Page 1


January 2018

Finding the new you in the new year

Revisions A Good Fit Cassville sisters preach fitness

Lighter step Embracing the journey

Hood Homes Renewed dwellings

lost lessons one-room schoolhouse What they knew then

Connection Magazine | 1

2 | January 2018 A magazine dedicated to Southwest Missourians

PUBLISHER Jacob Brower EDITOR Kyle Troutman Marketing director Lisa Craft

Happy New Year

ADVERTISING REPRESENTATIVES Sheila Harris James Craig Marion Chrysler

As the calendar turns the page, we wish you the very best in the year ahead.

CONTRIBUTORS Murray Bishoff Meagan Ruffing Lisa Ramirez Darlene Wierman Melonie Roberts Sheila Harris Susan Funkhouser Pam Wormington Brad Stillwell Jared Lankford Julia Kilmer Dionne Zebert Jane Severson Verna Fry Angie Judd Cheryl Williams Sierra Gunter

Financial Advisor

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

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

PHOTOGRAPHERS Chuck Nickle Brad Stillwell Jamie Brownlee Amy Sampson

Nathan Roetto AAMS®

Jim Haston

Financial Advisor

Financial Advisor

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

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

DISTRIBUTION Greg Gilliam Kevin Funcannon

Donald E Weber

TO ADVERTISE 417-847-2610 - Cassville 417-235-3135 - Monett Send email inquiries to Mailing address: P.O. Box 40, Monett, MO 65708 Connection is published monthly and distributed free in Cassville, Monett, Exeter, Washburn, Pierce City, Mt. Vernon, Aurora, Verona, Roaring River, Eagle Rock, Shell Knob, Purdy, Wheaton, Freistatt, Marionville, Seligman, Golden and other surrounding areas. Connection is a publication of the Cassville Democrat, The Monett Times and Rust Communications.

Jeramie Grosenbacher, CFP®

Shane A Boyd

Nicole Weber Financial Advisor

Financial Advisor

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Scott Young Financial Advisor

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Member SIPC

Connection Magazine | 3

We are looking to honor 10 southwest Missouri women for their roles in making our community a great place to live! Tell us why a woman you know (or yourself) deserves to be featured

10 Influential

in our 10 Influential Women feature in the May 2018 edition by emailing your nomination: Nomination deadline is March 1.


m a g a z i n2018 e dedicated 4 | AJanuary

to Southwest Missourians

J a n u a r y 2018


Features 17 | Refit

Three sisters set out the change the face of fitness in Cassville

40 | Lawrence County Gospel sing

Singing the songs of church traditions

25 | Bring on the bees

46 | One-room education

A sting said to bring relief to arthritic pain

34 | Original restorations

Thad Hood of Monett displays master craftsman skill in his home repair business



The principles of the simple school house that musn’t be forgotten

51 | Love’s labor

Cherie Love of Cassville creates weighted items for children in need


Connection Magazine | 5

On the cover Photo by Linda Sparkman


January 2018

Finding the new you in the new year

Revisions A Good Fit Cassville sisters preach fitness

Lighter step Embracing the journey

Hood Homes renewed dwellings

lost lessons one-room school house What the knew then

Connection Magazine | 1

Contents 9 Healthy Connection: Embracing the journey

13 Parenting Column: Self-care 21 Proud Parent contest

23 Pam Wormington: Fishing with my father

Photo by Cathy Lewis of Pierce City

28 Recipes

30 Bottles & Brews

31 Community Calendar 54 Familiar Faces

56 Cutest Pet contest 57 My Connection 58 Parting Shot

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

JOIN US ONLINE: Photo by Lonna Norman at Top of the Rock.

6 | January 2018

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Journey to a healthier life


Healthy connection

Mary Sue

‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step’ said the philosopher Lao Tzu. Journeys from Home participants, Kella Lee and MarySue Myerhoven, know this all too well. As you begin to consider what your New Year’s resolutions might be this year, take some advice from MarySue and Kella, who have found the recipe to success through their participation in the Journeys from Home program. Journeys from Home is an eight-week weight management program through Cox Monett Hospital that includes individualized meal planning, weekly weigh-ins and online consultations with a registered dietitian. Kella, a mother of two, participated in Journeys from Home from October 2016 until June 2017. “I lost 47 pounds, but really I gained a new life – I have so much active fun with my kids now and I still love food, but I love it in portioned moderation, so I can still enjoy it too,” Kella said. “I have gained a lifestyle that I have maintained since June.”

MarySue, a massage therapist from Eureka Springs, Ark., participated in the program from November 2016 until April 2017. During this time, she lost 42 pounds and went from a size 20 to a size 10. MarySue found that weight loss can happen slowly — half a pound here, half a pound there – but with continued support and persistence, you can reach your goals.

MarySue: “I struggled with my weight for about 20 years and thought I was always going to be heavy. I was going to cycling classes, but was not taking any weight off. The first week I joined Journeys from Home, I lost almost 5 pounds.

What made you join Journeys from Home?

Kella: “The first few weeks, I was

Kella: “I lived a sedentary life with very active kids. I was not happy. When I realized this, I knew it was time for a change. Change, so I could be a better example for my children. I wanted to teach them how to be healthy, by example, so that when they grow up, hopefully, they won’t have to struggle with being overweight — physically and emotionally.”

How did you stay motivated? so hungry all the time. It was so hard! But, I always kept my children in my mind. My biggest motivation, that ‘Wow, I can do this!’ moment was Thanksgiving. It is my favorite holiday, because I love all the food. I was a little sad and nervous, because I thought by dieting it meant that I could not enjoy the holiday. I decided that I was going to eat two small meals so I could fully enjoy the day, and I lost three pounds that week! After that, I knew I could do it. When I was feeling discouraged, I reminded myself of Thanksgiving.”

Connection Magazine | 9

My 5-year-old daughter loves to help MarySue: “I found that diet and exercise helped boost my mood. It makes you feel good. I stopped eating out and started cooking most of my meals at home. I weigh in each week and if I’ve gained a pound or two, I increase my exercise.”

Hardest part of your weight loss journey?

me cut vegetables ... She is learning to be healthy and I’m not even telling her, I’m showing her and this fills my heart.

Kella: “This for me was not just a ‘diet,’ I wanted this to be truly a lifestyle change. And this often was a struggle, because I didn’t cut out my favorite foods. I knew that in my real life there would always be these things, so if I didn’t eat them now, when I was ‘done’ losing weight they would be my weakness and cause me to gain my weight back. Instead, we made rules about how much of my favorites I could have, so when I went out to a Chinese buffet, I ate my ‘measured out’ portion of rice, and chicken and one egg roll, and that was it.” MarySue: “Overall, I did not have

MarySue: “I used to eat out almost

many setbacks. The program is a formula that works, but you need to give 110 percent. There are no shortcuts, and you have to be willing to put in the work and willing to exercise. I’ve seen people join other weight loss programs and not lose anything because you have to be honest.”

- Kella Lee

Non-scale victories?

Words of wisdom?

Kella: “I am teaching my children

Kella: “Advice I would give to oth-

to cook. My 5-year-old daughter loves to help me cut vegetables and add the seasonings and anything she can get her hands on. She is learning to be healthy and I’m not even telling her, I’m showing her and this fills my heart. All my life is built around being a mom, so all of my Journeys experience is built around that, being a mom. I never thought weight loss and exercise could be so family friendly.”

ers struggling is ‘You are amazing and you can do this! Don’t be afraid. Find a reason for change and go after it! Don’t give up, no matter if this is your first time or your 10th time trying to lose weight, keep trying. Making yourself healthier is not something to quit. Find accountability in a weight loss program, someone that it makes you feel a little bad if you disappoint. It pushes you. Spend the money, if that’s what works. Life is hard and expensive, but your health is important.”

every day. Now, it is only once or twice a week. I also love cycling. I am now able to climb the hills of Eureka Springs without getting tired. I even feel closer spiritually to my Creator by having achieved my goal.”

MarySue: “You have to really want it with every inch of your life. Going through this program is like early sobriety — you have to change every inch of your life. Plan out your meals. If you go on a trip, take food with you. It will keep you from eating too much and will take the guess work out of it.”

If you are interested in participating in the Journeys from Home program or meeting with a registered dietitian to discuss how you can reach your weight loss goals, contact Nancy Ridgley at 417-354-1280.

Joshalyn Murray, dietetic intern at CoxHealth, is pursuing a master’s degree in nutrition diagnostics and dietetic internship at Cox College in Springfield. Originally from Frierson, La., she received her bachelor’s of science degree with a minor in mass media from Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, Ark.

