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ConnectionMO.com | Connection Magazine | 3


Thank you!


ere it is — November 2020! Ever since I have taken over this position, this is the month I usually write a column on being thankful. I am thankful for many things, but especially this year, I believe we need to say, “Thank You!” to our veterans and service men and women.

At the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918, World War I ended with the signing of the armistice agreement. One year later, President Woodrow Wilson signed a proclamation commemorating November 11 as Armistice Day. Each year Americans would celebrate the end of the “war to end all wars.” And in 1938, it was named a national holiday. Soon after, war broke out in Europe and World War II began. Because World War I was not the war to end all wars, lawmakers believed that veterans from World War II and the Korean War also deserved a day of remembrance. In 1954, President Eisenhower signed a bill changing the name of Armistice Day to Veterans Day. No, I am not that smart, I had to look it up, at least for the details. However, much has changed since then, but the purpose of Veterans Day has remained the same, to say thank you to all the men and women who have served to protect and defend the United States of America. Veterans Day honors all of those who have served the country in war or peace, dead or alive and I give thanks to the veterans for their sacrifices. I personally have had many veterans in my family and still do, but I am afraid they are becoming fewer.

4 | November 2020

I am very proud of them and what they stand for and for the freedom that I can have because of them. I will be honest with you, it really takes a special kind of person to put yourself totally aside and put an entire country’s welfare first. I mean, really think about it, to leave your home, your family, your comforts, perhaps your children and go into a foreign country and fight for what you left behind. I cannot say that I could do that, but I am so very thankful that there are those that can, did and still do. The current men and women who are serving our country and the veterans have made it possible that you and I can sit with our families at Thanksgiving and share this special time are my heroes. I look at older pictures where citizens lined the streets to welcome home the soldiers. The excitement, the love, the pride that was shown to them seemed overwhelming. These emotions should be ongoing. These special people whether currently serve or have memories of serving stand for our country and we should honor them every day of our lives. So, every time you see a veteran, serviceman or servicewoman, shake their hand and say, “Thank you!” And maybe offer to do something for them for a change!

Lisa Craft

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


Happy Thanksgiving

GENERAL MANAGER Lisa Craft monettcommunity@gmail.com

We thank you for the opportunity to work together and for making us feel at home in our community.

EDITOR Kyle Troutman editor@cassville-democrat.com ADVERTISING REPRESENTATIVES James Craig Marion Chrysler CONTRIBUTORS Meagan Ruffing Lisa Ramirez Darlene Wierman Melonie Roberts Susan Funkhouser Pam Wormington Jared Lankford Jordan Troutman 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 connection@monett-times.com Mailing address: P.O. Box 40, Monett, MO 65708 Connection is published monthly and distributed free in Cassville, Monett, Exeter, Washburn, Pierce City, Mt. Vernon, Aurora, Verona, Roaring River, Eagle Rock, Shell Knob, Purdy, Wheaton, Freistatt, Marionville, Seligman, Golden and other surrounding areas. Connection is a publication of the Cassville Democrat, The Monett Times and Rust Communications.

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Navy veteran Kevin Butler traveled the world and retired at 37


Alfred J. Forsythe house in Pierce City is brought back to life

Aside from hunting tips and techniques, Steven Fuller also focuses on food plots on properties to increase the hunting on a person’s land. This is the largest food plot he manages. Read more on page 24.


Local hunter teaches techniques to improve stand results


The Schelins immigrated from Sweden to the Ozarks in the 1870s


Great strides are made by Monett High schoolers participating in these activities

N O V E M B E R 2020

ConnectionMO.com | Connection Magazine | 7






CENTURY FARMS Schelin Family

MHS HIGHLIGHTS Drama, Speech & Debate





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CONTENTS 15 Parenting Column: Seasons of life

29 Healthy Connection: Dining for Diabetes 31 Cutest Kid

37 Recipes: Thanksgiving ideas 40 Cutest Pet

41 Rescued, My Favorite Breed 48 Familiar Faces 51 Parting Shot

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ConnectionMO.com | Connection Magazine | 9

20 years of a Navy career remembered

10 | November 2020

A life traveled: Military made


iving a military life takes discipline, dedication and devotion, and those who serve our country are honored during the month of November as the country observes Veterans Day. Veterans Day falls on November 11, every year on the anniversary of the signing of the Armistice, which ended World War 1 in 1918. The remembrance started in 1938 as Armistice Day, but was later changed to Veterans Day in 1954 to include honoring the veterans of all wars. A local veteran, Kevin Butler, looks back on his military life in preparation for the federal holiday. “I enlisted on August 12, 1983, through a delayed entry program,” Butler said. “That is basically where they promise you a job after you graduate.” He said his ACT scores from his sophomore year impressed the right people. “I enlisted at 17 years old,” he

Story by Jordan Troutman

Kevin Butler began his Naval journey at 18 years old in boot camp in 1984. said. “I had to wait until high school was over to head to boot camp, which happened on June 12, 1984.” Originally the Army first contacted him to enlist, but he wanted something more exciting and interesting to him. “Then the Navy reached out,” Butler said. “They said I could work

Awards Kevin Butler has received, include:  Navy Commendation Medal — twice  Navy Achievement Medal — four times  Combat Action Ribbon  Navy Commendation Ribbon — twice  Meritorious Unit Commendation Ribbon — three times

For 20 years, local man, Kevin Butler, served his country by serving in the United States Navy. This photo shows the Crew Book USS Trenton LPD-14 Gulf War, August 1990 through March 1991, 4th Marine Brigade.

 Good Conduct Medal — five times  Fleet Marine Force Ribbon

in the nuclear field, and I wanted to be a nuclear physicist.” There was a small bump in the road when he went in for his physical and was determined to be color blind. “I guess I didn’t do something right, but then they gave me another test with extreme color testing and it showed that I wasn’t color blind,” he said. “They said they would fix my paperwork after I was shipped off. “But, when I got to boot camp they informed me that I signed a sixyear contract and would become a Corpsman.” In August of 1984, Kevin graduated boot camp. “I went directly into hospital Corps school,” he said. “It was interesting and very different than what I expected I would be doing, but I enjoyed it.” After 12 weeks of learning everything from emergency medicine to nursing, he was moving onto his clinical. “From there I graduated in No-

vember 1984,” he said. “I was headed to Millington, Tenn., to the Naval Hospital about 20 miles north of Memphis.” This is where Butler began working on the hospital floors and where he decided to go to physical therapy school from May to November 1985. “Then I was off to Fort Sam in Houston, Texas, for 17 weeks,” he said. “Then off to Oakland for another eight weeks of clinical.” He said since his service a lot of the bases he trained at have closed. “After a while, I decided physical therapy wasn’t what I wanted to do,” he said. “So, in January 1987, I went to preventive medicine school. That was two years’ worth of schooling pressed into six months.” After that, Butler went to North Carolina to train in field medicine science. “I hadn’t traveled much at all before I enlisted,” he said. “I didn’t know I would see so many places.” In North Carolina, he began training to work alongside the Marines.

