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March 2017

Flutist performs

Reading start

Books open the way to learning

Stitching time




One Big


Musical muse


aissan n e c


Quilter creates trade in business

Chinese traveler

Exploring the western world

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Connection Magazine | 3

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4 | March 2017

March 2017

22 11 | For the future Find your favorite book nook across the country

15 | Library Connection The best story is the one read thoughtfully

18 | Made for music Flutist JoEllen Fielding performs in Cassville

22 | Monett Museum rebirth Bob and Debbie Berger pour effort into a downtown renaissance

35 | P-Dub’s Quilt Stuff Finding business with pleasure

41 | Thistle blower What’s in a weed?

COVER PHOTO The view of 418, 420 and 422 East Broadway in May 2013 after Bob and Debbie Berger purchased the buildings and pondered what to do with them. The photo vividly shows how the Broadway side had been mauled by renovations over the decades, damaging most of the brickwork, some of which was so severe that an entire storefront was boarded over. Also striking is the lack of concern about color consistency when the squared corner at right was added, probably in the 1946 renovation.

50 | Across the oceans Eastern girl takes on the wilds of the Ozarks Connection Magazine | 5

Photo by Esther Hightower.

Contents 30 Bottles & Brews

31 Healthy Connection 33 Community Calendar 45 Cutest Pet contest 46 St. Patrick’s Day recipes 49 Proud Parent contest 54 Familiar Faces 63 My Connection

Photos by Patricia White of Aurora.

66 Parting Shot


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Where every customer is special Connection Magazine | 7

Harding University chorus to perform March 18 in Monett SEARCY, Ark. — The Harding University Chorus, under the direction of Dr. Cliff Ganus III, will present a program at 7 p.m. Saturday, March 18, at the Performing Arts Center in Monett. The mixed chorus of 50 members specializes in singing sacred, unaccompanied music, including spirituals, classics and contemporary compositions. Their repertoire is expanded when singing outside of churches, and their annual spring concert often includes extended choral masterworks. They regularly sing with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra. The chorus makes a number of trips to perform during each school year and has traveled to 43 states. In alternating summers the chorus tours overseas, working with churches to promote their activities and to strengthen community relations. Over the years, the group has

8 | March 2017

sung in 37 countries, performing in such major venues as the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, Italy; the Chopin monument in Warsaw, Poland; and the Conservatory of Music in Beijing, China. In May 2006, they were awarded the Grand Prix at the Mundus Cantat International Choral Festival in Sopot, Poland, competing with 14 choirs from 10 countries. In May 2017, they will sing in Germany, the Netherlands, France, England, and Scotland. Ganus is a professor and chair of the department of music at Harding and a 1966 alumnus of the university. In addition to directing the chorus, he teaches music history, hymnology and conducting. He has twice received a Distinguished Teacher Award from the university. Harding University is a private

Christian university located in Searcy, Ark. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, it is the largest private university in the state. Harding’s student body represents all 50 states and 54 nations and territories. The university offers more than 100 undergraduate majors; graduate and professional degrees at the master’s, specialist and doctoral levels; as well as numerous study abroad opportunities including locations in Australia, Chile, England, France, Greece, Italy and Zambia. For more information, people may visit

7 p.m. Saturday, March 18, at the Performing Arts Center in Monett

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Connection Magazine | 9

Photos by Cathy Lewis of Pierce City.

10 | March 2017

parenting column

The whole family steps in to finish Monett’s first “Free Little Library”

For the love of reading


ou would never know it unless I told you so, but just below the metal roof of the Little Free Library in Monett is a piece of scripture written in pencil on a piece of wood. Proverbs 19:2 says, “Desire without knowledge is not good, how much more will hasty feet miss the way!” The Little Free Library is a small wooden box where books are housed. The whole idea is to take a book and leave a book. Think of it as a way of promoting literacy in children and a new way of getting to know the people in your community.

Grace taking her turn painting the base coat.

The Little Free Library was started by Todd Bol and Rick Brooks, both from Wisconsin. Bol built his first library, which looked a lot like a large birdhouse, as a tribute to his mother in 2009. Since then, Little Free Libraries have been popping up around the world. Yes, that’s right. There is even one in Cairo, Egypt.

Connection Magazine | 11

The movement to create a place where people could take a book and either bring it back or keep it began to spread when those interested in the concept began making their own wooden boxes or buying them pre-made from Bol to put in their front yards. These Little Free Libraries have now become a tourist attraction to many, including the Brittenham family of Monett. Michael and Katie Brittenham had taken their children to a park in Long Beach, Miss., on vacation last May. “I spied what I thought was a library,” Katie said. “We drove around to the other side and sure enough it was.” She says her girls were thrilled that there were books for each of their ages so they each took one they liked and brought them back to their condominium. Once the girls finished reading their books,

12 | March 2017

they brought them back to The Little Free Library and picked four more out. Katie says her girls have always loved reading but finding this library “was the start of us talking about how cool it would be to have this in our own yard.” The girls were hooked and on their next vacation to Texas, they came across another Little Free Library at a park where they found the books housed in an old tree stump that had been carved out. They started to look for other Little Free Libraries on the internet to visit. “The girls were hooked instantly,” says Katie. “We thought it was a neat idea.” By the time the girls’ birthdays came around that fall, they had been to five different Little Free Libraries. Katie had the idea to ask her parents if they would gift the girls with one of these libraries. The libraries range in price based on if you buy a do-ityourself kit or you buy one pre-made.





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The Brittenham girls visiting another “Free Little Library” in Pennsylvania.

When the pre-made library arrived on their doorstep, Katie and Michael knew they wanted the girls to be involved in the decorating of it. Katie explains that they wanted to do a theme and started thinking about some of the books they had read. Dr. Seuss’s “Oh the Places You’ll Go” came up as one of the books and they thought it was fitting. They took the book to Lowe’s and had them match up the colors on the cover of the book to the paint they would need to decorate the box. There ended up being six colors and there are six in their family so they each took a color and got to work. “We wanted to include the girls as much as possible,” explains Katie, “since this is their library.” Michael helped them paint the white basecoat and each girl took a turn painting their sides. Michael and Katie took on the more detailed work and pretty soon, they had completed their own Little Free Library. Since the library they purchased came with 12 brand new books, as well as books Katie had been putting aside, their library is stocked and ready to be used. Katie has set up a Facebook page for their library where she will post new titles and when she rotates things seasonally. This will also be the place where you will look to see if they are asking for books to be donated. “When we started it [library] I think it was mainly a way for the girls to have fun,” says Katie. “They play library in the house. We’ve been big supporters of the library here in Monett and this was a way for them to do something and for it to be exciting and for them to have a part in this. I think ultimately, with any purpose, I want this to glorify God. I’d like all of the books to be family-oriented.” As for the girls, their vision is for kids and adults to visit the library and get excited about reading. Grace says she “likes opening and shutting the door on their Little Free Library because it has a latch she can do herself.” Monett’s very first Little Free Library will be having a ribbon cutting ceremony on Saturday, March 4, to celebrate its newly erected place at the Brittenham’s home. Stay tuned to for more information on Monett’s second Little Free Library. Mike and Phyllis Garrett have announced they, too, will be putting up a box in the near future. If you would like to purchase your own library, visit Faith, Hope, and Joy visiting their very first “Free Little Library” in Mississippi.

Meagan Ruffing has just started seeing these tiny library boxes pop up

in her neck of the woods and loves the movement. Check out to see where her adventures will take you on her next trail run.

14 | March 2017

library connection

Off the shelf In this age of information overload, it is sometimes difficult to know what is true and what is fake. To quote author Neil Gaiman, “Google can bring you back 100,000 answers, a librarian can bring you back the right one.” Not sure what to believe? Visit your local library and have the librarians help you find the right answer.

