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November 2018

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EDITOR Kyle Troutman 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 Jared Lankford Jordan Privett Dionne Zebert Jane Severson Verna Fry Christa Stout Cheryl Williams Sierra Gunter PHOTOGRAPHERS Chuck Nickle Brad Stillwell Jamie Brownlee Amy Sampson DISTRIBUTION Greg Gilliam Kevin Funcannon 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.


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Staff Editorial

Season of Memories I have struggled with choosing the subject of my November Connection article as there are so many important events going on this month. We have Veterans Day, which is so very important to show our appreciation to our Veteran friends and family. We take this opportunity on Nov. 11 to recognize all who have served in the Armed Forces. Take this particular time to thank a Veteran for fighting for our freedom. If it were not for them we would not have the opportunity to exercise our right to vote in the upcoming midterm election. As important as all of this is, I think this time of year hits me with memories of past times with family members that are no longer with us. We have always had very big family get-togethers with numerous traditions that I feel strongly need to be carried out throughout many more generations. I had thought at one time, with the passing of others in my family that the get-togethers would decrease and that to me was very sad. I enjoyed the times that we would gather at my grandmother’s house, Ella Atwell, and the house was so packed that there was hardly room to sit. The memories are so warm and full of the smell of the numerous dishes that my grandmother slaved over. But she loved doing this for her family. The only thing I can remember her complaining about was she didn’t want the kids in the kitchen, even though we still would sneak in there. As much as I love remembering these times and long for the gatherings in the past, I am now the grandmother who slaves in the kitchen for the large group that gathers at my home for the holidays. This is such a blessing to

be able to do this and carry on the traditions that my grandmother had. And what’s even more fun is creating new traditions that will hopefully be carried out in generations to come. I thought that these times would diminish in the numbers of those attending, but with family and friends that we have included, my house is probably as packed during this time as my grandmother’s was. This is a delight for me as I feel that this is the way it should be. We all have memories to share, and this is the perfect time to share them with the younger members of the family so they will know how it was—how it is now—and hopefully will continue to be with the expansion of new family members. It is truly a time to be thankful. And it is time to share that thankfulness with those less fortunate or with those that do not have family to share these times with. Expand your blessings with others, and extend your hand in joining with others. It will truly be remembered for many seasons to come. My hope is that all of you have a blessed Thanksgiving season.

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 or

Connection Magazine | 5



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FEATURES 11 | The love of giving

Linn Thornton of Monett left a legacy of love of neighbor for all to cherish with a Christmas dinner spent together

21 | Ayden’s Story

Chris and Ashley Markum support the benefit of CBD oil to treat their son’s seizures

26 | Indigenous Art


Janeth Lenz of Everton procures artisan pieces from across South America to benefit indigenous tribes

30 | Handmade Wedding Dresses

British native Marie Sophia Bonner creates stunning pieces by hand for Southwest Missouri brides

52 | Santa Train

Charity ride of holiday train comes to town Dec. 15, 16

N o v e m b e r 2018 Connection Magazine | 7


November 2018

Contents 17 Healthy Connection: Part 1

19 Parenting Column: Share reading

39 Housing Around: Flooring options 42 Cutest Pet contest

43 Rescued, My Favorite Breed

Artisan Purveyor

47 Pam Wormington: The lure of lures

South AmericA

Wedding Dresses

51 Recipes: Thanksgiving staples

hAndmAde Finery

Healing Change

57 Cutest Kid contest

cBd oil SucceSS

Merry Ride

holidAy trAin AheAd


for Honor &

linn thornton’S liFetime legAcy

A MAgAzine DeDicAteD to SouthweSt MiSSouriAnS

59 Familiar Faces

53 Community Calendar

65 Connections on the Go 66 Parting Shot

ON THE COVER: Photo by Murray Bishoff

Linn Thornton is pictured sharing Christmas cheer with one of his favorite guests at one of his popular community Christmas dinners. The cover story begins on page 11. Linn Thornton of Monett began a tradition of bringing the town together around the holiday time. His contribution to his community will be felt and carried out in his honor this holiday season. Over 800 meals will be cooked and delivered or served at the Monett American Legion on Christmas Day 2018.

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A merrier Christmas,

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Monettan’s legacy keeps bringing holiday alive


hristmas in Monett has been indelibly changed by Linn Thornton. A blue collar laborer– a man of not great means–Thornton transformed the holiday experience in Monett by his effort, heart and generosity, pulling others in with his big heart and making the community into a big family for the day. His toy drive and the community Christmas dinner he started in 1985 live on. This year will be the fifth year the Christmas day event has been held, now known as the Linn Thornton Memorial Christmas Dinner, since his death.

Story by Murray Bishoff

Now under the umbrella of the Community Foundation of the Ozarks, the dinner continues under the direction of Thornton’s son, Earnie, and a faithful army of volunteers, notably chief cook Greg Davis and support from Architectural Systems Inc. in Monett. It’s no small undertaking. More than 200 families receive Christmas toys each year, and more than 700 people receive a Christmas dinner. For those who can come to the First United Methodist Church in Monett, which has hosted the event since 2011, there’s more. As Thornton planned, the gathering is like a family, an old-fashioned Connection Magazine | 11

sit-around-the-fire kind of event for people who may not have any family to enjoy the holiday with, or for those who wouldn’t have a big dinner for Christmas on their own, or for those traveling through who would have nothing comparable to attend without this arms-wide-open event. The dinner has undergone quite a transformation from its humble beginning in 1985, serving around 14 people, with only Thornton and his late wife, Geraldine, cooking. The toy drive, by his own recollection, started around 1980. However, his son, Earnie Thornton, remembers it really started about a decade earlier. “It started when Henry Thomas got hurt,” Earnie said. “Dad and Henry grew up together and hunted and fished together. Henry cut hair for a living. I was 10 or 11 at the time, in the late ‘60s. Henry was helping a

A full American Legion hall in 2017

12 | November 2018

man build cabinets and he cut all his fingers off in a saw. Dr. Glass sewed them back on, but told him he’d never cut hair again. “We were sitting around the dinner table. Dad talked to me, and my brother and sister, and asked if it would be OK if he could use the money he saved for us kids for Christmas for Henry and his family. I thought it was alright. It didn’t matter to me if we gave up our Christmas. We didn’t

have much anyway. Henry was our friend too. Our family, and my mother’s family, got together for Christmas dinner, and we took our leftovers over to Henry and his family.” About six months later, Thomas began to cut hair again. In time he was able to use his fingers like nothing had happened. It was the next year, that Thornton began taking toys to children he knew were in need. It was his project, not one where he asked for help. Through the year he gathered items he could use for gifts, a practice he continued for decades, even repairing bicycles that became prized possessions. It was some years later that he acquired a Santa suit and began to make a fullfledged Christmas effort, gradually building his outreach, traveling more than 25 miles to make deliveries. Toy donations supported by the Jaycees’ Toys for Tots program, the Toy Run effort by motorcycle enthusiasts Gary and Sue Updike, annual drives at EFCO Corporation and other Monett industries, and even distributions for Crosslines enabled the Santa outreach to thrive.

“What I loved was Linn Thornton’s heart. He was not out to make a name for himself, except to celebrate Christmas. He had such a heart for people.” — Greg Davis, chief cook Thornton would take December as his vacation, typically getting up at 5 a.m. and playing Santa until 10 p.m., logging more than 2,000 miles making deliveries. He appeared each year at the Monett Area Workshop and the Barry-Lawrence Development Center. In the late 1990s, he appeared at an open party for families at Crazy Clarence’s, west of Pierce City. Then Thornton would shift gears to concentrate on the dinner for the last week before Christmas. As the effort grew, he supplemented the menu with game and fish that friends would harvest through the year and donate. Businesses like Walmart, Tyson Foods, and V.B. Hall Wholesale provided food and supply donations. Other cookers from home prepared around a dozen turkeys and brought them ready to serve. Thornton also took great pride decorating the American Legion Hall, where he held the dinner from 1985 to 2010. He would put up decorated trees, festive ornaments on each table and even acquired a life-sized singing and dancing animated Santa Claus that had small children fascinated. Donated items he gave away at the end of the day, leaving him to start over for the next year. Thornton also knew the kind of people he wanted to reach. He attended Bingo games and senior centers all around the region throughout the year, made friends everywhere, but more importantly, he invited people to come and eat. He could tell who fit his target audience: older folks, the less affluent,

and those who were alone. Many who came, or would come in future years, say they began coming with a personal invitation. “What I loved was Linn Thornton’s heart,” said Greg Davis. “He was not out to make a name for himself, except to celebrate Christmas. He had such a heart for people. It was not just the poor, but for everyone who would normally be at home. He wanted a place where people could come and celebrate Christmas as a family. “I remember one year a family was stranded at the motel. Their car had broken down. The motel owner told them about the dinner and took them there. They told him that was their best

Christmas ever.” Davis said he became involved when his son, Brandon, now 38, was in fourth grade and was becoming too focused on the gifts and not the giving of Christmas. “We thought he was getting too materialistic,” Davis recalled. “We decided to change Christmas up. We did homemade Christmas gifts that year, which was really a lot of fun. I knew about the dinner, but I’d never been there. I said, ‘Instead of celebrating at home, we’re going to the dinner and work there. After that, it stuck. We had such a good time. Brandon and Brian helped, and continued until they grew up and moved. It was really a good thing.”

Christmas dinner in 2003

Connection Magazine | 13

Linn Thornton at “Santa’s Workshop” in 2010 and (left) in 2011.

