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Thanksgiving Memories




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Connection Magazine | 3


Finding thanks in the day to day

Wow, it is time for the holidays again! I am sure I’m not the only one that has noticed that as we get older, the year rolls around faster. I am not quite sure how that works, but I swear I just put the Christmas tree back in storage a few weeks ago! November is the month for focusing on what we are supposed to be thankful for—thankful for our families, our jobs, our health, our homes, freedom of worship, and little things like, the ability to read a book, sing a song, take a little drive to see the changing of the leaves. Isn’t it kind of strange that we have to signify a month for that? Very few of us sit at the dinner table at night and converse as a family and hold hands before eating and express our thankfulness. To me this should be an everyday event. Those who are blessed enough to have a complete family that can gather every evening should definitely count their blessings and gather together and be thankful, just for being able to do that—gather. Talk about your day, what was good, and if there were some parts of that day that there were problems perhaps the family can help work those problems out. It is a complete scene. Not necessarily a “Leave it to Beaver” scene—just a family scene. We have gotten away from that because of the busy lifestyles we live, and we need to slow down and take the time to appreciate what we have.

I believe that the reason we are extra thankful in November is because this is the month that we have the opportunity to make the extra effort for the entire family to get together, parents, grandparents, children, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. We get to be thankful for those that get to attend. We enjoy the huge feast, the wonderful desserts, all that fill our stomachs until we are miserably full. We get to visit with those that we have not had the chance to see in ages, and it is a day of wonderment to look at the children and how they have grown. It is usually noisy but it’s a joyful noise—one that does not irritate but sinks down into your memory boxes for many years to come. I usually reflect at this time at the memories at years gone by when I was the child and I could go to grandma’s and just eat and play. Those were such good times! I hope and pray that everyone finds the time to be thankful every day, and the Connection staff wishes everyone a Happy Thanksgiving and a day full of blessed and wonderful memories to store in that memory for next year.

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

4 | November 2019


GENERAL MANAGER Lisa Craft EDITOR Kyle Troutman ADVERTISING REPRESENTATIVES James Craig Marion Chrysler CONTRIBUTORS Murray Bishoff Meagan Ruffing Lisa Ramirez Darlene Wierman Melonie Roberts Susan Funkhouser Pam Wormington Jared Lankford Jordan Privett Dionne Zebert Jane Severson Verna Fry Christa Stout Cheryl Williams Sierra Gunter Jennifer Conner Annie Lisenby Smith PHOTOGRAPHERS Chuck Nickle Jamie Brownlee Amy Sampson

aurora____________________________ Jeramie Grosenbacher, CFP®

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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Connection Magazine | 5

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Columnist recounts the advertures of great heights at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta


The favorite performance group will premiere its 40th season on Dec. 15 at the Monett High School Performing Arts Center


School leaders speak on the constructive culture of kindness in education

39 | ‘DON’T GIVE UP’

Army Lt. Col. Maella Blalock of Monett encourages women to be brave and work for what they want in life

12 | HAPPY THANKSGIVING Southwest Missouri third graders weigh in on what matters about one of their favorite holidays

Lyndsie Vanderhoef shares her Thanksgiving. See page 12 for more insight into what children are looking forward to.

N O V E M B E R 2019 Connection Magazine | 7



High in the Sky


Thanksgiving Memories

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Always Be Kind



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Connection Magazine | 1

ON THE COVER: The 40th season of Ozark Festival Orchestra begins Dec. 15 at the Monett HIgh School Performing Arts Center.

CONTENTS 9 Recipes

21 Cutest Kid

23 Healthy Connections: Feeding your thyroid 31 Parenting Column: Thanksgiving 2.0 44 Cutest Pet

45 Rescued, My Favorite Breed 47 Guest Column: Terms of endearment

Our Family Working For Your Family! Buying? Selling? Call Us! 208 E Broadway Monett, MO 65708 Office: (417) 635-1190 Fax: (417) 635-1192 8 | November 2019

49 Community Calendar

50 Connection on the Go 52 Familiar Faces 58 Parting Shot

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


Double-Layer Pumpkin Cheesecake INGREDIENTS

Perfect Turkey INGREDIENTS 1 (18 pound) whole turkey, neck and giblets removed 2 cups kosher salt 1/2 cup butter, melted 2 large onions, peeled and chopped

4 carrots, peeled and chopped 4 stalks celery, chopped 2 sprigs fresh thyme 1 bay leaf 1 cup dry white wine

DIRECTIONS 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.

2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened 1/2 cup white sugar 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 2 eggs 1 (9 inch) prepared graham cracker crust 1/2 cup pumpkin puree 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 pinch ground cloves 1 pinch ground nutmeg 1/2 cup frozen whipped topping, thawed

DIRECTIONS Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Blend in eggs one at a time. Remove 1 cup of batter and spread into bottom of crust; set aside. Add pumpkin, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg to the remaining batter and stir gently until well blended. Carefully spread over the batter in the crust. Bake in preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until center is almost set. Allow to cool, then refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight. Cover with whipped topping before serving.

Connection Magazine | 9


Cranberry Dip

Sweet Dinner Rolls



1 (12 ounce) package fresh cranberries 1 cup white sugar 1 cup apricot jam 1 cup chopped pecans 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese

DIRECTIONS Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Combine cranberries with sugar in a 2 quart baking dish with a lid, stirring well to coat all the berries. Bake in the preheated oven, covered, for about 30 minutes, until the cranberries pop and release their liquid. Remove from oven and stir in the apricot jam and pecans. Refrigerate overnight to blend the flavors. To serve, allow the cream cheese to come to room temperature, and pour dip over the block of cream cheese on a serving dish. Serve with buttery round crackers or small pretzels.

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

INGREDIENTS 1 pound bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces 1/2 cup butter 1 cup finely chopped onion 1 cup chopped celery 2 tablespoons poultry seasoning (such as Bell’sŽ) 2 loaves day-old white bread, torn into small pieces 2 eggs, beaten



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.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).

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.

10 | November 2019

Thanksgiving Bacon Stuffing

Place bacon in a large skillet and cook over medium-high heat until cooked through but still slightly soft, 5 to 10 minutes. Drain the bacon slices on paper towels, retaining bacon drippings in the skillet. Melt butter in a separate skillet over medium-high heat; saute onion and celery until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir bacon and poultry seasoning into onion mixture. Mix onion-bacon mixture and bread pieces together in a large bowl; fold in eggs. Spoon bread mixture into muffin cups. Bake in the preheated oven until tops are crispy, about 25 minutes.

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Connection Magazine | 11

Thanksgiving through the eyes of third-graders

‘What does Thanksgiving mean to you?’


hanksgiving is a holiday in which families gather around a bountiful table with turkey and all the trimmings, and a warm pumpkin pie—reconnecting with family and friends. Although most of the food is the same on nearly every plate in the country, there are different traditions in every home. Some may go around the table saying what they are most thankful for, some families travel while others invite family and friends into their homes. As an adult, one might find themselves in the kitchen cooking, cleaning or otherwise entertaining guests, but

12 | November 2019

Story by Jordan Privett

as a child, Thanksgiving is a fun and wonderful time when they are out of school, eating yummy food, and spending time with family they may not otherwise see regularly. The Cassville third-grade class of Joni Glidewell has shared with us some of their past Thanksgiving memories: who they have visited with over the holiday, if they traveled, what they ate, why we celebrate Thanksgiving, and some of them even drew their interpretation of a Thanksgiving scene. The students are ages 8 through 9, and shared their answers to our questions in their own words.

Anna Alden Age: 8

What is your favorite thing about Thanksgiving? That we eat a lot of good food. What does Thanksgiving mean to you? Fun and lovely and spin time with my family.

Tyler Annecharico

Vincent Buttrum Age: 9

Why do we celebrate Thanksgiving? We celebrate Thanksgiving because everyboty likes to do stuff you like from Thanksgiving. What is your favorite Thanksgiving memory? We do fun stuff to do at my nana’s house wth my family and me. We kook trckey to eat.

Age: 8

Nevaeh Curran

Who do you see during Thanksgiving? My cousins and this Thanksgiving I’m going to see my baby cousin and family.

Why do we celebrate Thanksgiving? We selebrate Thanksgiving becaus God has gave us amazing food that dount need to be wasted.

What does Thanksgiving mean to you? I can’t count that much, it’s a lot.

Age: 9

What is your favorite Thanksgiving memory? My favorite thanksgiving memory is the time when my grandpa got a pie smashd in his face.

Sophia Longley Waylon Austin Age: 8

What is your favorite Thanksgiving memory? My family all at the dinner eating

Age: 8

What does Thanksgiving mean to you? being thankful that what we have. what God gived us.

Why do we celebrate Thanksgiving? sellabrading pelgrums

What is your favorite Thanksgiving memory? Befor my consent move my favorite memory is when we all got together as a family.

Seann Lee

Hayden Toon

What does Thanksgiving mean to you? Thanksgiving means love to me. And I care about love.

Do you travel for Thanksgiving? Yes I do I go to visit my grandmother Pat.

Age: 8

What is your favorite Thanksgiving memory? When me and my family were etaing chickin.

Age: 9 years and 10 months old

What food does your family eat during Thanksgiving? Stuffing, turkey, cramp berrys, and that is all I eat on Thanksgiving.

Connection Magazine | 13

Kingston Nichols Dude Zajac Age: 9

Why do we celebrate Thanksgiving? To enjoy what God has created. What is your favorite thing about Thanksgiving? puling the turkey leg seeing friends and playing limbo.

Age: 8

What does Thanksgiving mean to you? It means a lot becuse I get to have so much fun and I get to see my family. Who do you see during Thanksgiving? I see my cosensen’s and my grampa my mom and my ant’s and my nana and my brother and my siter

Madison Humphrey Age: 9

What is your favorite Thanksgiving memory? My favorite memory is when we went to Georgia and saw my holl family there and the sent smelled like pumpkin pie that was the best memory.