The Wonder

by Emma Donoghue (adult fiction)

Eleven-year-old Anna O’Donnell has been fasting since her first communion four months ago. She doesn’t appear to be suffering any effects from the lack of nourishment. Her parents say that she is living on air and her faith. Is she secretly eating? Is this a miracle from God? Lib Wright, a nurse trained by Florence Nightingale, and Sister Michael, a House of Mercy nun, have been hired to watch Anna 24 hours a day for two weeks. They are not to intervene in her care, just observe and take notes. Will their observations show that this is a hoax, or is Anna a candidate for sainthood? This historical fiction started out slow, but by the end of chapter two I was hooked. — Cheryl Williams

Essential Oils and Aromatherapy: An Introductory Guide edited by Sonoma Press (adult non-fiction)

Essential Oils and Aromatherapy contains information on different essential oils and their uses. It also describes different ways essential oils are distilled, methods in which they are applied, recipes using them, and safety precautions concerning them. I’ve recently started using essential oils, and as such I would like to learn as much about them as I can. This is the second book I have read on the topic, and I found this one to be well organized, easy to understand and interesting. I would consider it a good reference for a beginner, or for someone who is simply interested in learning more about essential oils. — Sierra Gunter

By the staff of the Barry-Lawrence Regional Library: Cassville Branch

Connection Magazine | 15

Skies Over Sweetwater by Julia Moberg (adult fiction)

Byrd Thompson grew up a dirt-poor farmer’s daughter in Iowa, where she inherited a love of flying from her father. In 1944, when most male pilots are fighting with the Allied Forces overseas, Byrd defies her mother’s wishes and travels to Sweetwater, Texas, where she joins the Women Air Force Service Pilots, WASP for short. Byrd meets women from across the country as she learns to fly aircraft the Army way. As she navigates military life, Byrd confronts old memories and must come to terms with events in her past, while at the same time learning to trust her instincts and believe in herself. — Marissa Tucker

Seasons of Crows: An Evershade Novel by local author Prix Gautney (youth fiction)

Ash is a young mouse in the small Walnut Keeper community of Evershade. When a hard drought hits, the members of this small utopian society come together to gather and store food and water to ensure their survival. Unfortunately for them, their misfortune grows as a scorned mouse seeking revenge on those who banished her for Evershade travels to the nearby Crow Kingdom in hopes that they will do her dirty work. When Ash and the others of Evershade learn of the impending crow attack, they must decide to fight or to flee. While this book is marketed toward a younger audience, it is one story that will have readers of all ages smiling as they become fully immersed in the world Ms. Gautney has created. — Angie Judd

News of the World

by Paulette Jiles (adult historical fiction)

Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd travels post-Civil War Texas giving newspaper readings to crowds eager for news of the world. A printer by trade, Captain Kidd lost his press and possessions, the casualties of war. Now, even at 71, he enjoys the freedom of going from town to town to enlighten and entertain for 10 cents a head. When stopping at Wichita Falls, he accepts the task of transporting an orphan girl to her relatives in San Antonio. Four years earlier, marauding Kiowa killed the parents and sister of young Johanna and took her to raise as their own. Now they must journey together facing dangerous terrain, lawlessness, and threats from Indian bands. Perhaps the most difficult task is for Captain Kidd to bridle Johanna’s ingrained Kiowa ways. But one last hindrance awaits when the two reach San Antonio. Ms. Jiles utilizes beautiful prose to gratify the reader and invites further research into the history of Native American captivity of children on this country’s frontier. — Verna Fry

16 | March 2017



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Connection Magazine | 17

JoEllen (Beeson) Fielding played a flute recital for about 100 people at First Baptist Church in Cassville in January.

Music plays large role in Cassville family’s life Flute recital brings together four children at First Baptist Church JoEllen (Beeson) Fielding, seated in middle, took family photos with her children and grandchildren prior to a flute recital at the First Baptist Church in Cassville in January.

18 | March 2017


or the family of JoEllen (Beeson) Fielding, music plays a prominent role in life. A former flute player in the Tulsa Philharmonic and retired band and choir teacher at the Southwest school district, Fielding and her children have spent a lifetime surrounded in classical music. Fielding first picked up a flute in the sixth grade, she said, hoping to accompany her older sister on the harp. “My sister and I started piano lessons when each of us were 5,” Fielding said. “She was always good at it, and I was not. She went on to play the oboe, and in high school, started playing harp. I wanted to play something that could go with her harp, and I always thought the flute was pretty. So, that was my choice.” In high school, Fielding was the principal flutist with the Oklahoma All-State Orchestra for all her three years. She also played Handel’s “Messiah” all three years. She was also a soloist with the American Youth Per-

Story by Kyle Troutman, editor

forms organization. In college, she was assistant principal flutist her freshman year, soloed with the Tulsa University Orchestra her senior year and played the alto flute solo in Ravel’s “Daphnis et Chloe” with the Tulsa Philharmonic, under Maestro Franco Autori. Fielding said when she picked up that flute in sixth grade, she had no idea where it would take her. “I didn’t know at the time, but when I started, I loved playing and practicing all the time,” she said. In January, she shared her classical music talents with about 100 people at First Baptist Church in Cassville, playing her first recital in 50 years. The decision to play the recital, made about a year prior, was fully approved by her children, Katie Johnson, of Edmond, Okla.; Jo Beth Harrison, of Chicago; Dave Harris, of St. Louis; and Erica Warden of Farmington, Ark. “We were ecstatic and thought it was the coolest thing,” Harris said.

“We first heard mom play flute probably in the womb. She’s played music as long as I can remember.” The family’s exposure to music lasted throughout the children’s childhoods, with Tuesday nights holding a special meaning for the four later in life. “Tuesdays were always orchestra night,” Johnson said. “We’d be in a room while the Ozark Festival Orchestra (OFO) was rehearsing, and

Connection Magazine | 19

Children, grandchildren and extended relatives of JoEllen (Beeson) Fielding take in her flute recital at First Baptist Church in Cassville in January

many times we’d fall asleep to the sounds of the OFO. There were also lessons and rehearsals at our house all the time.” Harris, the oldest of the children, played, among other instruments, piano, bass, clarinet and percussion. Johnson and Harrison played violin and piano, and Harrison also played flute. Warden, the youngest of the group, said she was not as musically inclined, but always enjoyed being around the sounds. “I don’t know if we ever fully grasped how much music played a role in our lives,” Harris said. “We always thought it was fun, from the OFO to Fourth of July shows, and it was neat to experience all those events,” Warden said. “We have more memories of her conducting at Southwest than anything else. Dave was basically the full percussion section for that band.” Through the years of music and lessons, Fielding’s children said there were some lasting lessons learned. “Perseverance was a big thing we learned,” Johnson said. “Between mom and our grandmother, we did a lot of practice. If it ever got difficult, I would break it down into sections,

20 | March 2017

and that corresponds to how I tackle things in life.” Johnson said her and her siblings may not have realized through the years how lucky they were to be immersed in so much music. “I don’t think we understood how amazing it was,” she said. “ We hear her at church or at The Show [in Cassville], but we hadn’t heard a lot of the pieces she played [at the recital] and how much depth she has.” Fielding said the recital drew more attention than she expected, and it was well-attended. “My neighbor called me up and he was so excited someone was bringing

classical music to Cassville,” she said. Another big part of the recital was getting the whole family there, which Fielding said was a chore. “Phew,” she said. “To get everyone here and dressed is quite a feat with four kids and all the grandchildren. I was excited, but I was calm about it. I wasn’t nervous because I felt it was something I was just suppose to do.” Another big part of the recital was the religious aspect, as Fielding said the night she decided to do it, she felt as if God were telling her it had to be done. “Mom’s entire heart is for people to know Christ,” Johnson said. “She has the greatest heart I’ve ever known, and you can see the love of family and Christ through her.” “Music is a blessing for us, and was a worshipful experience,” Fielding said. 

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22 | March 2017

Back from

Oblivion Heroic renovation creates new Monett Museum home

Story by Murray Bishoff


owntown Monett has a new showpiece. The buildings Bob and Debbie Berger rehabilitated at the corner of Fifth and Broadway were revealed as a spectacular renovation during the Monett Historical Society’s New Year’s Gala on Dec. 31, providing a new home for the Monett Museum.

For the Bergers, it’s been a three-year process. Initially, the Bergers — Bob, the retired president of WinTech Corporation, and Debbie, a retired teacher who has run Mocha Jo’s coffee café since remodeling at 404 E. Broadway in 2009 — hoped to stabilize the buildings. Once

Monett Main Street secured a historic downtown district, providing access to tax credits, new doors opened. The possibility of doing more with the buildings gradually developed into a way to keep the museum on Broadway, a goal the Monett Historical Society seemed unable to reach. Connection Magazine | 23

Views of what would become the community meeting room, off the Fifth Street entrance, in the Monett Museum when Monett Historical Society members toured it in June 2015 with Bob Berger, at left.