Since the effort had already been expended mounting the dinner, Thornton only wanted to share it. He was gleeful the year he received permission to provide dinners for inmates in the Barry County jail. His delivery teams dropped meals to others working on the holiday, like security guards at the industries. The rhythm of the event changed after 1998. A freak accident — a slip on black ice in a car wash on Christmas Eve — left Thornton with a broken femur, mended by an inserted 18-inch stainless steel rod and surgery on Christmas Day. Undaunted, but weakened, Thornton began reducing his driving to make deliveries, unable to sit in his truck for hours. He switched to having families come to visit him in “Santa’s Workshop” to pick up toys personally. His wife, Geraldine, passed away in 2000, making the whole undertaking

14 | November 2018

far more reliant on volunteers. “Mom didn’t do much on the toys,” Earnie Thornton recalled. “He didn’t want any help. On the first dinner, our family was the only one doing the cooking. Later on, Mom wasn’t

in good health. She wasn’t able to do much. Others volunteered. She’d stand back and give advice. She was kind of quiet.” Earnie recalled that he was unable to help at all the dinners. He worked

Linn Thornton greeting at the 2008 dinner

Davis said Thornton had an uncanny knack for watching the pace of cooking, the size of the crowd and knowing when to launch a restocking run for additional green beans, corn, stuffing, pastries and soda.

for 29 years at Wells Aluminum, and occasionally he was scheduled for holiday overtime work at triple time pay, something he could not afford to miss, he said. “When Dad broke his leg, I told him there’s nothing to worry about,” Earnie said. “That was a hard year on me. I couldn’t get my head around Dad being in the hospital. It was a good thing Greg [Davis] and the others were there to help.” Still the dinner continued to grow. The 2008 dinner, prepared for 1,000, served 765 in the Legion Home and had 217 deliveries. Counting the volunteers, Thornton was sure the total topped his target. One visitor, John Wright of Springfield, who was visiting

his mother in Monett that day, called the event “like being in a very good Christmas movie. It’s not Christmas without it.” It was under those conditions, busy throughout the day, that Thornton’s experience shined. Head cook Davis said Thornton had an uncanny knack for watching the pace of cooking, the size of the crowd and knowing when to launch a restocking run for additional green beans, corn, stuffing, pastries and soda. The shift to the Methodist Church addressed most of the growing pains by providing a much larger, more modern kitchen, more room in the hall for seating and lots of parking, unlike the parking on Broadway at the

Legion Hall. It wasn’t nearly as homey as the Legion hall, but logistically all the operations moved more easily. By that point Thornton’s own health was failing. “He was worried,” Earnie said. “He asked me if I’d keep it going. He called me after he’d had one of his surgeries and said he couldn’t let the kids see him like this. ‘They’d be scared of me,’ he said. ‘I’ll sit in the back where they won’t see me.’ He didn’t make it that far.” In his last years, Thornton was still working, then at Architectural Systems Inc. (ASI) in Monett. The Christmas undertaking took on even greater meaning to him; It became kind of a defining moment for him. He may have kept working just to stay connected with the community so that the dinner in particular would continue. He left an impression on those around him. “Linn Thornton believes every day is Christmas,” said Charlie Locher, one of the owners at ASI. Since Earnie is not known in the community as his father was, with a long track record and visibility for decades, the credibility of the Thornton Memorial Toy Drive and Christmas Dinner has shifted to better established roots. ASI coordinates accepting toy

Connection Magazine | 15

donations that Earnie distributes. Cash donations are managed by the Community Foundation of the Ozarks. Earnie uses those to purchase food and supplies, and to buy toys, especially after Black Friday to put the engine of Monett generosity into full motion. As if miraculously, when the Big Day comes, Greg Davis takes the helm at the kitchen, and an army of volunteers appears to cook and pack meals, serve and deliver, clean and make everyone feel welcome. It seems spontaneous—the lingering legacy of Linn Thornton coming alive. You don’t have to go far in that hall to find someone who knew Thornton, someone who remembers his smile and his spontaneous enthusiasm. Years later, the fire of his spirit rekindles, and it’s Christmas all over again. “I never met anyone like him,” said Davis. “It so affected my life. If there’s one thing I want to do is keep the dinner going; It’s the real deal–it’s about Christmas and community. There are so many volunteers. You never know who is going to show’s exciting. “I learned so much from him. I’d never done anything like that before. Because of him showing me how to cook, after that I started cooking at the Barry County Youth Camp. They asked me if I’d ever done anything like that before, and I said, ‘The Linn Thornton dinner.’ This is some of the funnest things I do each year. It breaks up the norm.” Last year more than 800 people enjoyed the dinner, with nearly as many receiving home deliveries as ate in the hall. Servers went through 15 hams 16 | November 2018

Linn Thornton at “Santa’s Workshop” in 2012

and 15 turkeys. Leftover chicken was donated to the Monett Community Kitchen and to Countryside Care Center. “It’s kind of exciting, when it starts getting into October and November,” Earnie said. “I can’t wait to get in and get it done, then sit back and rest. I think right away about what else we can do.” This year Earnie is building on last year, changing up the menu a bit. He found a family last year that made tamales, an interesting variation to the holiday selections that he plans to continue. This year one of his father’s specialties, relying on his friends to bring in wild game they harvested during the year, will further stretch the offerings.

“I’ve been talking to people,” Earnie said. “We’re going to have wild hog, a cooker of buffalo and three different kinds of fish – catfish, red snapper caught off Gulfport, Miss., and spoonbill.” Anyone who wants to help is welcome to contact ASI with toy donations at its four locations: on Highway 60 in Monett, 402 E. Broadway downtown Monett, 909 Industrial Drive in Aurora and 298 E. Cedar St. in Granby. Cash donations, helping both the toy effort and the Christmas Day dinner, may be made to the Linn Thornton Christmas Fund at Community National Bank in Monett. As Thornton himself would say, year after year, “It’s going to be great.” 

Healthy Connection

So many choices! Mindful and Grateful Eating During the Holiday Season: Part 1


ll too often we find ourselves eating until we are so full we feel sick on the holidays. We don’t take the time to appreciate all the hard work our family members put in to baking pies and making stuffing, before we stuff ourselves. We all have those foods we wait all year to eat, so why not take the time to savor every bite and be thankful for each delicious ingredient that goes into it. Whether you are watching your weight, controlling your blood sugar or just wanting to leave the holiday celebrations feeling good, mindful eating can help you enjoy all the flavors of the fall season.

What is mindful eating?

Why is it important?

Mindfulness is a way of being in the moment and aware. When applied to food, it includes noticing the colors, smells, flavors, and textures. As explained by Dr. Armand of Harvard, it involves taking the time to get rid of distractions like the television or cell phone and chewing each bite thoroughly. This can be challenging when adding in the stress surrounding the holidays, especially with coordinating family gatherings and preparing large meals. When our thoughts wander to things that we are worried about, it is important to bring ourselves back to the present. This can be achieved through mindfulness.

Mindfulness is a way to help everyone—not only those who are ‘dieting’—watching their weight or restricting their diet for other health reasons. Mindfulness can help you create a better relationship with food by enhancing the experience of each meal. Through moderation and thankfulness, you can achieve this. Mindful eating can help improve eating habits in those who struggle with stress eating, comfort eating or binge eating. Studies have found that mindful eating aids in weight loss and making better food choices. Mindfulness can also improve digestion, allowing our body to better absorb nutrients from our food. When we eat too quickly or when our body is distracted by other stimuli, it can slow the body’s response to food,

Olivia Everitt, a dietetic intern from Cox College, is from a small town in northeastern Pennsylvania. She grew up on a farm where her family raised beef cattle and grew a backyard garden. Her interests in the field of nutrition include sustainable food systems, preventive nutrition and nutrigenomics.

Connection Magazine | 17


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7. Let eating be a peaceful experience that allows you to relax and notice your body’s cues. Making the meal a time of reflection for everyone sitting around the table is important to building a good relationship with food and creates a more enjoyable experience. For more tips and tricks on how to eat more mindfully, stay tuned for next month’s article!

Parenting Column

November is National Literacy Month


ne of the best things about being a mom is sitting next to my children, reading with them, and having that moment of rest to soak it all in. The days can be long but as we all know; the years are short. Reading is one of the best, most encouraging, educational, and loving things you can do for your children. Being intentional about opening a book every day – even if just for a few pages is a great habit to pick up starting right now. Over the past 10 years of raising my three little kids, I have found these 7 tips to be the fuel behind our reading time as a family.


Grab books celebrating the month you’re in. November is a great time to gather all your books about Thanksgiving, volunteering, family time, and even turkeys! It’s fun for kids to go on a ‘hunt’ for books with a specific theme in mind. Don’t have any? No worries. This is a perfect reason to head to your local library. There is no better place to take your kids than the library. It’s like a never-ending free-for-all for a child’s imagination.


Let your kids pick out books they want to read. If your son likes Pokémon, let him get a Pokémon book. He will be more apt to read the book he’s interested in rather than one you

insist he read. If it’s something he needs to read for school, maybe you compromise? Tell him he can read 10 minutes in his Pokémon book and then 10 minutes in his school book. You may just end up learning a thing or two about what he likes while enjoying the fact that your son is becoming an avid reader.


Carve time out in your day to sit down as a family. This might not be realistic every day but aim for a few times a week to sit down together where you’re all reading your own books or you’re reading one book together. Depending on your kids’ ages, you can pick a book that is suitable for everyone and that holds the

attention of those young and old. A book like Madeline is great for kids of all ages. It’s not too long or too short and there are even a few French words in there that you can talk about together.


Have a Read-Off this month! There’s no better time to start a fun game of who can read the most during National Literacy Month. Make sure you keep it friendly and be mindful of your younger kids who might not be able to read as much or as fast as your older kids. Have each kid write down how many minutes they’ve read each night and tally up the totals at the end of the week. Whoever read the most

Connection Magazine | 19


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amount of time receives a prize (think Dollar Store item). To keep things motivating and in good spirits, have little prizes for runners-ups and be sure to praise each kid for a job well done. Make your Read-Off a monthly thing or an annual thing.


Head to a resale store and let your kids pick out an armful of books for $1 apiece. Your kids will think it’s the best day ever when you tell them there’s no limit to the number of books they can get. Resale stores usually have them for a dollar or less which makes it a great time to stock up! You can also save even more money if you bring books from home that you’re not reading anymore and sell them at the resale store while you’re there. It’s a win-win.


Pick a special spot at home or in your backyard. One of the great things about reading is that it can pretty much be done anywhere. Kids love to make a big deal out of the most ordinary things and reading is no different. If it’s nice outside, grab a blanket, a few stuffed animals, and a couple of great books. Make it a pseudo-picnic with little snacks and lots of reading together. Take turns reading aloud to shake things up a bit.


Books are the gateway to information and education so if you have something different about your family, find a book that talks about it. Our family is affected by ADHD so I like to find books about being different and quirky kids to help my children understand that not everyone is alike. It’s a great pathway into a hard topic and it creates a safe place for my kids to ask important questions. The same can be said if you’re fostering or adopting. November is National Adoption Awareness Month so reading books about this can help spread awareness and allow all of your kids to find their own special niche in the family.

Reading really is one of the best things you can do together. Use this month as a time to continue reading or reintroduce reading in your family. So many wonderful memories of funny words, mispronounced verbs, and voice inflections will have you craving more time together as a family.