Kason Craig

Do you travel for Thanksgiving? Yes I travel to Shell Knob/ Arkansas/and Georgia.

What does Thanksgiving mean to you? They will all were be my famly for ever.

Anthony Mercier

Kiersten Tiner

What does Thanksgiving mean to you? because thanksgiving mean to me is to hang out with frids!

What does Thanksgiving mean to you? It means a lott to me like being whit my family.

Age: 8

What is your favorite thing about Thanksgiving? All the food!

Age: 8

What food does your family eat during Thanksgiving? Trey stuffing mash potatos and gave pupken pie choclot cake

Age: I am 8 years old

What is your favorite Thanksgiving memory? Being whit my family and freds. it is a blast evry year.

Cooper Phillips Phenelope Luper What does Thanksgiving mean to you? seeing the peple i love.

What is your favorite Thanksgiving memory? When my grandma’s dog got on the table and started eating the chicken.

What food does your family eat during Thanksgiving? the chickin and the mash potatos and the green bens.

What is your favorite thing about Thanksgiving? That I get to spend time with my family members that live far away.

Age: 9

14 | November 2019

Age: 9

Jon Moczygemba Lyndsie Vanderhoef Age: 8

Why do we celebrate Thanksgiving? To remember what God has givin to us. What does Thanksgiving mean to you? To spend time with my family, and celebrate fall.

Age: 8 What does Thanksgiving mean to you? It means to me that you are thankful for what God has done to us! What is your favorite Thanksgiving memory? Eating meat and corn! Who do you see during Thanksgiving? Mom and granny!

Spencer Drollinger Age: 9

Aiden Whittington Age: 8

What is your favorite thing about Thanksgiving? Hunting the easter egg’s. What food does your family eat during Thanksgiving? Turkey mashpoetatos pie ham.

Why do we celebrate Thanksgiving? We celebrate Thanks giving to represent love and joy and just spend time with each other. What is your favorite Thanksgiving memory? When I was little and I got to make piles of leaves and jump in them. I also loved the time when my mimi put donuts on a string and it was a race for who eats the hole donut without touching it.

Hope Thompson Age: 8

What is your favorite Thanksgiving memory? My favorit memory about Thanksgiving is when my family members come all the way from Loouisiana to stay with us. I love them. What does Thanksgiving mean to you? I don’t no? What Thanksgiving mean to me is having all my family members all get together and say hi I love you and Loving one another.

Aubrey Keesaman Age: 8

What does Thanksgiving mean to you? A lot I get to spend time with my familey some kids don’t get to spend time with ther familey like me. What food does your family eat during Thanksgiving? turkey and corn also we eat mashputatose donuts and we drink hot chocolot whith marshmelose.

As Thanksgiving unfolds this year in homes across the country, you might want ask the children, and each member of the family to think about what Thanksgiving means to them. Thanksgiving may look completely different through the eyes of a child, a grandparent, a visiting relative or the host. Remembering why Thanksgiving is celebrated, and all that we are thankful for, is what matters most.

Connection Magazine | 15

Up, up away &

A balloon pilot firing more hot air to keep “Miss Bell� from Meridian, ID inflated. Crowds enjoy the radiant heat on a cool evening.

16 | November 2019



Floating dreams at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta


s the sun began to dip below the horizon, giants rose from the ground, coming alive to tower over the mortals below. All shapes, colors and sizes filled the grounds for the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta Special Shape “Glowdeo” as I stood feet away with my family. October 4-13, 2019, was the 48th annual festival. What began as a small event in a shopping mall parking lot has grown this year to include 580 balloons (103 of which were the special shape balloons) represented by teams from 17 countries. Over the nine-day festival, balloons floated over Albuquerque, New Mexico. As happens every year, the weather affects the balloons’ flights. Over the two days my family spent in Albuquerque, we saw a variety of hot air balloon spectacles. The first day, higher winds made the early morning “Mass Ascension” less than spectacular. Usually, the event involves the flight of hundreds of balloons filling the sky. Only about a dozen balloons took off to literally throw caution to the wind. They drifted south of the park, and the event ended quickly. That evening, the winds died down and set up

“Sushi” from Dayton, NV stands tall as other balloons below her inflate. (above) “Lottie Dottie Chicken” from Sao Paulo, Brazil glowing during the Glowdeo. Connection Magazine | 17

“Christ the Redeemer” from Brazil standing 1,500 feet tall over the festival grounds. (right) “Allycorn” from Lake George, NY at full glow against the setting sun.

perfect weather for the evening Special Shapes Glowdeo. Following the wise advice from my in-laws (Albuquerque residents for more than 35 years), we arrived at the balloon park in the late afternoon. This gave us a chance to explore the multitude of festival food options and for our children to play in the kid’s zone where they bounced and ran and jumped in an area that guaranteed that children would “sleep well all night afterward.” Overhead, a sky diving team jumped towards the grounds, most of them trailing colored smoke while one of the skydivers flew a large American Flag dangling from his foot. Later in the night, the same team took another skydive, this time shooting off fireworks during their descent. After the kids were played out, we filled our bellies with New Mexican cuisine. Unlike traditional Mexican food, New Mexican food is influenced by Navajo dishes. The combination delivers puffy sopapillas dripping with honey, blue corn tacos, posole soup and Navajo fry bread. Also, around the 18 | November 2019

A view of Albuquerque from high atop Sandia Peak. On a clear day, you can see nearly 100 miles across the desert. city you will find that green chili covers everything from burgers at McDonald’s to breakfast burritos. The New Mexicans are proud of their green chili, and they definitely have reason to boast.

When the first balloon began to inflate, excitement spread through the crowd. Moving like a wave in the ocean, the people abandoned the food vendors and flooded the grassy grounds

A few of the first special shape balloons to rise over to watch the giants grow. I was amazed the spectators. and delighted that spectators were

stood 150-feet high, the equivalent of a 15-story building. The Liberty Bell hung like a wide umbrella, which the balloon pilot invited us to step under. We got a firsthand look at the gondola and how the pilot manipulated the flames to keep it properly filled with hot air. The pilot’s wife took a few minutes to talk to us and tell us about the balloon. It was built in honor of the United State’s bicentennial and was going to be retired after this year’s festival. But she told me not to worry, they planned to be back with a new Liberty Bell the next year that was currently being built. Out of curiosity, I asked her how much it cost to build one of the behemoth shaped balloons. “Eighty-nine

thousand dollars,” she whispered with a wink. I guess that having a hobby involving hot air balloons is very, very expensive. I was reluctant to leave the Liberty Bell and the warmth under its canopy, but we didn’t want to miss the rest of the glow event. With the moon shining over the grounds, a coordinator gave instructions at certain times to “all glow.” After a countdown, all the pilots blasted their flames and illuminated the balloons in the night. It was a glorious sight that added to the child-like glee the masses were already experiencing. n

“Highly Contagious” from Milo, IA headed toward the Rio Grande River as part of the Mass Ascension.

allowed to stand mere feet from the balloons. As I watched a large green frog inflate, I was focused on how the workers were tilting the gondola to aim the blazing blue flames toward the opening of the balloon and didn’t notice that one of the frog’s legs was floating above my head. The brush of the frog’s leg across the top of my head was surprising to say the least. What looked like a massive flat tents spread in front of the gondolas inflated to reveal all different special shapes. Each balloon has its own name, found in the annual directory along with the pilot’s name and hometown. My family’s favorites included: Yoda, Darth Vader, Spiderpig, the Wells Fargo stagecoach, a pink unicorn, and a giant blue chicken. I thought that the two most striking balloons were “Christ the Redeemer” and “The Liberty Bell.” Christ the Redeemer was a replica of the famous statue that stands over Rio De Janerio and was brought to Albuquerque from one of the many Brazilian teams. It Connection Magazine | 19

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Congratulations Lexie Cristobal is the 5-month-old daughter of Monica Falcón and Mario Cristobal of Monett.

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Connection Magazine | 21



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22 | November 2019


Feed your thyroid

BY SHELBY GRAY Shelby Gray graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Nutrition from the University of Central Arkansas and is now completing her Master’s Degree in Nutrition Diagnostics and Internship at Cox College. She has a passion for culinary nutrition and educating others.

When most think of the endocrine system, they think of diabetes and its relationship with the pancreas. Yet, unbelievably, the pancreas is not considered the most important organ in the endocrine system. Rather, it is the small butterfly gland in your throat, called the thyroid. The thyroid is in control of almost every organ in the body because of the secretions that it produces: T3, T4, and growth hormone (GH). Processes our thyroid control include fat and carbohydrate metabolism, body temperature, brain development, the cardiovascular and nervous systems, and calcium levels— just to name a few.