10 | January 2018

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Connection Magazine | 11


March 2017


A magazine dedicated to Southwest Missourians

April 2017



A magazine dedicated to Southwest Missourians

June 2017

May 2017

diving in

Fear of swimming is no excuse








Books open the way to learning


Circus in Joplin full of spectre

Collecting materials to help the earth

One Big


Flutist performs


Continuous cycle E


simply Weezee

Jo Tate Memorial Ride continues path of success

Tasteful jewelry by Shell Knob artisan


Gifts and experiences to share with Dad

Quilter creates trade in business


Future of


Exploring the western world

A magazine dedicated to Southwest Missourians

Local Business


GYPSY VANNERS Horses with a presence

A magazine dedicated to Southwest Missourians

Volunteer Spirit


Get ready for transition

Locals talk about fight club

‘You have nothing to prove’

Love letter to Monett


Hometown memories

Assisted living excellence

A magazine dedicated to Southwest Missourians

December 2017

Finding freedom dare to dream Favorite gifts ›ŽŠ•ȱ–ŠĴŽ›œ

Christmas Tea with the Ladies of SKHĜ Knob



Memories restore us





’—’—ȱ‘Žȱęȱ for your child

A magazine dedicated to Southwest Missourians

Home birth story a peaceful beginning

Angel Gowns


Couple retired to share hospitality

Connection Magazine | 1

Happy& Healthy

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Hospital volunteers care to help


November 2017


October 2017



Beyond barriers


September 2017

August 2017


SHARING MEMORIES Summers of yesteryear



New Heights


A magazine dedicated to Southwest Missourians

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July 2017

McDOWELL GOLD JUBILEE Celebrating music makers







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Parenting column

Self-care for women after the holidays November and December were a blur. It’s January and the holidays have come and gone, but the hustle and bustle of everyday life is still there. The beginning of a new year can be an exciting time but, believe it or not, it can be an extremely difficult time for those who seem to do it all. Self-care is something everyone needs to do more of, but women in particular need to start creating more margin in their lives in order to obtain and sustain a happy lifestyle. Easier said than done, right? Hold up. It is that easy and here’s how.


Set up a morning on the weekend when you can sleep in.

Sleeping in for you might be 7 a.m. or even 10 a.m. Have a talk with your spouse and see how you can both make this work. A good night’s sleep, coupled with enough sleep, is a recipe for rest and that’s something we should all make a priority. Sleeping in might require your spouse to take the kids out of the house right when they wake up. Can you say indoor park or breakfast out? Take it one step further by preparing for your sleep-in by turning your phone ringer off or down and wearing a sleep mask. Mornings like this probably don’t happen very often so make the most of it.


Take yourself shopping.

Your definition of shopping and your sister’s definition of shopping might vary drastically, but shop where it makes you happy. Whether it’s antiquing and just window shopping or it’s an all-out shopping spree at your local mall, make a day of it and treat yourself to something special. If going out and hitting the stores sounds stressful to you, shop online. Take yourself out for a cup of coffee at your local coffee shop and hunker down for a few hours. Women are some of the last people to actually do something nice for themselves. We’re usually busy taking care of other people. Put that on hold for a day and do something or buy something nice for yourself.


Paint your nails.

When’s the last time you painted your nails or went to the salon for a manicure? Doing your nails doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. Call one of your friends and ask her to come over for a nail painting session. Some of the best times are spent just in company with one another and that doesn’t have to cost a single thing. Pop a movie in the DVD player or hop on Netflix and make yourself some popcorn. Want a fun twist? Pick out each other’s nail polish colors – no questions asked. It will be fun to see what you pick out for each other and, to top it off, you’ll both have beautiful nails by the end of the night.

Connection Magazine | 13

Who is that one person who makes you laugh? Who makes you feel good about yourself? Who encourages you to be better while still being your authentic self? Call that friend and ask her to hang out.


Read a book.

You know that pile of books you’ve been looking at? Pick one up. You may have gotten one for Christmas or your birthday and haven’t had a chance to read it yet. Crack it open and find a cozy spot to curl up in. There’s very few things more relaxing than taking time out of your day to read a good book. If reading isn’t your thing, hop in the car for a drive and put in a book on tape. If it’s too hard for you to get away without the kids for a long period of time, head to the grocery store for your weekly shopping trip and put some ear buds in. Your grocery shopping experience just became a little more relaxing.

14 | January 2018


Go to the spa.

Spas usually still have holiday packages around this time of year, so before you call and schedule an hour-long massage, ask them if they have any specials going on. You can sometimes get an additional service for not much more money. If you do decide to go to the spa, be sure to bring a bottle of water with you. They’ll have some there for you before and after your service, but it’s important to stay hydrated throughout the day, even hours after going to the spa to help flush toxins out.


Call an old friend.

There’s nothing quite like some good old girl time. Think about it. Who is that one person who makes you laugh? Who makes you feel good about yourself? Who encourages you to be better while still being your authentic self? Call that friend and ask her to hang out. Go for a walk, head to the movies, get some ice cream or just be by yourself and talk to her on the phone. It feels good to catch up with people, especially the ones who invest in us.

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Connection Magazine | 15



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Ladies, take back some of your time that you have so selflessly given to everyone else and do something nice for yourself. It might feel strange at first and you might even feel guilty, but push through those feelings and remind yourself that you deserve the best. You deserve to be happy and it’s hard to continue to serve others if we ourselves are empty inside. Make self-care your No. 1 priority this year.

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You’ve probably done a lot of this throughout the holidays, but sometimes doing something unexpectedly for someone random can give us such a good feeling. A friend of mine once said, “If you want to do something selfish, go out and do something for someone else. You will always feel like a better person.”

No event is too large or too small

Self-care is something parenting writer Meagan Ruffing is constantly reminding herself to do. Barre classes at her local gym and coffee dates with friends are her go-to things when she’s feeling the need to create more margin. Visit her at for more self-care tips.

Sisters and friends, from left, Michelle Daniels, Misty Jolliffe, and Melissa Conner show their infectious enthusiasm for their new class, REFIT, which focuses on not just getting a workout, but refreshing the spirit and heart, too.


hree Cassville women, sisters, friends and dance lovers are offering a new kind of way to get a workout in the new year in one word and rocking it, too — REFIT. It’s not your typical exercise class. It’s a three-dimensional, communityminded fitness experience that addresses the whole person — the body, spirit and soul, and that takes the ‘work’ out of workouts.

Story by Julia Kilmer

Sisters step out of comfort zones, step into fitness and ministry

The concept makes perfect sense. The 60-minute class, which takes place inside The Plaza off Highway 248 in Cassville, utilizes dance and positive music to tone the body, promote flexibility, balance, and is designed for any body, and all fitness levels. “We are a dance fitness class,” said Misty Jolliffe. “It’s a lot like Zumba, but more about the heart work, sisterhood and coming together two nights a week to be with our sisters. It’s all about community, loving each other, and having

some place to go to feel comfortable. If you have to work out, it should be fun. After the class, people make connections and become friends.” The class takes place “under the neon lights.” Jolliffe said men are also welcome. “We always use disco or Christmas lights during class,” said Michelle Daniels. “It makes it more fun and less intimidating. We play a variety of music. About half is Christian pop. We also have Hip Hop & Oldies. All of our Connection Magazine | 17

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When they heard about all the benefits of REFIT, sisters, friends and dance enthusiasts Michelle Daniels, Misty Jolliffe and Melissa Conner traveled three hours away to become certified so that they could offer the unique exercise experience that meets the needs of body, spirit and soul, to local women.

REFIT participants enjoy ‘working out,’ if you could call it that, under black strobe lights, during a REFIT class, which sisters and friends Michelle Daniels, Misty Jolliffe and Melissa Conner say is more like a fun dance party. As a bonus, at the end of each class, the instructors spend at least five minutes focusing on an inspirational thought to bring to encourage women and share their faith.

music is G-rated and meant to be positive and uplifting.” The class was borne out of a mutual love of dance, a need to connect with others, have a comfortable and fun exercise outlet, and a desire to nourish their fellow sisterhood. “Michelle is my sister-in-law, and Melissa is her sister, and years ago we all took a Zumba class and loved it,” Jolliffe said. “The girl hosting had to quit and since then, we didn’t do anything. I wanted to get certified in Zumba last year, and just never did — we all work full-time — but it was always in the back of my mind. “My sister was googling Christian dance, and came across REFIT. One day, she called and said they were doing some certification classes. So [we all got certified]. We fell in love with it and wanted it to be an out-

reach. It’s our way of getting Jesus out there. It gives me chills because we know that someone might come to our class that will never set foot in a church. The class reflects our love of dance even though we’re not great at it.” The end of the class is ‘all heart.’ “For the last five minutes, REFIT requires us to do ‘heart work,’ and that can be whatever we choose, but it has to be something positive and it’s all about bringing the community together,” Jolliffe said. “We typically have a motivational quote or scripture and bring Jesus into it.” “For me, REFIT has given us an opportunity to do something we enjoy while meeting new people,” said Daniels. “We heard many say, ‘I can’t dance,’ or ‘I’m not going to be in the front row.’ We totally get it and felt

the same way before. The first class, you will not know what you are doing and that is OK. We do not consider ourselves great dancers by any means.” Daniels says the class gives her the personal time she needs to regroup, and offers the same for anyone who attends. “It is my ‘me’ time,” she said. “As a mom of a busy toddler and one on the way, I enjoy getting to do something for me. I am able to get in shape physically and connect with others in the community at the same time. I love what REFIT stands for. Not only do you focus on your physical being, but at the end of each class there is a short ‘heart work’ activity. “The heart work gives us the opportunity to share something positive and uplifting and our faith with

Connection Magazine | 19

Continuing the Legacy We understand being in the same business for generations. We also understand you’ve worked hard to secure a future for your family. Years of commitment and dedication have helped get you to where you are today. Let me help navigate the next step to assure your family is able to continue the legacy for future generations.