 Navy Expeditionary Medal  National Defense Service Medal — twice  Southwest Asia Campaign Medal with two bronze stars and Fleet Marine Force Device  Volunteer Service Medal  Korean Defense Service Medal  Sea Service Ribbon — twice  Arctic Service Ribbon  Overseas Service Ribbon — twice  Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait)  Kuwait Liberation Medal (Saudi Arabia)  Rifle Expert  Pistol Expert

ConnectionMO.com | Connection Magazine | 11

“There was a short leave where I went home,” he said. “Then we went to 3rd Medical Battalion, 3rd FSSG. This meant we were deployed to east Korea and Thailand doing exercises.” This was the first time he had traveled outside of the country. “I was there for three months,” he said “And I enjoyed it and learned a lot; I worked on combat health and public health — we kept very busy.” Butler said as a Naval Corpsman working along with the Marines, there was some friendly rivalry. “There was also rivalry between the blue and green side of the Corpsman,” he said. “But, when it all came down to it, we were learning the same things and had each other’s backs.” Eventually, he found himself back in North Carolina for about three years, some of which was spent in Norway doing cold-weather training. “Then, Desert Shield broke out in 1990,” he said. “I was a part of the 4th Marine Belgrade that went across the Atlantic. “We were on the water a lot then, this was a way to keep the Iranians off balance by not letting them know when and where we would land.” Following Desert Shield was Desert Storm in 1991. “We floated back that March,” Butler said. “In June 1991, I went to Athens, Ga., where I worked on a small base as a Naval Supply Corpsman.” Butler was in Georgia for four years, during which time, in July 1992, he married his wife. “We were introduced through a mutual friend,” he said. “She was going to school to be a nurse. She graduated in July 1992, on a Friday, then took a road trip to Georgia to 12 | November 2020

Kevin Butler married his wife, Sonya, in July 1992, and she traveled with him for 12 years until he retired in 2004.

marry me that following Monday.” Butler’s next set of orders were overseas. “The Naval hospital in Kefluiak, Iceland,” he said. “My wife came with me; that was her first time out of the country. It was hard for her to get a nursing job there, and we were there until February 1998.” Butler said at that time, having children was the furthest thing from their minds. “The next great stop was in Texas, near Corpus Christi,” he said. “There we were supporting mind-sweepers and I got to go out with them to do

noise testing.” It was September 2000, when Kevin got orders to become an instructor at Naval Corps school. “This was up by the Great Lakes, so I essentially ended my Naval career where it began.” In total Butler served more than 20 years in the Navy. “I retired July 30, 2004,” he said. “I have the knowledge to do a great many things in the medical field.” Butler said that training is the best there is because it forces a person to hold great responsibility very quickly at 18 years old.

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“The military gives you the basics of what you need,” he said. “You get a lot of on-the-job training. “I saw some combat, fires were burning around me and bombs blowing up too.” For those interested in the military medical field, he said to become a Navy Corpsman. “I have a niece who wants to go into service, then become a doctor,” Butler said. “I remember in physical therapy school, the other branches were doing basic first aid, but as a Corpsman, we were trained above that.” He said that is what is great about the Navy, and the fact a person can choose a specialty. “Out of the Navy I didn’t use my medical expertise,” he said. “But, I used another degree that I was able to get through the Navy. Degrees in technology, and in 2004, I went into computers.” Butler said the thing he misses most about military life is the camaraderie. “Yes, we fought all the time,” he said. “But, we were really a big family. “No matter what age or era you were in the military, we all went through the same stuff.” Butler said there is a relationship between veterans that civilians will never understand. “At the end of the day, we had each other’s backs,” he said. “I’d say military life is good for just about anyone, even if you don’t make a career out of it. You can get an education paid for and get to travel the world.” Butler said he has seen most of the northern hemisphere. “My wife did 12 years with me,” he said. “Traveling and experiencing different things. “We had our son at the last duty station of my career,” he said. “I retired at age 37.” n


By Meagan Ruffing

Fall in Love with the Season of Life you’re in If you read this parenting column each month, you might know that I tend to lean on my family back home on the east coast for good, solid advice. Most recently, the ‘keep it simple’ motto was shared with me by my mother, and it’s something that has helped me get through some difficult times as a newly single parent. This November, I decided to write about how to fall in love with the season of life you’re in right now, because I think all of us could say, at any given moment, that there is something we can be thankful for. In the midst of my kids going back to school and me continuing my internship as a counselor-in-training at a private practice, I find myself burning the candle at both ends. I keep telling myself that the craziness I’m living in right now, is only temporary. I remind myself that I am doing all of these hard things so that I can have a great life and can continue to take care of my children.

It’s easy to get lost in the hustle and bustle of life, though. It’s easy to look at the glass half empty and it’s almost a given, that we would all take just one more day off over the weekend because they just go by too fast. But with the leaves falling and the temperatures dropping, I can’t help but stop in the moment of it all and give thanks for the life I have. It certainly wasn’t the life I imagined or the one I thought I

deserved, but it’s my life and one that I am extremely grateful for. What season of life are you in right now? Maybe you’re an empty-nester with a quiet house. Or maybe you’re newly retired and looking forward to doing all of the things you never had time to do. You might be in the midst of something really hard or you could be living your best life. Whatever season of life you are in, make it a good one.

ConnectionMO.com/ParentingColumn | Connection Magazine | 15

it. 2. IPicture love to take pictures of pre-

cious moments with my kids. I’ve included a picture of my daughter Hannah in this article. We were at the park the other day and she sat down to grab a drink in-between rounds of tag with her sister. I like this picture because she looks so happy and care-free.

Sip it. 4. Coffee always has a way of

making everything better. That first sip every morning just helps set the tone for what you want your day to be like. Think about it. Coffee and tea are both hot drinks. We literally, have to slow down to take a sip so we don’t burn ourselves. Indulge a little bit and treat yourself to a fancy coffee once a week, if you can. Or, search Pinterest to find a yummy, new recipe to try at home.

it. 3. Bake Do you know a special

Here are 5 ways to help you enjoy where you are right now: Journal it. 1.1. Write things down in a jour-

nal and keep it by your bed. It can be as simple as a few words you jot down before falling asleep. Or it could be an actual journal entry that you spend a little bit of time working on. Writing things down helps get things out of the mind.

someone who likes to bake? Or better yet, someone who likes to receive baked goods? Baking involves all of the senses and can help ground you when things might feel out of control. Baking helps you slow down and take things step by step, like a recipe.