When the thyroid does not receive proper nutrition to control these functions, our body begins to go into states of distress. This distress can result in either hypothyroidism, the decrease of T3 and T4 hormone secretion, or hyperthyroidism, an increase of T3 and T4 hormone secretion. When either occur, it causes the body to go into extreme states. There are several causes of hypothyroidism, including inflammation, autoimmune, and nutrient deficiencies. Most commonly, hypothyroidism or Hashimoto’s, is seen in the U.S. and has symptoms of decreased metabolism, weight gain, fatigue, dry skin and hair, and mental fuzziness. Since the thyroid hormone regulates fat metabolism, with hypothyroidism, fat is not metabolized sufficiently. This can lead to higher cholesterol levels, which left untreated, can result in cardiovascular disease. To treat hypothyroidism there are certain medications that can be prescribed to help with symptoms. If the cause of hypothyroidism is related to a nutrient deficiency, it is important to make sure the thyroid is being fed what it needs. To create the hormones produced by

the thyroid the body needs to consume plenty of iodine and an amino acid called tyrosine. To receive these nutrients we can consume seafood, iodized salt, and other animal protein sources. Phytonutrients, also known for reducing cancer risk, are found in nutrient-dense foods that help lower inflammation. Some foods containing these phytonutrients include blueberries, green tea, sweet potatoes, walnuts, and Brussels sprouts. Vitamin D deficiency is also linked to hypothyroidism, so ensuring dairy consumption and exposure to sunshine can improve vitamin D levels. Lastly, it is important to have your vitamin B12 levels tested. B12 is found in animal protein sources, dairy, nutritional yeast, and some fortified cereals, and is a major source of energy production in the body. When diagnosed with hypothyroidism it is important to test the levels of B12 in our body to prevent a severe deficiency that cannot be fixed, and then consume plenty of these food sources to help with the fatigue that is present. Properly feeding the thyroid will help it regulate functions in the body; ultimately leading to better health. Connection Magazine | 23

Music making

Ozark Festival Orchestra hits 40th anniversary


mall orchestras, historically quite common in 19th century Europe, have never proliferated in the same way in the U.S. According to Wikipedia, there were 1,224 symphony orchestras in the U.S. in 2014. While there were notable omissions, the four listed in Missouri included three in the St. Louis and Kansas City area, and the Ozark Festival Orchestra in Monett. Now in its 40th season, the OFO next performs on Dec. 15 at the Monett High School Performing Arts Center. A landmark of 40 years in such an unlikely place as Monett is a testament to its players as to the community that supports it. Cellist Phyllis Garrett, the last of the original players who started the OFO still performing, has fond memories of its origins. “I count it a privilege to have played

24 | November 2019

in the Ozark Festival Orchestra for 40 years,” Garrett said. “From 1977-1979, [fellow cellist] Marty Beckwith and I drove to Joplin to play with the Joplin Symphony. We were thrilled when Carolyn Belknap talked to us about starting a chamber group in Monett. We immediately joined the Monett group in 1979.” Belknap and her husband, Carl, had opened a music studio in Monett in 1978. She rallied about two dozen string players, enlisted the aid of school music teacher John Archer to conduct, and in December 1979, in an open house at the Belknap Music Studio, the Monett Chamber Orchestra presented its first concert. A second concert was a Mother’s Day event on May 11, 1980, at the Monett City Park Casino. From there, enjoying the flush of success, it only made sense to expand the instrumentation, enlist more people and play more music. It was an exciting

time. By the fall of 1980, a board organized, a season was announced. The number of players swelled to 45. John Cheary, Monett High School’s band director, was enlisted to conduct. By the concert in May 1981, the name Ozark Festival Orchestra had been settled upon. Nearly 100 people turned out in Aurora at the Holy Trinity Catholic Church to hear the second performance of the May 1981 concert. Donors providing financial support expanded from 40 to 73. The next month, the orchestra hired Dr. Jordan Tang, a native of Hong Kong and director of the Southwest Missouri State University Orchestra as director. He would stay for two seasons. For the October 1982 concert, Tang memorably donned a bright green Kermit the Frog costume to direct “The Muppet Medley.” That set a tone. This was going to be a fun group. Music selections would

Story by Murray Bishoff

Dancers from the Mary Beck School of Dance performing selections from Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker” in 1988 in the Monett City Hall Auditorium.

for the love of it

Connection Magazine | 25

include symphony movements by Tchaikovsky, Beethoven and Dvorak, as well as Broadway, film music, and Boston Pops-style selections, such as Leroy Anderson’s “Trumpeter’s Holiday” and “Arkansas Traveler.” Fundraising reached its goal so that in January 1983, the orchestra was able to purchase a seven-foot Kawaii grand piano—still in use. It took the help of Ken Bremer’s Machine Shop and a crane to lift it up the metal fire escape outside the Monett City Hall Auditorium to place it inside the second floor hall. Beginning in October 1982, concerts and rehearsals were held in the 660-seat auditorium at Monett City Hall, which had been largely unused for years, prompting the city to give the 1929 hall a face lift and a fresh coat of paint. In the fall of 1983, Stephen Plate, associate professor of music at Evangel College in Springfield, became the conductor for two seasons. Then Ernest Pratt, the retired band director at Kickapoo High School and former director of the Springfield Youth Symphony, took over for four seasons. Programming became more ambitious. The fall 1983 concert featured the complete piano concerto by Grieg, and the May 1986 concert featured the Saint-Saens’ Piano Concerto No. 2, both staples in the repertory of major orchestras. As a community orchestra, the players’ skill level was limited, but the soloists were nonetheless top rate. Tang went off to the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra and spent 26 years with the Jackson, Tenn., Symphony. Plate conducted tor Charlotte, North Carolina, Civic Orchestra and became dean of the Lee School of Music in Chattanooga, Tenn., later becoming head of the department of music at the University of Central Arkansas. The Christmas 1988 concert en-

26 | November 2019

Key figures in the history of the OFO: from left, David Goza, music director 1989-1992, 1993-1995, 1998-1999, soloist and composer; founder Carolyn Belknap; John Archer, first concert conductor and first board president; Ken Meisinger, music director 1999-2014. listed dancers from the Mary Beck School of Dance to perform sections of Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker,” a performance that packed the Monett City Hall Auditorium. Pratt’s final appearance with the OFO was the orchestra’s first at Monett’s July 4 festivities in 1989, simulcast over KRMO Radio. As a cap to Monett’s centennial celebration in 1987, local printer and head of the chorus Men of Note, Jack Frost, enlisted much of the orchestra to mount a performance of Handel’s “Messiah,” with a community chorus that Frost prepared. The concert was presented in the auditorium of Monett High School, now the middle school. While not an official OFO function, the performance would not have been possible without an organized orchestra in town. Beginning in 1985, the OFO began receiving funding through the Missouri Arts Council. As a major source of income, the MAC dictated a performance strategy as a prerequisite for funding. This included reaching out to more venues. Almost from the beginning, the

OFO gave two performances of each concert, in different cities. This would become required, propelling musicians to venues such as the Granby Community Building, the community United Methodist Church in Shell Knob, McDonald County and Cassville High School and St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in Joplin. Small ensembles organized to offer music performances in schools as well. Over time, the MAC decreased available funding and made the application process more difficult. The OFO board ultimately abandoned seeking non-local funding, relying solely on annual donations, concert sponsorships and ads in the program book to underwrite the season. Joplin music teacher Mary Bingham Porter passed away in 1986 and left a sizable gift to the OFO from her estate. That gave the orchestra its first sense of financial solidity, which lasts to this day under the management of the Monett Community Foundation. In 1989, the OFO board hired Da-

vid Goza, assistant professor of music at Southwest Missouri State University, as conductor. A more serious musician, Goza led the first complete performance of a symphony, the third by Sibelius—no small feat—on the same October 1990 concert as the complete Mendelssohn Violin Concerto with Larry Dissmore from Evangel University as soloist. These was solid fare for concert goers of major symphonies. For around 100 people to hear that kind of music in the Sarcoxie High School gym was nothing short of incredible. Goza started the practice of having a separate concert of just pops music. He orchestrated a Mahler song for a 1994 pops concert. He muscled up the orchestra, leading performances of Handel’s “Messiah” in 1991, Vivaldi’s “Gloria” in 1993 and Mendelssohn’s “Elijah” in 1994 and with large community choruses participating. Goza also came and went more times to the OFO podium that any other conductor. He served from 1989 to 1992, returned from 1993 to 1995, and one more year in 1998-1999. Goza’s wife for a time, Rossitza Goza, a native of Bulgaria, served for a season as OFO concertmaster. A world class violinist and member of the Harrington String Quartet, she has served as concertmaster of the Tulsa Symphony since 2006. During one of Goza’s absences, Richard Heinzle, a native of Austria and a music graduate student at the University of Arkansas, served for a year at the podium. Under his baton, the OFO again played at Monett’s July 4 festivities in 1992, and played at the opening concert inaugurating the Hammons Hall for the Performing Arts in Springfield on Sept. 14, 1992. On that occasion, the OFO played Sibelius’ “Finlandia” and Copland’s music for the film “Our Town.” Heinzle’s pops concert was largely Strauss waltzes—a very Viennese choice.

He has taught and performed at Our Lady Seat of Wisdom College in Canada for many years. Dr. Amy Muchnick, assistant professor of viola at Southwest Missouri State University and at one point principal viola for the Missouri Chamber Orchestra, served as conductor from 1995 to 1998. It was her first conducting gig, leading to her work as conductor of the MSU Chamber Symphony and opera orchestra. She continued the strong musicality honed under Goza, but she also had an easier connection with the audience. Muchnick led sing-alongs, enjoyed pulling children out of the audience to help conduct “Stars and Stripes Forever,” and introduced the Pops in the Park series, performing outdoors in the park amphitheater. With her help, the OFO commissioned arrangements of works by Pierce City ragtime composer Theron Bennett for a performance at the first Theron Bennett Ragtime and Early Jazz Festival in 1997. In 1999, the board hired Ken Meisinger as music director and his wife, Elizabeth, as concert master. Meisinger came to the OFO after serving as chair of the music department at the American International School of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, where he also directed the Riyadh Concert Band and Choral Society. Meisinger led the OFO for 15 years, covering a wide spectrum of the music repertory. For years, Meisinger led the OFO and choruses, including a collaboration with Crowder College, in performances of the “Nine Lessons and Carols” program started by Kings College in Cambridge, England, with various community leaders as narrators. He was innovative, playing alphorn for the Feb. 18, 2007, concert. During his tenure, under the tutelage of OFO board member Carol Echols, the Young Artists program was introduced into the schedule, bringing

teens and even younger musicians onto the stage to perform a concerto movement or comparable selection with the orchestra. In the fall of 2014, Todd Borgmann became the OFO’s current music director. Then in his fourth year as the assistant band director for the Monett school district, Borgmann added a special touch to leading a group of community musicians. Patient and encouraging, he made coming to rehearsal fun, reenforcing the kind of family gatherings on Tuesday night that glued the OFO together in its early days. Borgmann has also been adventurous in programming, leading performances of “Messiah,” the OFO’s first performance of Saint-Saens’ Piano Concerto No. 5 with soloist Jason Terry, and more American music. Variety has been a hallmark of his tenure, and especially engaging pops concerts with lots of toe-tapping movie music. In his second season as music director, the OFO moved rehearsals and performances—and its grand piano—to the new Monett High School Performing Arts Center. Over the years, there are moments that tested and tried the soul, as only the performing arts can do, though audiences usually never knew it. As a board member since 1989, I recall the Oct. 26, 1996, concert at the Monett City Hall Auditorium when violinist Felicia Brunelle was playing the tender and melodious Max Bruch Violin Concerto No. 1 under Amy Muchnick when, sitting in the back of the hall, I heard this thundering drip of water hitting the concrete floor in the hallway after a rain shower. I spent the rest of the performance on the landing, catching the rain in my hands to deaden the sound from spoiling the concert. Mark Ingram, longtime OFO trumpeter, recalled another moment, about playing Copland’s “Our Town,” which