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others. When we came across it on the internet and saw that there was an instructors class only three hours away, we knew we had to go for it. We already feel blessed with those who have joined us, and are excited to see how God can use us and be a light for others in the community in 2018.” “I enjoy REFIT because it is a fun way to exercise,” said Melissa Conner. “I’ve found that taking a class or exercising with a group helps keep me more motivated and accountable than just trying to exercise by myself. We were excited when we found REFIT because it’s not your everyday exercise class. It puts focus on building community and the soul. One of our songs in our playlist is Unfinished by Mandisa. No one is perfect; we are all a work in progress. No matter what background, shape, age, or size you are, you can do REFIT.” “I feel like the sense of community, connection and addressing the spirit and heart makes us different,” said Jolliffe. “And that everybody can do this. We’re not claiming to be perfectly-inshape women. We want people to know that if we can do this, literally anyone can, and in all age groups. In our first class, we had someone who was 67. We have modifications if needed. “We are very passionate about incorporating community into fitness and we believe it shows in our class. Our goal is to become an outreach for Jesus and we hope that shines through.” And just about anyone can afford it, too, at only $5 per class. Ladies also have the option of purchasing classes in bulk making them only $4 each. After the holidays pass, classes will start up again twice per week beginning Jan. 4 — just in time for the new year and to start making those new year changes and plans. For more information about the class, or to sign up, Jolliffe can be reached at 479-876-9669.

∞ 20 | January 2018

Oakley is January’s cutest kid.

Proud parent

Congratulations, Oakley! Oakley Rilyn Fulp, 7 months old at the time of this photo, is the daughter of Derek and Stacy Fulp.

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

Connection Magazine | 21

Monett Artists’ Guild PRESENTS

Cheaper by the dozen

Friday, Feb. 2nd • 7:00 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 3rd • 7:00 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 4th • 2:00 p.m.

Doors open one hour prior to show time.

Admission: $5.00 each Sunday, Seniors & Disabled Individuals pay $1.00 each Monett HigH ScHool PerforMing ArtS center For more information, contact

Monett Chamber of Commerce 417-235-7919 22 | January 2018



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Fishing with my father


wice a year, my dad and his three siblings get together at Stockton Lake for the Redneck Reunion at Ruark Bluff West. These four weeks are spent camping, fishing, frying food, fellowship and a few far-fetched fishing stories. Each sibling has their own RV and the three men have very similar boats. I say that because each one thinks his is a little bit bigger and better. I affectionately refer to this as the “Redneck Reunion,” not because my family fits the traditional stigma that is seen on television, but because they put on no pretenses. They are who they are! They have all had successful careers and served our country. They all have had tough times and tragedy. They all have had or are fighting cancer. And they all know the meaning of living life with the love of family and friends. While the parents are camping, the next generation visits off and on during the scheduled time in hopes that the date they come is the day of the fish fry. This year, there were some sweet fourth-generation campers. And to think, this all started years ago with my grandparents who turned a Lay’s Potato Chip truck into a camper because my grandpa was a carpenter who cherished time with his family and fishing. This year, I was thrilled to have

by Pam Wormington

the time to park my RV in between my aunts and uncles and my dad. I joined them for breakfast and supper, and the time in between was spent not being productive. That’s a hard statement to make for a Type A, agenda-keeping, organizing and time management maniac. But here is what I’ve learned about the statement “that’s time I will never get back.” I’ve often grumbled it as I’ve stood in line at Walmart, traffic jams or just waiting on something or somebody that doesn’t seem to understand how precious my time is

and what is it worth. As I sat in the boat trolling around the lake waiting for fish to bite, I spent time with my dad. Time I will never get back. What I’ve also learned is that our time together on this earth is short. Regardless whether the fish are biting, that’s not the purpose of this time. The one that got away is always bigger than the one that’s in the live well. It’s not a fishing story if it’s all true. I also learned that after 50-plus years of fishing with my dad, it’s OK to talk in the boat. He really had me on that one.

Connection Magazine | 23

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I got memories — memories of time well spent having conversations, laughing ... time spent outdoors breathing in fresh air. - Pam Wormington I got an idea that my dad is more aware of time than I am. He is happy just to drive the boat, cast my rod and net my fish. You may be thinking that’s not fishing on my part. Well, no, I’m not going to win any tournaments that way or get my name on a big board with the “catch of the day,” but I may get an ice cream from the marina if the boat needs gas. More importantly, I got memories — memories of time well spent having conversations, laughing at my uncles who try to steal our fishing spot or lucky lure, time spent outdoors breathing in fresh air, soaking up some sun, relaxing and reeling in life at a slower pace. A few more things I’ve learned from the Redneck Reunion is that providing my uncles with baked treats ensures me hugs and a reprieve from fish cleaning. Paper plates, a few sticks of wood and some gasoline make for a good fire and recycling. If duct tape won’t fix it, then it is time to get something bigger and better. I’ve also learned that some family secrets are better left kept. I am happy to say that this family tradition was shared with my girls and their friends and are some of the best vacation memories in the books. I think I’ve convinced the boss that this happy camper is worth all the ‘glamping’ gear. What a catch I got.

Benefits of bee venom therapy Stings said to relieve arthritic pain


he medicinal use of bees has been a mainstay in ancient medicine. From Chinese texts to Hippocrates’ writings, Egyptians medicinal ointment made from bees, to Greek physician Galen, treatments made from bees were common. “It’s been going on for years and years,” said the late James Stephens, of Cassville. Bees are crucial to the ecosystem — they pollinate plants and flowers, ensuring that crops grow to feed the world’s population. “We wouldn’t have food if it wasn’t for the bees,” said Bonita Young of K&B Honeybees in Cassville. “One third of the food we eat comes from pollination.” “It’s been said that, without pollination, we would really be in dire straits for food because every third bite you take is a result of pollination,” said beekeeper Leon Riggs of Monett. They also produce honey, which has numerous beneficial properties that have been shown to enhance immune function and help with allergies.

Story by Julia Kilmer

Bees work together efficiently in male groups called drones to make honey, which is believed to never go bad. The delicious, sticky-sweet substance was even found in King Tut’s tomb. An entire branch of alternative medicine called Apitherapy exists that uses honey bee products like honey, pollen, propolis, royal jelly and even venom from bee stings to treat medical conditions. Honey bee venom is powerful, as anyone who has been stung can attest. It has the power to kill and the power to heal. But even more powerful than how intense a bee sting feels is what it contains, as the venom has more than 40 active substances, many of which have potent physiological and pharmaceutical effects. The most abundant is an anti-inflammatory called melittin, which causes the body to produce cortisol, part of the body’s

own healing elixir. Melittin is 100 times more potent than the common anti-inflammatory hydrocortisone, having the ability to slow the body’s inflammatory response, which is why the venom has shown promise in treating inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and immune system disorders. Some even believe bees have an innate way of stinging where it is needed most. As far back as 1888, Austrian physician Phillip Terc published a paper on one of the first clinical studies involving bee stings titled, Report About a Peculiar Connection Between the Beestings and Rheumatism. From there, bee sting therapy use expanded throughout Europe and the United States. In the 21st Century, some clinical studies have been conducted, but most utilize bee stings on their own