Meagan Ruffing is a parenting journalist and avid reader with her three kids. You can check out more of her tips on all-things-kids at

Ayden’s Story Path to healing improved with CBD oil


fter spending just a few minutes in Chris and Ashley Markum’s house in Rogersville, it’s apparent that theirs is a happy home. Their children are evidence of it. Isaiah, Eliza, Asa and Ayden, and baby Letty, ranging in age from 13 years to just over one year, wanders into the room to be introduced. Five-year-old Ayden, the Markums’ fourth son and fifth child, does no wandering, though — he is unable to. When he is not lying on the couch, or being held by one of his parents, he sits in a special wheelchair designed to support his neck. He is alert to being greeted, but unable to maintain eye contact, nor visibly respond. Diagnosed at 18 months with both cerebral palsy and intractable epilepsy, his medical needs keep his parents on their toes. As the keeper at home, Ashley Markum maintains a grueling schedule. When Chris, a registered nurse, gets home during the night after finishing his shift, Ashley is usually awake, either changing a diaper, or

Story by Shelia Harris

Chris Markum with his son, Ayden, at home in Rogersville. Their family of seven is bonded by love and support of one another.

settling a child back to sleep. She’s then up early cooking breakfast, starting her four oldest kids on their home school lessons, preparing Ayden for his physical therapy appointment, and keeping Letty (who’s still being breastfed) occupied. Then it’s time to fix lunch, then dinner. Af-

ter Chris wakes up, he helps out before going to work in the evening. Evening is when Ashley’s outside volunteer work begins. Taking Ayden with her, she traverses Missouri, speaking at community gatherings, sharing the story of Ayden’s birth and medical history. Connection Magazine | 21

Ayden Markum receiving a dose of CBD oil from his mother, Ashley Markum

Ayden, in a very real sense, has become Missouri’s poster child – and Ashley its spokesperson – for showcasing the therapeutic benefits of a hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) oil. Ayden takes a narrow-spectrum, non-psychoactive version of the broader-spectrum, cannabis-derived “medical marijuana,” which will appear on the November ballot for Missouri voters. The CBD oil has proven, upto-date, to be the most effective treatment for the multiple seizures Ayden previously experienced on a daily basis. With a change in Missouri law, the Markums hope to try a broader-spectrum CBD oil for Ayden, one that has been used successfully in other states to treat the painful muscle spasticity of cerebral palsy. When the Markums got married, they knew they wanted a large family. After Chris finished his RN schooling, Ashley was in a position to be a stayat-home mom for the children they anticipated. Three sons and a daughter were born within a seven-year span, followed, sadly, by two miscarriages. After the previous losses, Ashley was a little anxious about the outcome when she became pregnant again, but with toddlers to keep up with, she wasn’t overly distracted... until she began bleeding 20 weeks into her pregnancy. An ultrasound revealed a hemorrhage caused by the placenta tearing away from the uterine wall. Bed rest was ordered, but six weeks later, due to continued complications, labor had to be induced.

22 | November 2018

Devout Christians, the Markums are members of Venture Church in Springfield. They became involved with the Springfield chapter of NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) a couple of years ago, after Ayden began successful treatment with CBD oil. When Ashley looks back at the past five years, with Ayden’s premature birth and medical challenges, she firmly believes that everything’s been for a reason.

“This time we were really scared” Ashley recalled. “If Ayden even survived, we knew that babies born at 26 weeks stand a high chance of having serious disabilities.” Ayden entered the scene a short time later, weighing 2 pounds, 10 ounces. He was placed directly into an incubator in the NICU at Cox South

in Springfield, where he remained for 98 days. Complications were many. “He had a Grade 4 intraventricular brain bleed, kinda the worst,” Ashley recalled, “and an open flap between his aorta and pulmonary artery that didn’t close as it does with full-term babies. Thankfully, medication helped.”

“A basis in faith helps me make sense of things. It doesn’t mean we won’t have problems, but it helps me see a bigger picture. Maybe our journey with Ayden isn’t just for us. Maybe it’s to help someone else. If someone down the road benefits from legalized medical marijuana in Missouri, then Ayden’s challenges have been for a greater good.” — Ashley Markum, Ayden’s mother

More problems followed. Ayden developed anemia, but a blood transfusion resulted in a bowel injury, which – coupled with a kidney infection – led to sepsis. A blocked renal artery led to the loss of a kidney, causing his blood pressure to spike; medication to lower his blood pressure brought it too low, depriving his brain of oxygenated blood; and two surgeries were required to repair inguinal hernias. In spite of the odds, more than three months later, Ayden was released to go home, a milestone that, in spite of their prayers, the Markums weren’t sure would ever be reached. Doctors warned them that due to anoxic brain injuries, Ayden would probably have severe disabilities. Nevertheless, the The Markum family share Ayden’s Make-A-Wish Disney Cruise to Nassau, Bahamas

Markums rejoiced in being reunited as a family again. “Ayden was small, but he was doing well,” Ashley related. “He came home with a heart monitor, but he was breastfeeding and thriving.” That changed after his first birthday, when Ayden didn’t achieve typical developmental milestones. A neurologist diagnosed cerebral palsy, caused by abnormal development of, or damage to, the part of an infant’s brain, which controls motor skills. CP is marked by muscle spasticity and poor coordination, and is common among children born very prematurely. Almost more frightening, Chris

observed Ayden having what he suspected were seizures, sometimes over 100 in a day. “They weren’t the dramatic type of seizures you think of with epilepsy,” Chris explained. “They were subtle; his body stiffened and his eyes became fixated. The spells didn’t last long, but they happened repeatedly.” A neurologist confirmed their fears. Ayden was experiencing infantile spasms marked by hypsarrythmia, a specific chaotic brainwave pattern, which, if left unchecked, can cause progressive brain damage. Treatment with a series of pharmaceutical anti-seizure medications began, so many that Ashley lost count

Letty Markum with big brother Ayden

Connection Magazine | 23

of them. None of the drugs brought Ayden’s seizures under control, but each caused side effects. Most devastating was the series of ACTH synthetic hormone injections. “ACTH was talked up as being the best anti-seizure med available, but it was also the most expensive, so it wasn’t tried until everything else proved ineffective,” Chris explained. Two weeks after beginning the shots, Ayden began to choke and vomit when he tried to eat. Tests revealed that his esophagus had been damaged as a result of the injections. A nasal-gastric feeding tube had to be inserted so that he could receive nourishment – later replaced by a tube directly into his stomach, – which he still uses. The seizures continued. The Markums were desperate at that point. The neurologist offered them three options: brain surgery, a ketogenic diet, or a regimen of cannabinoid (CBD) oil – a narrow-spectrum version of what some call “medical marijuana.” Brain surgery was not a consideration, nor was the ketogenic diet, which could potentially damage Ayden’s one remaining kidney. After researching CBD oil, Chris learned that it showed promising results for those with seizure disorders and caused no known side effects. They were ready to try it. Missouri law stated that the narrow-spectrum CBD oil could be used only with a neurologist’s recommendation for a diagnosis of intractable epilepsy, and only after a long list of pharmaceuticals had been tried – and found ineffective. Ayden met all of the qualifications. Ayden’s neurologist issued a card to the Markums, which they took to one of only two dispensaries in the state, both located in St. Louis, where they purchased a lab-tested “hemp extract” 24 | November 2018

Ayden Markum interacting with Eyegaze communication system

oil preparation, containing at least 5 percent CBD and not more than 0.3 percent THC, per Missouri law. Within two months after beginning a daily regimen of the CBD oil, the number of Ayden’s seizures had dramatically diminished. “He has a lot of good days now, some days with no seizures at all,” Ashley stated. “The relief is tremendous. Developmentally, Ayden will never be like other kids, but he is very aware of what’s going on around him. It means a lot to us to get his seizures under control. He’s visibly calmer and happier.” Although Ayden’s ability to communicate is limited, he smiles and laughs when he’s happy, and cries when he wants something. Ayden was allowed a home trial period with an interactive Eye gaze communication system, and the results were promising; however, Chris’ health insurance does not cover

the cost of the high-tech system, nor any of the special needs Ayden requires. While Chris is thankful that Ayden has found relief from his seizures, he is angered that what turned out to be the only effective treatment for Ayden – and the only one with no side effects – in Missouri, is still considered “the last resort.” “The laws need to change,” Chris stated emphatically. “No one should have to experience what we’ve been through. If even one person can benefit from medical marijuana, it needs to be available for them. We believe the best treatment for any condition should be the first choice, not the last resort. It is our hope that Missouri will become the 31st state to legalize medical marijuana, so that a broader-spectrum product will be available for more patients, for more conditions, and from more sources.” 

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Connection Magazine | 25

An enterprise to support

South American craftsmen, artisans

Local woman gives back to her former countrymen


These necklaces, worn by all women of the tribe when they reach the age of 13, are symbolic of the cultural belief that women bear the weight of the world on their shoulders. Each necklace tells the story of her life and her place within their society.

This intricately designed mola, which is typically used to decorate traditional blouses worn by indigenous women of Panama, was placed instead on a leather backing and made into a pillow.

26 | November 2018

aneth Lenz was born and raised in Colombia, South America, and knows well the divide between the very rich and the very poor. “My dream since childhood had been to live in America,” she said. “After my husband, Greg, and I married 11 years ago, I began traveling with him on business. When we would go to South America, I would seek out the native tribes and purchase items directly from them, rather than a tourist stop or at the airport. For many of these people, selling their crafts is the only income they have.” So she started a home-based enterprise to the artisans and craftsmen of South America. “For instance, the Embera Chami, natives that resided on the Pacific Coast of South America, make intricately beaded necklaces,” she said. “Their belief is that women bear the weight of the world on their shoulders. The girls start wearing these necklaces at the age of 13, which signifies they are eligible for marriage. The necklace tells the story of the person who is wearing it. Both the colors used, and the designs, indicate their status and life.” Most of the tribes people have been forcefully removed from their lands. “They were a self-sustaining tribe,” Lenz said. “The men worked the land, fished and farmed. The women took care of the households and children. Since they’ve been forced to flee their lands, the men don’t have skills to get jobs and the women have turned to making and selling their tribal necklaces to sell. It’s their only source of income.”

Story by Melonie Roberts

A small corner of Janeth Lenz’s rural Everton home has been dedicated to displays of jewelry, handcrafted clothing, sandals and intricately beaded necklaces she had collected from various indigenous tribes of South America. She hopes to establish a small tea room and retail shop in rural Everton within the next year.

Connection Magazine | 27

The tribal culture is changing. Fleeing tribesmen, now settled in government housing in cities, have no marketable job skills. While they are learning new occupations, their children are being sent to school and women spend their days making the complex necklaces from locally sourced thread, which is waxed, for added strength, to generate an income for their families. “They hope to be able to return to their lands one day,” Lenz said. “The government is trying to help return them to their self-sustaining cultures.” The Kunas Indians, indigenous people who live on small coral islands in the San Blas Archipelago along the Atlantic coast of Panama and Colombia, use a reverse appliqué process to make their traditional molas, the elaborate embroidered panels that make up the front and back of a Kuna woman’s traditional blouse. Molas are now collected as folk art. “I had one put leather backing and make into a pillow,” said Lenz. “I’ve had others cut and used on purses and on leather belts. They are beautiful works of art and the women who sell them—it is the only source of income. Molas can be found everywhere, even in airports. They make the works and distribute them.” Most “tourist molas” usually have only two layers of cloth with positive appliqué and embroidery. They are often in vivid colors, frequently portray birds, and take only a few days to sew. Some can be extremely intricate and can include several layers of fabric with reverse appliqué and are large enough to be tapestries or wall hangings. Her stock also includes felted shawls from Argentina. “Fieltro is popular in Chile, Holland and Norway,” she said. “The felt is wool from alpacas, goats, sheep and llamas that is either used in their nat-

28 | November 2018

Janeth Lenz, a rural Everton resident who wants to promote the artisans and craftsmen of her country, places a finely felted vest, which was handmade in Argentina, into the stock of merchandise she offers to sell to local customers.