Connection Magazine | 27

Now Accepting New Consigners! 417-635-2000 he had done at the Hammons Hall opening concert. “A number of years later I was an audience member for a Ken Meisinger-led OFO concert at which the orchestra was to perform that same piece. However, the first trumpet player had driven down from Carthage, but had left his music at home, which meant that the piece would have to be scratched from the program. When Ken told me about this, just before the concert began, I tore off for home to retrieve a markedup reference copy of the left-behind first trumpet part, one that I had archived within the original program booklet for the Hammons performance. I raced back to Monett City Hall in time for the intermission, handed the replacement part to Ken— and then the ‘show went on,’ as they say. Ingram also recalled in 1983, he re-

28 | November 2019

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ceived a call from Carolyn Belknap that the orchestra desperately needed a first trumpet player, due to the unexpected absence of the regular. He picked up the music and practiced at home. “Upon doing so, I soon discovered that one piece on the program had a challenging, rather fast-tempoed solo trumpet passage, one whose valve fingerings on the instrument were awkward and whose note-pitch intervals were wide,” Ingram continued. “This was definitely going to be one of those classic ‘performance hazards’ that musicians always worry about being able to successfully negotiate during live performances. “At my lone rehearsal with the orchestra, Jordon Tang led us through several of the works to be performed at the upcoming concert. We began to play my ‘hazardous’ piece, but then the conductor stopped the entire orchestra,

and in the dead silence that ensued said: ‘First trumpeter, please play your solo passage for me, starting from rehearsal letter A.’ All eyes turned to me, and it ‘could’ have been an embarrassing disaster, but thanks to having dutifully followed the drilled-in ‘practice at home’ mantra, I played the solo creditably enough to satisfy Dr. Tang. “Afterward I continued to practice the music at home, and the Sunday performance went off without a hitch. Perhaps fortuitously, if I had stumbled slightly during the concert, I still had some cover: My name in the printed program was listed as ‘Mark Peters.’” Again and again, it was the music making that left the strongest memories among the OFO leaders. “In each rehearsal,” recalled Richard Heinzle, “we enjoyed great music, making it come to life through the contribution of each musician. While university

education tends to focus mostly on the music, my time with you taught me that the personal interaction with the musicians is equally, if not more important.” Heinzle also pointed to the standing ovation received for the OFO’s first performance of Dvorak’s Ninth Symphony, having his predecessor David Goza as soloist for the Mozart Oboe Concerto, and the Mozart Piano Concerto No. 23 with soloist Logan Skelton, who has gone on to an international career. Ken Meisinger had especially fond memories of outstanding soloists, such as violinist Monte Belknap, Carolyn Belknap’s son, who has soloed with the OFO several times, the last in 2008 and has a career as a professional. Donald Ryan of Tulsa performed the Schumann Piano Concerto and brought a ragtime encore. The Young Artists proved especially memorable, coming with great praise for the efforts of board member Carol Echols.

“We’ve had many, many superb soloists,” Meisinger recalled. “Some have gone on to careers in music. A couple come to mind: cellist Steuart Pincombe from Fair Grove [Young Artists senior winner in 2005] was an outstanding soloist. He returned for an anniversary performance with the OFO while enjoying his emerging international career as a professional. Another that comes to mind is Tobias Murphy, violinist, from Webb City. He’s currently a section violinist with the Tulsa Symphony! Everyone that has a connection to the orchestra should feel proud that these young artists and others were at least encouraged to go forward with their love of music by the Ozark Festival Orchestra.” As a high point, Meisinger also recalled the commission of a new work from David Goza for the OFO’s 30th anniversary, “a real challenge for the orchestra, but the process of nurturing the piece through rehearsals to the premiere was a superb achievement fitting

of a celebration of 30 years of Tuesday night music making!” Behind these performances have been many people, players who shared their talents and energy, some until they could literally play no more, and now make music for God. Board members—music lovers all, both players and fans—brainstormed, organized dinners, fundraised, distributed posters, sold ads for the program book and spread the word, all working as volunteers. The grassroots nature of the organization has been its greatest strength. The only salaried posts are the music director and the concert master. Some players are hired per performance to fill out the ranks. The rest of the money raised goes into the expenses of renting and buying music, and making performances happen. The OFO has become an established treasure in southwest Missouri, and looks forward to bringing great music to hometown audiences for many years to come. n

Connection Magazine | 29

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Thanksgiving 2.0

20 Practical Ideas for a single holiday BY MEAGEN RUFFING

Thanksgiving used to be one of my favorite holidays. I remember going to my grandma’s house up in the country where the temperature was always a few degrees cooler. Her house was nestled in the hills of Massachusetts where leaf-peeper season is so famous, people come from all over the world just to see the magnificent colors of the falling leaves. It’s unlike anything you’ve ever seen. Never have I ever taken in the beauty of so many different hues of reds, yellows, browns, and oranges, than I do when I see the big, arching trees that New England calls home. Thanksgiving with gram was a tradition in my family. As I’ve gotten older and started my own family, I’ve moved away from the east coast and now call northwest Arkansas my home. I’ve been away from the hills of my grandma’s house for almost 13 years, and I miss it more with each year that passes. This year will be my hardest as it will be my first year without my kids. Parenting journalist Meagan Ruffing will be using this list to help herself get through some of the quieter times during this year’s Thanksgiving. She looks forward to spending some time with her east coast family and can’t wait to welcome her kids home. Visit her on Facebook at


ivorce is hard but it’s even harder during the holidays. When I became a mom nearly 11 years ago, I never imagined having to be without my kids during some of life’s most time-telling moments. This Thanksgiving I will be surrounded by friends and family who have dedicated their holiday to making mine bearable. Two amazing women are foregoing their Thanksgiving up in the hills of Massachusetts with gram, so that they can get on a plane and be with me. My mom and my sister remind me almost daily that I am a strong person, but I think they know that a part of this mama’s heart will be missing this holiday season. I’ve been humbled by the number of invitations I have received from loving

friends wanting to make sure I have somewhere to go this year and for that I am thankful. Deep down, I wish I could just be with my kids and have things be normal for us again. I ache inside knowing that my kids will be without me during a holiday that literally defines itself on being thankful for those we love. I’m learning to let go of the things I cannot control, even when they involve three human beings, I gave life to. Instead, I’m choosing to be thankful for the time I do have with my kids. If you’re struggling to find thanks in something this year because of a divorce, separation, loss of a loved one, or you’re a transplant and just miss home, let me encourage you with 20 practical things you can do this holiday season.

Volunteer this year. Call a food bank or shelter and see how you can help. My kids and I did this last year and it felt so good. Host a Friendsgiving or go to a Friendsgiving. I’ve never done this before but I see one in my near future. I’ve heard they’re a blast! Go for a run. There’s nothing a like a brisk jog in the neighborhood especially after you’ve eaten your weight in pie. It might be hard to get started but you’ll feel so much better after you get a good sweat going. Plus, you won’t feel so guilty having seconds and thirds. Call your family. Long distance relationships can be hard for the heart. Pick up the phone and tell your family you love them and you’re thankful for them. Take a nap. Self-explanatory. This is a must-do. Prep for Black Friday. Check out the ads online and start your Christmas shopping list. You don’t have to worry about who will watch your kids this year since they won’t be with you. Use this to your advantage and get a head start on presents.

Go for a walk with your dog or take

a hike. Just get moving. The endorphins will be good for your mood and might help you feel not so sad. Clean your house. Who doesn’t like a clean house? Bonus if you can find a few things to post on eBay to make some extra money. Self-care. Think bubble bath, face mask, painting your nails. Basically, anything that makes you feel good and doesn’t require a lot of energy.

Get your Christmas decorations out. Start getting the bins out

of the attic and line them up somewhere close by so when you are ready to set things out, they’re within arm’s reach. Get your kids’ rooms ready for when they return. I’m a big believer in making my kids pick up their own rooms but sometimes we’re in a rush and I’d rather snuggle with them before they leave for their dad’s house. I like to make their beds for them and write a little note for them to read when they get back. Connection Magazine | 31


Pick up a side job and earn some extra money. Inside secret. I have always wanted to work at a coffee shop. I have no idea why but don’t be surprised if you see me pouring your next cup of Joe at the drive-thru. This single mom salary thing is no joke. Bake goodies or a meal for some-

one in need and surprise them with it. I used to do this quite a bit but the divorce has gotten the best of me lately. It makes my heart feel good when I bake something yummy, wrap it up in something cute, and deliver it to an unsuspecting loved on.

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be a marriage and family therapist right now so I firmly believe in the power of talking to someone about your problems.

Buy yourself some flowers. This one is pretty simple. You can snag a beautiful fall bouquet at your local grocery store for about five bucks. Make freezer meals for you and your kids. How many nights a week are you saying to yourself, “I don’t feel like cooking.”? Make a whole bunch of meals, freeze them, and save them for a time when cooking is the last thing you feel like doing. Cake breaks also freeze really well (think, zucchini bread, applesauce bread, pumpkin bread, etc.) They make a great breakfast choice and can be a yummy addition to your dinner plate. Clean your car inside and out.