Connection Magazine | 25

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or with the help of lay practitioners. More than 1,300 people with multiple sclerosis, often resistant to treatment, have sent testimonials of bee sting therapy to the American Apitherapy Society in support of the bee sting therapy, stating it helped relieve muscle spasm and fatigue. Other venom compounds include apamin, which enhances nerve transmission; adolapin, which is an antiinflammatory and analgesic; and neurotransmitters like norepinephrine, dopamine and serotonin, which affect depression. With all its benefits, those with chronic pain from various inflammatory health conditions may consider the temporary smart of a sting worth it. According to Stephens, the bee is placed in the area of pain in the body, allowed to sting, then the stinger is removed. The second time, the ‘dosage’ of venom is increased by letting the stinger stay in longer. The effect is variable. “Sometimes it lasts a long time and sometimes, not as long,” he said. Leon Riggs of Monett has also experienced the beneficial stings and can confirm it works. “Someone told me they had a lot of benefits from bee stings with arthritis in their hands,” he said. If the bee is placed on the joint with the arthritis, it’s more beneficial than a random sting,” he said. “I work most of the time without gloves. I seldom ever have a pain in my hands and I’ve been doing this for eight or nine years.” Riggs said at one time, he had almost constant pain in the joints of his fingers from the knuckles down, but in time, the pain dissipated with the use of the bee sting therapy. “To me, over a period of time, it’s

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[the pain] is taken care of,” he said. “I don’t have any pain in my hands, my joints are very flexible, and I’ll soon be 79 years old.” Riggs said it always hurts to get stung, but the pain isn’t as noticeable after a while. “When I first was told about this, I knew a guy whose hands were terrible,” he said. “He said he got a shot every month at $3,000. After getting bee stings, he said he got more relief from that sting in his hands than the medicine. I enjoy working with the bees, they are so interesting.” Riggs shared a presentation at the Cassville MFA store last winter about the benefits of honey, and a listener shared a story about a leg amputation that would not heal. “He said this went on for three to five years,” Riggs said. “And a doctor in Springfield had found honey made from a special flower that he used on his stump and it healed his leg.” For those brave enough to endure a little temporary pain for potential long-term benefit, bee sting therapy may be an option to look into. For more information about bee venom therapy, visit, or

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Connection Magazine | 27

New Year’s


Fiesta Grilled Chicken Ingredients Texas Bean Salsa: 1 (15.5 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained 1 (15.5 ounce) can black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained 1 (15.5 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained 1 small red onion, chopped 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper 1 (4.5 ounce) can diced green chilies, drained 2 ripe tomatoes, diced and drained 1 cup Italian-style salad dressing 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro 2 cloves garlic, minced 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

Stuffed Red Bell Peppers Ingredients 1 cup uncooked brown rice 2 1/4 cups water 4 red bell peppers, tops and seeds removed 1 teaspoon olive oil 1/4 onion, chopped 2 cloves garlic, chopped 1 (15 ounce) can black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained 2 large Swiss chard leaves, chopped salt and black pepper to taste

Directions n Bring the brown rice and water to a boil in a saucepan over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the rice is tender and the liquid has been absorbed, 45 to 50 minutes. n Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. n Place the red peppers on the prepared baking sheet, and bake until tender, about 15 minutes. n Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat, and cook and stir the onion and garlic until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the black-eyed peas and chard. Bring the mixture to a simmer, and cook until the chard is wilted, 5 to 8 minutes. Mix in the cooked brown rice, sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste, and lightly stuff the mixture into the red peppers. Serve hot.

Sunflower Seed Pate in Collard Wrap Ingredients 2/3 cup raw sunflower seeds water to cover 1 large celery rib 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil 1 large lemon, zested and juiced 2 teaspoons dried thyme 1 large clove garlic, peeled 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper 1/4 teaspoon sea salt 1 collard green leaf, rib removed, or more to taste

Directions n Place sunflower seeds in a bowl and add enough water to cover; soak for 8 hours. Drain. n Blend sunflower seeds, celery, olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, thyme, garlic, black pepper, and sea salt in a food processor or blender until pate is smooth. Spread pate onto collard green leaf.

28 | January 2018

Chicken: 6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves 3 limes, juiced 1/3 cup tequila 3 teaspoons paprika 2 teaspoons salt 1 teaspoon pepper 6 Romaine lettuce leaves 6 sprigs cilantro leaves, for garnish (optional) 6 lime wedges, for garnish (optional)

Directions n To make the salsa, mix the black beans, black-eyed peas, corn, red onion, bell pepper, chiles, and tomatoes together in a bowl. Toss vegetables with the Italian dressing, cilantro, garlic, and garlic salt until evenly blended. Cover, and refrigerate 6 hours or overnight. n Preheat a grill for medium-high heat. n About 45 minutes before serving time, place the chicken breasts in a baking dish and drizzle with lime juice and tequila. Sprinkle evenly with paprika, salt, and pepper. Cover the dish, refrigerate, and allow to marinate 10 minutes. n Remove chicken breasts from the marinade, and discard remaining marinade. n Cook the chicken breasts on the preheated grill until the juices run clear and the meat is no longer pink, 10 to 12 minutes. n To serve, place a lettuce leaf on each plate. Top with a chicken breast, and spoon Texas Bean Salsa over each, dividing evenly among servings. If desired, garnish with additional cilantro leaves and lime wedges.

Good Luck Recipes

Vasilopita Note: A traditional Greece New Year’s recipe. A coin is baked in the cake, and the person who finds the coin in their slice is has good luck for the year.

Ingredients 1 cup butter, softened 1 3/4 cups white sugar 5 eggs 2 tablespoons water 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 3 cups all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 cup blanched slivered almonds 2 tablespoons sesame seeds

Directions n Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. n In a large bowl, blend together the butter or margarine and the sugar. Separate 3 of the eggs; add the yolks and the 2 remaining whole eggs to the butter mixture. Stir in the vanilla and water. n In another bowl, sift together the baking powder and flour. Add these dry ingredients to the creamed mixture. n Whip 3 egg whites until they are foamy. Add 1 tablespoon sugar. Continue to whip the whites until they are stiff, but not dry. Fold whipped whites into batter. n Pour the batter into a greased 10 x 4 inch tube pan. Wrap a large coin in foil, and place the coin in the batter. Press the coin down; it should be completely hidden. Sprinkle the nuts and seeds on top of the batter.

New Year Black Eyed Peas Ingredients 1 pound dry black-eyed peas 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 large yellow onion, diced 2 cloves garlic, minced 2 (32 ounce) cartons chicken broth 8 cups water 1 pound smoked ham hocks 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes 5 pepperoncini peppers 1 bay leaf 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder 1/4 teaspoon ground thyme salt and pepper to taste

Directions n Place the black-eyed peas into a large container and cover with several inches of cool water; let stand 8 hours to overnight. Drain and rinse before using. n In a large stock pot over medium heat, cook and stir onion and garlic in olive oil until onion becomes translucent, about 5 minutes. Pour in the chicken broth and 8 cups water, bring to a boil, and reduce heat to a simmer. Stir in soaked blackeyed peas, ham hocks, tomatoes, pepperoncini, bay leaf, garlic powder, thyme, and salt and pepper. Cover and simmer until peas are tender, ham meat is falling off the bones, and the broth is thickened, about 3 hours.

Braised Collard Greens Ingredients 2 pounds collard greens - rinsed, stemmed and thinly sliced 2 pounds fresh ham hocks 1/2 pound salt pork 3 quarts chicken stock 1 cup chopped onion 2 bay leaves 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes 2 tablespoons white sugar salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar

Directions n Place ham hocks, salt pork, onion, bay leaves, red pepper flakes, and sugar in a large pot with the chicken stock. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, and cook for 30 minutes. n Stir collard greens into the pot, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer, and cook for 30 minutes, or until greens are tender. Season with red wine vinegar and salt and pepper to taste.

n Bake the cake for about 70 minutes, or until done. Cool on a wire rack.


Connection Magazine | 29

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Distilled by the Wild Turkey Distilling Company in Lawrenceburg, Ky., Russell’s Reserve is a single barrel bourbon aged in American white oak barrels handpicked by the distillers. It sports a signature taste of creamy toffee and vanilla. The spirit has won multiple awards in the past few years, including a gold medal at the International Wine and Spirits Competition in 2014, a 93-point score in the Ultimate Spirits Challenge in 2013 and a gold medal in the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, also in 2013.

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A product of Mississippi’s oldest brewery, the Lazy Magnolia Southern Pecan is a brown ale perfect for those who relish pecan-flavored items after the holidays. The beer has light hops to allow the caramel and pecan flavors to shine through. Southern Pecan won a bronze medal in the 2006 World Beer Cup specialty beer category. On BeerAdvocate. com, it has a 82 out of 100 from 1,715 ratings, and a 71 out of 100 from the site’s owners.

Goose Island Winter Ale

A seasonal favorite from the Chicagobased Goose Island Brewery, the Winter Ale is a brown ale featuring nutty chocolate notes and malty, roasted caramel flavors. It sports five different types of hops, including wheat and dark chocolate. On BeerAdvocate. com, it has an 84 out of 100 score from 243 ratings.