Try it. 5. Try your hand at something

new this month. Have you always wanted to learn how to…knit, run a 5k, make bread, go caroling, or play the guitar? Tapping in to our inner selves will reinvigorate our passion for life. Find out what you like to do or have a desire to learn and go for it!

We’ve almost made it through 2020 and what a ride it has been. Falling in love with the season of life you’re in right now, really can shift our perspective on things. So, get out there and live your best life.

Meagan Ruffing is a parenting journalist living in northwest Arkansas with her three children. When life gets tough, she slows things down and sips her coffee.


Go to ConnectionMO.Com/ParentingColumn to check out the latest from Meagan Ruffing online. 16 | November 2020




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The A.J. Forsythe house in Pierce City, which has long been neglected, is now owned by Janice Bowen, who is giving the old girl a much needed facelift, among other renovations.

The house that love built


he sat there, empty and abandoned for several years, breaking down a little more with every storm, weathering every drought season and fading into the background a little more each day.

Story by Melonie Roberts

ConnectionMO.com | Connection Magazine | 19

A little TLC is making this historic home shine

But, because of a piano, a Baby Grand, to be specific, a house was bought. And with a little tender, loving care, she is beginning to blossom once again into the jewel she once was, and will once more be a point of pride among Pierce Citians and local historians. The Alfred J. Forsythe house, built in 1881 in Pierce City, was built by Forsythe, a banker and one of the early founding families of the city. The house, at 601 N. Walnut, was purchased last year by Doug and Janice Bowen for one reason: Janice had inherited a Baby Grand piano and had no place for it in the home on Hwy. 97 in Pierce City. Due to the special circumstance by which she inherited the instrument, it became of paramount importance to find a location to showcase it appropriately. “I had nowhere to put it,” Janice said. “So, I started looking for a house the piano would fit in, and we found

20 | November 2020

this one. We had to install new plumbing, new wiring, new heat and air, but I didn’t look at any of that.” The home features much of the original woodwork. While Janice and husband Doug waited to begin renovations to the downstairs area, they remodeled an upstairs bedroom from one of the maid’s quarters, and installed a small kitchen and bathroom, along with another small room. “We were living in this tiny space upstairs,” Janice said. “Five weeks after we moved here, Doug was diagnosed with cancer. Ten weeks later, he died.” Suddenly, the renovation project appeared overwhelming to the grieving Janice, but after a few weeks, the words of her father, a horse trainer, seeped back into her consciousness. “Chin up, heels down, focus on the finish,” she said. “That’s the last thing he would say to me before I started any competition. So in February, I decided to suck it up and get going.”

One recent donation to the renovation project was the wedding dress of Wilma Collom Forsythe, who married Alfred (Alf) Forsythe, the son that grew up in the A.J. Forsythe home in Pierce City. They were married on May 29, 1915, at the First Congregational Church in Pierce City.

Working on the grand dame of the old home has also served as a kind of therapy for Janice. Enough people were curious as to what was taking place, so she put up a Facebook page: A.J. Forsythe House Restoration. Interest has been growing exponentially, as have the donations and memorabilia attached to the former owners. First came some of the outside repairs and renovations. “I found the paint colors on a Victorian home in upstate New York while we were on vacation,” she said. “I just had to find out the exact colors. So, I went up to the door and knocked and just asked. The owners were happy to share the information and felt flattered that someone loved it so much that they stopped to find out. I knew someday I would copy those colors on a house but had no idea when. I just knew the colors had to be on a house that I would live in someday.” Janice, a long-time collector and storer of antique furnishings, also had a good start on what would fit inside the home. “I went to flea markets and sales all over, and when I found something, I picked it up,” she said. “I also collected a lot of antique wicker. Doug would say, ‘Let me guess, you bought some wicker for the front porch we don’t have, so that means it’s going into storage.’ I have about 30 pieces, and now I have a front porch.” Janice also collected Grace Tinker paintings before it was a “thing,” many from people who didn’t know what they had and were just going to throw them away. “I have a paper weight that has prominent citizens of the 1980s and 1990s inside, along with the old Peirce City spelling of the town. I have treasured these things for years.” Amazingly, as word spread about

her renovation project, people started donating things that once belonged to the Forsythe family. One day my doorbell rang and there stood Janene George Kipers with a container in her hands. She said the family wanted to give this to me. What she handed me was probably the best thing ever given to me for this house — the wedding dress of Wilma Collom Forsythe. She married Alfred (Alf ) Forsythe, the son that grew up in this old house. They were married on May 29, 1915, at the First Congregational Church in Pierce City.” Lifting the dress from the container,

This antique doorbell, making a sound reminiscent of a crank telephone ringer, still works in the original door of the A.J. Forsythe home in Pierce City. Owner Janice Bowen intends to restore the structure with as much period memorabilia and furnishings as possible.

Janice found it to be in beautiful condition. “The dress was tissue paper thin so I knew I had to be extremely careful while handling it,” she said. “As I looked at it I was amazed how tiny the waist was. A mere 18-inches.

ConnectionMO.com | Connection Magazine | 21

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22 | November 2020


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“I already owned a 1909 antique cast iron dress form that would be perfect to display the dress, but kept asking myself if it would ever fit? I really had my doubts. I couldn’t wait to give it a try so I dropped the work I was doing and spent the next hour and a half inching that beautiful dress onto the form. So delicate was the fabric that I held my breath in fear of tearing it. The biggest test came after the dress was on the form. Could I possibly bring the sash around to the front and somehow secure it? I gently pulled the sash together, and you won’t believe it, but the hook and eyes fastened perfectly. It was meant to be that Wilma’s 105-years-old dress fit on that antique dress form. It was as if magic had happened.” Janice was overwhelmed with the donation. “This is the most amazing gift ever,” she said. “And to think, not only the gift of the dress, but they are giving me the wedding invitation to that wedding. What a treasure for the old house.” Tying in to the matrimony theme, Janice found that Cathy Pankau’s sister had her wedding photograph taken on the Forsythe staircase. “I asked her for a copy and she said she would try and get one. Well, come to find out, the wedding photos were of Mendy Koenig Dollar’s momma taken in 1969. I messaged Mendy about it and she brought the wedding photo album to the house for me to see. The photos of her mother, Chris Hornback Koenig, were indeed taken on the stairs. I plan to have a group of photos on the stairway of Chris standing on the stairs and of her and Raymond. The photos will have a place on the wall in this old house.” Janice said her goal is to have renovations completed within a year. Updates on restoration progress will be posted on A.J. Forsythe House Restoration on Facebook. “I feel the old girl getting happier as work progresses,” Janice said. “All she needed was a little TLC.” n

Christmas is coming!