Touring the upstairs hallway in its unrestored condition in June 2015. The names of people who had offices in the building in the 1960s could still be read on the doors.

Roy Jones with Labor Max grabbed an armload of wood scraps from the second floor of 418 E. Broadway as part of demolition work toward creating a new home for the Monett Historical Society’s museum. Much of the upstairs appears in similar condition. Many of the interior walls, and original, will come out in the process.

The first dumpster full of debris from the new site of the Monett Museum was packed down by Greg Larkin, a Monett native now working with Kelmar Construction of Springfield, in late February 2016. Shown in the windows collecting pieces of walls are crew members from Labor Max of Springfield, from left: Vernon Reed, Robert Brownie and Roy Jones.

24 | March 2017

Those watching the reconstruction work may have wondered why crews for Kelmar Construction took down bricks across the top of the 1905 structure in an effort to restore the original look. The answer became obvious in April after workers reinforced the entire upper row of bricks with a second row of larger blocks, then placed the bricks back in front.

“It’s been my money and Debbie’s vision. She’s really the visionary of the group,” Bob said. “It’s been a team effort from the beginning.” The Bergers first looked at the buildings, 418, 420 and 422 East Broadway, before opening Mocha Jo’s. The structures were almost completely unused at the time and complicated by dozens of interior rooms on the second floors. The necessary work seemed too extensive and the Bergers moved on. “We started looking again in 2012 and 2013,” Bob recalled. “We had [architect] Allen Casey look at them. He put a bug in our ear about historical renovation. He’s done a lot of work for Jack Henry and Associates and is doing a big project now for the Springfield Museum.” In the meantime, Monett Main Street researched, applied and secured a downtown historic district. Final notice arrived in November 2014. “Without [the historical preservation district], none of this would have happened,” Bob said. “[City Administrator] Dennis Pyle spearheaded the effort. Debbie and I really appreciate what was done. “We had Allen do a preliminary study of the buildings with his structural engineer. We had our eyes wide open going in. We knew the buildings had a lot of potential. We also knew we were dealing with buildings very near the end of their life cycle. Too much water had come in those roofs for so long.” Initially the Bergers looked at putting loft apartments on the second floors and perhaps three or four businesses on the corner, anchored by a restaurant.

Bob reported that despite numerous efforts, they could not find anyone with a proven track record who wanted to open a restaurant in Monett, and they did not want to run one themselves. While in a holding pattern trying to figure out what to do next, Debbie met with Gale Huffmaster, the building committee chairman for the Monett Historical Society. Gale recounted how the society anticipated spending $2 million to build a shell of a building in the city parking lot at Bond and Second Street, not an ideal location. Since it was established the museum has been at 705 E. Broadway, a city building that was old, cramped and destined for demolition once the historical society figured out where to relocate.

“It was Debbie who said [to Huffmaster], ‘We’ve got a deal for you,’” Bob recounted. Before any renovation could start, the Bergers had to work out particulars with the historical society. The Bergers agreed on a lease deal. The cost of the renovation would remain confidential, as is the amount the historical society is investing. “The idea is that during our life, Deb and I will own the building, and let the museum use it for nothing, presuming that it remains a viable museum,” Bob said. “A trust has been set Crews for Hood Home Repair in mid-Novemup to donate ber began installing winthe building dows on the Monett Museum to the next building at Fifth and Broadgeneration.” way. Windows on the turret bring a much closer to finished look to the 1904 building being restored by Bob and Debbie Berger for the new home of the Monett Historical Society. At the same time a crew from Kansas City installed the new elevator.

Renovation began a whole new level of discovery. Bob knew that the depth of deterioration would not reveal itself until deconstruction started. As feared, water damage proved much more extensive than appeared, some of it running down to the basement level. The Bergers enlisted Kenmar Construction, which has renovation as its specialty, to tackle the project. “We replaced all the roofs,” Bob said. “That would have been cheaper than to patch them. There were no building codes in 1903-1904 [when the corner buildings were erected]. None of the floor loads would hold up today. We put steel reinforcing through all three buildings. That takes care of the 25-foot spans all through the buildings. It was like renovating three Mocha Jo’s all in a line.” Bob found there was a one-foot floor elevation in all the buildings from back to front. He speculated that was no accident, but the original plan for flood control, to easily sweep out the water. He wondered if similar construction could be found in towns not prone to flooding. “This is a historical renovation,” Bob said. “We went back to the 1903 to 1905 time frame. One of the decisions was whether to put the turret back up. If we went back 50 years, that wouldn’t be an issue. The turret has been gone so long no one ever remembers seeing it. Based on what we had seen, we think it was starting to have structural failure, and that’s why they took it down. Allen Casey pushed to have the turret put back on. Deb and I got excited and got a series of pictures to recreate it.” There was some conceptual confusion that the turret would “glow.” Bob said the new 800-pound structure, though fiberglass, would not allow light through it. It has been painted with a copper patina that would oxidize over time, leaving a metallic appearance like the facia over the roofline of Mocha Jo’s, leaving a copper topper to the structure. Spotlights from the middle of the tower will shine up on it to reflect a striking sight. Rebuilding the rounded tower for the 26 | March 2017

Ablaze with lights, the restoration had become a reality by the gala opening on Dec. 31. turret also revealed significant structural deterioration on either side. Replicating the brick dental work around the top of the tower, matching the decorative bricks on the rest of the building, became an artistic tour de force. David Robertson, the lead artisan on the brick detailing, called it the most difficult job he had done in his 41-year career, cutting every brick and arch to match. Robertson further noted every exterior masonry joint had been grouted and tuckpointed. If it hadn’t been done, the bricks may have held together only another five years. A few of the bricks had to be replaced during the renovation. Bob did not rule out coming back later to stain the new bricks on the tower to make them more closely match the tint of the other buildings. The columns at the entrance of the tower will be decorative but will not look that way. They had to be specially fabricated and are due for arrival in early 2017. Bob said thanks to one of the original columns surviving, located to this day in the rose garden at South Park, the design was easy to reproduce. Some of the most difficult reconstruction came along the north alley, which was badly deteriorated. Bob said walls had caved it and the exterior had suffered from dense vines and vandalism. “We weren’t able to save any of that,” Bob said. “We sealed and redid it. The courtyard off the alley was the scene of

a potential horror film. It had probably created a lot of flooding issues. We had to move the storm water from the south to the north, and had to be careful not to dump a lot of water back into it. The courtyard is a focal point now. I think it will be a primary entrance for museum people. “We preserved both basements. There’s great storage potential there. The events center has an access point into the mezzanine now which can serve as a stage.” Renovation on the buildings extended only in a limited way to the second floors. All of the debris and many unneeded walls dividing tiny offices and apartments were removed. Many of the walls remain unpainted, allowing the original lathe and plaster construction to show through. “We were intending on doing nothing upstairs,” Bob said. “We hired a preservationist, Deb Sheals, a professional, about putting together historical packages approved by the state and federal boards. Surprisingly, we were forced to take the corridors back to what they were. They’re now looking fairly close to that, with the trim work and the glass work.” The second floors had many cubbyholes added over the years. Many were removed as safety problems. The ground floor was largely gutted. Storage areas were left under the stairwells.

One of the upstairs rooms near the turret shows how the original offices had looked. The Monett Historical Society may rent out some of these offices in the future.

On the second floor of the museum building, west of the hallway with the skylight, all the walls have been cleaned away to make an open space that can be used for future exhibits, but still slowing the bones of the building, illustrating the work needed to bring the structure back from the brink.

Connection Magazine | 27

The museum building dominates the skyline today in downtown Monett.