30 | January 2018

Samuel Adams Nitro Coffee Stout

Resembling a cold-brewed, dark coffee, Samuel Adams Nitro Coffee Stout has been described by reviewers online as Starbucks with a kick. A product of the Boston Beer Company, the drink is smooth and creamy, finishing with a robust flavor noted by dark roasted malts, bittersweet chocolate and Sumatran and Indian Monsoon Malabar coffees. With 414 rating on, Samuel Adams Nitro Coffee Stout has earned an 86 out of 100 rating.


Calendar Jan. 2

 Computer classes begin at the Cassville

Senior Center, starting at 10:30 a.m. Call 847-4510 to sign up.

Jan. 3

 Blood pressure check, sponsored by Ozark

Methodist Manor, will begin at 10:30 a.m. at the Cassville Senior Center.

 Blood pressure checks will be available

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

Jan. 16

 Grace Health Services at the Central

Jan. 18

 Paint Class at the Cassville Senior Center

at 9:00 a.m.

Jan. 20

 The Seligman Chamber of Commerce will

host a dance at the Seligman Chamber Event Center at 7 p.m. Admission is $4 each, and attendees are asked to bring a snack to share. No alcohol or smoking is allowed. For more information, call 417662-3612.

Jan. 4

 Benefit enrollment counseling by ap-

pointment at the Cassville Senior Center. Call 847-4510.

 Paint Class at the Cassville Senior Center,

9 a.m.

Jan. 22

 Nell’s Nails will be at the Central Crossing

Senior Center by appointment. Call 417858-6952.

Jan. 5

 The Cassville Chamber of Commerce First

Friday Coffee will be held at from 8-8:45 a.m. at city hall.

Jan. 6

 The Seligman Chamber of Commerce will

host a dance at the Seligman Chamber Event Center at 7 p.m. Admission is $4 each. Attendees are asked to bring a snack to share. No alcohol or smoking allowed. For more information, call 417662-3612.

Jan. 8

Jan. 24

 Nell’s Nails, 9 a.m. at the Cassville Senior

Center. Call 847-4510 for an appointment. Walk-ins welcome.  WIC will be at the Central Crossing Senior Center. Call 417-858-2114 for an appointment.

Jan. 10

 The Cassville Chamber of Commerce will

be hosting Industry Day for Tomorrow’s Leaders Today.  Graces Foot Care by appointment at Cassville Senior Center. Call 847-4510.

Jan. 13

 The Seligman Chamber of Commerce will

host a dance at the Seligman Chamber Event Center at 7 p.m. Admission is $4 each, and attendees are asked to bring a snack to share. No alcohol or smoking is allowed. For more information, call 417662-3612.

Center in Cassville every Tuesday at 6 p.m. Meeting at the same time is Celebration Station for children.  The Caring People, a single moms support group, meets the second Monday of each month from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Family Life Center in Cassville. This is jointly sponsored by The Caring People organization and First Baptist Church, Cassville. A meal and children’s activities are provided. The meeting is open to anyone. For more information, call 417-847-2965.  Grief Care Support, sponsored community support by Integrity Hospice, is held the last Thursday of every month at 10 a.m. in Marionville at Methodist Manor, 205 South College Ave., in the Alice Lounge. Care group is for anyone experiencing grief through loss.  Aurora Diabetes Support Group meets the third Wednesday of each month at Mercy Hospital in Aurora in the Private Dining Room at 4-5 p.m. It is free and open to the public. There is no meeting in December.  Parkinson’s Support Group meets at 2 p.m.

at the First United Methodist Church, 1600 N. Central in Monett on the second Thursday of every month. No charge to attend. Call 417-269-3616 or 888-3543618 to register.  Grief Support Group meets the first and third

 The Pierce City Senior Center will hold its

Tuesdays of each month at Oak Pointe of Monett, 1011 Old Airport Road, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. For more information, call Kathy at 417-235-3500.

 The Alzheimer Support Group meets at 2

 Celebrate Recovery meets at 7 p.m. at the

Jan. 25

regular monthly dance.

p.m. at the Central Crossing Senior Center in Shell Knob.

 Computer classes begin at the Cassville

Senior Center, starting at 10:30 a.m. Call 847-4510 to sign up.

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

 Celebrate Recovery meets at the Family Life

Jan. 26

 Birthday lunch will be served at the

Cassville Senior Center at 11 a.m.

Jan. 27

 The Seligman Chamber of Commerce will

host a dance at the Seligman Chamber Event Center at 7 p.m. Admission is $4 each, and attendees are asked to bring a snack to share. No alcohol or smoking is allowed. For more information, call 417662-3612.

Jan. 29

 Computer classes begin at the Cassville

Senior Center starting at 10:30 a.m. Call 847-4510 to sign up.

Jan. 15

 Notary Service will be available at the

Central Crossing Senior Center at 10:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. For more information, call 417-858-6952.

NOTE: The annual Cassville Chamber of Commerce Membership Meeting will be held on Saturday, Feb. 3, starting at 6 p.m. inside the Cassville High School commons. For ticket information, call the Chamber at 417-847-2814.

Golden Baptist Church on Route J in Golden every Monday of each month. Dinner is served at 6:15 p.m. This is for anyone with hurts, habit or hang-ups.  Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) Group of Cassville meets at 8 p.m. at 1308 Harold Street in Cassville on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays every month.  Caregiver Support Group meets at Oak

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

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

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

Anonymous group meets at 7 p.m. the first Tuesday of every month at the First Baptist Church Activity Center, 618 Second Street in Washburn. 417-489-7662.

Connection Magazine | 31

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Photos captured by Lonna Norman at Captiva Island, Fla.

Cassville Senior Center  Dominos every Tuesday and Friday at noon. Call

417-847-4510 for more information.

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

Central Crossing Senior Center

20801 YY 15 Road, Shell Knob Regular events:  Alzheimer Support Group meets at 2 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month.  Friends’ Bridge every Friday. Call Quita at 417271-9803 for details.  Cards Galore every Friday, with Pitch beginning at 9 a.m.  Domino Poker every day from 12:45.  Mah Jongg every Monday and Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.  Line dancing every Tuesday and Thursday from 9-10:30 a.m.  Quilting for Charity every Wednesday and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.  Balance and Flexibility class is held every Monday from 9:30 to 10 a.m.

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

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Connection Magazine | 33

Building dreams, one board at a time 34 | January 2018

John Humes, left, asked Thad and Rexanna Hood, owners of HHR, LLC, in Monett, their opinion on some tile choices for a home remodel on Cleveland Street in Monett.

Hood brings life to older buildings Story by Melonie Roberts


The best part for me is the demolition, then laying out the design and planning how to put it back together.” - Thad Hood

ome people can look at a blank canvass and in their mind, see a work of art. For Thad Hood, he looks at derelict homes and envisions how to bring life back to these neglected structures. “I like to take something borderline destroyable and resurrect it back to something usable, something beneficial to the community,” he said. “I try to keep the structure as original as possible with modern upgrades, electric, lighting, things like that.”

Connection Magazine | 35

HHR, LLC, of Monett, was the company contracted to renovate the new Monett Museum, located at Fifth and Broadway. “[Thad] was doing odd jobs to start,” said Rexanna Hood. “Those led to bigger jobs, but it was the Monett Museum that put him on the map.”

Hood, who started his construction career as a 16-year-old employee at Tapjac in Aurora, learned how to estimate jobs quickly. “They sent me to school to learn different training,” he said. “Anything from paint, merchandising or estimating houses. It grew from there.” In the 1990s, Thad was in Branson during the construction boom, working as a supervisor for a large construction company. From there, he returned to Monett, working odd jobs and building his business. “The best part for me is the demolition,” Thad said. “Then, laying out the design and planning how to put it back together.” He met Rexanna in 2010, and she offered her opinion. On everything. “The first time, she kind of offended me,” Thad said. “She told me what colors I should use and what not. I wasn’t into that. But the first time she did it, on the Third Street house, I liked it. So I leave her alone. She really knows what she is doing.” The couple typically makes a joint decision on which property to purchase, and then his OSHA-certified crews go in and gut the struc-

36 | January 2018

ture, taking it down to bare bones, but keeping certain elements that reflect the character of the home. “I always consult with my wife before I do something,” Thad said. “I value her opinion. Once that decision is made, I start from the ground up. I try to keep hardwood floors and brick, or things like fireplaces or corner cabinets, and refinish them to their original state. When I reconstruct something, I do it so that it never needs anything else done to it -- at least in my lifetime.” Once Thad envisions how he plans to add to or re-vamp a floor plan, construction begins in earnest. That’s when Rexanna starts looking for unique items, fixtures and design details to compliment the home. “I find a lot of my lighting fixtures at flea markets or at area shops,” she said. “I get a lot of my decor and furniture, which is used in staging the home for potential buyers, at discount. But each of those elements are used to enhance the character of the home and give the buyer an idea of its potential.” Rexanna tends to trend toward neutral colors in her paint choices for a reason.