Those interested in hosting an event may call Lenz at 417-316-0058.

ural colors or dyed to match the material it is being used on,” Lenz said. “Women take the wool and work it into the gauze or silk background to make different designs, so each one is unique. “These handmade shawls can be worn on an evening to keep the chill away,” she said. “When I shop for items, I think of what I like in clothing, accessories and jewelry. I get ponchos from Peru, fine jewelry from Pakistan, Colombian emeralds and coffee, tea from India, Peruvian silver and copper, and I’m going to start col-

lecting lapis lazuli from Chile. I focus on the items that are native to each country, and bring them back to sell.” Lenz hopes to establish a small retail shop and tea room within the next year, but for now, she hosts small groups of shoppers in her home. Her stock is limited—remains oneof-a-kind and changes frequently. “I like telling my customers where the materials are sourced,” she said. “I take that money to support the tribes. It is a beautiful country, and I enjoy discovering the tribal arts and cultures.” 


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30 | November 2018

Say ‘yes’

to the dress British native makes home, wedding memories in Shell Knob


or a Shell Knob woman who moved overseas from Great Britain, there is only one goal — getting a bride to say yes to her dress. Marie Sophia Bonner is the owner, designer and creator of Designs by Marie Sophia, and she makes one-of-a-kind, whimsical and handmade alternative wedding dresses. Bonner was born and raised in Great Britain, and moved to the U.S. in 2009 after vacationing with her ex-husband in Branson. She has a brother that lives in the area, and the summer after their trip, her then-husband asked if she would consider moving to America. “Without hesitating, I said yes,” Bonner said. “When we immigrated,

we took the Queen Mary on the fiveday trip across the Atlantic. I really wanted to come in past Long Island, and the Statue of Liberty. It isn’t really the way it is done anymore, but it meant so much to me to stand there on the boat and look toward our future.” Bonner said she knew her son would have a better life in the United States, and over time she hoped to get her grown daughters and their families here, as well. “That was really my motivation,” Bonner said. “My husband and I have since been divorced, but my son and I remained here. There was no question of it, because we had made our lives here.”

Bonner’s grown daughters are still living in England. According to Bonner, they were too old at the time to take part in the immigration process. Children of the family have to be less than 21 years old to qualify for immigration. However, all of them have been to the states twice since Bonner’s move, and have all decided they want to come and live here. “They can see the advantages,” Bonner said. “One of the obvious reasons would be the space. England is very small, crowded, claustrophobic and noisy. The advantages here are the space, peace and quiet and, oh, believe it or not the sunshine.” Bonner added there is no amount of money that can buy those things.

Story by Jordan Privett — Photos courtesy of Tawny Horton unless noted

Connection Magazine | 31

There is a lot of opportunity here in a way that there isn’t in England anymore. According to Bonner, that is simply because it’s so overpopulated in England, everything has been done, and every opportunity has been taken. “Plus, this is a huge country, and there is every kind of climate and every kind of culture here,” Bonner said. “It’s a great place to be.” Before any of the dress-making began Bonner had many jobs, from interior designer to web design to quilt making, and many other creative endeavors over the years. Bonner said for a while after moving here, she worked at the Lives Under Construction (LUC) Boys Ranch in Lampe. “They have a large thrift store in Shell Knob called the Trading Post ,” Bonner said. “I started to volunteer there back in 2011, and I got into it really quickly. I would design the displays, and the manager got to the point where if I said to her, ‘Hey, I’ve got an idea,’ she would say, ‘Yes! just do it.’”

How she started “I had never made an item of clothing in my life before I started this four years ago,” Bonner said. “I was in England for my daughter’s wedding, and I had a dream of a little girl wearing a beautiful rainbow colored dress that was all very fluffy and ragged. I couldn’t

32 | November 2018

get this picture out of my head. After a month or so, I started to alter some of my own dresses and skirts. I would split them, and add in material to make them bright and colorful, and that was where it all started.” A few months after her daughter’s wedding, Bonner said she was in Branson, and she was wearing one of the skirts she had altered. “I believe it was cream and white,” Bonner said. “A lady came over to me and said, ‘Oh! I love this skirt! Where did you get this?’” Bonner explained that she had made it, and the woman asked if Bonner would make her a similar skirt for her wedding.

“I started developing the idea in 2014 after that,” Bonner said. “I didn’t really have a big picture or a plan — it just started with that dress. “Slowly, over time, I have evolved into making wedding dresses, and now that is pretty much all I do.” Bonner said she has a four-bedroom house, and half of it is now dedicated to the business. She has transformed the largest room, which has its own bathroom, into a fitting room so women can try on the dresses, and the rest is for storage, materials and a workspace. “The business has changed dramatically in the last 18 months,” Bonner said. “Etsy has a new CEO who

changed a lot, including what constitutes being handmade. Also, the company has gone public.” According to Bonner, people in the “handmade” business on Etsy had the rug pulled out from under them with those changes. “About 18 months ago I was making a really good living,” Bonner said. “Now, I haven’t sold a dress in three months. It’s actually quite scary.” Bonner said she could kind of see the gradual decline in business on Etsy, and in November she created her own website, and said within this year she would like to be off of Etsy and working solely off her website.

“I’m four years into it now, and I can’t stop here,” Bonner said. “I have about 150 dresses for sale, and I can’t give up I have to keep going — I just absolutely love doing it.” Bonner said her process is usually the same when creating a new piece. “I always start my mannequin with like an under slip, corset or even a little dress,” Bonner said. “Then, I start pinning fabrics to it, and I play with it until I just go, ‘Wow! I love that!’ and that is really it.” Bonner said this process can take hours, and she still has pieces that keep getting additions. However, she is more confident in herself now, and knows what materials and colors go really well together, allowing her to put a dress together in a couple of hours. “I have to love it,” Bonner said. “I can’t be like, ‘Oh, that’s okay.’ I’ve got to really really love it.” Once it is pinned and created on the mannequin, she then tacks it. “I tack it on the mannequin so it all holds together. Bonner said.

“Then, I take it off the mannequin so I can properly hand-stitch it. I don’t use patterns or a sewing machine. It is literally all done by hand, and it’s all repurposed materials.” Inspiration, business and sales “Most of the pieces I don’t envision what it will look like when it’s done,” Bonner said. “I just start working the fabric and the layers.” Bonner said occasionally, a customer will say, “I love the top of this dress, but not the skirt, and I love this skirt, but not the top.” In those cases, if Bonner can tell the customer is serious about buying, she will take them apart and create a new piece out of the two dresses. “Often times, I can use the dresses I’ve already got, and either build on it or alter it rather than start from scratch,” Bonner said. “When a bride produces a picture of a dress and says, ‘I want these colors and this style,’ it’s rather difficult because my dresses are all repurposed. So, I don’t have huge amounts of fabrics, and I use what I’ve got and what I can get locally.”

Photo courtesy of Aralani Photography Connection Magazine | 33

Bonner said she can buy new fabrics to make the dress, and that does increase the price. However, the women are always happy with the dress. “I used to offer the option to buy back the dress,” Bonner said. “I will offer them one-third of the price of the dress, but it has never happened. They all want to keep their dresses.” Bonner charges an initial $100 for the dress, then she charges $50 an hour. Bonner can create the dress in about a couple of hours. However, she then starts the process of hand stitching it. The dresses are sold from $300 to $800, and she doesn’t have anything over $1,000. “I have been asked to turn a mother’s or grandmother’s dress into something new for a bride,” Bonner said. “It is really satisfying, and quite heartwarming, when people put that kind of emotional trust in you.” The statistics on her Etsy store shows her where the traffic comes from, and 13 percent comes through social media like Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram. Forty percent comes from direct traffic, meaning someone received one of her cards or searched her website. The rest of her traffic comes through Etsy and its search engine.

34 | November 2018

“I have made 320 [dresses] in the last four years, and sold about 140,” Bonner said. Bonner said not all of her sales are for weddings, and she makes dresses for renaissance fairs and other special events. “There are many other things I could do, but I have to be careful not to get overwhelmed,” Bonner said. “I want to focus on the dress, and make it really good, and if I started to expand out, I know that things would fall apart. I know what I’m good at and what I’m not.” Bonner said if she had stayed in England, she doesn’t think she would have ever started making dresses. She believes the inspiration of working at the LUC Boys Ranch and the Trading Post thrift store planted the seed in her mind of reusing items to create some-

thing new and beautiful. “I think that is why when I had the dream about the little girl,” Bonner said. “I know how to make this dress, and I can make it from other things. The mental process was really a natural evolution from experiences to creating.” Bonner said she loves to create a new piece, she adores the finished product and she enjoys speaking with the customers and hearing about what the dress will be used for. “My favorite part is going to thrift stores, and finding little bits and pieces,” Bonner said. “In fact, I have one dress where the decor on the front of it is from a pair of sandals that were broken. I can see something unrelated and know that somehow I can work it into a dress, and I love that part of it, too.” However, Bonner said there is always a moment with every dress where she just looks at it and thinks it isn’t working, and she questions what she is doing, who she is, and why she is doing this. “Every time, this happens,” Bonner said. “It just seems to be part of the creative process. Then, all of a sudden one little thing changes, and it all swings back around the other way I think, ‘Oh yes! this is going to be just fine.’”