With the historical renovation came requirements to take steps that a practical rehabilitation would not entail. One of those steps involved the windows, a feature Bob knew very well as a window manufacturer at WinTech. “The biggest thing holding up approval for the project on the federal side was the windows on Broadway and Fifth Street,” Bob recalled. “We were forced to buy a 100 percent wood window from Jeldwin in Oregon. There type of windows are really not sold anymore. Now the outside is clad with vinyl or aluminum. These are all painted and must be maintained and repainted. They were key to the approval. The federal guy who approves these projects is a stickler on windows. These are similar in appearance, sight lines and materials to the original. “I wanted to take the plaster off the walls and expose the brick. In a 19031904 original renovation, we were not allowed to consider it. We had to have something resembling plaster covering the brick, so we used drywall.” Tin ceilings ran all through the buildings. Many had suffered extensive water damage. Bob said it took a great deal of labor piecing together salvageable tin to reconstruct the look of the original. The remainder was replaced with a replica. Rather than a universally respected artistic ceiling approach, Bob discovered tin originated as a cheap way to give the appearance of ornate ceiling plaster. Preservationists were less keen on what gave the final look. All the tin was painted a light gray to leave a bit of a tin look. Looking back, Bob said he probably would not have undertaken the project, 28 | March 2017

knowing what he knows now. He found the finished turret exceeded his expectations. “The turret is very cool,” he said. “What has impressed me is I know the piece of junk we started with. We were down to a shell and a lot of rotted wood. Originally, the buildings all had different floor lines, built at different times. To see how it pulled all together, made function and handicapped accessible, to see it put back together, with the education center on two levels of floor, to turn it into a modern looking functional layout is impressive.” The addition of a modern heating and cooling system, an elevator for moving big museum inventory, modern bathrooms, a temperature controlled archive storage room and modern wiring for internet and phone use provided some of the innovations that most pleased the Bergers. Bob had great praise for architect Pat Pierce, especially on the masonry work. Significant effort was made hunting and pecking through brick inventories to find replacements that matched the originals as closely as possible. All of the tradesmen received praise for their professionalism. During the renovation, several unusual artifacts surfaced. The most significant proved to be a 1905 ledger book from Citizens’ Bank of Monett, a business absorbed by the Monett State Bank, which surfaced in a basement crawl space after likely having fallen out of a box. Liquor and seltzer bottles, many dating back only to mid-century, were discarded in crawl spaces. Bob said a steel beam had

In mid-December, crews lifted the 800-pound turret, made of a fiberglass product, onto the top of the tower, a quick operation that only required a little adjustment to center it. The finial on top was added within the hour. Putting the final layer of bricks to complete the tower and its topper took another week.

“Monett MO” written on it by the steel fabricators and likely dated back to 1901 or 1902. One disappointment Bob recalled was not being able to save the wood floors. The originals, made of pine, would not hold up to heavy weights. They were replaced with luxury vinyl tile over planking floors. “I’m anxious to see how the education center is used,” Bob said. “It’s a struggle in the old museum to do programs. This provides a nice facility for school-age programs. I hope to see a lot of class reunions held in the events center, along with wedding receptions and office parties. It will be a nice extension of the city’s park casino.” The Monett Historical Society has begun planning its move into the new buildings and how to erect displays and exhibits. 

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Bottles & brews

Springfield Brewing Company Greene Ghost As hoppy as they come, local Springfield Brewing Company’s Greene Ghost is a west coast-style India Pale Ale perfect for hop lovers. The company suggests pairing it with about anything meaty or cheesy and with light heat, especially pulled pork nachos. A rather new offering, it has only garnered nine ratings on, ranging from 3 out of 5 to 4.95 out of 5.

Samuel Adams Hopscape A seasonal brew available through late February, Samuel Adams Hopscape sports four types of west coast hops with notes of pine and grapefruit to create a one-of-a-kind wheat ale. Ratings from 295 beer enthusiasts on give Hopscape an 85 out of 100, or very good rating.

Smithwick’s Irish Ale A staple of Irish beers, Smithwick’s is the perfect brew for stocking the first on St. Patrick’s Day. The Irish red ale-stle brew from Kilkenny, Ireland, was originally created for the first Kilkenny Beer Festival, but has stood the test of time. The brewery was founded in 1710 and purchased by another Irish favorite, Guiness, in 1965.

30 | March 2017

Bushmills Irish Whiskey Billed as Ireland’s oldest whiskey, Bushmills got its start in 1608, when King James I granted Sir Thomas Phillips, a landowner and governor of Co. Antrium, Ireland, a license to distill. The original spirit is a blend of triple-distilled malt whiskey and a lighter grain whiskey, and it has made its mark internationally with 36 awards in the past year.

Healthy connection

Love your gut


id you know that for every cell in the human body, there are about 10 nonhuman cells? These microorganisms live throughout our gut, skin, eyes, and nasal passages, and comprise what is collectively referred to as our “microbiota” or “microbiome” (microbiota refers to the microorganisms themselves and microbiome refers to the microbiota plus their genetic material, although they are often used synonymously). The human microbiome is a hot topic for research and discussion in the field of nutrition. Our microbiota helps us to digest food, aids in the production of enzymes that regulate metabolism, fights pathogens, and boosts immunity. Research suggests that the microbiome can impact many metabolic functions. Its role in conditions such as irritable bowel disease, obesity, type 2 diabetes, depression, and autoimmune disorders is now being studied. From the amount of time we spend barefoot to the type of food we eat, many factors influence our microbiome. The type of microbes that our body recognizes as normal is determined at birth. Babies born vaginally will primarily have Lactobacillus strains which are found in the birth canal, whereas babies born via cesarean section will primarily have Staphylococcus strains that are present on a mother’s skin. A mother’s breast milk also contains oligosaccharides that serve as prebiotics, which help develop a baby’s microbiome. Once the microbiome is established, it is thought to stay relatively stable

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the U.S. Colorectal cancer starts in the colon or rectum, which are parts of the large intestine. To reduce your risk of colorectal cancer, maintain a healthy weight, increase physical activity, eat more fiber through vegetables, fruits, and whole grains and less red and processed meat, and avoid excess alcohol. throughout one’s life, although changes are still possible. What we eat is one factor that can alter our microbiome. Researchers believe there is a cyclical relationship between food and our microbiota, in that what we eat influences our microbiota, and our microbiota in turn influences what we choose to eat. Our microbiota may play a role in releasing hunger-triggering hormones or influence our taste receptors. Another factor which can alter one’s microbiome and possibly lead to dysbiosis, an imbalance of beneficial and harmful microbes, is antibiotics. Taking probiotic supplements or eating pro-biotic containing foods during and after antibiotic use can help to re-colonize healthy microbiota. How can you build a healthy microbiome? Focus on prebiotics and probiotics. Prebiotics promote the growth of beneficial microbes, while probiotics are live strains of healthy

bacteria found in food or supplements. Here are some tips for growing a healthy gut:

Fruits and vegetables Fruits, vegetables, and legumes that are high in fiber serve as prebiotics which feed the healthy microbes. Garlic and leeks also contain a natural source of the prebiotic inulin.

Fermented foods Try sauerkraut, kimchi, or raw vinegar, or look for foods with “live active cultures” such as yogurt or kefir, which are probiotics that are high in the beneficial Lactobacillus bacteria.

Limit processed foods and simple sugars Highly-processed foods and simple sugars are linked to dysbiosis and inflammation and should be limited.

LISA BUCK, R.D., LD is a registered dietitian at the Center for Health Improvement at Cox Monett Hospital. She obtained her bachelor’s degree

in dietetics and Spanish from Missouri State University and is working on a master’s degree in public health. Lisa is passionate about international development work and has volunteered throughout Central America working in the area of health education and promotion. In her free time, Lisa enjoys biking, running and all things outdoors.

Connection Magazine | 31

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March 2017 community calendar March 1

 Roaring River State Park opening day

of trout season. The Cassville Chamber of Commerce will be handing out free coffee to the anglers, beginning at 5 a.m.

 The Cassville Senior Center is offering

free help with taxes by appointment. Call 417-847-4510.

March 2 Paint Class begins at 9 a.m. at the

Cassville Senior Center, 1111 Fair Street, in Cassville.

March 3 The First Friday Coffee, sponsored

by the Cassville Chamber of Commerce, will be held at Arvest Bank, beginning at 8 a.m.

Photo by Valerie Miller

March 4

 The Shell Knob Chamber of Com-

merce Annual Membership Dinner

March 11

 The Seligman Chamber of Commerce

will sponsor a dance at the Seligman Chamber Event Center on Highway 37, beginning at 7 p.m. No alcohol or smoking. Children under age 18 admitted free. For more information, call 417-662-3612.

will be held beginning at 5 p.m. in the Shell Knob/Viola community building. 