Austin Linebarger, an employee of HHR, LLC, makes sure the electric stove in a remodeled kitchen works properly after installation. Linebarger is working on a kitchen remodel for Ilse Burton of Monett as part of her 60th anniversary gift from her husband.

HHR, LLC, owned by Thad and Rexanna Hood of Monett, contracted to do the outer stonework on this rural home and well house, as well as adding to the home’s existing footprint by enlarging the kitchen and entryway. Thad Hood, owner of HHR, LLC, in Monett, looks over the stamped concrete pool deck his company provided for a customer with a country home.

Connection Magazine | 37

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38 | January 2018

“The home is move-in ready,” she said. “Those colors will compliment any style of decor. The buyer doesn’t have to do anything before moving into one of our homes.” In addition to home and commercial renovations, Thad has also contracted with the city to replace 3,500 linear feet of dilapidated sidewalks in Monett. While some people may not notice home renovations taking place in the city, most are aware of the work done on the new Monett Museum, located at Fifth and Broadway. “He was doing odd jobs before that, but the museum put him on the map,” Rexanna said. “It’s beautiful.” Thad finds now that most of his referrals come from word-of-mouth. “I want to do the kind of job for someone that stands out,” he said. “If they have company and someone comments on their home, or stenciled concrete walkway, or a remodeled kitchen, and they ask who did the work, that’s the best referral I can get.” Happy customers also request continuing improvements on their homes and properties. “A lot of times, I’ll be hired to do one thing, like adding an extension on a home,” Thad said. “That will turn into another job, and then another and another for the same client.” The couple have no trouble selling their homes, once renovations are complete, and sometimes before they are ready to be put on the market. “We sell them as fast as they are done,” Rexanna said. “We don’t use realtors. It’s easier for us.” And with one home ready to sell, Thad and his crew can move on to the next home needing some TLC. “In a way, it’s hard to let them go,” he said. “But there is always the next one to work on, and I like providing that service to the community — building someone’s dream home.”

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Connection Magazine | 39


Banjo player Jim Jordan (top right) Christie Hindman singing

Carol and Bill Baker sang “Crying Holy to the Lord” and Rhonda Vincent’s “Where Angels Sing,” with banjo player Jim Jordan at rear.

40 | January 2018

‘That Old Time Religion’ lives on in song.

Recent gospel sing at the Shiloh Baptist Church.

Lawrence County Gospel Sings revive church traditions


t was Sunday afternoon in a small century-old church in rural Stone County, not far from Marionville. The Shiloh Baptist Church, with a wood floor, wood pews and off-white walls, had a comfortable, homey feel to it. The place would likely not hold 100 people. About 40 were spread throughout the sanctuary. At the front gathered instrumentalists, playing guitars, banjo, mandolin, a dobro and a piano.

Story by Murray Bishoff

This was not a service. It was a sing, the Lawrence County Gospel Sing. The atmosphere was relaxed but not boisterous, respectfully appropriate for a church. A man in a short white beard asked each person as they enter if they have a song to share, keeping notes to all people in order. Then he addressed the gathering, and the first singers, and it began. For two hours, the church filled with singing — not congregational singing out of the hymnal, but from each of the soloists, or pairs or more.

One strong voice sang Thomas Dorsey’s “Precious Lord, Take My Hand” a cappella. Patti Kittrell sat at the upright piano and played a piano arrangement by Fred Bock combining Debussy’s “Clair de Lune” with “Jesus Loves Me.” Christie Hindman, for whom the Shiloh Church is her home congregation, where her late husband used to preach, rose to sing the Gaither Band’s song “The Old Rugged Cross Made the Difference,” with a recorded accompaniment. The instrumental ensemble rose as the singing progressed, cued with Connection Magazine | 41

Fritz Torbett led the singing of Daniel O’Donnell’s “I Won’t Have To Cross Jordan Alone” at the Shiloh Baptist Church.

each number to the key, then playing along without music, improvising a textured background for the vocalists. The group included Bill and Cheryl Brown on guitars, Rodney Blevins on dobro, Ed Whittle on mandolin, Carol Baker on fiddle, Jim Jordan on banjo, and the master of ceremonies, Lonnie Lawson, also on guitar. Not all played every time, but enough to produce a backing sound. The music leaned from old hymns to Southern Gospel, country and bluegrass. Larry Nelson with the backup players sang Willie Nelson’s “Uncloudy Day” and Albert E. Brumley’s “I’ll Fly Away.” Banjo player Jim Jordan, 76, with a seasoned voice of a veteran country singer, sang “So Tired and So Weary” and “Old Love Letter.” Tammy Littrell and her mother, Linda Lemons, sang “Sanctified.” Fritz Torbett sang the lead on Daniel O’Donnell’s “I Won’t Have To Cross Jordan Alone.” The whole bluegrass ensemble offered “Traveling This Highway Home.” From left, Lonnie Lawson, Doug Rapp and Rodney Blevins on dobro from the Sing at the Paris Springs Baptist Church.

42 | January 2018

Some more familiar numbers, such as “I Shall Not Be Moved,” were sung. As the singing wound down, Lawson and Cheryl Brown, both playing guitars, sang Mark Brinkman’s “Beyond the Rain,” “Not Afraid to Bid This World Goodbye” and “In His Arms I’m Not Afraid.” The sing ended with a youth, Jordan Rapp, offering the vocal on one final sing-through of “I’ll Fly Away.” The instrumentalists played with a

clear knowledge of how to layer harmonies and acoustic textures. Often the voices were not strong or polished, many coming from older, untrained vocalists. That didn’t matter. The congregants sat in satisfied stillness, enjoying the moment, the music and the memories raised through familiar lyrics. “We keep the old hymns going,” Lawson said. “Kids would call it old school. That’s something that’s disap-

Doug Rapp, who attends the Shiloh Baptist Church, offered one of the biggest voices of the day to the gospel sing.

Singing “Beyond the Rain� were, from left, Cheryl Brown on guitar, Rodney Blevin on dobro, Lonnie Lawson on guitar and Ed Whittle on mandolin. (right) Lonnie Lawson, left, playing with banjo player Jim Jordan.

Jack Wise, 96, from Aurora, on omnicord

Faye and Al Harris of Mt. Vernon, from Chesapeake Baptist Church

Connection Magazine | 43

Jordan Rapp, who attends the Shiloh Baptist Church, closed the month’s gospel with a repeat rendition of “I’ll Fly Away,” with Lonnie Lawson on guitar at right.

pearing in our churches. Many of the old people say, ‘I get so hungry for the old hymns.’ Contemporary songs are too long. There are some that follow us around. I don’t know if they are fans or stalkers. “We try to get the churches [that host the Sing] involved. We want them to go on to the next church. They won’t. I don’t know why. Some will let you come and have a sing, but then won’t show up. The idea is to fellowship with the other churches, to get the churches working together.” Lawson himself plays mandolin, guitar and piano. He played with the Smokehouse Boys for 14 years and now plays with the Rusty Strings country band. Much of his weekends are spent making music. What makes a good gospel sing? “Energy,” Lawson said. “You can feel it when you walk in, when you see people coming in with instruments. You have to ask everyone if they have a song. They all go about the same. It’s just different people and different musicians. We used to have quartet singing. I don’t know all that went off to. Used to be friends would get together, get harmony, and you’d have a quartet. “We used to have them on Sunday afternoon, sometimes on Saturday. There would be standing room only. People wouldn’t have TVs.” At one time Lawson recalled both Stone and Barry counties both had gospel sings, as did the Reavisville Baptist Church. Now the Lawrence County Sing alone continues. Lawson helps to promote new efforts, like the one on the second Friday of the month at the Youngberg Chapel near Verona. Lawson posts upcoming events on the Lawrence County Missouri Gospel 44 | January 2018

Singing Facebook page. Many of the host churches are part of a circuit that goes back farther than anyone can remember. The sing itself goes back 66 years. He attended as a youth with his mother, Beula Lawrence, who played the guitar. Lawson’s uncle, Oliver Thomas, served as MC for about nine years in the 1970s and early 1980s. Around a dozen people have led the rituals, held 10 months out of the year, except for May and December. “Floyd Pruitt handed it over to me,” Lawson said. “I never forgave him. He had it five or six years. Once you get it, nobody else wants it.” That doesn’t stop Lawson. Nor does it stop the players. On this particular week, one of the players was banjo player Jordan, who attends church at the Sheep Shed, between Neosho and Joplin. Jordan missed the step getting off the high stage at the front of the Shiloh Baptist Church. He fell hard, but returned to playing after a bit, learning only later that he had broken his shoulder. “I want to keep this tradition going, for a while anyway,” said Lawson. “There are not many young people there. That’s what we’re finding everywhere. They don’t like the old hymns or singing. I used to be young and shy and be the same way. Now I just spit it out.”