Expansion, Customer Appreciation Bonner said as a business owner, she has to always look to be able to expand, but she also has to be sensible about getting bigger, because that doesn’t always mean bringing in more money. “I don’t want a store,” Bonner said. “I’ve been through that process. I’ve had a few stores over time and, generally, they are very expensive, and you have to make sales just to pay for the store. However, I do envision being able to hire someone to help me eventually. Also, I would like to be able to fly the dresses out for their photo shoots so I can meet the people there. “I always look at the photographs and think, ‘I should have been there to fix that one little bit.’ I see every bit of detail, and a woman wearing the dress is going to sell the dress much better than it just being on a mannequin.” According to Bonner, there are quite a few stories from her customers that are inspirational and have resonated or created an emotional tie with her. “One of the most recent, was a dress that I really wasn’t very keen on,” Bonner said. “When I was making it, I was just thinking that the dress wasn’t really coming together. It turned out that a few weeks later, the woman who does my photoshoots wanted that dress for a shoot. “Now, when the photos came back, they were beautiful, and it was just

Connection Magazine | 35

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mind-blowing. A few weeks after that, I sold it. However, the woman who bought it called me later on, and said she wouldn’t be able to use that dress for her wedding. She said she had put on weight, and wanted to know if I would buy it back. I told her that I would only pay her one-third of the price, and she may have better luck selling it herself. Bonner said a couple weeks later, another woman contacted her. “I have to tell you I found this dress on a Facebook market place, and I bought it, and I absolutely love it,” the woman told her. “I am going to get married in it.” Bonner said the call hit her emotions. “I was so happy—I mean it made me cry—that she felt the need to contact me, and tell me how much she loved the dress and how gorgeous it was,” she said. According to Bonner, one of the things she really gets out of the work is knowing that the women who are going to wear the dresses will be doing so while experiencing a really special thing. “I get to be there because of my emotional connection and investment in the dress,” Bonner said. “I actually get to be up front and center stage without being intrusive.” When Bonner sells a dress, she sends a letter that covers the return process should they need to. At the bottom, she always writes, “I wish you all the happiness in the world, and if you remember, I would love to see a photo of you in your dress on your special day.” “It’s so heartwarming when they remember to send one to me,” Bonner said. “I have a page on my website for the brides in their dresses on their day.” For more information on Bonner’s work, people may visit her website, https://www.designsbymariesophia. com, or email her at bonnermarie@ 

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Around Column by Sheila Harris

“The Floors Have It”



hether building a new house or remodeling one room, arriving at the point of choosing and installing the floor covering is exciting. It means the end of the project is in sight. With so many floor-covering options available, making the best choice for your family’s needs might be daunting. Top factors to consider are the durability of the product for the traffic area it will be used in, as well as the age-old question of deciding what best fits your budget. Unless you are handy, installation charges need to be included in your calculations. “From a price standpoint, carpet or sheet vinyl will cost the least up front,” says Jane Terry, owner of J & J Floor Covering in Monett. “At the high end are tile and hardwood flooring.”

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Connection Magazine | 39

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LVP comes in a wide array of patterns, textures and colors, many of them similar in appearance to wood grain. They can be laid without a sub-layer or adhesive, an attractive feature for do-it-yourselfers. Tile, with its huge variety of stunning patterns and sizes, gets top marks for beauty, style and durability. However, its installation is labor-intensive, and thus commands a much higher fee. In this writer’s opinion, for sheer aesthetic appeal, solid wood flooring is difficult to surpass. Rich oak, rustic pine, sultry walnut and the variegated shades of hickory call to mind the historic homes of our forefathers, where wood was used almost exclusively as a floor covering, due, in part, to a lack of other options. Durability-wise, pine is at the soft end of the spectrum, easily scratched and subject to the indentions of tricycle tires, so may not be the best choice for homes with small children. Hickory is reputedly the hardest of the woods mentioned above. The contrasting shades of its natural grain create a visually stunning effect when used as flooring. For making a statement, there’s nothing better. For more subtle elegance, it’s hard to go wrong with the classic beauty of red or white oak. Both offer superior durability, with differences in color

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40 | November 2018

From a durability perspective, outside of concrete, tile offers the most mileage, with hardwood a close second. Carpet is susceptible to showing wear in high traffic areas, so is sometimes best reserved for bedrooms and family rooms, where it also offers a cozier ambience. There’s something to be said for getting out of bed in the morning and sinking your toes into luxurious carpeting. According to Terry, carpet durability has vastly improved in the last few years as nano-technology has entered the picture. “Mohawk makes a line called ‘Smart Strand’ that’s both pet-proof and stainproof,” she stated. “It’s one of our best sellers.” According to Terry, in the medium price range for floor covering, another relatively new product is proving to be extremely popular. Called LVP, short for Luxury Vinyl Plank; it is sold in planks of layered PVC vinyl of varying thicknesses–the thicker the plank, the more cushion underfoot. LVP’s advantages are many. “Its most attractive feature is that it’s virtually water-proof,” Terry explained. “Unlike wood, or wood laminates, leaks or spills won’t affect LVP, so it’s ideal for use in bathrooms, kitchens and even basements. It’s also great for high-traffic areas.”

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and the manner in which they pick up stains. Red oaks have a pinkish tone, while white oak leans to a browner, or even yellowish hue. “White oak is our best seller right now,” stated Doug Ross of Heritage Oak in Sarcoxie. “It accepts a variety of stains – even designer colors– without the reddish tinges present in red oak. Red oak adds a much warmer feel to a room, though, so it basically just boils down to personal preference.” Ross does caution that when lacing in new oak flooring with older (as in a remodel or room addition), to make sure that the new wood purchased was grown in the same region of the United States as the old. It seems trees, too, have unique proclivities based on their upbringing. “Southwest Missouri oak usually has a redder tint,” Ross explained. “Oak grown in the southern states typically has more knot holes and worm holes, a characteristic that many people like.” To achieve a wood look on a limited budget, some people opt for wood laminates or engineered wood flooring. Both are made with a veneer of wood or a wood product, placed over plywood or other composite materials. However, neither product can be refinished as solid wood flooring can be. Solid wood flooring can now be purchased in pre-finished planks, a step and labor-saving option. Pre-finished

wood will initially cost more, but when calculating the installation and finishing charges for unfinished wood, a person will generally come out ahead using a pre-finished product. If a special stain or finish is desired, pre-finished wood may not be an option, though. Another interesting and potentially dramatic alternative for floors is stained and stamped concrete. Once used predominantly for patios, sidewalks and garage floors, designer concrete has made its way inside, where its waterproof durability cannot be questioned. Patterns and colors are limited only by the scope of the homeowner’s imagination, although installation prices will vary almost as widely. If you’re planning to sell your home, it’s wise to err on the side of caution, and view your choice of floor covering through the eyes of a prospective buyer. However, if you’re planning to live in your house indefinitely, and are having trouble settling on just one or two floor covering options, then don’t settle. Unleash your inner designer. Mix it up, and have fun with it!


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Connection Magazine | 41

Cutest Pet


1 1/2 year old Pitbull-German Shepherd mix. Owner is Christian VanLue of Monett

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:

connection@ 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.

42 | November 2018

Rescued, My Favorite Breed

Working for the animals



olunteers and staff who work at animal shelters go through a lot of emotional turmoil, because they see the best and the worst in both humans and animals. There are so many ups and downs, animals that are abused, sometimes injured and wind up at the adoption center, animals that owners can no longer care for because of a change in financial conditions

or health issues, and on the happy side, animals that are adopted to wonderful homes and grow into sweet and loving parts of the family. Today, I need to share a story from the current director of Faithful Friends Animal Advocates, who had just recently accepted the position of Director when this adoption occurred. The story is just too precious not to share – it is Nicole’s story (with her permission):

‘When my friend called me to tell me about the open position at Faithful Friends, I was nervous about applying. I have basically been self employed since I was 18, so the thought of having an actual job kind of scared me. After my husband and I talked about it over and over, I decided with me being such a dog lover and getting tired of always “chasing” money that it was probably the right decision. It’s been quite the transition the last few weeks. People crying their eyes out while surrendering their dogs, even though they knew it was the best decision. Hearing about neglected and dumped dogs and cats all day. It’s been an adjustment at home as well. Honestly, I have been nervous a couple of times about my ability to emotionally handle it all.

It’s a statue he had commissioned for his dog as a remembrance. He said the moment Lorelei jumped out of his truck she ran up to the statue and gave it kisses. He said he is not a superstitious man, but he knew that was the sign that she was the one and that his old dog was giving her blessing. So after some ugly crying, I decided that this was my sign too. My sign that I’m exactly where I want, and need, to be. I’m so grateful for the friend that recommended I apply and so grateful for the people at Faithful Friends for working so hard for the well being of the animals.’

‘Yesterday that all changed. A man I had been chatting with via email came into the center. He played with several of the puppies and shared story after story of the adventures he had with his last dog and how much he missed her. He included several pictures with each story. He wanted to find the right fit after having such a good dog previously so he was taking his time deciding. After some deliberation Lorelei was going home with him. Today I received this picture from him.

Christa stout

Connection Magazine | 43

I had the opportunity to talk with the adopter a few days ago to get his permission for publishing this wonderful story. We had a lengthy conversation, and he told me that he lives along Grand Lake with a view to kill that he and Lorelei thoroughly enjoy. He told me that she goes everywhere with him, and she is definitely following in the footsteps of his previous dog, even imitating some of her actions. Lorelei (who now has a new name) strolls into the local bank to greet customers and staff, she goes to meetings and quietly listens to all the discussions, then rides to construction sites where she gets to explore, although, she remains close to her owner most of the time. My wish for the Director at Faithful Friends is many more great adoption experiences like this – at least one or two a day would be wonderful, and for the adopter and Lorelei, the wish is for a long and happy life together, they most certainly have a wonderful connection already.

As always, here are some more adoptable animals at Faithful Friends:

ARIES is a sweet

cat with a huge crush on her foster dad (according to her foster mom). Her vision is impaired so she startles easily, but she is able to see objects and people. She loves to give kisses. To give her a sense of security, she would do best in a quiet home where her environment remains stable.