Monthly dance hosted by the Cass-

ville Senior Center will be held from 7-10 p.m. Finger foods are welcome. Admission is $4. For more information, call 417-846-3024.

 The Barry County Master Gardeners

are hosting a garden workshop, “Let’s Get Growing” at the Barry County Museum in Cassville from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Four topics will be presented by master gardeners and Roaring River naturalists.

March 6

 The Monett Senior Center Monthly

Dance will be held at the Casino.

The band will be Evelyn Lock and The Outriders. For more information call 417-632-4297.

March 8  Grace’s Foot Care will begin at 9 a.m. at the Cassville Senior Center, 1111 Fair Street. Call 417-847-4510 for an appointment.

 The Cassville Senior Center is offering

ment. Call 417-847-4510

March 16 Alzheimer Support Group will

meet at the Central Crossing Senior Center in Shell Knob beginning at 2 p.m.

Paint class begins at 9 a.m. at the Cassville Senior Center, 1111 Fair Street, in Cassville.

March 17

 A special St. Patrick’s Day Lunch

from Searcy, Ark., will perform at the Monett at the Performing Arts Center at 1 David Sippy Drive at 7 p.m. 60 Monett, will hold its annual chili and soup auction. The silent auction will be held from 4:30-6:30 p.m., and the live auction begins at 6:45 p.m. Food will be served from 5-6:30 p.m. For more information, call 417-2355921.

free help with taxes by appoint-

The Harding University chorus

 Berean Christian Academy, 10385 Hwy.

March 15

ment. Call 417-847-4510

the Cassville High School Commons. Cost is $15 per player, and $5 spectator admission. Pizza, desserts and refreshments are available. Proceeds benefit the Cassville Education Fund. Pre-register at the Cassville Chamber of Commerce or call 417-847-2814.

sponsor a dance at the Seligman Chamber Event Center on Highway 37 beginning at 7 p.m. No alcohol or smoking. Under age 18 admitted free. For more information, call 417-6623612.

 The Cassville Senior Center is offering

free help with taxes by appointMarch 10  Trivia Night will by held at 7 p.m. at

March 18

 Seligman Chamber of Commerce will

March 21 Grace Health Services (toes) will

be held at the Central Crossing Senior Center in Shell Knob. Please call for an appointment 417-858-6952.

March 22 WIC (Women, Infants, and Children)

will be at the Central Crossing Senior Center in Shell Knob. Call 417-8472114 for an appointment.

will be served at the Cassville Senior Center, 1111 Fair Street, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Connection Magazine | 33

GROUPS  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. March 22 (continued) Nell’s Nails will begin at 9 a.m. at

the Cassville Senior Center, 1111 Fair Street, Cassville. Call 417-847-4510 for an appointment. (Walk-ins are also welcome).

 The Cassville Senior Center is offering

free help with taxes by appointment. Call 417-847-4510

March 23

 The Pierce City Senior Center month-

ly Dance will be held at the center.

March 25

 The Seligman Chamber of Commerce

will sponsor a dance at the Seligman Chamber Event Center on Highway 37 beginning at 7 p.m. No alcohol or smoking. Under age 18 admitted free. For more information, call 417-6623612.

March 27

 The Central Crossing Senior Center will

have Nell’s Nails. Make your appointment by calling 417-858-6952.

March 29 The Cassville Senior Center is of-

fering free help with taxes by appointment. Call 417-847-4510

March 31

 The Monett Chamber of Commerce

will be have its Fifth Friday Coffee beginning at 8 a.m. at Arvest Bank in Monett. 

Monthly Birthday Lunch will be

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

Nell’s Nails (toes) will be at held at the Monett Senior Center.


 The Monett Senior Center is offering free

tax help every Thursday during the month of March. Appointments only. Call


34 | March 2017

 The Aurora Diabetes Support Group meets the third Wednesday of each month at Mercy Hospital in Aurora in the Private Dining Room at 4 to 5 p.m. It is free and open to the public. Note: There is no meeting in December.  The Parkinson’s Support Group meets at 2 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church, 1600 N. Central in Monett on the second Thursday of every month. No charge to attend. Call 417-269-3616 or 888-354-3618 to register.  Celebrate Recovery meets at 7 p.m. at the Golden Baptist Church on Hwy. J in Golden every Monday of each month. Dinner is served at 6:15 p.m. This is for anyone with hurts, habit or hang-ups.  The Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) Group of Cassville meets at 8 p.m. at 1308 Harold Street in Cassville on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays every month.  The Turning Point AA Group meets at 7 p.m. at the west corner of Mitchell Plaza on Hwy. 86 in Eagle Rock on Mondays and Tuesday every month.  DivorceCare divorce recovery seminar and support group meets at the First Baptist Church, 602 West Street in Cassville at 6:30 p.m. on the first Tuesday of each month. Call for more information, 417-847-2965.  Cassville Al-Anon Family Group meets at 8 p.m. at the United Methodist Church in Cassville every Thursday of each month.  Narcotics Anonymous meets at 8 p.m. the first Tuesday of every month in the basement of St. Lawrence Catholic Church, located at the corner of Seven and Cale streets in Monett, 417-442-3706.  Narcotics Anonymous and 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.

Cassville Senior Center

1111 Fair Street  Dominos every Friday at Noon. Call 417-847-4510 for more information.

Central Crossing Senior Center

Shell Knob Regular events:  Friends’ Bridge every Friday. Call Quita at 417-271-9803 for details.  Cards Galore every Friday with Pitch beginning at 9 a.m.  Domino Poker, every day from 12:45.  Mah Jongg every Monday and Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.  Paint classes, every second and fourth Monday of each month.  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.  Pinochle every Thursday Do you have an event you from 12:30 to 3 p.m. would like to have featured  Balance and flexibility class in our calendar? is held every Monday from 9:30 to 10 a.m. Email it to  Wii Bowling is every Wednesday from 12:45 to 3 p.m.

With pre-packaged bundles bearing the names of layer cake or jelly roll, such as the Roam Sweet Home collection pictured, P-Dub’s Quilt Stuff, located in Exeter, may sound more like a bakery than a fabric store. Many fabric manufacturers will release pre-cut bundles of their new collections in an effort to help those with the quilting bug get right to the business of sewing.

Pam Warner, owner of P-Dub’s Quilt Stuff in Exeter, measures a length of fabric to cut, which will soon be utilized in a colorful quilt pattern.

Hobby blooms into a business I t all started with a wedding gift. “When my husband, Sweetness, and I got married, we received a quilt as a gift,” said Pam Warner, owner of P-Dub’s Quilt Stuff in Exeter. “Then I took a couple of classes

Story and photos by Melonie Roberts

and I fell in love with the process. It’s very mathematical and I’m a math freak. What started as a hobby got out of hand, real fast.” Warner admits she was bitten hard by the quilting bug.

“My living room was full of material, patterns and everything I needed to make quilts,” she said. “I had to crawl around to find what I needed.” Inspired by her own love of quilting, Warner decided to start marketing her Connection Magazine | 35

fabrics and merchandise online. “Starting in 2002, I bought and sold fabric on eBay,” she said. “Then my mom died, my husband and I bought this property in Exeter and decided to finish a home here. But I missed it. So in October 2002, I opened in the garage of my home. We had vintage quilts hung around the walls and stacked fat quarters on tables that my husband built. I was only open October through December in the very beginning, because we were subject to the weather. I literally threw open the garage door and whatever happened, rain, snow or sunshine, happened.” In 2012, Warner moved to the other side of the building. “We had no walls, no insulation or heat for about four months,” she said. “The following winter, we insulated, hung sheet rock and covered up the unfinished walls with quilts. Anything made of wood in this shop, Sweetness built.” That includes an entire wall of eight-foot sections containing 154 precisely measured cubbies which are stacked from top to bottom, left to right in all the rainbow colors of fabric one could imagine, and maybe a few more, besides. “We literally put the chicken before the egg on this,” she said. “We had a stove that I and my customers would huddle around to keep warm before we even had walls. This shop has evolved over several years and several phases. Our loyal customers stuck by us and kept coming back.” The small shop now boasts more than 13,000 pre-cut fat quarters, along with shelves containing material on the bolt, pre-cut pod project packs, templates, thread, binding, patterns, scissors, irons, needles, pin cushions and all the accoutrements that accompany a passion project like quilting.