Everyone’s car can use a good run through the car wash. It’s time to get those stale French fries out from under you kids’ seats.

Take up a new hobby. If you’re not

sure what your new hobby should be, poke around the craft store for inspiration or hop on Pinterest.

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Schedule a therapy appointment for yourself. I’m literally in school to

you try your first class for free. Give a few studios a call and ask around. Yoga is great for the mind, body, and soul…especially post-divorce.

Netflix binge. Need I say more? Sometimes sitting on the couch or laying in bed just makes everything better.


Jay Jastal, school resource officer, said students of all walks who join clubs find common interests that help eliminate some of the social barriers that often arise with bullying.

Teaching kindness Area schools take firm stand against bullying Story by Melonie Roberts


The dictionary defines it as “the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate.” So where does kindness fit in with today’s environments being characterized as “it’s a cold, cruel world,” of “it’s Russ Moreland a dog-eat-dog world” where people compete with their friends and co-workers for jobs, status and wealth? Where does kindness show in the adage, “he who dies with the most toys, wins?” Where does this cutthroat mentality originate? Most likely, according to several school resource officers and counselors, at home. “We teach character education, traits, how to be kind and how to resolve issues from day one,” said Mon-

ett Superintendent Russ Moreland. “Through conscious discipline training, we help kids resolve conflicts with teacher supervision. At the younger grades, we focus on teaching students to be kind.” With eight counselors and three school resource officers sprinkled among six campuses, administrators keep a close eye on student conflicts that could eventually escalate into bullying. “We sometimes have kids say mean things, but that doesn’t qualify as bullying,” Moreland said. “As kids start to become more aware of social presence and where they feel they rank in that social status, that is when we see some of those behaviors. To fit the criteria of bullying, it includes intimidation, unwanted aggressive behavior or harassment that is repetitive or likely to be repeated.”

“Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.”

Does bullying still happen in today’s classrooms?

“Sometimes,” said Jay Jastal, school resource officer at Monett High School. “We don’t typically see the same acts that we did back when I was in school, where kids were jammed into their lockers, with punching, kicking or hitting. We see more passive acts of bullying, like a group of people isolating and ignoring one member and leaving that person out of their activities. We see that a lot, and adults are terrible about social bullying. We see it in churches and adult cliques. Kids pick up on that. Social bullying is probably the one that hurts the most, and it is really hard to overcome. You can’t make people be friends, but we try to teach them to respect each other while they are here at school. And most times, they grow out of it. “Then we have cyber-bullying,” Jastal said. “We don’t really see that until middle and high school, but not so much in the 11th or 12th grades.” Jastal said that anyone can become a bully, regardless of socio-economic influences, and, in turn, anyone can become a victim. “There are many different reasons kids bully,” he said. “Bullies are all about control, so it depends on what age groups they are trying to control. In middle school, we see those kids trying to find their rung on the social ladder. For some kids, that is important. [Bullying] looks different at each grade level.” Many times, as students progress through their educational careers, they become silent bystanders to acts of would-be bullying.

— Dalai Lama

Connection Magazine | 33

Sometimes bystanders are afraid to act, certain that any attention they draw to themselves will result in them becoming the next target,” Jastal said. “By the time kids reach high school, they tend to have nothing to do with the kids that bullied them in elementary or middle school. They don’t have time for their stuff, and they have other people to socialize with, instead of just those in their classroom. It comes with maturity. But the person who thinks he is losing control or losing the attention they craved is suddenly at a loss. They don’t know what to do with themselves. “There are a number of clubs at the high school level where kids can come together and share the experience of what interests them,” he said. “That is when you see people from all social levels join together for a common interest, and they really start seeing each other as people. It’s like that movie, ‘The Breakfast Club,’ where a brain, a beauty, a jock, a rebel and a recluse come together for a Saturday detention and find out they have more in common that they think. Will they be friends come Monday morning? Probably not. But it changed how they saw themselves and each other. As we mature, those classifications tend to fall away.” In a world where youth and teen suicide seems to be the socially approved answer to what is characteristically a temporary situation, school administrators are more aware than ever of the dangers associated with developing young adults and the consequences of bullying and social stigma. “A student will sometimes report that their friend is having a really hard time,” said Jastal. “Everybody has to work together with kids. They can be moody, sleep a lot, self-isolate, and their grades might drop. Those are some indicators that they are being bullied. But they are the same indicators that a kid is 34 | November 2019

‘growing up.’ It’s something we’re aware of. We keep educating people, students, staff, parents, everybody. We don’t ever let our guard down. At Middle School, we offer depression awareness and suicide training where students do a self-evaluation. If the results are something we are concerned about, we will visit with the child to try and determine the cause and contact the parents.”

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” — Leo Buscaglia

When does bullying start? Shannon Holden, principal at Pierce City’s high school and middle school, may be new to the district this year, but he is not new to how bullying can impact a learning environment. “It materializes in different ways,” Holden said. “In elementary and middle school, a lot of it is physical, putting their hands on another student, because that is how young people communicate, through touch. A lot of times, it will be students pranking on each other, with flicks, taps or slaps. It it happens between just a couple of students throughout the day, it’s probably just them playing around, to see who can ‘get’ the other one. If a student does not reciprocate, we tend to think the non-participating student is being bullied. But it is hard to prove intent. I have developed a set of five questions that help determine if this is good natured play or if it has crossed the line into bullying.

“We gather as much evidence as we can to determine that it is repetitive action before we act,” he said. “We have a bullying report form for students to report what they have seen or experienced. In fact, we are stressing the idea ‘if you see something, say something.’ We hope it is a memorable enough phrase that it sticks with our students. Their confidentiality is our utmost priority. We do not want to put them in an unsafe situation. And, of course, if we ever did breach that confidentiality, they would never trust us again.” Holden said students are pretty good about telling administrators when they need to be aware of a potential problem. “They are confident that some sort of action will take place,” Holden said. “We also have 21 brand new high definition cameras set up in the hallways, cafeteria, gym and other common areas to help provide evidence if needed. All footage is recorded.” In addition, teachers and administrators are all in hallways, classroom doorways and positioned near restrooms, keeping watchful eyes and ears open to the possibility of any covert acts or a commotion rising between Shannon Holden classes. What we are really hoping to accomplish is to develop a student’s self-esteem to confront or report his bully instead of suffering in silence.” Fortunately, Holden said he is impressed by the overall kindness of students he has encountered since he started at the Pierce City district. “Students are overwhelmed at how the kindness these students display toward each other,” he said. “I have seen students sitting alone at lunch and another student will invite them to join their group of friends.”

We encourage students here to stand between a victim and his bully, and not engaging, never saying a word to the person who is doing the bullying. That silent reinforcement is often the best deterrent and the bully tends to move on. That rebuke tends to cool them down, and by getting no encouragement or response, they just walk away.” Character education classes, started as young as kindergarten, are paying off with today’s young adults. “They have resulted in an increase of students willing to report,” Holden said. “In the old days, the bully would have run wild with no consequences. Students now report things they know are wrong.” There is one common denominator in dealing with the parents of a student bully. “No parent has, in the 29 years I have been in education, thanked me for telling them their child is a bully.”Children under trauma at home tend to lash out,” he said. “They can’t process what’s happening at home. Bullying is sometimes an indicator that all is not well at home. That can lead us down a difficult trail, for everyone involved. “As educators, out number one job is to ensure the physiological needs of each child are met: that they are safe, they have food and a safe, comfortable room where they can learn,” he said. “If a student is worried about being attacked or bullied, about rumors being spread, their mind is not on the Revolutionary War. We try to take care of their safety, meeting their needs so they can be the best student they can be in the classroom.”

Once a bully, always a bully? No. Tony Simmons, superintendent at Verona Schools, said there are advantages to working in a small district. “We have 410 kids in kindergarten through 12th grade,” he said. “Bullies act out for the popularity they get. The act makes them feel good when it is acknowledged. We create a culture here where bullying is not appreciated by our students.” Simmons said administrators and staffers develop personal relationships with each student in the district, and are often able to tell at a glance when a student is having a good day or a bad one. “You talk to them and find out what is going on,” he said. Simmons said there are times when a student is bullying another inadvertently. “If a student performs acts that injure others, they may think they are teasing and having fun,” he said. “The other student will laugh it off and the bully thinks they are friends. He thinks it’s all good. But the other student quits laughing when the bully turns away.” At that point, Simmons will have a chat with the offender and his victim and attempt to set things right. “We try to correct unwanted behaviors thought consequences,” he said. “It’d not like using punishment. We try to make the consequence fit the situation and the student. If it doesn’t work, the consequences get more aggressive. It is really difficult to get rid of a student, nor do we want to. Our best option is to find a way to

“Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you.” – Princess Diana

change the behavior.” In such a small district, Simmons said there are few cliques, which he considers a good thing. “We have a very diverse population, but our kids act as if there is no diversity at all. Our Tony Simmons school population is really too small to support cliques.” At Verona, that diverse population includes two-parent homes, single-parent homes and other housing arrangements. “I will say that students having a biological mom and dad at home have an advantage,” he said. “It is very difficult for a single parent to be both mom and dad. It takes a combination of both parents to make things work. “The best thing we can do here at school is be positive role models to our students,” he said. We would be very naïve to believe students aren’t watching how we react to situations.” Simmons said there are many pieces of life, education, experience and influences that help make up the development of each unique student. “If a student is acting out, we try to figure out why,” he said. “The most inappropriate behavior often comes about because the student is not getting the attention they need or want. Each student is different, and we have to try to figure it all out.” That kind of commitment can be both a blessing and a curse. “We pour our hearts and souls into our kids,” he said. “Then, they move to another district and we later hear that they have ended up in jail or something else, and we wish we could have continued to work with that student. We try. It is not for the lack of trying. But not every student is a success story. You look back, knowing you did the best you could.” Connection Magazine | 35