For more information on any of the Faithful Friends animals or to volunteer, go to, contact us on Facebook, or by calling the adoption center at 417.592.2512. We always need volunteers and we always have adoptable dogs and cats!


is a wonderful and friendly dog who has been adopted and returned twice, so we are looking for a family with an extra dose of patience. He is extremely loyal and protective, loves kids and most dogs. He has great manners and knows basic commands. He is a volunteer favorite. 44 | November 2018

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Connection Magazine | 45


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Fishing with my Father: Part 2

‘It’s all about the Bling’ I used to think ‘It’s all about the Bling” was in reference to rhinestone studded jeans, jackets and T-shirts, big flashy earrings and bangle bracelets, but after fishing with my father, I’ve learned — It’s all about the Lures. Fishing lure: a type of artificial fishing bait, which is designed to attract a fish’s attention. The lure uses movement, vibration, flash and color to bait fish. While sitting in the boat on a hot summer day with my dad this year, I contemplated this definition. I was occasionally catching a fish, when I noticed my dad was occasionally reeling in his

line and changing his lure. I thought lures are like jewelry. First of all, you can never have enough. Some are universal and go with everything; yet, some are for more specific uses or outfit so one of every color, size and style is needed — all ranging in price with no guarantee to provide a good catch. My dad has multiple bling boxes in his boat. Actually, they are small plastic boxes with dividers that stack nicely and are organized very neatly. Every lure has a special hook to

keep it and the fish from getting lost once hooked —just like your favorite bracelet or necklace. While fishing, he would have a few of his favorite ‘go to’ pieces laying out in the boat, but occasionally he’d have to resort to the box after conversing with my uncles about what is ‘attractive’ to the fish and what they were ‘biting on.’ Isn’t that why we wear jewelry to attract attention? As a kid I was never allowed to play with the lures, I always thought it was because of the hooks and a chance of getting hurt. I’ve witnessed

You can never have enough. Connection Magazine | 47

Tackle boxes and jewelry boxes hold a few notable similarities. a few times that my dad and uncles have gotten hurt doing just that. A hook in the eye brow from a nearby cast or hooking thumbs together from trying to untangle lures. I’ve never had such an injury from a tangled necklace, so I think I’ll stick with the jewelry. I did overhear my dad say when referring to the number of lures in his boxes, “a lot of those, I didn’t even know I had.” Once again, it’s just like jewelry. I might mention that quality, quantity and cost are also family secrets. That refers to both fishing lures and jewelry. When I inquired about why none of the lures look like actual fish, my cousin informed me that it was that they don’t have to look like the fish, just attract them. Oh, I get it! It’s kind of like Cubic Zirconia and Diamonds; they don’t have to be the real bling thing just be shiny. Which brings me to a little trivia… Did you know that the 1853 copper Gian Haskell Minnow is likely the most expensive production lure ever sold? When the bidding ended in 2003 at a whopping amount of $101,200, this lure became the highest priced fishing related collectible sold at an auction. It’s not the Hope diamond, but it puts ‘costume’ jewelry into perspective. More thoughts… I don’t know what the average lure would cost. With a tiny clasp, one hooks this lure on a thin piece of line connected to a long stick with a reel on it and then throws it into a large body of water filled with logs, trees, a few fish and other obstacles that could be snagged

48 | November 2018

along with ‘the one that

Pam wormington

got away.’ I have lost a sentimental piece of jewelry before, and it made me incredibly sad. Do you think that happens when you lose a lure? I know my dad and uncles will spend a lot of time avoiding the dreaded cut the line solution, which makes me think they are worth more than just a few bucks. The next time you go fishing, and are figuring out what to wear or how to dress or how to bait, there are two things I learned from my dad and my uncles:

1. Red sky at night, sailor’s delight, and red sky in the morning, sailors take warning. (Check this out in the Bible, it’s actually a true fish story found in Matthew 16:2-3.)

2. Winds blowing from the west, fish bite the best — winds blowing from the east, fish bite the least. (There is no reference of truth to this statement.) My father’s tackle boxes — just like my jewelry box, which is full of things that sparkle, dangle, a little tarnished with time and exposure, but in it there is the favorite ‘lure’ that always reminds me that I got the ‘Catch of the Day’ 22 years ago. This is the best fishing story ever, a little bit embellished, but mostly true.

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Connection Magazine | 49

Grandma’s Green Bean Casserole Ingredients

Holiday Dressing Ingredients 1 (7.5 ounce) package dry cornbread mix

Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes Ingredients

2 tablespoons butter

1 cup butter

5 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, cubed

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 onions, chopped

2 (3 ounce) packages cream cheese

1 teaspoon salt

1 green bell pepper, chopped

8 ounces sour cream

1 teaspoon white sugar

6 stalks celery, chopped

1/2 cup milk

1/4 cup onion, diced

1 pound pork sausage

2 teaspoons onion salt

1 cup sour cream

16 slices white bread

ground black pepper to taste

3 (14.5 ounce) cans French style green

2 teaspoons dried sage

beans, drained

1 teaspoon dried thyme

2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

1 teaspoon poultry seasoning

1/2 cup crumbled buttery round crackers

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon butter, melted

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Directions • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). • 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. • 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. • Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the top is golden and cheese is bubbly.

50 | November 2018

1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley 2 eggs 4 cups chicken stock

Directions • Prepare corn bread as directed on package. Cool, and crumble. • Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook onions, bell pepper, and celery in butter until tender, but not brown. In another pan, cook sausage over medium-high heat until evenly browned. • Place corn bread and bread slices in a food processor. Pulse until they turn into a crumbly mixture. Transfer mixture to a large bowl. Season with sage, thyme, poultry seasoning, salt, and pepper. Mix in chopped parsley, cooked vegetables, and sausage with drippings. Stir in eggs and chicken stock. This mixture should be a bit mushy. Transfer to a greased 9x13 inch pan. • Bake at 325 degrees F (165 degrees C) for 1 hour.

Directions • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). • Place potatoes in a large pot of lightly salted water. Bring to a boil, and cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain, and mash. • In a large bowl, mix mashed potatoes, cream cheese, sour cream, milk, onion salt, and pepper. Transfer to a large casserole dish. • Cover, and bake for 50 minutes in the preheated oven.

Thanksgiving Staples

for the

Season of Giving


Perfect Pumpkin Pie INGREDIENTS 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin

Perfect Turkey INGREDIENTS 1 (18 pound) whole turkey, neck and giblets removed

1 (14 ounce) can Sweetened Condensed Milk

2 cups kosher salt

2 large eggs

2 large onions, peeled and chopped

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

4 carrots, peeled and chopped

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

4 stalks celery, chopped

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

2 sprigs fresh thyme

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 bay leaf

1 (9 inch) unbaked pie crust

1 cup dry white wine

1/2 cup butter, melted



• Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Whisk pumpkin, sweetened condensed milk, eggs, spices and salt in medium bowl until smooth. Pour into crust. Bake 15 minutes. • Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F and continue baking 35 to 40 minutes or until knife inserted 1 inch from crust comes out clean. Cool. Garnish as desired. Store leftovers covered in refrigerator.

• Rub the turkey inside and out with the kosher salt. Place the bird in a large stock pot, and cover with cold water. Place in the refrigerator, and allow the turkey to soak in the salt and water mixture 12 hours, or overnight. • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Thoroughly rinse the turkey, and discard the brine mixture. • Brush the turkey with 1/2 the melted butter. Place breast side down on a roasting rack in a shallow roasting pan. Stuff the turkey cavity with 1 onion, 1/2 the carrots, 1/2 the celery, 1 sprig of thyme, and the bay leaf. Scatter the remaining vegetables and thyme around the bottom of the roasting pan, and cover with the white wine. • Roast uncovered 3 1/2 to 4 hours in the preheated oven, until the internal temperature of the thigh reaches 180 degrees F (85 degrees C). Carefully turn the turkey breast side up about 2/3 through the roasting time, and brush with the remaining butter. Allow the bird to stand about 30 minutes before carving.

Sweet Dinner Rolls Ingredients 1/2 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C) 1/2 cup warm milk 1 egg 1/3 cup butter, softened 1/3 cup white sugar 1 teaspoon salt 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast 1/4 cup butter, softened

Directions • Place water, milk, egg, 1/3 cup butter, sugar, salt, flour and yeast in the pan of the bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Select Dough/Knead and First Rise Cycle; press Start. • When cycle finishes, turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide dough in half. Roll each half into a 12 inch circle, spread 1/4 cup softened butter over entire round. Cut each circle into 8 wedges. Roll wedges starting at wide end; roll gently but tightly. Place point side down on ungreased cookie sheet. Cover with clean kitchen towel and put in a warm place, let rise 1 hour. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). • Bake in preheated oven for 10 to 15 minutes, until golden.

TiP: Aluminum foil can be used to keep food moist, cook it evenly, and make clean-up easier.

Connection Magazine | 51

Santa train ride All-aboard Santa train for a holiday experience

52 | November 2018

Santa train ride proceeds help local families who foster children


hildren and adults chug along the train tracks on the Santa train for a festive experience, and all proceeds go to help other children in the area. “We have been working with the Arkansas-Missouri Railroad for 15 years,” said Cleta Stanley, Seligman Chamber of Commerce secretary and activities coordinator. “We have other trips as well, aside from the Santa train.” The public can make reservations for the train ride, and pre-purchase tickets at the Monett video store. However, reservations aren’t required, walk-ins are welcome as long as there is space available. Two trips from Seligman to Rogers, Ark., on Dec. 15, 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. On the 9 a.m. ride people can exit the train station, and go shopping around downtown Rogers, then catch the train ride back with the 11 o’clock ride. Monett to Exeter train rides are on Dec. 16, with three trips, 12 p.m., 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Both trips are about an hour and half long, and span miles of track. Tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for children

James Lyman, 2, watched the various activities on the Santa Train that ran from Monett to Exeter last year from the arms of his mother Shannon Lyman. With cookies, hot chocolate and Christmas caroling, the young man had plenty to keep him occupied on the hour-long excursion.

12-and-under and ages 3-and-under are free. Aside from the train ride experience, and winter views, during the ride children and adults enjoy the company of Santa, who hands out goody bags to all children under 12, and asks who has been naughty and who has been nice. Also, children are given hot chocolate and cookies, and get to sing Christmas carols

with the Flyin’ Buzzards, who will be on the train both days. “The kids love it, and it keeps growing every year,” Stanley said. “The first year we did this we made up about 150 bags of candy. Last year, we made 400 bags and plan on making 500 this year. “The kids love Santa Clause, and we let Santa hand out the bags of treats. The children sing along with

Who: Seligman chamber, Arkansas-Missouri Railroad Where: Rides from Seligman to Rogers, Ark., and Monett to Exeter Why: Funds raised by event go to local For the Kids/Adoptive Parents Association of Barry, Lawrence and Stone counties Connection Magazine | 53

Conductor Terry Smith showed travelers his “whollopin’ hat,� which had a multitude of uses, from correctional device to oversized lunchbox. From left, Smith, Nathan Link, Christina Link and Kylee Link enjoyed the playful banter. Smith has been working the Santa Train for 12 years.

Piers Frieburger, 4, could not contain his enthusiasm last year as train officials and guests started singing Christmas carols on the Santa Train that took travelers from Monett to Exeter. Frieburger entertained family and strangers alike when he started dancing in the aisle of the gently swaying passenger car.

54 | November 2018

the Christmas carols, and they just really enjoy it.” Sponsorship proceeds are given directly to the For the Kids/Adoptive Parents Association, and the association helps families who foster children. For the Kids, is for Barry, Lawrence and Stone counties so the money stays local. “The train ride started out as a fundraiser for the Chamber of Commerce,” Stanley said. “Recently, Lynette Bailey with For the Kids contacted me, to see if we could help in some way to raise money for the Association. I thought, well we can use the Santa train ride for that. “We used to just ride from Seligman to Rogers, Ark., but when we started sponsoring the foster kids, we started doing a trip out of Monett, also.” Stanley said the Arkansas-Missouri Railroad Depot has been very very helpful, and they are the reason the

Chamber can do the train rides. “We just feel really good about helping the For the Kids/Adoptive Parents Association,” Stanley said. “It’s something that we will continue to do as long as we can. We think they are a good association—helping children.” Lynette Bailey, For the Kids treasurer, said the association has been working with the Santa train ride for four years. The For the Kids resource center is located on 30 E Locust Street in Aurora. People can drop of donations at the center, the association takes everything from infant to teenage items, clothes, shoes, books, diapers, toys, baby furniture, toiletries and anything else a child would need. “The organization started more than 20 years ago,” Bailey said. “However, up until a year ago we were a chapter of another organization. We got our own 501(c)3 last November, for a non-profit organization.”