36 | March 2017

“When I get new fabric in on the bolt, I automatically cut off some to make fat quarters,” Warner said. A fat quarter of fabric is a one-fourth yard cut in sections that usually measure 18-by 22-inches. “Some manufacturers, when they release new collections, will also release pre-packaged fat quarters, charm packs, which measure five-by five-inches, and mini charm packs, which measure 2-1/2-inches square. They also pre-package jelly rolls, which are strips of coordinated fabric, 2-1/2-inches by 45-inches; which is great for quilters. The cutting and coordinating is already done. All they have to do is sit down and sew.”

Some manufacturers also pre-package project pods, which includes pre-cut, coordinated fabrics and a pattern, such as a table runner or a small baby quilt. “Those are fabulous beginner projects,” Warner said. “They contain step by step instructions on how to put the pieces together and sew it. Pods have changed some of my customer’s lives. It’s all straight-line sewing with the fabric already cut and coordinated.” Other customers like the challenge of finding a pattern, meticulously choosing materials to have cut off the bolt, and choosing the coordinating threads, bind-

ing and backing materials themselves. “Either way, when it comes time to sit in front of the sewing machine, all the hard work is done,” Warner said. “Then it’s time for the fun stuff — let’s whip this out.” Warner also participates in the annual Spring Fling Shop Hop, which takes place this year on Friday, April 7, and Saturday, April 8. Customers can purchase a $5 passport and receive a free starter kit, as well as 20 percent off regularly priced fabric. When customers have visited all local participating shops and the passports are completed, they may enter into a drawing for a $50 gift certificate from each shop. The shop is also home to bi-weekly “Sit ‘n Sews,” where customer can bring their projects and work on them in the company of like-minded individuals. If one has questions, someone is always available to assist. “I also have a rule here at the shop,” Warner said. “All four-legged canine children and their well-behaved humans are allowed to visit. We love the four-legged children.” Regular events at the shop include the monthly birthday celebration for all customers observing birth anniversaries on the first Saturday of each month; the Farm Girl Vintage club, in which participants choose a block to complete on the second Saturday of each month; the adult coloring book club on the third Saturday of the month and a final Sit ‘n Sew on the last Saturday of the month. “It doesn’t matter when people start on the Farm Girl Vintage blocks,” Warner said. “And quilters have the option of making more than one block a month and trading it at future gatherings.” Customers also participate in the Quilts of Valor program, which has donated more than 127,000 quilts to every

Dorothy Jones, left, assists a customer, Janet Sullivan, right, with her fabric selections at P-Dub’s Quilt Stuff in Exeter, for an upcoming quilting club project. Jones said several area quilting groups purchase their fabrics, notions and other quilting supplies there.

A rainbow of colored fabrics line the walls at P-Dub’s Quilt Stuff in Exeter. Fabrics in all shades and patterns may be found on the bolt, pre-cut into fat quarters and strips for quilting or in pre-packaged pods for beginning stitchers.

Connection Magazine | 37

soldier who is currently enlisted and all veterans in appreciation of their service. “We have a Quilt of Valor work day,” Warner said. “Customers come in and help cut and assemble kits for a day and they take one for their assistance. I give them two weeks to complete the top and they turn it back in so we can take them to one of several long-arm operators to be quilted. The quilts are returned to the original quilter so he or she can finish the binding and make a presentation case, which is pretty much a matching pillowcase to store the quilt in until it is donated.” All materials and labor for the Quilts of Valor program are donated. “It’s a lot of work to cut and assemble all those kits in a day,” Warner said. “Luckily I have a lot of help from my customers. We love being able to do something for our military and our veterans.” Although P-Dub’s Quilt Stuff is open only two days a week, her inventory is constantly changing. “There are several members of local quilting clubs that shop here for their supplies,” Warner said. “I love getting new fabric collections and new patterns in. I’m hooked. “This is my baby,” she continued. “All of my customers are sworn to bring in their completed projects for show and tell. I don’t care if they got their fabric and supplies here or not. We want to see it.” P-Dub’s Quilt Stuff is from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. each Thursday and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each Saturday. The shop is located at 12203 Hwy. 76 in Exeter. For more information, call 417-8479276; visit PDubsQuiltStuff.blogspot. com or find P-Dub’s Quilt Stuff on Facebook. 

Big squares, little squares, triangles and strips, quilting fabric comes in many sizes and shapes and project ideas are only limited by the customer’s imagination. 38 | March 2017

Manufacturer Moda Fabrics came out with a unique product to market test 7-inch quilt squares, Frivols. Each of the limited edition projects came in a coordinating tin with a surprise inside. Pam Warner, owner of P-Dub’s Quilt Stuff in Exeter, said the test had “failed miserably,” as far as the new quilt block sizing, but customers snapped up the projects for the collectible tins. Moda has discontinued the project line and Warner has discounted the remaining project sets in stock.



Tires for all vehicles • Full service auto maintenance

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417-235-DIRT (3478) 40 | March 2017


Noxious or just plain obnoxious?


ust what is the purpose of a thistle? Is it to make a farmer crazy or provide a job for the farmer’s wife? As life on the farm evolved, so did my eye for this pretty purple flower. With that said, I’ve heard my boss say many times that these thistles are noxious weeds. After spending hours and days trying to eradicate them from our farms, I have termed them obnoxious. More than a few times, I have been sent to the north ranch with instructions to rid the land of these weeds, which I might add my friend and co-worker Tamra Sunby made clear that a weed is just a flower out of place. So, as I drove the mini truck with one hand and the spray wand in the other hand hanging out the truck window, I began to conquer this little purple world I was living. After circling the same pasture several times, I realized that these out of place flowers all looked the same on our place and I began to be unsure as to what I had

sprayed and what I had missed. The boss had an ingenious idea. Yes, that is a compliment and it is now in writing. With that, I took a roll of toilet paper — a farm girl’s companion when away from the house — and began to tear off squares and place them on each plant that I had sprayed marking my territory. After a few hours, the Purple Rain turned in to a White Christmas. The field was white and my job was done. In an effort to stay on top of this invasive crop, another afternoon, I made a run through the field on the

four-wheeler to check for invaders. Armed with green handles loppers and a thistle digger, I began to drive back and forth across the paddocks. If it had a purple bloom, I would lop off the bloom tuck it away in a sack and then dig up the root. I didn’t have any water on this hot afternoon because I anticipated a quick and productive task. As the quick task grew longer and longer and I was hotter and thirstier (can’t believe that is really a word), I realized my boss’s new green handled loppers were no longer on the back of the four-wheeler.

Pam Wormington was born a city girl, proclaiming to never marry a farmer or live in a small town. “God had other plans,” she said. “My husband, who likes to remain anonymous, is a kind and patient man who works very hard either teaching me or fixing what I didn’t learn.” Pam and her husband live in the country and raise grass-fed beef. They own Wormington Trucking, carrying on three generations of milk haulers. “I love my life and all the laughs that come with it,” she said.

Connection Magazine | 41


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42 | March 2017

Easier said than done. I was tired, hot, dehydrated and was driving back and forth in a field of green grass and thistles. Tracing my tracks was not that easy. So I drove around sitting on the four-wheeler, standing on the four-wheeler, walking without the four-wheeler to no avail. So with head hanging and something else dragging, I headed home where I had to confess to the boss that I lost his new, favorite green handled loppers. Thinking all the while that I may get fired or wages garnished. No such luck! I must admit, my boss is not what I would call ‘gifted.’ He doesn’t buy gifts just because a particular holiday suggest it, he buys when he wants or thinks it is necessary. To my surprise one afternoon, he called to tell me he bought me a gift. All I could think of was, “Can I wear it?” “Can I drive it?” “Does it sparkle?” You’ve probably figured out by now, that it was none of those, but a nice pair of loppers. My very own, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse. Hmmmm, what shall I get him for Boss’ Day this year?


Who makes a tool used in a field with green handles anyway? I knew exactly what had happened and figured I would just retrace my tracks and there I would find them.