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ConnectionMO.com | Connection Magazine | 23

The Hunting Grounds show partners are: Dryshod Footwear® | Spypoint® | Realtree® | Nose Jammer® | Hunter Safety Systems® | Elimishield® Habit Outdoors® | Tactacam® | Xpedition Archery® | Hook Line and Sinker Outdoor® | Redneck® Morrell Targets® | Hercules Tires® | Arkie Apparel® | Shae Bug Design® | Killer Food Plots® | RTF Outdoors®

Steven Fuller is the ambassador for the following companies: Dryshod Footwear® | Spypoint® | Habit Outdoors® He is also a Realtree Pro Staff. 24 | November 2020

Steven Fuller, host and owner of The Hunting Grounds, has a passion to teach small landowners his techniques. This is his first buck he hunted on his own land.

CONNECT ONLINE: Facebook.com/thehuntingrounds THG-TV.com Instagram.com/thgtv/ YouTube.com/c/huntingrounds

The Hunting Grounds Local man films his hunts, teaches others techniques on the subject


nyone from the southwest corner of the state can tell you how important hunting is to their communities. Whether hunting is a generational pastime in the family or a cultural experience that is shared by friends, family, and co-workers. A local man from Pea Ridge, Ark., has devoted years to perfecting his hunting talents, as well as offering those skills to the world. Steven Fuller, is the host of The Hunting Grounds, a YouTube channel

with the mission to share tips and techniques on the outdoor lifestyle. The hunting show is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, and Fuller said his passion has only grown with the show. “I grew up in Pea Ridge, but now I live just across the state line in Missouri,” he said. “I started hunting at a young age with my dad. Hunting has always been in my blood.” He said from the first time out hunting, he became obsessed and his passion for hunting grew.

Story by Jordan Troutman ConnectionMO.com/TheHuntingGrounds | Connection Magazine | 25

“I want to teach people cost-effective management techniques for smaller properties.” “Hunting became a lifestyle,” he said. “The thing that I was most drawn to was the anticipation of hunting season.” When the weather cools and gun season is on the way, Fuller starts to feel the nostalgia. “I remember those moments out there with my dad,” he said. “I started with gun season, and it has always held a special place in my heart.” Fuller quickly began expanding his knowledge and techniques even as a middle school and high school student. “I began experimenting on my parent’s land by improving the property for deer,” he said.”I knew immediately that this was what I wanted to do when I graduated.” After college, Fuller had three degrees, one in conservation wildlife management, another in communication arts and a minor in field biology. “I knew I loved hunting,” he said. “I didn’t know exactly what I would end up doing, but I knew I wanted it to be something in conservation and wildlife.” Fuller has more than 20 years of experience in filming his hunts, as he started when he was 14 years old.

26 | November 2020

“It wasn’t until after college that I realized what I wanted to do,” he said. “I want to teach people cost-effective management techniques for smaller properties.” He started out using his parent’s 15acre property to make how-to videos. “After a while, I got better at video production and social media marketing,” he said. “I love being able to help people, especially the everyday hunter who has a job and a family and hunts on the side. I wanted to build something that wasn’t aimed at huge properties and expensive techniques so that I could help the people who are like me.” Fuller said The Hunting Grounds is a Christian-based mission and another perk to his job is connecting with people. “The reason I love working with the people that I do is their blood, sweat and tears go into their land,” he said. “There is a level of pride in that in this area. I know that feeling.” Connecting the new youth or even adult hunters is a major focus of the organization. “There is just something about helping someone get to their very first hunt,” he said. “Especially seeing a

kid get excited, and then after the first hunt — they are hooked. “It can be such a positive experience, and I love bringing that to our communities.” For 10 years, The Hunting Grounds has grown and reached thousands of people. “It is great to go back and look at some of the first videos,” he said. “I mean, it is a bit cringe-worthy, I talked too loud and too fast, and struggled with filming aspects a bit, but it’s also pretty cool to see how far I have come with being self-taught.” One thing he would say about his experiences over the years is, there will be failures. “There have been a lot of failures,” he said. “But, over the years, all of those failures joined together have made me better.” After 10 years, Fuller is now able to work full time doing what he loves, and this allows him to put out more content. “We have grown to have seven staff members across the United States,” he said.”We have people from Minnesota to Georgia. “They are all average guys who maintain a normal life and happen

Tips for this season in our Ozark Hill Country: 1. Enjoy your time hunting. 2. There is a large Red Oak acorn

Steven Fuller, owner of The Hunting Grounds, Colton Lewis, Brian Rusher and Pro Staff Colby Kennedy celebrate Rusher’s first turkey taken on a property Fuller manages.

crop this year, so find a dropping White Oak and the deer will key in on it. This will also slow down activity on food plots if you have them until the deer and wildlife start running out of acorns.

3. Hunting pinch points and ridge tops can benefit you in hunting these hills especially during the rut when bucks are traveling. Also, hunting over thick bedding areas where the does bed can help you find a buck.

Steven Fuller’s most recent buck hunted in Missouri in 2019. ConnectionMO.com/TheHuntingGrounds | Connection Magazine | 27

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28 | November 2020

just to love hunting. They all bring a different angle, understanding, skill set and stories to the table, which helps us to connect with more people.” The goal of the channel is to be relevant and bring information that is semi-live. “To a 14-year-old with the same passion and hopes that I had, I say, go for it,” he said. “I encourage you 100 percent and hope we can help in some way. If you want it bad enough, you can do it, and if God is directing you on that path, you got it.” Remembering the days in the beginning, Fuller said there were plenty of people who put him down over the years. “It was that a deer wasn’t big enough, or the camera work was off,” he said. “I have never wanted to do that to someone. “A tip I would give there is, use what you have, get out there and enjoy it. If you are enjoying what you do, you have already succeeded.” Fuller said a person doesn’t need the fanciest camera equipment to get started, in fact, that is where he learned a lot by trial and error in the beginning. “Hunting is a culture — it’s a lifestyle,” he said. “That culture is starting to die down. Every year the number of hunters has gone down. Maybe it is due to kids wanting to stay inside and play games more. I don’t know, but what I do know is that it is better and healthier for you to be outside.” Watching a new hunter learn and enjoy the art is an honor to Steven. “Each year I encourage my staff to get out and find someone new to teach,” he said. “Sharing the experience is fun, there is nothing like it.” The Hunting Group focuses on skills for every season. “We are not just private land hunters either, we mix it up and have a wide variety of skills for every hunter.” n


By Lisa Ramirez

A Community Rallied Together

DINING FOR DIABETES 2020 Would you like to sponsor 2020 events or donate to the online silent auction? Please contact Lisa Ramirez at lisa.ramirez@coxhealth.com or 417-509-7684.



ovember is Diabetes Awareness Month. In 2018, 34.2 million Americans, or 10.5 percent of the population had diabetes. For those over age 65, the prevalence jumps to 26.8 percent. Uncontrolled diabetes and elevated blood sugars can affect every part of the body and can lead to kidney failure, stroke, amputation, and vision loss, among other things. While a diabetes diagnosis can be scary and overwhelming, the good news is that with proper medical management and lifestyle changes, the risk of complications from diabetes can be greatly reduced.

