trucks versus tractor trailers with pumps and tanks. • My father-in-law did a lot of paperwork and reporting that makes the learning curve for my new job pretty high. Let’s just say, if I don’t get an email or call from MoDOT or IRS, it’s a good day! • Sole proprietor means you are responsible. There is no one else to blame or pass the buck. • The boss tries to be fair and honest and sometimes good deeds don’t go unpunished. • Loyal employees are priceless. • Time together as family and leaving a legacy is important, and that is time well spent. 44 | November 2017

Column by Pam Wormington | Photo by Taylor Casey

So with all that said, I’ve traded in my “office” job at Scott Regional Technology Center for a role on the family farm and with Wormington Trucking. Several have asked if I would be driving a truck. The answer to that question should be listed above in the things I know — I know that would not be profitable! I’ve traded in high heels for rubber boots, hairdos for ponytails, dress clothes for jeans and T-shirts, and I’ve also traded in a schedule for flex time. Working 8 to 5 means nothing anymore, nor do holidays or weekends. There is no overtime, sick days or snow days, for that matter. But every day counts. If that means eating lunch and watching Andy Griffith with my husband, then I consider that bonus pay. Cooking for someone who is ill or offered a favor, I consider that time well spent. And making a dream come

true for a parent, I’d say that beats any benefits package. Do I miss planning and following my agenda? More than anyone will ever know. Do I miss having coworkers that don’t smell like milk and have grease stains on their clothes? Yes sir. Do I miss using my skills and talents? No, just finding new ways to use them. So, for those who have been asking about my stories, I thank you, and I am looking forward to more time to not only live out a laugh for you and share it in Connection Magazine, but to live life with purpose. Thank you for your patience in this transition time and get ready to ride this bumpy back road with me. Whether we are going for parts or checking cows, you and I are going to make some memories managing our time. 2

God shed His grace on thee...


’d never heard of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), a policy enacted by President Obama in 2012, until President Trump recently attempted to rescind it. At that point, it was hard to overlook the outcries of protest coming from every corner of the country, including from right here in our community. DACA gives the undocumented children of illegal immigrants – those brought to this country when they were very young — the ability to legally work and attend college without fear of arrest and deportation. Fundamentally, it offers them hope — hope that they can one day become citizens of The United States. While researching DACA, I was swamped with memories of the many first-generation Mexican immigrant parents I have met. Most of them

are close to my age. Their stories are varied, yet contain a common thread. They left beloved parents and homelands and set out for the unknown – a symbolic “land of milk and honey” — in hopes of providing their children with opportunities for better lives than the ones they had known. Many of those now-adult children have no memories of living in their country of origin. For them, the U.S. is home. In 1975, when I enrolled in a Spanish class my freshman year at Monett High School, I never really supposed that I’d put the language to use. As far as I knew then, there wasn’t a native Spanish-speaker around. Still, I took more Spanish classes over the ensuing years just because I enjoyed them. Not once did I have a conversation in Spanish when Spanish was the only language possible to converse in.

Column by Sheila Harris

That changed, though, when I donned a hair net and rubber boots, and became an employee of a local poultry processing plant some 20 years later. The evisceration department (Evis, as it was called) was where I first met Ana (not her real name). She was as unpracticed in English as I was in Spanish, but because Evis was a lonely and intimidating place, we adopted each other. I soon faced a choice. As my curiosity about her grew, I could either remain silent in the face of a huge challenge to my untried Spanish, or I could go out on a limb and try it at the risk of being laughed at. I chose the limb. My borders expanded with every question I attempted. Almost to my surprise, Ana understood me. We became friends as each of us became more fluent in the other’s tongue. She learned that when I said I was pooped, not to take it literally. I learned that calling myself lazy is very similar to confessing to being a loose woman. Connection Magazine | 45