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He recalled a student that contacted him after 15 years after graduating. “He told me I would be happy to know he was out of jail and had gotten his GED while he was in prison,” Simmons said. “He told me he had also gotten baptized. There are people we touch, who remember what we have tried to teach, long after they walk through these doors for the last time. We are all role models, positive and negative. We need to be the person we want that student to grow up to be, 24 hours a day. Not just at work. Yes, I want to be a good role model. “You have a piece of that puzzle that makes up each student,” he said. “It’s satisfying to know that. You hope you are a piece of the puzzle in a lot of kids’ lives.” While the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education mandates that each school district in the state have policies on how to address bullying and a list of consequences for bad behaviors, there is more to the story, and it boils down to each individual student, starting at day one. “It ultimately boils down to the student being responsible for their own behavior,” Simmons said. “We will try to correct that behavior, but we have to consider the well-being of all students and staff.” n

“I’ve been searching for ways to heal myself, and I’ve found that kindness is the best way.” – Lady Gaga

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Connection Magazine | 37


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Making strides in the military A Monett woman recently shared her memories of rising through the ranks of the United States Army in the years following the end of the Vietnam War, when the military was trying to get more women to join through the Civilian Acquired Skills Program. “I went into basic in 1977, did my basic, then six months of training and then started out as a Private First Class,” said Maella Blalock. “Most women started out in finance in the Adjutant General’s Corps, which provides personnel and administration support to Army field commanders. We tracked awards and promotions, maintained personnel records, provided secretarial

Story by Melonie Roberts

and clerk support, and handled mail.” Her husband at that time was in military intelligence, and the couple was stationed in Frankfurt, Germany. “I joined a reserve unit and eventually worked my way up to the rank of Staff Sergeant E-6,” Blalock said. “That is just above sergeant and below sergeant first class, and the position is that of a non-commissioned officer. Staff sergeants are generally placed in charge of squads, but can also act as platoon sergeants in the absence of a sergeant first class. I held a supervisory position over the entire payroll unit. I ended up working full time in the European Reserve Unit, managing payrolls all across Europe. That job was an officer’s position, and since I already had my college degree, my boss told me I should apply for a direct commission.

Secretary of Defense William Cohen, left, greeted Maella Blalock, center, during her tour of service in the United States Army, as Col. John Gronsky, right background, and Lt. Col. John DuPras, looked on.

“Most officers come up through West Point or the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program through a college to get their commissions,” she said. “The only other way to receive a commission is through Green to Gold, a twoyear program where soldiers can complete a baccalaureate degree or a two-year graduate degree to earn a commission.” By that time, Blalock had divorced and was raising her daughter as a single parent.

Local woman rose through the ranks when women were a rarity Connection Magazine | 39



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“It was tough,” she said. “I had to go to the officer basic training course, and then was assigned to Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) is the headquarters of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s Allied Command Operations (ACO). It was very international. All of the NATO countries had troops there. “When I arrived, my boss told me he had heard good things and bad things about me,” she said. “The good thing was that I was top in my class. The bad thing is that I was a single mother. I pretty well knew what that meant. They expected women to fail, or not be as good as male officers or single officers, or those married with no children.” While attending officer’s basic training, Blalock recalled some words of wisdom from a female general who was speaking to the troops. “She pulled the ladies out and talked

to us,” Blalock said. “She told us if we had expectations of a career and marriage, we might as well just write it up. She’d been married to an officer and divorced, and she said she had never seen it work. She told us to pick our family or our career, because one or the other, family or career, would suffer.” Being from the Show Me State, the advice served as a challenge to Blalock. “I thought to myself, ‘I’ll show you,’” she said. “And I did. I raised a good family and had a successful career. I worked my booty off to accomplish it. Sometimes, my family made sacrifices, sometimes, my career made sacrifices. They say working women have no time for themselves. Try being a working female Army officer.” In high school, Blalock had the opportunity to travel to Germany as a foreign exchange student, and that experience served her well when she was stationed in Germany. “I didn’t speak a word of German as a student, but I learned,” she said. “Now, I speak German, Lithuanian, Dutch and a little French. Remember, I’m from Missouri. I’ll show you. “The Army decided to make me a foreign area officer (FAO) in western Europe,” she said. “I was there when the [Berlin] wall came down. I was sent to Berlin, then Heidelberg, then Lithuania, which was my favorite assignment. I was Chief of the Office of Defense Cooperation (ODC), and oversaw foreign military support and the humanitarian support program for Lithuania while they were coming out from under Soviet control. They were trying to join NATO and the European Union trying to break from Soviet control and gain their independence and become more western. “Of all my assignments, that was the one I felt as if I was really a part of history,” she said. “We did a lot.” At her last assignment, she served as Battalion Command with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, a field-grade mili-

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As a woman in the military, Lt. Col. Maella Blalock said families and co-workers formed a sisterhood of support. Pictured here, from left, are Blalock’s daughter and granddaughter, Heidi Lohman and Addilyn, Blalock, and daughter Carol Lohmen.

tary officer rank just above the rank of major and just below the rank of colonel, at Ft. Hood, Texas. “While I was there, 9-11 happened,” Blalock said. “I had a task force deploy to Guantanamo Bay (Gitmo). We were sleeping in the gymnasium at Ft. Hood. We didn’t go home for days. “I had a young, female second lieutenant, who said she was afraid that she wouldn’y get engaged, married and have a child,” she said. “She was afraid she wouldn’t make it. “I told her she could make it,” Blalock said. “I had one friend who was married and had seven children. We broke that glass ceiling, she and I did. We had the privilege of having families and career, too. Military men do it all the time. We may not have broken the ceiling fully, but my generation of female officers sure put a good dent in it.” What Blalock recalls most about her time in the Army is the special relationships formed with other women with whom she served. “I got to work with some amazing, brilliant leaders, both military and civilian—many of them female,” she said. “We do form a sisterhood. You can’t help it. The military does change you. Men will tell you the same thing.” The changes remain with a soldier even after their enlistments are completed. “I had a cadet call me after training when he returned home to see his family and friends,” she said. “He said his friends were so different. I told him that they hadn’t changed, but he had. I told him he was now a leader, physically strong, emotionally mature and how he no longer saw things in the same way.” 42 | November 2019

The hardest part for any military veteran is returning to civilian life and acclimating to a less regimented lifestyle. “I think it is 10 times harder on women,” Blalock said. “We have changed in ways society does not expect. We are strong. We are leaders. I used to have my own Humvee with my name emblazoned across its side. I crawled under that thing and did my own maintenance checks. I traveled all over Europe, including the Middle East, by myself. “When I returned home after those experiences, it was hard to go back to being ‘the little woman,’” she said. “I had a real estate agent refuse to show me a house I was considering buying because my husband wasn’t with me. [Vendors] tend to believe women are only capable of choosing cars because of the paint color. That’s the thing for women. It is hard to relinquish a leadership role coming out of the military. We are not expected to be logical decision makers. A lot of military marriages don’t survive when the woman is in a leadership role. Men don’t seem to be able to handle it. They feel judged by society and their friends as being ‘less of a man.’ it takes a very self-assured

man to be able to survive marriage to a woman in a leadership role. We are smart. We are strong. And that doesn’t change when our military careers end.” There are times Blalock admits missing life in the fast lane. “I’d do it again in a heartbeat,” she said. “I still get to travel to Washington, D.C., and I’ve made mission trips to Kenya and Haiti. I still get around. I’ve been blessed with a very rewarding life. I kind of back-doored my Army career, but with hard work, came the rewards. God had a plan for me, because it sure wasn’t mine.” For young women contemplating an unorthodox career choice, Blalock has a few words of advice.

“For any woman, choosing any career, I urge them not to be afraid to walk through the doors that open for you. If you really want to go through that door, pound on it, kick it, take an axe to it. But don’t let this world stop you. Don’t give up.” n

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Connection Magazine | 43


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:

44 | November 2019


Lilly is the 4-year-old Toy Cockapoo, fur baby of Jenna Hohensee of Monett

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.



If you are looking for a furry family member, please check out all the dogs and cats at Faithful Friends in Neosho. Here are a couple of them looking for their forever home:

Hi, I’m SAGE. My kitty siblings and I got saved from the flooding in the area last spring and these nice people at the shelter took us in until we were old enough to find our forever homes.

Honored to serve


y the time this column is published, this is probably old news, but it is well worth repeating. Faithful Friends Animal Advocates in Neosho recently won the prestigious 2019 Shelter of the Year award by the Missouri Animal Control Association (MACA) at their annual conference on September 19th, 2019. Congratulations, once again, to the Board of Directors, Staff and of course, all of the volunteers. Job well done, everyone! As you all know by now, it isn’t easy to run a shelter month after month, year after year, and still have visitors and adopters come in and comment on how nice the shelter smells.

And of course, that’s not the only thing—the animals are healthy, happy and well taken care of. But I want to talk about the human side this month, because fast becoming known, is something called Compassion Fatigue or Secondary Traumatic Stress Disorder, STSD. A recent study by the American Journal of Preventive Medicine reveals that animal rescue workers have a suicide rate of 5.3 in 1 million workers. This is the highest suicide rate among American workers; a rate shared only by firefighters and police officers. The national suicide average for American workers is 1.5 per 1 million.

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


We always need volunteers, and we always have adoptable dogs and cats!

Looking for a dog that can scare away the bad guys with one look, but really loves to cuddle with her person much more? Here she is!

BIRDIE is a gorgeous 1-year-old

black and tan, floppy-eared beauty has the most expressive face we think we’ve ever seen. She would love to go to her own home soon.