From left, the trio of Linda Lemons, Sharon Foster and Tristan George sang “Sanctified” with Linda’s daughter, Tammy Littrell, accompanying on the piano.

Elmer Haley, Jack Wise and Louise Moore

Gospel sings are generally held on the fourth Sundays of the month, and occasionally on the third. They run from 2 to 4 p.m. The Facebook page can be found at

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Serving The Area Since 1978 Connection Magazine | 45

The Black Schoolhouse, No. 67 of 112 schools in Barry County from the late 1800s until the early 1960s, originally located two miles north of Cassville on Y Highway was donated to the Barry County Museum by Gary and Gayle Fields, where it now sits. Funds to relocate the historic building were provided by The Pearl Foundation. The school-house contains original desks from one-room schoolhouses in the county, a pot-belly stove, teacher’s desk, student primers, historical documents and a piano, all of which were donated or loaned by museum patrons. One wall of the schoolhouse still contains the original slate blackboard and wainscoting. Museum Director Kathy White browses through a notebook recording the relocation of the building and other interesting information about the school.

46 | January 2018

Shown is the Oklahoma Schoolhouse students near Wheaton attended, during the class year of 1940-1941. Pictured in the front row, from left, are students, Ila Jean Richter, Barbara Powell, Adelbert Richter, Carolyn Jones and Donald Dean Overton. Second row: Vernon McCracken, Lawrence Logan, Robert Higgs, J.C. Duncan and Jack Higgs. Back row: Martha Ann Smallwood, Donald Buck, Dana Ruth Burton, Vivian Lakey, Bob Buck and teacher Mrs. Earl Hooten. Students later attended Wheaton schools when one-room schoolhouses consolidated. Readers may recognized familiar names, faces and even siblings. The museum has a complete list of one-room schoolhouses in the county and copies of schoolhouses’ deeds.

Lessons Learned a one-room schoolhouse worth remembering

Students used pot-belly stoves like this original one to keep warm in the winter months during the school day while receiving their education in a one-room schoolhouse in Barry County. Original readers children used are stacked neatly on the shelf nearby.

Shown is the Victory Schoolhouse in 1923, which was attended by Barry County children in the late 1800s and 1900s, before schools consolidated.


ttending school in one room with students of all ages would probably seem completely foreign to school children today. But adults who received their education in one-room schoolhouses say they would not have had it any other way. At one point, Barry County had over 112 oneroom schoolhouses. While most are now gone, the Black School, named after the surname of the family that owned the property it was built on, sits behind the Barry County Museum in Cassville. Inside are original items including desks, a blackboard, readers and a stove. “We were recently featured in Missouri Directory of Historic and One-room Schools, by University of Missouri Extension Civic Communications Specialist David Burton,” said Kathy White, museum director. In his directory, Burton recalls his grandfather sharing boyhood memories of the one-room schoolhouse he attended, including schoolyard fights, tensions between immigrant families and long walks to school. So all the stories spun of ‘walking two miles in two feet of snow’ by previous generations are not an exaggeration. Janice Varner, Barry County collector, remembers walking several miles from Oak Grove Schoolhouse she

Story by Julia Kilmer Connection Magazine | 47

attended to the Black Schoolhouse to play. “On a Friday afternoon, we would go to another school and play ball,” she said. She and her siblings walked about a mile and a half to school each day. “We had neighbors who would let us cut across their fields; that made it a little shorter,” she recalls. “There were no school buses then; kids had to walk or ride with their parents,” remembers Bob Reed, who attended Cross Hollows School. “We walked two miles, or my dad took us.” “We were out of school by the first of May so we could work in the summer,” recalls Varner. “We picked strawberries. Everybody worked back then; we didn’t have welfare programs. You worked or you didn’t eat.” Missouri’s 1904 mandatory school attendance law prompted the construction of hundreds of one-room schools, which lasted through the 1930s.

“Families were large at that time, and parents wanted their kids to have an education, so a property owner would say, ‘I will make a corner of my property a school district,’” White said. “Every school district had a number, and there was a board which handled hiring teachers and maintaining the property and building. There was a superintendent. Part of his job was to visit every school.” The schoolhouses were also the hub of social activities. “The community would have pie suppers, and schools would get together with other schools and have mass quizzes, reading tests and play softball on a Friday afternoon, which kept the schools connected,” White said. With only one teacher and one room, students of all ages and grades learned together. But instead of hindering education, the practice enriched it, as younger pupils learned from their older classmates. “The older students would teach the

younger ones, and would sit down and have them read to them while the teacher worked on something else,” Reed recalls. “I think that’s what made the education so beneficial,” Varner said. “The younger kids got the attention they needed if they were struggling in a certain area, and the teacher had help.” Dr. Rebecca Decocq Burrell, creative educator, artist and Wheaton graduate who attended the Oklahoma Schoolhouse near Wheaton, remembers as a 5-year-old taking spelling and other subjects with older students, calling it a “rich, multidimensional learning environment” which profoundly influenced her. “The rich memories, experiences and life preparation make it so timeless,” she recalled. “Good values serve us for always.” By the 1950s, one-room schools began consolidating and times changed. “The emergence of a statewide road Student who lived in the Jenkins area pose in front of their schoolhouse during the class year of 19401941. Later, the school consolidated with Cassville schools. Students pictured include (front row, from left): Amy Cornman, Jack Fare, Gaylene Ross, Louise Whiteside, James Garris, twins Betty Jo Hudson and Bobby Jo Hudson, (first name unknown) Hudson and Cherry Dean Huse. Second row: teacher Frances Whiteside, Melida Mills, Vernell Goold, Raymond Fare, Mary Alice Huse, Flloyd Huse, Mary Ellen Fare, June Ross, Bob Ray and teacher Howard Rinker. Back row: Harold Taylor, (first name unknown) Huse, Pauline Ross, Vera Suttles, Verl Rossan, Gene Ross and Alvin Cornman. Readers may recognize several of the names, faces and siblings. The museum has a complete list of all one-room schoolhouses in the county, and copies of schoolhouses’ deeds.

48 | January 2018

Some of the original school desks, like this one, still bear the initials of students from the late 1800s and 1900s eras who wanted their names to be remembered.

Kathy White, Barry County Museum director, holds a periodcorrect dress teachers wore in the one-room school-house era.

The roof was removed to avoid power and telephone lines during transportation, then later reconstructed, with new siding, windows, and a wheelchairaccessible ramp.

system made it possible for schools to consolidate and transport pupils to larger, more centralized schools,” Burton quotes in his book. “Whatever its shortcomings may have been, the country schoolhouse served a vital function, not only in the evolution of Missouri’s system of public education, but in the overall social and economic development of the state. This is a legacy worth remembering.” Bob Reed has fond memories of his education in a one-room schoolhouse, which he attended from first through sixth grade at Cross Hollows School. When his school consolidated, Reed said teachers had low expectations from students coming from oneroom schoolhouses. “The teacher would ask if I had trouble keeping up in math because they were told that kids from the country schools were coming in and

might not be at the same level,” he remembers. “But we were actually more advanced than they were. We were encouraged to read; I still read a lot.” “A lot of students came out of oneroom schoolhouses very intelligent,” White said. “We started school every morning with the Pledge of Allegiance and a prayer,” Reed said. “Miss Grace came through once a week and taught Bible verses. The water from the school came from a hand-pump well. In the summer, we’d go sit under the trees in the shade to have our lessons to stay cool. “The school doubled as a community building and we would have pie suppers. At Christmas time, we did school plays. It was a much more relaxed time, and positive experience.” Reed said kids still fought, just like today, but discipline was promptly

handled. “Kids had respect for their teachers,” he said. “There was no trouble because the teacher gave spankings, and you got another one when you got home.” “We did not get away with any mischief,” remembers Varner. “You knew your limits. Everybody played together. It was just great. I’m glad I was brought up in that era verses this one.” Burton also authored Driving Tour of One-room Schools in the Ozarks. The Black Schoolhouse is available to view Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The museum also has a list of the one-room schoolhouses that existed in the county, and copies of their deeds. For more information, staff can be reached at 417847-1640.