We also learned that we were the same age, lived in the same town, and our children went to school together. Throughout the years, Ana and I worked together in many different areas of the plant, doing jobs that some people might find undesirable. In Evis, we ran our gloved hands inside freshlykilled chickens to remove the viscera while the birds went swinging by on a mechanized line in front of us, a job later replaced by automation. On the sawline in second processing, wearing chain-guards to protect our hands, we became adept at cutting whole birds into pieces using a table saw. I grew to love Ana like a sister. She was a gentle spirit in a challenging world, and knew much more about hard work, patience and sacrifice than I ever will. In spite of our commonalities, there was one major difference between us — I had options; hers were limited. But she accepted her limitations for the

“I found that when I reached across barriers, walls came tumbling down.” sake of her children and the opportunities afforded them in the U.S. Through Ana, I met many other Mexican women who also accepted my Spanish-speaking attempts as an overture of friendship. I found that when I reached across barriers, walls came tumbling down. They included me in the events of their lives — weddings, baby showers, baptisms and quinceañeras. Sadly, I attended a few funerals as well. I realize now what a privilege it was to participate in another culture without leaving southwest Missouri. As far as I know, all of my friends were legally documented, but it didn’t

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matter to me. I discovered there’s no need for documentation for love and respect to abound. As a result of the friendships I made in the poultry plant, I am now torn by talk of immigration reform. I have always wanted the best for my children. How could I possibly stand in judgment of Hispanic parents for wanting the same for theirs? And how can I, who was born in the United States through no act of my own volition, possibly begrudge others for wanting the same opportunities and benefits that I so freely enjoy? God’s grace, the grace that we often sing of, wasn’t shed on America as a whole. Rather, it was granted to individual immigrants the space to prosper in a new world — whether they arrived by boat 200 years ago, or trudged in on foot in the recent past. America is exceptional only in direct proportion to the humility of its citizens. If we forget that most of us came from immigrant stock, destructive pride can creep in. Our political parties also do injustice to a spirit of unity. When humanitarian issues can be seen only in terms of whether they’re supported by a Democrat or a Republican, or whether support or lack thereof will garner favor for those in office, our concern for real people — those without a voice — can run off the rails. I don’t have the solution, but I do know a bridge is in order. Bridges are far more illuminating than walls, and span chasms otherwise impossible to breach. In the spirit of bridge-building, upcoming issues will contain the stories of some of our Hispanic neighbors. 2

Submit your photos to to be considered for the next issue of Connection magazine.

Community photos

Photos captured by Esther Hightower on a recent trip to Mexico and Galveston, Texas.

Connection Magazine | 47

Photos by Cathy Lewis of Pierce City.

48 | November 2017

Photos captured by Charlotte Schoen at Top of the Rock in Branson.

Connection Magazine | 49



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Connection Magazine | 51

F a m i l i a r fac e s









The 33rd annual Aurora Auto Fest was held on Oct. 7 at Oak Park in Aurora. 1. Jane Ann and Gale Pate 2. David Ellis and Jan Bacher 3. Front: Michael and Mariah Thomas. Back: Diana and Michael Thomas. 4. Marshal and Tom Stipp 5. Gale and Julie Miller 6. Front: Isabella Rinker with Bon Bon, and Letty Rinker. Back: Cody and Amy Rinker. 7. Lloyd Campbell and Loretta Baker 8. Front: Kenza Howell. Back: Jerrit and Tina Howell. 10. Chris Ruscha and Daniel Mullen.

52 | November 2017









9 The seventh annual Berean Christian Academy Fall Festival was held on Sept. 16 at the school east of Monett.

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.


Bethany Schoon, Kassie McCallister holding Gentry Schoon, and Kelli McAllister holding Aubrey Schoon. Loisann and Tim Smith, and Jan Mahurin Jewel Spurlock and Jessica and Roger Smith Dana Salsman and Michelle and Kip Cullers Sally and Stacy Reavis Nora Carlisle holding McKynzie Carlisle, Tiffany Carlisle holding Zechariah Carlisle, and Sally Spurlock Beverly and Bill Bay, and Stanley Crawford Gerald and Myrna McCrary, and Pat Haddock Brian, Ashtyn and Kenna McCleery