Bailey said some foster children come into care with nothing, maybe just the clothes on their back. For the Kids steps in, and immediately takes care of their needs. “We do a lot of things throughout the year to help the children, also, not just when they first come in,” Bailey said. “We have an Easter egg hunt with prize baskets and a picnic lunch, back to school supplies, Christmas party with dinner, games, crafts, and a visit from Santa, Halloween costumes, birthday party supplies and an angel tree, where children provide us with wish lists which we get filled through donations.” According to Bailey, there are more than 700 foster children in Barry, Lawrence and Stone counties, and that number is unfortunately going up. “There are more and more relative placements, because we don’t have enough foster families in the area,”

Cloudy skies didn’t dampen the warm spirits of those riding the Arkansas and Missouri Santa Train from Monett to Exeter during 2007 train ride. Lines stretched from the soccer fields at Monett’s South Park the length of the train, waiting to board the holiday-themed passenger cars.

Connection Magazine | 55

Bailey said. “So a grandmother, who all of a sudden gets all four of her grandchildren, can come to us. She may not have enough silverware, towels, bedding and things like that, to make everyone comfortable.” According to Bailey, the Santa train ride is their biggest fundraiser. “We do foster care, foster children and relative placement,” Virginia Gaston, For the Kids president said. “Relative placement is when a grandparent, or family member takes in the children. We had a grandparent last week, who took in her five grandchildren, and she wasn’t ready for that, she had to get beds, clothes from head to toe and toys. We had a grandparent who moved here from California a couple of weeks ago, to take care of her grandchildren, she had to leave everything she had behind, and we were able to help her get beds and basic things for those children.” According to Gaston, a few new things for the program include, starting to collect prom dresses, transitional-living, for teenagers who are going from foster care out on their own and have no help, and they have started a food bank. “We don’t have much in it right now because it’s just getting off the ground,” Gaston said. According to Gaston, the reason she started For the Kids more than 20 years ago, was because she was doing foster care herself, and someone had called her and asked if she could use some clothes. Gaston said sure, and the next day she got a child in that size. “So I started gathering clothes in my mother’s garage, because she had space,” Gaston said. For the Kids was started in a garage, and it has moved several times over the years. “People let us use space,” Gaston

56 | November 2018

Upon disembarking from the hour-long excursion to Exeter and back last year, youngsters received treat bags filled with sweets from staffers of the Santa Train.

said. “At one time I had to move it into my two-car garage, that was cozy for awhile. “We were really, very blessed with the building we have now, because it’s an old grocery store so we have a lot of room. We are using the building by donation, and the organization pays the utilities for it. We are praying it will be donated to us, but it hasn’t happened yet.” Gaston said one of our little boys in the angle tree wish-list program said, ‘I want a green tricycle’ when she asked him why he wanted a green one, he said, ‘because girls ride red tricycles.’ “Through donations, we were able to get him that green tricycle, there are a lot of specific things the kids want that we try to get them,” Gaston said. “We have people who bend over backward, trying to get these kids what they want.” For the Kids receives donations from organizations like Books and Pajamas in New York. “[Books and Pajamas] will send us 50 books, and 50 pairs of pajamas, and they want us to send out a book with every pair of pajamas,” Gaston said. “We do get a lot of donations, but we

were having a hard time keeping up with the amount of diapers we needed. Now we belong to the Diaper Bank of the Ozarks, which has been a really big help for us this year.” According to Gaston, last month For the Kids gave out 5,000 pieces, and that was a record for them. The pieces given out included, school supplies, clothes, shoes and everything the children needed. For the Kids was only able to give out about 1,000 pieces in the last building they were in, which was a house. “Now that we have the space to put more things, we are able to give out more,” Gaston said. “Families are never charged for any clothing or other items, and these children become apart of your family very quickly.” For more information about For the Kids people may call Virginia Gaston, president, at 417-229-2415. For Santa train ride reservations visit amrailroad. com or call 800-687-8600 or 479-7254017. In Seligman, donations to For the Kids, like gently used clothes, books and other supplies can be dropped off every Saturday evening at the Chamber of Commerce building in Seligman. 

Kyilen Ford Heitschmidt 8 months old, Parents Josh and Shanan Heitschmidt of Miller

Cutest Kid

Email your child’s photo to 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.

Connection Magazine | 57




January 2018


March 2018

February 2018

April 2018

ARTISTS VIEW Crystal Bridges ROBOTIC VISION The meeting of the minds

Cross-country Charity Geared for adventure

Finding the new you in the new year


REALL LIFE Experience builds character

Distillers Trail Â’ÂœÂœÂ˜ÂžÂ›Â’Č‚ÂœČąÄ™Â—ÂŽÂœÂ?

snail mail personal ministry

HOME SCHOOLED One-on-one learning

Prom poise Â˜Â—ÂŽÄ´ČąÂœÂ‘Â˜Â Â›Â˜Â˜Â–

A CENTURY AGO 1917 scrapbook sheds light on the past

Venue options For every bride

Keltic Knot performs in Monett

Planner prep ŠœœÂ&#x;’••ŽȹÂ?ÂŽÂŠÂ–ČąÂœÂ‘Â’Â—ÂŽÂœ

Always & with love


A Good Fit Cassville sisters SUHDFKĂ€WQHVV




Connection Magazine | 1

May 2018

June 2018

art of hand

f w

GIFTS FOR MOM Flower shop options


Beebe’s Waterslide Make adventure

d’ ‘Big Re

Totes and more Accessorize local

a tiny hero Goodbye Bunnyman

building futures Families in Recovery

Local goods to give

Honoring Fathers Feature columns

L ovm


Adventure below Cave exploration

First on Front Concert Series

Happy Father’s Day


Connection Magazine | 1

Connection Magazine | 1



September 2018

October 2018

Connection Magazine | 1


family business

take a staycation

Country family fun Sept. 15, 2018

Daughter joins dental practice

Explore attractions in the Ozarks

Don’t miss out on another month! Have Connection delivered right to your doorstep for $40 a year. Call today!

It's Apple Buer

Meeting the King of Rock and Roll

Makin' Time


Verona Corn MAiZE


Women's Health

k Ozar Festival



417-847-2610 Cassville Oice


Mone Oice

Ragtime Remembered



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Please ďŹ ll out this form. Send the form along with your chosen form of payment to PO Box 486, Cassville, MO 65625.

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58 | November 2018

August 2018

l Legend

Gifts for Dad



ca A Mechani

Freedom ON THE Fourth

the 2018 nominations are in


July 2018



Cross family welcomes new life





at the




Get ready for









Lighter step

Familiar Faces



4 Frontier Days, a look into what life was like during pioneer times, was held on the Schreiner farm Sept. 22-23. 1. 2. 3. 4.




John and Pamela Bartlett Ernest and Janice ray, with grandsons, Isaiah and Elijah Miller Mildred and Maynard Sherbert Donald and Joni Dilts



“Murder in Wonderland” was the theme of this year’s murder mystery and dinner fundraiser to benefit St. Lawrence Catholic School in Monett. The event was held Saturday, Oct. 13.

5 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Andrea Erhard, Tonya Washick and Lisa Cameron Kala “Fred” Bailie, Ben Bailie and Cathy Lewis Tom and Neva Welters Lois and Greg Stellwagen Connie McMillan, Mark McMillan and Karen Waltrip

Connection Magazine | 59









The third annual Fall Craft Show, hosted by the Gathering Place, was held in Purdy on Sept. 8. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Pam Miller, Tyler Henderson Rhonda and Kinsley Mattingly Austin, Abigale and Nichole Hadley Judy Rickman, Devin Blevins Robin Reagan, Kim Nesbitt, Teresa Davis, Brenda Moore

60 | November 2018

6. Haylea Hughlett, Tatum Burt, Elizabeth Hoffman, Lauren Lee 7. Jerry Madsen, Jessica Smith 8. Sandra Daniels, Misty Jolliffe 9. Crystal, Madon and Mallory Lehr 10. Rick and Mary Ann Stewart

9 10










The Monett Senior Citizens Center held its monthly dance on Sept. 10 at the Monett City Park Casino.


10 1. Bob Hollis, Sandy Martin 2. Bob and Carol Sammann 3. Lonnie and Dianna Gray, Geneva Dalton 4. Rita and Bill Seufert 5. Ken and Stephie Kerr, Shirley Denny, Kitty English 6. Frankie and Sam Dalton 7. Eleanor Hansen, Douglas Israel 8. Penny Taylor, Nancy Cook 9. Cecil Cunningham, Charlie and Ed Kolset 10. Ellen Butler, Dwight Samuel 11. Neal and Cleta Stanley

Connection Magazine | 61

ADVERTISER INDEX Acambaro Mexican.................................... 45 Advanced Plumbing................................... 40 Aire Serv..........................................................9 Allstate Insurance...................................... 39 Barry Electric Coop.................................... 20 BJ McAuley.....................................................9 Bruner Pharmacy........................................ 25 Bull’s Eye Power Washing........................ 41 Carey’s Cassville Florist............................ 36 Carson Construction................................. 40 Coast to Coast............................................ 40 Coldwell Bank............................................. 40 Community National Bank..........................4 Cox Medical Centers................................. 68 Crane Family Dentistry............................. 38 Creative Custom Homes.......................... 39 David & Son................................................ 41 Diet Center.................................................. 38 Doug’s Pro Lube......................................... 45 Edward Jones.................................................3 First State Bank of Purdy......................... 67 First United Methodist............................. 25 Fohn Funeral Home......................................6 Four Seasons Real Estate......................... 37 Freedom Bank of Southern Missouri..... 29 Friendly Tire................................................. 18 Guanajuato Mexican....................................2 Hills Feed & More.........................................4 Honey Bluff Shenanigans......................... 37 J&J Floor Covering.................................... 10 J&J Floor Covering.................................... 41 Jim Nesbitt Motors.................................... 67 K&K Insurance............................................ 41 Ken’s Collision Center..................................4 Kiddie City................................................... 46 Lackey Body Works......................................6 Les Jacobs.................................................... 25 Monett Rental & Sales.............................. 41 Monett Veterinary...................................... 45 Ozark Methodist Manor........................... 18 Peppers and Co.......................................... 46 Precision Land Services............................ 40 Purdy Health Clinic.................................... 10 Quick Draw Gun......................................... 49 Race Brothers............................................. 37 Red Barn Café............................................. 29 Remax Properties....................................... 41 Riehn, J. Micheal; attorney....................... 29 S. Perez Roofing & Remodeling.............. 38 Scott Regional................................................9 Second Chances......................................... 49 Security Bank of Southwest Missouri......6 Shelter Insurance............................. 10 & 25 TH Rogers Lumber Co..................................2 The Jane Store............................................ 18 Tomblin’s Jewelry....................................... 36 Trogdon Marshall....................................... 18 White’s Insurance...................................... 46 Whitley Pharmacy...................................... 49

62 | November 2018

The Shell Knob Chamber of Commerce hosted Shakin’ in the Shell at Chamber Park in Shell Knob on Sept. 14-15.