Connection Magazine | 49

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A labor of Love Local seamstress creates items for special needs children


Weighted stuffed animals can be very calming to a child with autism or sensory issues. Cheri Love of Cassville creates a variety of stuffed plush animals and said they offer the feeling of a hug and help children feel safer in what can sometimes seem a chaotic world.

or autistic children, the world can be seen as a confusing mass of faces, places, sounds and events. When combined, this overwhelming sensory overload can send a child into panic or meltdown. Cherie Love of Cassville worked as a teacher’s aid with special needs students and discovered first-hand what tools school counselors use to calm their over-stimulated charges. “As a former teacher’s aid, I’ve had to hold kids down,” she said. “I know what it’s like. In some cases, counselors would use weighted blankets to help kids who had been abused or traumatized, or those with autism to help calm them down.” Weighted blankets, vests or plush toys provide deep pressure touch stimulation without restriction. The pressure from the weight causes the body to produce serotonin and endorphins, which, in turn, causes the body to relax. The cost of such custom-crafted tools can be prohibitive, according to Love. “I’ve been sewing all my life,” she said. “I started having moms and counselors coming to me requesting affordable weighted blankets.” Connection Magazine | 51

She also makes weighted vests, lap pads, plush toys, custom pillows, seekand-find bags and manipulative blankets for fidgety fingers. “All items are custom made for each child, because materials and textures are important for those having sensory issues or having color preferences. Most schools will offer soft fabric with a nubby texture, because it appeals to the sensory needs of their students.” Most of her therapeutic items are sold to schools and individuals in Arkansas. “This started when I lived in California,” she said. “I was working for Loralei Originals as one of two tailors, cranking out 100 gowns a week. I had a mother from Thailand come to me with a pillow that her son loved. She said she could never get it away from him so she could launder it, and wondered if I could duplicate it. I made two of them, so when she needed to wash one, she would just pull an identical one out of the closet and replace the dirty one. “After moving to Cassville, I started making weighted blankets when counselors requested them. I use as many recycled or up cycled materials as I can. I get sheets from a secondhand store, and sew sand inside the baffles. I sew those sheets between layers of blankets. They can be washed without the sand sifting out.” By using recycled fabrics as the sheeting between blankets, Love is helping cut costs of making the specialty items. “My goal is to help parents,” she said. “Weighted blankets are very expensive when buying them online. Mine are about one-third of the cost.” Love has made a number of items to improve focus and motor skills development, including seek and find bags, maze blankets containing marbles aimed toward maintaining dexterity and focus, and weighted toys that mimic the feel of a hug. 52 | January 2018

Before moving to Cassville, Cherie Love was one of two tailors for Loralei Originals, churning out about 100 prom, bridal and special occasion gowns per week in California. Her life-long love of sewing came in handy after she started working as a teacher’s aid for special needs students.

Cherie Love of Cassville uses a variety of soft materials with various textures that help calm children with sensory issues when they start to get anxious or on the verge of losing control. She makes the blankets for various school counselors and clients primarily located in Arkansas.

Cherie Love of Cassville makes weighted blankets and stuffed animals for children and adults suffering from a number of disorders, including sensory, sleep, attention deficit disorder, Asperger’s syndrome, autism, restless leg syndrome, anxiety, sensory processing disorders and those with Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease.

“Kids and adults of all ages take interest in the seek and find bags,” she said. “Some of the themes I’ve made include alphabets and numbers, hearts and ladybugs, and Noah’s Ark. It’s just whatever I can find or whatever interests the client I’m making it for.” Love used to own a shop in Cassville, Cherie’s Alterations, but found herself working from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. six days a week to keep up with the workload. “I found God will bless you, and people will come,” she said. “I just couldn’t get reliable help experienced in sewing. I’m semi-retired right now, and most of my business comes from word of mouth. “This past prom season, I had to alter more than 15 dresses. I also tailor suits, wedding gowns and make baby clothes, blankets and Barbie and Ken clothes. I like to play with a variety of fabric and texture combinations.” While she misses being a shop owner, she is happy enough working at a less hectic pace these days. “I would have children come into the shop with their parents and just stare at the stuffed animals,” she said. You know when their attention is fixed on one, they are attracted for a reason. You don’t ask. I’d just give them one. The weighted toys feel like a hug, and provides comfort for many children.” She also donates plush toys to local law enforcement, to hand out to children involved in motor vehicle crashes or who suffer some other trauma. “I believe we are here to give back to others,” she said.

Cherie Love, owner of Cherie’s Alterations in Cassville, makes other items besides weighted blankets, vests and plush animals for children with sensory issues. She keeps busy with dress alterations during prom season, making potato bags for microwaving baked spuds, Barbie and Ken doll clothes, frilly diaper covers and more.

Love will offer a limited number of items for sale this summer at the Farmer’s Market, held on the Cassville square each Saturday. For more information, call 417847-0533.

Connection Magazine | 53

The Monett Chamber of Commerce held its annual Christmas parade on Dec. 9 in downtown Monett.


Members of the Pierce City community were invited to attend a complimentary Christmas dinner, hosted by First Baptist Church in Pierce City, following the annual Christmas parade on Saturday, Dec. 9.




4 1. Evelynn Frankliun, 2, and Eva Holland 2. Weatherly Rakoski and Zetta McDowell 3. Joe and Christina Portillo

54 | January 2018


6 4. April and Macey Witt 5. Jackson Kleiboeker, Bella Kamplain and Mackenzie Portillo 6. Telitha and David Bee

Familiar faces

1 3



1. Front: Madison, Sydney and Brady Walker. Back: Vickii and Matt Walker. 2. David and Julie Southard 3. Front: Zaylee Moore, Daxos Utter, Ava Dennison and Brody Vice. Back: Steven Moore holding Janessa Moore, Debbie Marion, Jordan Marion, Shonda Moore, Lehi Marion, Flea Willis and Jeremy Willis. 4. Cassie Mahl holding Easton Mahl; and Daizy, Kyle and Ava Mahl 5. Debbie Carter and Emma Parrigon 6. Sarah Burton and Casey Christiansen 7. Jim and Willow Hammond, and Mia and Megan Gonzalez 8. Front: Ann Saunders, Rebecca Webb, Julie Webb, Jaelynn Webb, Judy Hudson, Ollie Saunders, Curtis Webb, Richard Heim and David Saunders. Back: Laura and Isaac Saunders, and Alice Heim.




Connection Magazine | 55

Cutest pet

January’s winner!

Meet Purley (black and white) and Toes. Purley and Toes belong to Patricia Kindler of Cassville.

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

56 | January 2018

My connection

Ad list Acambaro Mexican Restaurant . . . . 39 Aire Serv . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45 Assing, Dr. Dale . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 Barry Electric Coop . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Bennett-Wormington . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 Chic-Fish-Kin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Community National Bank. . . . . . . . . 8 Cox Medical Centers. . . . . . . . . . . . . 60 Crane Family Dentistry. . . . . . . . . . . 22 Dennis Burge. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .33 Diet Center. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Doug’s Pro Lube. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 Edward Jones . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Family Room Steak House . . . . . . . . 16 First State Bank of Purdy . . . . . . . . . 22 Fohn Funeral Home. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45 Four Seasons Real Estate . . . . . . . . . 30 Four States Dental Care . . . . . . . . . . 50 Freedom Bank of Southern Missouri . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .50 Guanajuato . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Herb Depot. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 J&J Floor Covering. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Jim Nesbitt Motors. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18 Ken’s Collision Center. . . . . . . . . . . . 27 Lackey Body Works. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45

Jina and Jacqueline Brown visited London, Stonehenge, Windsor, and Bath in October. Jina lives in Cassville, and Jacqueline lives in Jefferson City, formerly of Cassville.

Les Jacobs. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Monett Chamber of Commerce. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 & 22 Monett Insurance Center. . . . . . . . . 32 OHA. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Ozark Methodist Manor. . . . . . . . . . 50 Ozark Regional YMCA. . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Peppers and Co.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Quick Draw Gun. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Race Brothers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Riehn, J. Michael, Attorney. . . . . . . . 18 Roaring River Health & Rehab. . . . . 26 Scott Regional Tech Center. . . . . . . . 24 Security Bank of Southern Missouri. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7 Shelter Insurance. . . . . . . . . . . . 8 & 20 Superior Spray Foam. . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 TH Rogers Lumber Co. . . . . . . . . . . . 11 The Coffee Café. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 The Jane Store . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Trogdon Marshall. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 Villa De Alpine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 White’s Insurance. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 Whitley Pharmacy. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59

Peter and Jeannie Young and Tony and Belinda Wormington took Connection Magazine with them to Puerto Penasco, Mexico.

Willis Insurance Agency . . . . . . . . . . 38

Connection Magazine | 57

Parting Shot Photos by Cathy Lewis of Pierce City

“And now let us welcome the new year, full of things that never were.” —Rainer Maria Rilke 58 | January 2018

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Connection Magazine | 59

LIVE WELL Journeys From Home

Too busy to travel to class? Cox Monett Hospital offers an eight-week weight management program you can do from home and that works with your schedule.

Register today 417-354-1280

Connection January 2018  
Connection January 2018