Connection Magazine | 45

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46 | November 2019

Ironically, it is the love of animals and caring for them that creates the Compassion Fatigue; and understandably so. Recently, a beagle pet was found 75 percent skinned. I did not sleep well for quite some time after, imaging the pain this poor pup went through before being found, taken to a vet for care and finally being put to sleep and allowed to cross the rainbow bridge. The cruelty and atrocious acts of the person or persons who committed this crime is beyond my ability to understand, and I still grieve for the poor dog and his family. And this is not an isolated case, there are puppies that are shot and thrown out of pickup windows to be left to die, there are dogs whose teeth are being filed down because the owners intend to use them as bait dogs in dog fighting. Kittens, who have become inconvenient or have grown up, are dumped in an outside world they were never meant to survive in alone and are found starved and scared. Unfortunately, we cannot save them all, although we try. The people that are good at volunteering with animals are the most susceptible to Compassion Fatigue. They care so much that sometimes even a success story is no salve on the pain of how the pet was discovered and the pain it had to go through. But in the meantime, we have to try. An ideal world would be where dogs and cats are spayed and neutered, where pets are adopted by families who take care of their animals, give them at least annual vet visits and vaccinations, and train them to be good citizens in our world. A well-trained dog is so much happier than one who is allowed unacceptable behavior. ADOPTION UPDATE: Of the 28 pets published in this magazine, only 3 cats and 3 dogs have not yet been adopted. That is a great accomplishment!




y husband is a man of few words; I think he inherited this trait from his father. He is easy going, patient and kind, but when he speaks, just like E.F. Hutton, people listen. Romancing and sweet talking are not his thing, so when he exclaims “Honey, Honey, Honey!” with the emphasis on the last honey, I know he’s talking to me. Like the time I was mowing hay backward, I thought I was all alone and doing a rather productive job until my cell phone rang, and I heard those sweet words, or the time I was driving the big boy tractor and didn’t notice the loader was not up because… well, I didn’t see a bucket attached and dug a nice trench in the field. If only, I’d had some tulips, I could of made something pretty out of my mistake:

Terms of endearment

This time those three words were followed up with ‘go get a shovel, and fill in the trench.’

Connection Magazine | 47

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I also know that just like your parent calling you by your entire name, this means I’ve done something wrong. For example: we were hauling wood from the neighbor’s house, and he had just left the premises with a load on the tractor, and I was to bring a load of logs on the pickup. I might tell you that his beloved ’97 Ford F250 diesel flatbed is not my most favorite vehicle to drive. Not just because it is the farm truck and has never seen a good detail job, or the fact that my legs barely reach the floor, or that I can’t see over the dash, but apparently, I can’t back it either. (This is where I would typically insert a grimacing face emoji.) After backing down into a ditch and losing part of my load, I proceeded to put the truck in fourwheel drive and ‘make a last-ditch effort’ to save myself and what was left of my load of wood. Looking up at the sky, because that’s what you see when your truck is at a 45-degree angle, I did what came naturally. When in doubt, give it all you have! I hit the gas and up over the hill I went, got out of the truck, rolled the log away that had fallen to the ground, and was attempting round 2 when my darling pulled up behind me on the tractor. Thinking he’d be proud of how I recovered, I heard those three little words. The same words I have heard multiple times before “Honey, Honey, Hoooonneeeeyy!” followed by “What have you done? There is dirt caked in my receiver hitch!” I had no words. Ironic, I know. That is why I am telling you this story because I did have words; they just didn’t seem necessary at the time. It’s the end of the day, and the wood is at our farm ready to heat our home this winter, for this we are thankful, and the truck is in the garage, (I didn’t put it there) and not another word has been mentioned about my inabilities or skills. Good thing he likes my cooking. 2


November 2019 NOV. 1 First Friday Coffee at Cappy Harris

Realty in Cassville on Friday, 8-8:30 a.m. sponsored by the Cassville Chamber of Commerce.

NOV. 2

The Seligman Chamber of Commerce will host a dance at the Seligman Chamber Event Center at 7 p.m. Admission is $5 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

The monthly dance at the Monett Park Casino will be held with Timber-

from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

NOV. 11 Notary services available at the

Central Crossing Senior Center in Shell Knob, 9 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

NOV. 12 Stamping Up—a card making class, will be held at the Central Crossing Senior Center in Shell at 10 a.m.

Grace Health Services at the Central Crossing Senior Center in Shell Knob. Call for an appointment 417-8586952.

NOV. 13 Grace Foot Care by appointment at

NOV. 21 Paint class at the Cassville Senior Center beginning at 9 a.m.

Special Thanksgiving Lunch at the

Cassville Senior Center beginning at 11 a.m. Monthly Birthday Lunch at the Central Crossing Senior Center in Shell Knob beginning at 11:15 a.m.

NOV. 22 Special Thanksgiving Lunch at the

Central Crossing Senior Center in Shell Knob, 11:15 to 12:30 p.m.

line Country band playing. Please bring a snack to share.

Cassville Senior Center. Call 847-4510 for appointment.

Birthday lunch at the Cassville Senior Center. Lunch is served from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Notary Services available at the

Blood pressure checks will be taken

NOV. 23

Central Crossing Senior Center in Shell Knob, 9 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

NOV. 5 Computer class will be held at the

Central Crossing Senior Center in Shell Knob at 12:45 p.m.

NOV. 6 Blood pressure checks will be taken at the Cassville Senior Center beginning at 10:30 a.m.

NOV. 7 Benefit counseling by appointment at the Cassville Senior Center. Call 847-4510.

Paint class at the Cassville Senior Center beginning at 9 a.m.

NOV. 8 Special Veterans Day Lunch at the

Cassville Senior Center, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

NOV. 9

The Seligman Chamber of Commerce will host a dance at the Seligman Chamber Event Center at 7 p.m. Admission is $5 each, and attendees are asked to bring a snack to share. No alcohol or smoking is allowed. For more information, call 417-662-3612.

Garage & Bake Sale at the Central Crossing Senior Center in Shell Knob,

at the Central Crossing Senior Center in Shell Knob beginning at 10:30 a.m. until 12:00 p.m.

NOV. 14 Medicare Open Enrollment counseling by appointment. Call 847-4510 at the Cassville Senior Center.

NOV. 16

The Seligman Chamber of Commerce will host a dance at the Seligman Chamber Event Center at 7 p.m. Admission is $5 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. 18 Notary services available at the

Central Crossing Senior Center in Shell Knob, 9 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

NOV. 20 The Aurora Quilt Guild meets at 10

a.m. in the Aurora Community Center, 40 W. Church St. For more information call 417-498-6789.

Nell’s Nails begins at 9 a.m. Call 8474510 for an appointment. Walk-ins are welcome at the Cassville Senior Center.

The Seligman Chamber of Commerce will host a dance at the Seligman Chamber Event Center at 7 p.m. Admission is $5 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. 25 Notary services available at the

Central Crossing Senior Center in Shell Knob, 9 a.m. to 1:00 p.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. 27 WIC at the Central Crossing Senior

Center in Shell Knob. Call 417-2114 for an appointment.

NOV. 28

The Pierce City Senior Center will hold its regular monthly dance.

NOV. 30

The Seligman Chamber of Commerce will host a dance at the Seligman Chamber Event Center at 7 p.m. Admission is $5 each, and attendees are asked to bring a snack to share. No alcohol or smoking is allowed. For more information, call 417-662-3612.

Connection Magazine | 49


David and Kathy Hermann of Cassville took the August Connection Magazine while on a Caribbean cruise and took this picture on the Grand Cayman Island

Joe and Jina Brown, of Cassville, recently visited their son and daughter-in-law, Adam and Ashley Brown, in Baltimore. While in Baltimore, they visited Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia.

In September, Making Memories Tours took 44 people on a tour of Ireland and Scotland. Pictured in front of the Edinburgh Castle in Scotland, from left, are: Virginia Meeks, of Golden; Tom and Donna Patterson, of Monett; Jerry and Angie Varner, of Washburn; Mark and Peggy Gentry, of Verona; Connie Rickert, of Purdy; Jan and Glenn Koehler, of Holiday Island, Ark.; Bessie and Marney Nowland, of Monett; Norma Clinton, of Monett; and Mary Ann Pendergraft, of Springfield.

The Purdy Choir, under the direction of Lauren Lee, went to New York City in June, to sing at Carnegie Hall. While In New York, they also enjoyed a Broadway show, toured Radio City Music Hall and Central Park. The group also experienced Times Square. Those attending were, back row, from left: Kinsley Mattingly, Haylie Harris, Payton Crumpler, Juliana Beatie. Third row: Danielle Reed, Haylea Hughlett. Second row: Shana Whisman, Elizabeth Hoffman, Joy Grace, Tatum Burt, Lauren Lee. Front row: Makenna Orwig, Jaci Moore, Drew Graham, Caitlin, Brown and Bayleigh Robbins.

50 | November 2019

Now is a good time to call and get a free estimate on your asphalt paving needs. Hutchens Construction Company has been serving Northwest Arkansas and Southwest Missouri for over 55 years with quality Asphalt Paving and Pavement maintenance products Hutchens Construction can handle any job - from the smallest the largest! With Hutchens Construction Company you will receive the same professional care on your driveway as we give a major highway project. We provide low cost rehabilitative alternatives for existing asphalt and concrete surfaces including crack filling and seal coating.

Employee Owned

For more information either call us at 888-PAVEIT2 (888-728-3482) Or visit our website at

Let Us Get You And Your Family To All Of Your Destinations Safely.


Larry Daniels • Realtor 417-846-7306

Kay McCullah • Realtor 417-342-3885

Lea Hill • Realtor 417-847-0156

Patti Daniels • Broker 417-847-7995

RESIDENTIAL | COMMERCIAL FARMS | LAND 87 Main Street, Cassville, Mo.


1304 Bond Street, Monett, MO. 65708

fax: 417-847-5009

(417) 235-6311 WE’LL MAKE SURE YOU ARE


Leave the safety and reliability of your car to us.

Connection Magazine | 51


Ozark Festival Orchestra, Oct. 6 The Ozark Festival Orchestra opened its 40th season with a concert on Oct. 6 at the Monett High School Performing Arts Center.