Be sure to “like” the CoxHealth Foundation Facebook page and tune in the week of December 5-12 to participate in this year’s Dining for Diabetes events.

There are many wonderful resources in Southwest Missouri that can provide patients with the tools and knowledge to manage the disease and improve overall health. One of these resources that has been a staple in the Monett community and surrounding areas is the Dining for Diabetes Program. Nineteen years ago, a local community member and dietitian came together to discuss how they could help those in need of diabetes education and medications in the area, and the idea of a dinner auction evolved. The first year,

about $3,000 was raised for the cause. Each year, the event has grown and so has the need. This past January, over $95,000 was raised to support our community’s diabetes needs. The funds that are raised all stay in the Monett region and 100 percent of the funds go directly to cover patient’s needs. The funds are used for a variety of diabetes-related services, including diabetes-self management education, emergency medication assistance, glucose testing supplies, diabetes eye exams, dental work, and more.

ConnectionMO.com/HealthyConnection | Connection Magazine | 29

Winterization Rates 4 Cylinder I/O Winterization Only $115 Winterization & Oil Change $165 V-6 I/O Winterization Only $125 Winterization & Oil Change $175 V-8 I/O Winterization Only $135 Winterization & Oil Change $185 (Small Block) Winterization & Oil Change $195 (Big Block)

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Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the annual dinner auction will not be able to take place this year. In lieu of the in-person event, there will be some exciting virtual events the week of December 5-12, 2020. Get your Christmas shopping done this year while supporting a great cause during a weeklong virtual silent auction. “Dine” with the community each night that week as we air a food demo presenting wholesome holiday and diabetes-friendly recipes led by the Cox College Dietetic Interns. The September Healthy Connection article focused on efforts to address pre-diabetes and provided more information on the National Diabetes Prevention Program that is starting in Monett. We are committed to addressing the diabetes epidemic, from prevention to treatment. Dining for Diabetes is a testament to what a community can achieve when they rally around a cause. We are beyond grateful for the team of sponsors that have supported Dining for Diabetes year after year. If you have diabetes and would like to register for a CoxHealth Diabetes Self-Management Education class or to get an application for the Dining for Diabetes program, please call 417-509-7684. To learn more about Prevent T2 Monett (a National Diabetes Prevention Program), contact Kelsa Ferguson at 417-635-4562.

Lisa Ramirez, MPH, RDN, LD is a Registered Dietitian and lead of the Center for Health Improvement at Cox Monett Hospital. She enjoys camping, biking, hiking, and spending time with her 1-year-old daughter.


Oliver Gilliam 4-year-old big brother of 4-day-old Crosby Gilliam. Their parents are Jared and Jessica Gilliam of Monett.

Congrats Oliver & Crosby Email your child’s photo to:

connection@monett-times.com Photos should be sent in the original JPG format at the highest resolution possible. Remember to include your child’s name, parent’s name, age, city and your contact information. The contest is open to children ages 10 and younger. The photos submitted will be used for the sole purpose of this contest.

ConnectionMO.com | Connection Magazine | 31

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The walls of the Schelin home are covered with family history including a portrait of Andrew Schelin who purchased the farm in 1874. (below) Symbols of the family’s Swedish heritage are found throughout the home including this sign proudly displayed in front of the house.

Preserving the History of Missouri Farms Families


Century Farms


eading up to the 1976 Bicentennial celebrations across the United States, leaders in Missouri decided to focus on the importance of farming in the state. In 1975, the Missouri Committee for Agriculture, working with the University of Missouri, began developing a program to recognize Missouri farms that have remained in the same family for 100 years or more. Originally, 2,850 farms were recognized as “Century Farms.” That number has grown significantly over the years. The program currently recognizes 9,668 Century Farms across Missouri. One of these farms is the Schelins’

Story by Annie Lisenby Smith

Skåne Farm established in 1874 where descendants of the original owners still live and where the land is still used for farming. In 1869, Andrew Sjolin immigrated to the United States from Sweden. He met another Swedish immigrant on the Bethel, a ship used for missionary purposes by the Methodist Church to welcome and assist new immigrants to Brooklyn, New York. The other immigrant, Eva Sophia Rädström, would soon become Andrew’s wife. During their short time in New York, a German blacksmith friend changed the spelling of their family name to the more American-looking Schelin. ConnectionMO.com | Connection Magazine | 33

Beyond the old outhouse that stands behind the home are the railroad tracks that brought Andrew and Eva Sophia to settle in Missouri 146 years ago.

“I pumped [water] every day and carried it in. Even the main farmhouse didn’t have indoor plumbing until after 1954.” -Jennie Schelin

Jennie Schelin (left) is the granddaughter-in-law of the farm’s original founders. Jennie’s daughter, Miriam Childers (right), helps maintain historical family records documenting her ancestors’ journeys from Sweden to the United States. 34 | November 2020

Seeking to set up their lives in America, the newlyweds traveled across the post-Civil War United States to a home Andrew had bought in rural Missouri. The Schelin’s granddaughter-in-law, Jennie Schelin said that Andrew had been “sold a bill of goods.” Schelin said that Eva Sophia “raised cane” when she discovered that their new home next to the railroad tracks in what is now rural Verona had dirt floors. “The next day they didn’t know what to do, so Grandpa went for a walk and saw this house,” Schelin said. “He learned that the owner was Canadian and wanted to go back to his sister. Grandfather ended up buying the farm that day.” Andrew Schelin was a tailor by trade and set up a small workshop next to the train lines and the train stop near the farm. “He made conductor uniforms for Albert Geister who lived across from me when I was a child,” Schelin said proudly. Making their lives on their new farm in rural Missouri, Andrew and Eva Sophia expanded their family with eight children, one of which passed away at a young age. While the two oldest sons moved to Chicago and Wichita, their third son, Victor, spent only a few years away from home in St. Louis before returning to work the farm with his family. Their youngest son, Ernest, ran the Maple Leaf Dairy north of the family farm for many years. Jennie Schelin’s daughter, Miriam Childers, told the story of Andrew Schelin’s unfortunate demise. “He’d sent the farm’s tax money with a man to Mt. Vernon. The man absconded and someone told Great-Grandfather that the farm was being put up for sale because the taxes weren’t paid. So, he rode by horse to Mt. Vernon to pay

Autumn colors embrace the Schelin family home. The same house has sat on the farm since before Andrew Schelin purchased the home and land in 1874.

the taxes. It was December, and he rode back in a cold rain, developed pneumonia, and died in 1900 at the age of 60. In the early days working the farm, the Schelin family originally grew wheat and oats. Over time, they transitioned into dairy cattle farming. And in the 1960s, with the fluctuation of milk and beef prices, they switched to beef cattle.