5 1

6 3


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

Casen Bolton, Hattie Bolton, Guss Bolton Dianne Mason, Betty Ragland Dian Avriett, Darlene Cullen Kyle Boggs, Courtney Sturn Chole Gibbons, Judy Reynolds Sandy Dill, Shari Gale Joyce Holt, Cappy Harris

Community Calendar

November 2018 Nov. 1 Paint Class at the Cassville Senior Center at 9:00 a.m. Benefit counseling by appointment at the Cassville Senior Center. Call 847-4510. Nov. 3 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. 4 Ozark Festival Orchestra: American music concert, salute to Leonard Bernstein etc., 3 p.m., Monett High School Performing Arts Center. $10 for adults, $5 for seniors and students Nov. 5 The monthly dance at the Monett Casino will be held from 7 to 10 p.m. Evelyn Lock and The Outriders will be playing. People are asked to bring a snack to share. There is a $5 admission fee. Nov. 7 Blood pressure check at Cassville Senior Center at 10:30 a.m.

(Nov. 10, continued) Shopping for a Cause will be held at the Eagles Lodge in Shell Knob beginning at 9 a.m. This is sponsored by the Eagles Ladies Auxiliary and all proceeds will benefit His House Foundation and Alliance of Churches. Shop, eat lunch and give back to the community. Located on Hwy. 39, Shell Knob. For more info, call Barbara, 417-423-9079. Garage Sale at the Central Crossing Senior Center, 20801 YY 15, Shell Knob, will be held Saturday, Nov. 10 8:00 a.m.- 2:00 p.m. Buy a table space for $10 and sell your own items. Call 417-858-6952 for information, or to reserve a space. Inside and Outside (weather permitting) 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. 14 Grace Foot Care by appointment at Cassville Senior Center. Call 8474510.

Nov. 8 Monett Chamber of Commerce Festival of Flavors, 5:30 p.m., Monett Intermediate/Middle School FEMA building, Ninth and Cleveland Ave., Monett. Tickets $10 in advance, $12 at door.

Nov. 15 Paint Class at the Cassville Senior Center at 9:00 a.m.

Nov. 9 Veteran’s Day Lunch will be served at the Cassville Senior Center, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Nov.17 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. 10 The annual Christmas Open House will be held by the merchants in Cassville.

Nov. 16 A special Thanksgiving Lunch will be served at the Cassville Senior Center beginning at 11 a.m.

Nov. 20 Grace Health Services (feet) at the Central Crossing Senior Center in Shell Knob. Call for an appointment 417-858-6952. Nov. 21 Monett Festival of Lights opens in Monett’s South Park, approx. 5:30 p.m., open nightly through December. Nov. 22 The Pierce City Senior Center Dance will hold its regular monthly dance. Nov. 24 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. 26 Free Breakfast at the Cassville Senior Center, 8-9:30 a.m. Nell’s Nails begins at 9 a.m. Call 417-858-6952 for an appointment. Walk-ins are welcome at the Central Crossing Senior Center in Shell Knob. Nov. 28 Tomorrow’s Leaders Today, Industry Day will be conducted beginning at 8 a.m. and continuing until 3 p.m. This event is sponsored by the Cassville Chamber of Commerce. Nell’s Nails begins at 9 a.m. Call 8474510 for an appointment. Walk-ins are welcome at the Cassville Senior Center. Nov. 30 The monthly Birthday Lunch will be served at the Cassville Senior Center 11a.m to 12:30 p.m.

Connection Magazine | 63

Support groups


Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)

Celebrate Recovery

Aurora: Alcoholics Anonymous of Aurora

Cassville: Celebrate Recovery meets at the

meets at 8 p.m. at Aurora Community of Christ Church at 120 E. Elm every Tuesday and Thursday. Call 417-229-1237

Cassville: Alcoholics Anonymous of Cassville meets at 8 p.m. at 1308 Harold Street in Cassville every Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. Call 417-847-3685.

Eagle Rock: Alcoholics Anonymous of Eagle

Rock meets at 7 p.m. at 86 & P (Mitchel Plaza) every Monday and Wednesday. Call 417-271-0434.

Marionville: Alcoholics Anonymous of

Marionville meets at 8 p.m. on Highway 60 next to Dairy Queen every Sunday. Call 417-463-7640.

Monett: Alcoholics Anonymous of Monett

meets at 7 p.m. at St. Lawrence Catholic Church, 405 Seventh Street, every Sunday and Wednesday. Call 417-489-5058.

Mt. Vernon: Alcoholics Anonymous of Mt. Vernon meets at 8 p.m. at the Christian Church on 703 Hickory every Monday. Call 417-489-2413 or 417-440-1567.

Washburn: Narcotics Anonymous and

Alcoholics 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.

Al-Anon Cassville: Al-Anon Family Group meets at

8 p.m. at the United Methodist Church in Cassville every Thursday of each month. This is for family or friends of alcoholics.

Caregiver Support Group Monett: 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.

Shell Knob: The Alzheimer’s/Dementia Care-

givers Support Group meets at the Central Crossing Senior Center, 20801 YY-15, the third Thursday of every month at 2 p.m.

The Caring People (Single Mothers)

Cassville: The Caring People, a Single

Mom’s Support Group, meets the second Monday of each month from 5:30-7 p.m. at the First Baptist Church Fellowship Hall in Cassville. This is jointly sponsored by The Caring People organization and First Baptist Church, Cassville. A meal and children’s activities are provided. The meeting is open to anyone. For more information, call 417-847-2965.

64 | November 2018

Family Life Center in Cassville every Tuesday at 6 p.m. Meeting at the same time is Celebration Station for children. This is for anyone with hurts, habit or hang-ups.

Golden: 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.

Monett: Celebrate Recovery meets at New Site Baptist Church, 1925 Farm Rd 1060 in Monett, on Thursdays. Doors open at 6 p.m. Childcare provided. The Landing, a Celebrate Recovery group for teens, meets at the same time and site.

Purdy: Celebrate Recovery meets at First Baptist Church, 301 Washington St. in Purdy at 10 a.m. on Mondays.

Seligman: Celebrate Recovery meets at

MOZark Fellowship, 28277 Frisco Street, every Wednesday. Food is served at 6 p.m., and the meeting begins at 7 p.m.

Diabetes Support Group Aurora: The Aurora Diabetes Support Group meets the third Wednesday of each month at Mercy Hospital in Aurora in the private dining room at 4-5 p.m. It is free and open to the public. Note: There is no meeting in December.

Grief Care Support Marionville: 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.

Monett: The Grief Support Group meets the

first and third Tuesday 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.

Narcotics Anonymous (NA) Monett: Vision of Hope Narcotics Anony-

mous group meets at 8 p.m. every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday in the upstairs of Monett Community Church, 2101 E. Cleveland.

Monett: 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 Seventh and Cale streets in Monett, 417-442-3706.

Washburn: Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics 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.

BINGO Held every Tuesday night beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the American Legion Unit 137 in Mt. Vernon. A smoke-free room is available. Oak Pointe Bridge Club Oak Pointe Bridge Club meets every Monday and Wednesday at 10 a.m. Lunch can be purchased for $3. Call 417-235-3500. MONETT SENIOR CENTER Balance classes every Tuesday and Thursday during October from 9-11 a.m. Bingo every day at noon; Exercise every Monday at 9:45 a.m. Pitch every Tuesday and Thursday at 12:30; and Pinochle every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 12:30 p.m. CASSVILLE SENIOR CENTER Dominoes every Tuesday and Friday at noon. Exercise class every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10-11 a.m. Call 417-847-4510 for more information. CENTRAL CROSSING SENIOR CENTER, SHELL KNOB, MO. Regular events: Wii Bowling every Wednesday, 12:45 to 3 p.m. New bowlers welcome. 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. Qigong Exercise every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 10 a.m. Arthritis Exercise class is held every Wednesday at 12:30 p.m. Mah Jongg every Monday and Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Line Dancing every Tuesday and Thursday from 9 to 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.

Connection on the Go

At the National Quartet Convention in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., Making Memories Tours brought Connection on the trip. Travelers went to the Ark Experience in Kentucky, then to the highlight of Southern Gospel music, the infamous National Quarter Convention. Pictured are Ernie Haase and Signature Sound and from Barry County: Ted and Fran Bolton of Cassville, Alice Varner of Washburn, Evelyn and Lawrence Schad of Monett and Angie Varner of Washburn.

Making Memories Northern California Tour stopped at the “Drive thru Redwood Tree� located in Avenue of the Giants, Myers Flat, Cailf. Pictured (left to right) from Barry County are Rose and John Newman from Exeter; Gaye Wheeler and Gale Roberts from Butterfield; Fran and Ted Bolton form Cassville.

Hannibal, Mo., was the focus of a one-day Making Memories Tour trip on The Great River Road. The group took the bus tour and walked through famous homes from the Tom Sawyer Books. The evening cruise on the Mark Twain included dinner, dancing and moonlight on the river. Pictured are: Evelyn Proctor, Sarcoxie; Lou Ann Priest, Cassville; Joe and Rose Newman, Exeter; and Cathy Lewis, Pierce City.

Connection Magazine | 65

Parting Shot

“Butterflies are self propelled flowers.� - Robert A. Heinlein

Photo by Mica Plumber 66 | November 2018


Silk Floral & Gift Shop!

We're trading places with Jim Nesbitt Motors! Flea market booth space available for rent.


Personalized novelty T-shirts & gift items • Keepsakes • Boutique • Distressed flannels Custom craft items • Candles Tuesday-Friday: 9:00-5:00 Saturday: 9:00-12:00 405 D State Highway C, Purdy, MO 65734

On The

Spot Financing

Jim & Kim Nesbitt

Office: (417) 442-0150 Kim Nesbitt: (417) 846-7211 Email: Website:

*Subject to financing approval

Connection Magazine | 67

Connection November 2018  
Connection November 2018