P.O. Box 405 • 111 S. Market St. • Mt. Vernon 417.466.2800 • fax: 417.466.3066 Toll Free: 1.800.748.7756

We are looking to honor 10 southwest Missouri people age 40 and younger for their roles in making our community a great place to live! Tell us why someone you know (or yourself) deserves to be featured in our 10 Under 40 feature in September edition by emailing your nomination to

Nomination deadline is June 30.


Select QR code to email:



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44 | March 2017

March’s winner!

Cutest pet

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.

Meet Zoey. Zoey belongs to Jennifer Nicholson.

Connection Magazine | 45

Corned Beef and Cabbage Ingredients 3 pounds corned beef brisket with spice packet 10 small red potatoes 5 carrots, peeled and cut into 3-inch pieces 1 large head cabbage, cut into small wedges

Directions n Place corned beef in large pot or Dutch oven and cover with water. Add the spice packet that came with the corned beef. Cover pot and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer approximately 50 minutes per pound or until tender. n Add whole potatoes and carrots, and cook until the vegetables are almost tender. Add cabbage and cook for 15 more minutes. Remove meat and let rest 15 minutes.

Irish Bacon And Cabbage Soup Ingredients 1/2 pound Irish bacon, diced 2 large potatoes, peeled and cubed 1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice 1 cup chicken stock, or as needed Salt and black pepper to taste 2 cups thinly sliced dark green Savoy cabbage leaves

n Place vegetables in a bowl and cover. Add as much broth (cooking liquid reserved in the Dutch oven or large pot) as you want. Slice meat across the grain. Prep: 10 m Cook: 2 h 25 m Ready In: 2 h 35 m

Directions n Place bacon in a large, deep stock pot or saucepan. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain off any excess fat. n Stir in potatoes, tomatoes, and enough chicken stock to cover. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer for 20 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. n Stir in cabbage and allow the soup to simmer for a few minutes longer before serving.

46 | March 2017

Prep: 25 m Cook: 1 h 10 m Ready In: 1 h 35 m

St. patrick’s day recipes Prep: 25 m Cook: 1 h 10 m Ready In: 1 h 35 m

Irish Shepherd’s Pie Ingredients

Irish Champ

Prep: 15 m Cook: 25 m Ready In: 40 m

Ingredients 2 pounds potatoes, peeled and halved 1 cup milk 1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste 1/4 cup butter 1 pinch freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions n Place potatoes into large pot, and fill with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, and cook until tender, about 20 minutes. n Drain well. Return to very low heat and allow the potatoes to dry out for a few minutes. (It helps if you place a clean dish towel over the potatoes to absorb any remaining moisture.) n Meanwhile, heat the milk and green onions gently in a saucepan, until warm. n Mash the potatoes, salt and butter together until smooth. n Stir in the milk and green onion until evenly mixed. Season with freshly ground black pepper. Serve piping hot in bowls. Set out some extra butter for individuals to add to their servings.

1 tablespoon olive oil 1 tablespoon butter 1 onion, diced 2 pounds lean ground lamb 1/3 cup all-purpose flour Salt and ground black pepper to taste 2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary 1 teaspoon paprika 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 tablespoon ketchup 3 cloves garlic, minced 2-1/2 cups water, or as needed 1 (12 ounce) package frozen peas and carrots, thawed 2-1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and halved 1 tablespoon butter 1 pinch ground cayenne pepper 1/4 cup cream cheese 1/4 pound Irish cheese (such as Dubliner), shredded Salt and ground black pepper to taste 1 egg yolk 2 tablespoons milk

Directions n Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. n Place olive oil and butter in Dutch oven over medium heat. Stir in onion and ground lamb; brown the meat, breaking it up into small crumbles as it cooks, about 10 minutes. n Stir in flour until incorporated, then mix in salt, black pepper, rosemary, paprika, cinnamon, ketchup, and garlic; cook and stir until garlic is fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. n Stir in water and scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the Dutch oven. Reduce heat to mediumlow and bring mixture to a simmer; cook and stir until thick, about 5-6 minutes. n Remove lamb mixture from heat and stir in peas and carrots until combined. n Spread lamb mixture into the bottom of a 9x13-inch baking dish and set aside. n Place potatoes into a large pan of salted water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, and cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain well and return potatoes to pan. n Mash butter, cayenne pepper, cream cheese, and Irish cheese into the potatoes. Mash until combined and potatoes are smooth. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. n Whisk together egg yolk and milk in a small bowl; stir into the mashed potato mixture. n Top the lamb mixture in the baking dish with the mashed potatoes and spread evenly to cover. n Bake in the preheated oven until the top is golden brown and sauce is bubbling up around the edges, 25-30 minutes.

Connection Magazine | 47

Prep: 5 m Cook: 15 m Ready In: 20 m

Happy St. Patrick’s Day from the employees


St. Patrick’s Day ZucchiniOatmeal Cookies Ingredients 1/2 cup butter 3/4 cup white sugar 1 egg 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 1-1/2 cups grated zucchini 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 cup quick cooking oats 1 cup granola 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Directions n Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. n In a medium bowl, cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Stir in the egg and vanilla, mix well, then stir in the shredded zucchini. Sift together the flour, baking soda and cinnamon, stir into the zucchini mixture. Finally, stir in the oats, granola and chocolate chips.

901 E. Hwy. 60, Monett 417-235-BANK (2265)

444 S. Rinker, Aurora 417-678-BANK (2265)


48 | March 2017

n Drop dough from a teaspoon onto an unprepared cookie sheet. Leave at least 2 inches between cookies. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven. The cookies will stay soft and moist because of the zucchini.

Irish Soda Farls Ingredients 2 cups all-purpose flour 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 cup buttermilk

Directions n Preheat heavy based flat griddle or skillet on medium to low heat. n Place flour and salt in a bowl and sift in baking soda. Make a well in the center, and pour in the buttermilk. n Work quickly to mix into dough and knead very lightly on a well floured surface. Form into a flattened circle, about 1/2 inch thick and cut into quarters with a floured knife. n Sprinkle a little flour over the base of the hot pan and cook the farls for 6 to 8 minutes on each side or until golden brown.

Prep: 5 m Cook: 15 m Ready In: 20 m

Proud parent Mila Grace Ledgerwood, 10 months at the time of this photo, is the daughter of Travis and Lilia Ledgerwood, granddaughter of Carl and Linda England Ledgerwood, and great-granddaughter of Mrs. Gene Ledgerwood.

Mila is March’s cutest kid. Congratulations, Mila!

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. Email your child’s photo to Photos should be sent in the original JPG format at the highest resolution possible. Remember to include your child’s name, parent’s name, age, city and your contact information. The contest is open to children ages 10 and younger. The photos submitted will be used for the sole purpose of this contest. Connection Magazine | 49

Liu “Debbie� Yang at a Monett Chinese restaurant.

50 | March 2017

East meets West


wo Purdy residents recently hosted a young woman from China, offering typical southwest Missouri hospitality and finding sometimes the divide between cultures is smaller – and wider – than one might think. The visitor was Liu Yang, a 30-yearold Walmart manager from the city of Shen Zhen in the Guangdon Province in southern China, which borders the Pacific Ocean and is located just north of Hong Kong. To her American friends and colleagues, she went by the name of “Debbie,” a very un-Chinese name she picked out of a book because she liked the way it sounds. Debbie has been to the United States three times, beginning in 2014. This was her second visit to Missouri, giving her the chance for a side trip down to Walmart headquarters in Bentonville, Ark. In Purdy on separate trips, she stayed with Mark Ingram, a retired commercial pilot whom she met while on the road, and Sheila Harris, a sales representative for Connection Magazine. Part of Debbie’s job is translation. She calls her manager position part of the support operation for Walmart in China. She is now in her fifth year working for the giant retailer. “I really like working for them,” Debbie said. “It’s very impressive how it’s operated. The board sees China as the second largest market for the company. There’s a lot of potential there.” She became acquainted with Walmart after the retailer opened its first store in the city of Nanchang, where she was attending college. “People were amazed. There were so many choices,” Debbie said. She researched the company after graduation, applied for a job and got in the door, having earned a degree in English at the university. Walmart now has 240 Supercenters in China and 15 Sam’s Clubs, which target a more affluent clientele.