Still a working farm today, cattle graze the land as they have for decades. ConnectionMO.com | Connection Magazine | 35

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36 | November 2020

In 1948, Albert Victor, Victor’s son, married local girl Jennie. They moved into a small house located on adjoining land that had no water in the home. “I pumped it every day and carried it in,” Schelin said. “Even the main farmhouse didn’t have indoor plumbing until after 1954.” The Schelin farm has been in the family since 1874, well beyond the minimum of 100 years to qualify as a Century Farm. The house that stands on the farm is the same one that was standing when Andrew bought it. In 1884, the farmhouse was relocated so that it would be located closer to the soon-to-be constructed new county road. After Andrew’s death in 1900, Eva Sophia made some adaptations so she could have a proper dining room. It hasn’t changed much since then with the exception of adding indoor plumbing. Today, Jennie Schelin and her daughter live in the same house Childers’ great-grandparents lived in. At age of 91, Schelin can’t work the farm but leases the land to a neighboring family so that it is still actively used to farm beef cattle. Every inch of the house is covered with memories from the family. Photos decorate the walls. An antique pump organ that still works stands proudly in the living room. And Schelin and Childers were excited to share their memory books about their family, their Swedish heritage, and their connection with Globe Methodist Church that used to be located down the road. In this part of the country, family and farms are both important parts of our culture. Through the University of Missouri’s Century Farm designations, farms like the Schelin’s and many others are recognized for their history and continued contributions to their communities. n


Awesome Sausage, Apple and Cranberry Stuffing INGREDIENTS

1 ½ cups cubed whole wheat bread 3 ¾ cups cubed white bread 1 pound ground turkey sausage 1 cup chopped onion ¾ cup chopped celery 2 ½ teaspoons dried sage 1 ½ teaspoons dried rosemary ½ teaspoon dried thyme 1 Golden Delicious apple, cored and chopped ¾ cup dried cranberries ⅓ cup minced fresh parsley 1 cooked turkey liver, finely chopped ¾ cup turkey stock 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

DIRECTIONS 1. Preheat oven to 350 degree F (175 degree C). Spread the white and whole wheat bread cubes in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Bake for 5 to 7 minutes in the preheated oven, or until evenly toasted. Transfer toasted bread cubes to a large bowl. 2. In a large skillet, cook the sausage and onions over medium heat, stirring and breaking up the lumps until evenly browned. Add the celery, sage, rosemary, and thyme; cook, stirring, for 2 minutes to blend flavors. 3. Pour sausage mixture over bread in bowl. Mix in chopped apple, dried cranberries, parsley, and liver. Drizzle with turkey stock and melted butter, and mix lightly. Allow stuffing to cool completely before loosely stuffing a turkey.

Happy Thanksgiving from Connections Magazine staff

Thanksgiving-Style Turkey Meatloaf INGREDIENTS

2 pounds ground turkey 2 large eggs eggs, beaten slightly 1 onion, coarsely chopped ¾ cup regular rolled oats ½ cup fresh green beans, chopped ½ cup fresh cranberries, chopped 1 teaspoon dried rosemary 1 teaspoon bay leaf, crumbled salt and ground black pepper to taste ¼ pound thinly sliced pancetta 2 tablespoons butter 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour 1 clove garlic, minced 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg 1 cup milk ½ cup chicken broth 1 teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon ground black pepper

DIRECTIONS 1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease a 9x9 inch square baking dish. 2. Mix the ground turkey with the eggs, onion, rolled oats, green beans, cranberries, rosemary, and bay leaf in a large bowl. Use your hands to thoroughly blend the ingredients. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Spread the ground turkey mixture over the bottom of the prepared dish. Top with a layer of pancetta. 3. Bake the meatloaf in preheated oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Check for doneness when juices run clear, and an internal thermometer inserted into the meatloaf reaches 160 degrees F (70 degrees C). 4. Meanwhile, to make the gravy, melt the butter in a pan over medium heat. Stir in the flour, and cook for 1 to 2 minutes until the mixture becomes paste-like and light brown. Stir in the garlic, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Gradually whisk in the milk and chicken broth, bringing the mixture to a boil. Lower the heat to medium, and continue cooking and whisking until desired thickness is reached. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve spooned over sliced meatloaf.

ConnectionMO.com | Connection Magazine | 37

Sweet Dinner Rolls

Thanksgiving Stuffed Pumpkin



½ cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C) ½ cup warm milk 1 egg ⅓ cup butter, softened ⅓ cup white sugar 1 teaspoon salt 3 ¾ cups all-purpose flour 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast ¼ cup butter, softened

DIRECTIONS 1. 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. 2. 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). 3. Bake in preheated oven for 10 to 15 minutes, until golden.

½ cup sliced almonds 1 tablespoon butter 1 onion, finely chopped 2 large eggs eggs, lightly beaten ½ cup mayonnaise 1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup 2 (14 ounce) bags frozen chopped broccoli, thawed and drained salt and pepper to taste 1 large sugar pumpkin, top removed, seeded 3 cups shredded Cheddar cheese 1 (16 ounce) package herb seasoned stuffing mix ½ cup melted butter

DIRECTIONS 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). 2. Place the almonds in a skillet over medium heat, and cook 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until lightly toasted. 3. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a skillet over medium heat, and saute the onion until tender. 4. In a bowl, mix the onion, eggs, mayonnaise, cream of mushroom soup, and broccoli. Season with salt and pepper. Scoop 1/3 of the mixture into the pumpkin. Layer with 1 cup cheese and 1/3 stuffing, and drizzle with 1/3 melted butter. Sprinkle with 1/3 toasted almonds. Repeat layers. Place pumpkin on a baking sheet. 5. Bake pumpkin 1 hour, or until filling is hot and bubbly. Cover pumpkin with aluminum foil if it begins to brown.

Peace on Earth, Goodwill toward Men 38 | November 2020


Watch Our Facebook Page For Exciting Auctions And More!!!

Atmybestfriendscloset@gmail.com 417-635-2000

Find us on Facebook 815 Jerome Ln, Monett, MO 65708

Located right behind Taco Bell in Monett CONNECTION ON THE GO Gary Youngblood, Barry County presiding commissioner, along with his daughter and son-in-law, Jamie and Ian, who live in Golden, Colo., took a copy of Connection magazine to an all new height when they recently climbed the highest mountain in the state of Colorado, Mt. Elbert, which is 14,433 feet to the summit.