Connection Magazine | 53





6 Marionville’s annual Apple Fest was held Sept. 15 and 16 in and around the square downtown.




54 | November 2017



1. Front: Olivia, Emily and Kylie Robbins. Back: Samantha Robbins 2. Ada and Angie Rinker 3. Doug Gold, John Sullivan and Ralph Wells 4. Norman III, Norman and Sherry Katz 5. Katrin Herd, and Vicki and John Inmon 6. Crystal Harter and Joyce Bumgardner 7. Suzanne Perry and Kevin Julien 8. Delora Manning and Patty Quiram 9. David Baum, Tom Cannon, Michael Anderson and David Wing 10. David Johnson, Troy Moose, Nick Anderson and Carl Eutsler








7 1. Ralph and Rita Schallert, and Connie McMillin 2. Harold Packwood, Frances Kennemer and Joy Packwood 3. Ken Heston, and Melanie and Jonathan Jacobs 4. Sharon and Rex Henderson 5. Tammy Humphrey, Julie Keeler and Jennifer Brown


Purdy High School held its annual barnwarming activities on Oct. 6 at the school grounds.

6. Phil Schad and Joe Grissom 7. Teri Shorter, Hope Shorter and Elaine Wallace 8. Elizabeth Grissom and Cassie Brewer 9. Donnie Spears, Jim Mattingly and David Wallace

Connection Magazine | 55



January 2017


February 2017

March 2017


A magazine dedicated to Southwest Missourians

April 2017

Natural talent

Purdy concert pianist returns to play

diving in

Fear of swimming is no excuse

Rustic industrial ‘Žȱ’›ŽĚ¢ȱ˜ž’šžŽ of Pierce City

Healing at home

Is there a rough winter ahead?



A family piece collector preserves local history

Flutist performs


Make them as a family

Restoration Phelps School


First Presbyterian Church

Downtown Aurora

a resale renaissance

A magazine dedicated to Southwest Missourians

Weddomedance R

venue views


The Coleman Vault

Continuous cycle Collecting materials to help the earth


Picturesque matrimony

Tasteful jewelry by Shell Knob artisan


Future of


Local Business

Exploring the western world

A magazine dedicated to Southwest Missourians

A magazine dedicated to Southwest Missourians



Connection Magazine | 1

June 2017

May 2017

simply Weezee

Quilter creates trade in business

ozark style


A magazine dedicated to Southwest Missourians

Books open the way to learning



One Big


Heirloom antiques



Winter Wonder

Veterans Treatment Court success stories


Connection Magazine | 1


July 2017

August 2017



Circus in Joplin full of spectre


Jo Tate Memorial Ride continues path of success



New Heights

Gifts and experiences to share with Dad

Influential Women

Crafts man 's trade






Get ready for transition

McDOWELL GOLD JUBILEE Celebrating music makers

Locals talk about fight club

‘You have nothing to prove’

SHARING MEMORIES Summers of yesteryear

Love letter to Monett

GYPSY VANNERS Horses with a presence

Hometown memories

A magazine dedicated to Southwest Missourians

A magazine dedicated to Southwest Missourians

A magazine dedicated to Southwest Missourians


October 2017

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Connection Magazine | 1

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My connection Don and Janie Bates of Monett and Keith and Janis Pipkins of Natural Bridge, Ark., were among the Making Memories tour group who recently enjoyed a Canada/New England cruise and land trip. The tour ended at Fairmonte Le Monoir Richelieu, where the picture on the lawn was taken with the September Connection.

From left, Janice Nelson, Stacie Reed, Vicky Daniel and Linda Sperandio took Connection Magazine with them to Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Local residents stopped at the Corn Palace in South Dakota on their 11-state, 4,000 mile trip to the northwest. Making the trip were Sara Parker, Linda Guthrie, Ruby Vincent and Olivea Thompson.

Connection Magazine | 57

Pa r t i n g s h o t

Photo by Cathy Lewis

Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow. - Melody Beattie

58 | November 2017

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Connection Magazine | 59

TAKE CONTROL Are you ready?

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60 | November 2017

Connection November 2017  
Connection November 2017