1. Myrtle Kimble, Kristine Cook, Bailey Cook 2. Front: Joy, Grace and Faith Brittenham; back: Hope and Katie Brittenham




5. Jana Wilson, Marilyn Carey, Marsha Egan, Dianne Baum 6. Front: David and Luanne Hill, Wanda Miller Back: Lora Jess, Natalie and Stacy Hill 7. John and Betty Willson

3. Front: Sidharth and Priynnka Prabhakaran, back: Divya and Manesh Prabhakaran 4. Beverly Hilton, Charles Cherry




Shakin’ in the Shell, Sept. 14

1 52 | November 2019



Berean Christian Academy, Oct. 5



2 6


3 7 9 The Berean Christian Academy near Monett held its annual Fall Festival fundraiser and concert on Oct. 5 in the school gymnasium and activities center.


The annual Shakin’ in the Shell celebrations was hosted on Sept. 14 at the Shell Knob Chamber Park. People gathered to enjoy food, rides and entertainment during the full day event.


1. 2. 3. 4.

Janine LaRose and Bernard Dick Max Koerner, Rosie Koerner, 2, and Lance Koerner Sue Carder, Tena Gaskil and Bonnie Brown Ashlee Vineyard and Merrika Parker

10 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

Samantha Conklin, Mike Renfrow Front: Olivia and Nellie Jones Back: Mary Blinzler, Keegan Jones Sherie Sehrbrock, Dolly Spurlock, Jaylyn Presson Melvin and Linda Hays Jessica Scott, Hayle Robbins Gail, Tara and Rodney McCully Kenny Jones, Alison Schied and Pam Jones Morgan Ledbetter, Amanda Reese, Carrie Cook holding John Reese 9. Becky and Jim Channel 10. Jason Cook, Clifton Reese

Connection Magazine | 53


Applefest, Sept. 20-21

The Marionville community held its annual Applefest on Sept. 20 and 21 in the downtown square and on adjacent streets.







9 1. Cozette, Chloe, Fred, Scarlet, Amanda and Silas Carper 2. Front: Chase and Daniel Fare; back: Tashina Fare 3. Beth and Mike Murphy 4. Nira and Margo LaBric; back: Jonathan and Amber LaBric 5. Bodhi, Bryan and JoAnn Neely 6. Front: Angie and Shaely Davis; back: grandma Ruby Davis 7. Gene Thompson, Debbie Terry 8. Roger Webb, Darlene Lawrence 9. Jamie Russell, Brayden Bettinger 10. Jaxon, Jeremy and Valerie Vickers

54 | November 2019




Aurora Car Show, Oct. 5 The 35th annual Aurora Car Show was held Oct. 5 in Oak Park in Aurora.






1. Bill and Laurie Spinks 2. Jaxon Huss, Jeffrey Huss in carriage, Joclynn Huss Back: Miranda, Jemma and Brad Huss 3. Tyler Aldrich, Derak Russell 4. Lonnie Henderson, Laura Gayer, Maci Henderson in stroller 5. Tristan Dunning, Steve and Connie Thompson, Ken Dryer 6. Sandra Shoemaker, Ann Shaner 7. Gavin and Tommy Rector 8. Jaliyah Murray; Kyleigh Clowers, Michelle Owenby, Vinny and Jeff Clowers



8 Connection Magazine | 55


Jolly Mill, Oct. 5

Friends of Jolly Mill hosted jolly Mill History Day on Saturday, Oct. 5. the venue offered demonstrations of mill grinding, saw mill operations, rope making, blacksmithing and other period displays.







Monett Fly-in, Sept. 28

Monett Fly-in, hosted by the Monett Chamber of Commerce, businesses and industries, was held on Sept. 28 at the Monett Regional Airport.





7 1. Sarah Burton, Casey Christiansen 2. Heston Bauer, Sharon Kelley, Owen Hastings, Morgan Hastings 3. Chloe Young, Meagan Pruitt

56 | November 2019

1. Merl Stanley and Linda Gould sat to rest under a shady tree 2. Derek Sartin and son, Dalton 3. Taylor Lambeth, Scott Lambeth 4. Barbara Grilz and Kate Wilson 5. Travis, Karlee and Maggie Talent 6. Jim Moore and the bronzed Jim Moore monument at Moore-Wooten Plaza, Jolly Mill



8 4. 5. 6.

Heather Shrum, William Backler Sue and Gary Updike Emilia Crockett, Abbey Crockett, Shanda Blackburn

7. Denise White, Lilly White 8. Nancy and Harold Hillhouse, Paul and Sonya Olson





April 2019

March 2019

February 2019

January 2019



Healthy Lifestyle NUTRITION MONTH

Mustang Villa


Outdoors All Around


Wedding Tales EXPECT IT ALL


Colton’s Cause

Healing Hooves

Power tools

Charity to honor

Savannah Ellis


Love Business

Being Heard


Modern Love









forever &






Sharing joy Simplicity Lavender Farm Quality dairy Edgewood Creamery

The Flat Tire Gang

Calling cattle four state stockyards









Healing Heart


The Big Bang



Monett Metals shares in making of National 9/11 Memorial

Star School

One-room of past lessons

Dressed with Care

Charity group provides dresses to meet need

Rolling on together

A Childâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Charity Giving is the gift

Mission America

Â&#x2DC;Â&#x2014;Â&#x17D;Ĵȹ¢Â&#x2DC;Â&#x17E;Â?Â&#x2018;Čą Â?Â&#x203A;Â&#x2DC;Â&#x17E;Â&#x2122;ČąÂ&#x161;Â&#x17E;Â&#x17D;Â&#x153;Â?Â&#x153; Â&#x2DC;Â&#x17E;Â?ȹ Â&#x17D;Â&#x153;Â?

Fireworks on the Fourth Find the show to set the holiday aglow


with Lynn Morin

World Coloring Their

Connection Magazine | 1

Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t miss out on another month! 417-847-2610


Cassville OďŹ&#x20AC;ice





The how and the when

Have Connection delivered right to your doorstep for $40 a year. Call today!

Fall Festivals

Richardson brought out the best

Get school gear here

Teaching Tech

Aug. 24 & 25

Connection Magazine | 1

Connection Magazine | 1

Coaching Legend

Repurposed Faire


Shop Local

Our A ll Out ISSUE G

Foster Moms


July 2019

who re man tu One d the fu pe sha



Mommies of All Kinds


all V.B. H





June 2019

Real, local


Connection Magazine | 1



The salutations of Spring



Wedding venue shines

From the Ground Up

Parenting Column

Parenting Column Recipes Housing Around



May 2019

fresh starts:


Mone OďŹ&#x20AC;ice

Connection Magazine | 1

subscription Name: Address: City: Phone:


I have enclosed $40 by check (check number


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

) for one-year subscription to Connection magazine.

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Connection Magazine | 57


Photo by Cathy Lewis

All that’s bright must fade,

The brightest still the fleetest; All that’s sweet was made

But to be lost when sweetest. –Thomas Moore, All That’s Bright Must Fade

58 | November 2019

Advertisers’ Index Acambaro Mexican Restaurant.................. 37 Advanced Physical Therapy........................ 43 Aire Serv.............................................................6 A-List Properties..............................................8 Barry Lawrence Regional Library..................3 Bill Vance Marine.......................................... 48 Bruner Pharmacy........................................... 30 Cappy Harris Realtors.................................. 22 Carey’s Cassville Florist............................... 48 Coast to Coast .............................................. 36 Community National Bank.......................... 20 Cox Medical Centers.................................... 60 Cubs Café....................................................... 40 Diet Center..................................................... 22 Doug’s Pro Lube............................................ 51 Edgewood Creamery.................................... 32 Edward Jones....................................................5 First State Bank of Purdy............................ 30 Fohn Funeral Home...................................... 22 Four Seasons Real Estate............................ 51 Freedom Bank of Southern Missouri........ 11 Friendly Tire.................................................... 32 Guanajuato Mexican Restaurant..................6 Hutchens Construction............................... 51 J&J Floor Covering ...................................... 32 Jay Marshall Pump Service............................8 Ken’s Collision Center.................................. 36 Kiddie City.........................................................2 Lackey Body Works...................................... 38 Lil Boom Town .............................................. 46 Mattax Neu Prater Eye Center................... 43 My Best Friends Closet................................ 28 Ozark Methodist Manor.............................. 40 Peppers and Co. ........................................... 38 Race Brothers................................................ 11 Real Life Church............................................ 30 Riehn, J. Michael; Attorney......................... 43 Roaring River Health & Rehab.................... 20 Rusty Gate Flea Market............................... 59 Security Bank of Southwest Missouri...... 59 Shelter Insurance................................... 38, 46 The Brown Bag Breakroom......................... 36 The Coffee Café............................................ 38 The Farmer’s Daughter................................ 46 The Glass Shop.............................................. 37 The Jane Store............................................... 41 Tomblin’s Jewlery.......................................... 20 Trogdon Marshall.......................................... 41 VisionHealth Eye Center............................. 40 White’s Insurance......................................... 41 Whitley Pharmacy......................................... 37

Christmas Open House! Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019

Door Prizes! • Vendor Sales! • Snacks!

Rusty Gate Flea Market

Antiques – Collectibles – Vintage Tools – Cast Iron Household Goods – Hunting/Fishing – Wildlife Mounts – Hides

Open 7 Days a Week • 9-5 Mon-Sat • 11-4 Sunday Jeff & Christy Holenda Owners


484 MO Hwy. 76, Cassville, MO 417-342-9315


Your Locally Owned Independent Bank

Let us be your HOMEtown bank! • Great Service • Committed To Barry County • Decisions Made Locally Wheaton


302 Main Street Jct. 37, 76 & 86 417-652-3204 417-847-4794


Front Street 417-835-8111

Bill Pay & Internet Banking at

Connection Magazine | 59

Profile for Connection Magazine

November Connection 2019  

November Connection 2019