ConnectionMO.com | Connection Magazine | 39

CUTEST PET One and a half year old pet rabbit. Furbaby belonging to Sharllana and Manny Wishon of Washburn

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

connection@monett-times.com 40 | November 2020


By Christa Stout

Stray Lives Matter steps up for kitties in need


o you know how many cats are euthanized each year? Over 1.4 million a year. And this may not even include many of the feral cats. Our smaller rural towns are literally overrun with cats and kittens. The attached poster shows the breeding statistics very well – it is literally overwhelming. Most towns and city pounds don’t have the ability to take care of the overpopulation of cats, although they would probably agree that there is a problem.

This is where an organization called Stray Animals Matter comes in. The 501(c) (3) organization was started by a husband and wife team who love animals, all animals, but they saw a need to start a program to reduce the number of feral cats and their offspring, and to help provide spay/neuter services for the many housecats who have not been neutered because their owners do not have the means to do so. So how does it work? Cindy and her husband are usually contacted by someone who is aware of many cats being in a neighborhood, sometimes because they were left behind, sometimes because they were dumped and sometimes because they got lost and wandered into the neighborhood. Cindy generally goes to this area and sets

traps. Once the cats are contained, she will pick them up, make arrangements to get them neutered and spayed, drives them to the vets and/or clinics that she has spay/neuter agreements with, and picks them up to return them to where they came from. This process does not stop the number of cats immediately, but it does stop the multiplication and inbreeding of new cats and kittens in the neighborhood. It also keeps cats from being euthanized. Usually, Cindy tries to keep the number of cats that are going to be spayed and neutered to 10 to 15 cats per trip, to keep the expense manageable. As of October, they have provided spay and neuter services to 338 cats year-to-date. 99 percent of these cats were stray and/or abandoned animals. They are not able at this time to do owner-surrenders and Cindy feels that if it is a matter of lack of funds for cat food, she would prefer to keep the pets at home and provide some cat food instead. Cindy works with people and organizations throughout the Southwest Missouri area. The organization recently purchased an empty convenience store in Marionville, and they are working hard at renovating it, turning it into a cat rescue center. They are hoping to

If one cat has three kittens, then each kitten has three more, by generation four, there are 40+ cats breeding - not only the new kittens, but the original mother and her later babies, too. One mother cat can breed up to three times in one year. Kittens can start breeding as early as four months old, and will mate with siblings. The average litter size for a young mother is three, but older cats can have as many as 10. Even inside-only cats can manage to slip outside while in heat.

Source: TheNest.com For more information, visit StrayAnimalsMatter.org

ConnectionMO.com/RescuedMyFavoriteBreed | Connection Magazine | 41

redo the floor within the next few weeks, after that the dream includes one wall with cat condos, where cats may reside, while they are recovering from an injury or while awaiting adoption.

Although Stray Animals Matter tries hard to keep from housing cats currently, they do have two kittens up for adoption:

The next step would be to add an area for a thrift store to supplement the maintenance and expenses for the center. Any volunteers out there who are willing to put in a few hours work or provide some supplies? And when the couple are not restoring their building, they are doing fundraising. Because of their dedication to this project, the couple have had to use many of their own funds. However, Cindy says she has learned to be very successful in using social media to help support their efforts to keep a healthy cat population in this area. Their dream is to eventually provide a food bank for people who have cats but cannot afford to purchase cat food. Emergency vet services is also on the wish list, as is providing a low cost shot clinic. They have recently entered into an agreement with PetCo in Springfield, and Petco has been able to place several kitties in their new homes. In the meantime, their van, used to transport cats to clinics for spaying recently had some expensive repairs and of course, remodeling an old building and turning it into a center for cat help, is not cheap. They are always looking for qualified cat fosters and volunteers to help out with all of the chores that come with running the spay/neuter service, so if you are interested, please contact Cindy. 42 | November 2020


, (yellow) is a sweet kitten, who was found in Monett, with a horribly swollen eye, it is unknown how this happened, but after some vet attention and a lot of loving, Buddy is now available for adoption.


, (grey kitten) received his name because he was the only one of six kittens who survived after an attempt by their owner to shoot and kill them with a 22 rifle. His injuries required that his leg be amputated, but he is doing great and is now a happy go lucky kitten.


If you would like to support this effort to keep the cat population down and healthy, please contact them directly:

STRAY ANIMALS MATTER 417-986-1061 StrayAnimalsMatter@gmail.com P.O. Box 111, Marionville, MO 65705

The 2020 MSHSAA state qualifiers for speech and debate.

MHS Drama, Speech & Debate The Tradition of Success Continues


he Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHSAA) oversees a number of competitive activities. Often people would think of these activities as sports like football or track and field. But MSHSAA also recognizes the value and competitiveness of high school drama and speech and debate. At Monett High School there is a long tradition of excellence in these fields.

Story by Annie Lisenby Smith

Leading the speech and debate team is Gary Cook. Other than serving as the head speech and debate coach, he also teaches social studies at the high school and introductory speech at the middle school. A graduate of MHS, Cook returned in 2004 as an assistant coach for the speech and debate team before signing on to teach full-time in 2007. He took a few years off to work on his master’s degree and returned to speech and debate as the head coach in 2018. ConnectionMO.com | Connection Magazine | 43

Also starting in 2018 was Tabitha Carroll, theatre teacher and director and assistant coach for speech and debate. “When we came into the program, the team had only seven students,” Cook said. “There are currently about 35 students in the speech and debate program at Monett High School this year.” Besides Cook and Carroll, MHS teacher April Smith and MHS speech and debate alum Garrett Maxey help coach the students to achieve their best performances in competition. Cook and his team have had to make adaptations due to the coronavirus pandemic. “This year speech and debate tournaments are being offered virtually. Students compete just like they always did, except their performances, speeches, and debates are online through a software platform developed by the National Speech and Debate Association,” Cook explained. “Our students can be

44 | November 2020

in our classroom debating a student from Kansas City while the judge is from St. Louis. It has been a challenge to adapt but it has opened up a whole new perspective on how this activity is so wide-reaching.” The areas of competition for speech, debate and theatre are wide. In the debate realm, there are three different types of debates using topics provided in advance. These topics reflect issues Americans face today. For speech, the 11 events for competition range from student-written speeches, to extemporaneous speaking, to interpretive acting performances. For drama, Carroll explains that there are two areas of competition. “In theatre, students compete with the oneact play or readers theatre in the spring. We are waiting to hear if and how those will continue with COVID-19 precautions.”

“Our students can be in our classroom debating a student from Kansas City while the judge is from St. Louis.” -Gary Cook, head of the MHS Speech and Debates teams, talks about the 2020 virtual tournaments

In the fall of 2019, the Monett High School speech and debate team won second place overall as a team at the Diamond High School tournament.

In 2018, the MHS drama students performed their fall play, the comedy “The Curious Savage.

Carroll, far left, stands with the cast and crew of MHS’s 2019 fall play “Kodachrome” by Adam Szymkowicz.

ConnectionMO.com | Connection Magazine | 45

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46 | November 2020

Students who compete in drama and speech and debate competitions put in a lot of time to perfect their skills. “Even just for a student performing a 10-minute persuasive speech like an original oratory, it takes hours and hours of work to brainstorm, write, sit down with the coaches to revise, memorize, and work on the performance,” Cook said. “Our competition season begins in October and ends for those who go to nationals in June.” With 87 students involved in drama at MHS through the Drama Club and the fall play, there are many hours of hard work put in for a quality performance as well. “The hours are too many to count,” Carroll said. “Our rehearsal process typically takes around six to seven weeks with rehearsals happening two hours a day, four days a week.” When the students compete against other schools, they aren’t broken into classes like athletics. “Students participate in invitational tournaments throughout the year. On any given weekend we may compete with schools ranging in size from Purdy or Diamond to Joplin, Parkway West, or Raytown,” Cook said. He explained that there are state and national level competitions each year, but this year might look different because of COVID. In the short time that Cook and Carroll have led the team there have been many successes. Connor Henry won fourth place in Radio Speaking in 2019. That year also saw Ben Verstraete advancing to quarterfinals at the national tournament in Congressional Debate. “Numerous students qualified for state last year, but it was cancelled due to the pandemic,” Cook said. “We had two students (Ben Verstraete and Katie A. Smith) qualify for nationals last year. In addition, we’ve had numerous students place in invitational tournaments.” “Last year at the Crowder College One Act & Readers Theatre Festival,

The cast and crew of the one-act play “Antigone Now” by Melissa Cooper. At MSHSAA districts, the students placed in third place.

one of our readers theatre actors (Emily Conaway) earned Best Featured Female Actress,” Carroll said of the drama program’s competitions. “In 2019, our readers theatre earned third place at districts. And in 2020, our one-act play earned third place.” Like many teachers you meet, Cook and Carroll speak highly of their students and value the bonds they’ve built with them through the many hours of work. “What I am most proud of is the community these students have created. They cheer each other on through the good times and bad,” Carroll said. “They have come out of their shells, discovered new things about themselves, and are finding a sense of purpose in the world. They’ve made this theatre department their home, and that means the world to me.” Carroll went on to describe the mission statement that was created by the students in her Advanced Drama class. “Monett High School Theatre Department: Fostering a creative environment in which our commitment

to one another fuels our drive for expression, originality, and imagination. What part will you play?” Describing his many years working with students, Cook said, “I love watching the students grow. The skills they learn in these activities can apply to any career they choose. I also love how much of a family we’ve become. After they graduate, you don’t lose touch either. I have been to weddings, college graduations, and other sorts of major life events of my former kiddos long after they have left Monett High School.” This year there have been challenges, but the programs continue strong. Although MHS’s Priscilla Bradford Speech and Debate Tournament, usually held the first week of December, had to be cancelled, Cook and Carroll look forward to continuing it in 2021. Students in speech and debate will compete throughout the 2020-2021 season. And the theatre program has plans to present plays for the community. There will be adaptations made to

how the rehearsals and performances function to follow COVID-19 safety guidelines. “Our fall play, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, will take place November 19-21 at 7:00 p.m.,” Carroll said. “We will have limited in-person audience in the Monett Performing Arts Center, and will also be streaming our performances online for folks to watch from home.” The tradition of excellence in the Monett High School drama and speech and debate programs continues on under the leadership and passion of Cook and Carroll. They are also quick to add their appreciation for the other coaches and the community for their support of the students and the programs. “We are so thankful to have such great community support,” Cook said. “From donating dress clothes for those students who might not be able to afford them, to judging our speech and debate tournament, to even helping us fund our trips to nationals, this community has always donated so much and we deeply appreciate it.” n

ConnectionMO.com | Connection Magazine | 47


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The Friends of Jolly Mill Park hosted Jolly Mill Park History Day, Oct. 3. 1. Dorin Danner, Damon Danner 2. Levi Haskins, Nathan Haskins, Jim Mays 3. Karen and Kenny Wilson 4. Front: Sue Dyle, Piper Price; Back: Neale and Fran Johnson 5. Joni and Danny Potter 6. Robert and Shirley Spellman 7. Nancy (Haskins) and Keith Wallis 8. William C. Kearnes (seated), Raymond Kearnes

48 | November 2020





6 3

4 Dedication ceremonies for the Freedom Silo in Monett were held Saturday, Oct. 10.


1. Jim and Marilyn Hatz and Moses 2. Cheryl and Lonnie Lawson and Rexanna Hood 3. Danny and Lora Fowler and Moose 4. Cathy Lewis and Al and Kay Williams and Peaches 5. William and Cheryl Noble 6. Jennifer and Wilder Conner 7. Ana Caraway and Linda Gaines 8. Smokey and Janey Stover


ConnectionMO.com | Connection Magazine | 49

PARTING SHOT Photo by Amber Pugh

Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower. -Albert Camus

50 | November 2020

Advertiser Index Acambaro ...........................................32 Aire Serv................................................ 6 A-List Properties...............................46 Barry Lawrence Regional Library..... 3 Bill Vance Marine..............................30 Brigitta Vance.....................................30 Bruner Pharmacy...............................23 Cappy Harris Realtors......................32 Carey’s Cassville Florist...................17 Cox Medical Centers........................52 Cubs Café...........................................18 Diet Center.........................................28 Doug’s Pro Lube................................14 Edward Jones....................................... 5 First State Bank of Purdy................13 Fohn Funeral Home..........................17 Four Seasons Real Estate.................. 9 Freedom Bank of Southern Missouri. .......................................................... 2 Guanajuato .......................................... 9 J&J Floor Covering...........................14 Johnson Chiropractic.......................22 Ken’s Collision Center........................ 9 Kiddie City..........................................32 Lackey Body Works..........................18 Lil Boom Town Event Center..........51 Missouri Farm Bureau......................17 My Best Friend’s Closet...................39 Ozark Methodist Manor..................30 Peppers and Co.................................23 Race Brothers...................................... 6 Roaring River Health & Rehab........13 Rusty Gate Flea Market...................23 Security Bank of Southwest Missouri ........................................................51 Shelter Insurance.......................23, 28 The Coffee Café................................13 The Farmer’s Daughter....................36 Tisha Trotter......................................... 8 Tomblin’s Jewelry..............................22 Trogdon Marshall .............................36 VisionHealth Eye Center.................18 White’s Insurance.............................36 Whitley Pharmacy............................... 2

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52 | November 2020

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