Chinese woman finds rural Missouri a bit scary for her urban upbringing

Debbie said the biggest misconception Americans may have about China is that it’s a poor country. “There are a lot of rich people in China,” she observed. “In the streets are all expensive cars – BMWs, Ferraris, Lamborghinis. Every country has its poor. It’s just becoming less and

less. It’s about how the situation gets better and better. The government has done a lot of work to level the poverty.” Debbie uses an iPhone, and said that’s the phone of choice in China. She prefers buying tickets on her phone over using a desktop computer. Connection Magazine | 51

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Debbie did not appear well versed or interested in Chinese history. She recalled Dung Chow Ping, the Chinese leader who moved the country away from Mao’s communist model, died when she was in elementary school. Her real interest lies in what China is now, and not what it had been. Debbie did not feel China was particularly oppressive with its political system. She said people can post comments on the internet, as long as they “watch out for sensitive words” and references to the government. Outside of that restriction, “We can talk whenever we want.” Vestiges remain of China’s one-child policy, especially in major cities. Debbie herself is the oldest of four. Her parents kept trying until they had a son, as boys are still considered the “pillar” of the Chinese family. Debbie herself is not married and has no plans to do so.


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* Offer for new subscribers only in Barry and Lawrence counties. Subscription renews at $12.80 per month following 3-month term, and may be canceled at any time.

52 | March 2017

More gifts brought from China to give as souvenirs during Debbie Yang’s visit.

“I’m enjoying my life a lot,” she said. “I need to use my single time to travel. I don’t need to worry about other people. I don’t want to be tied up. More and more people are getting married later. Age is just a number. What’s more important is your mind. As long as you have enough energy, you can do a lot of things.” Still, Debbie acknowledged many of her contemporaries pursue a more traditional course, and some even have marriages arranged by their families, though that happens “less and less.” Debbie admitted she found southwest Missouri a bit disorienting, coming from a city of more than 14 million people and living on the fourth floor of a 34-story building. Her city had been a simple fishing village before the government focused on making it a major metropolis, so everything in the city is less than 40 years old, and 80 percent of its residents came in from other places, mostly the countryside. “In China, you can see people any time, anywhere,” she said. “It’s too quiet for me here. Last year, I was here for a week. Every day we went out for lunch. When the time got dark, the whole world got to sleep. We never go to sleep in China at 6 p.m. Here, there is no sound. I think most of my Chinese friends would be scared. “I came for training. When we got lost, there was no one to ask for help.

There’s not many places to hang out. In China, people sounds are what you hear at all hours. In my city, maybe it’s more about the young generation, we have a very rich nightlife. We’re up to 1 or 2 a.m. Even when I’m in my hometown, people like to talk to neighbors. They don’t close their doors.” “The most impressive thing here is there is so much land. In China there are so many people and we have so many high buildings. China has limited land. Here it’s all flat. You can see very far and wide. And it’s quiet.” Debbie has found herself put off by some of that rugged individualism that Americans pride so much in their national character. A business trip to Mexico found her even more distanced, as she found that culture indifferent to her, at least in how she was able to interact. “People are very hospitable in China,” she said. “We like to take care of people. We care a lot more about others’ feelings. We’re more careful about relationships between people. More and more I like my country a lot.” On her latest trip, Debbie had more opportunity to try local foods, even though she found most people took her out to eat at Chinese restaurants. She sampled Mexican food, and wasn’t sure what to make of it. She finally got a restaurant hamburger, which was too big for her, though she devoured all the French fries that came with it. “I was always under the impression that American people have a large appetite,” Debbie said. “I got the impression that if you eat a big lunch, you don’t need other meals. In traditional China, three meals is a must.” Debbie visited Phoenix, Ariz., and Bentonville, Ark., looking at universities, as well as visiting an old boss at Walmart headquarters. She is considering pursuing college studies in the U.S., which will give her more advantages in her career back home. 

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Hablamos Espanol Connection Magazine | 53

Memorial Christmas dinner







9 The 32nd annual Linn Thornton Memorial Christmas Dinner was held on Dec. 24 at the First United Methodist Church in Monett.

54 | March 2017



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

Dolores and Edwin Scheuerman Miranda Myddleton, Mersaides Dowdy and Christina Marshall Front: Marilyn Coker, Charles Rickman and Joey Coatney. Back: Kristy Coker and Brent Watson Dennis and Jay Allen Front: Sue Billings and Terri Stephens. Back: Glenn Billings and John Stephens Chris and James Derden

7. Shellbie Robertson, Dominic Ray and Anthony Stimac 8. Leighanna and Linda Barber 9. Debbie Owens, Earnie Thornton and Vicki Cornelius 10. Alisia Thornton, Daneile Mace, Amanda Downey, Brian Downey and Kyle Mace

The Wheaton Historical Society and Depot Museum held its 10th annual Valentine’s Dinner on Feb. 11 at the Wheaton Community Center.





10 Kay and Bob Lombard Lewis and Deanna Royer, Debbie Lombard Steven and Diane Ray Rosa and Erik Sanchez

PO Box 37 • 816 Broadway Monett, MO 65708

11 5. 6. 7. 8.





1. 2. 3. 4.

Valentine’s dinner

Shelli Wiseman and Bill Young Lawrence Ridenour and Dawn Tuberville Rex McNabb and Cheryl Lee Gene and Carri Hastings

“A Little Store With Big Savings” Residential & Commercial Owned & Operated by Jim & Jayne Terry


12 9. Doris and Chuck Dalbom 10. Joni and Ronnie Coleman 11. Janice Fohn and Jean Marney 12. Pat Marbut, Peggy Roller and Betty Haynes

Bus. (417) 235-0016 Fax (417) 235-6364 Res. (417) 442-7974 Connection Magazine | 55

Velveteen rabbit




5 4

7 6





The Monett Artists’ Guild presented a play version of “The Velveteen Rabbit” on Feb. 3-5 at the Monett High School Performing Arts Center. 1. Cherie and Alexa Austin 2. Heather and Bill Logan 3. Desirae, Melanie and Todd Hills 4. Tierany Sloan, Cyan Sloan, Talana Hinson and Kyle Ogle 5. Ella, Darla and Molly Christensen 6. Emma and Brian Hunter 7. Doug Smith, Banner Nowlin and Jane Anne Smith 8. Mia and Jeremy Gripka 9. Emma and Carol Rosencrans 10. Missi and Micah Mioller 11. Rebekkah and Bill Mahl 12. Terrie Burris and Luetta Burton

56 | March 2017


Monett chamber Christmas parade









9 The Monett Chamber of Commerce presented its annual Christmas parade on Dec. 10 in downtown Monett.

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

James and Cooper Vesco Deborah and Charles Ortwein, and Jamie Meisner Leah Camp, Riley Dierker and Sadie Camp Front: Cohen Cunningham. Back: Melissa and John Beckwith, Jessica and Audrey Cunningham, and Dennis Golubski Front: Damon Mahurin, Grady Mahurin. Back: Stephanie, Kaleb and Kevin Mahurin

6. 7. 8. 9.

Lisa Herald, Sheila Carder, Kaylee Herald, Danette Blevins and Zandria Blevins Coleen and Tristan Ferdig Bill and Chris Archer Chad, Bailey, Celeste and Cale Flynt, Monica and Rowen Wilke

Connection Magazine | 57

OFO Christmas concert

3 1





9 8

7 58 | March 2017

1. Graham, Allison and Truman Heider 2. Edna Haynes and Gail Dohn 3. Marcus Willmschen and Bryce Clayton 4. Wade and Rita Nowell 5. Wayne and Kara Borgmann 6. Diann, Andy, Donovan and Avery Thomas 7. Meagan and Jeremy Krause, and Kristen Crawford 8. John and Andrew Rausch, Lindsey Preston, and Ian Braun 9. Lonna Norman and Brandi Cooper 10. Linda Lee and Helen Marie Merrill

10 The Ozark Festival Orchestra held the Christmas concert for its 37th season on Dec. 18 at the Monett High School Performing Arts Center.

Valentine’s Day dance













The Monett Senior Citizens Center hosted a Valentine’s Dance on Feb. 6 at the Monett City Park Casino.

1. Bud and Louise Borey 2. J.C. Henry, Rita Seufert and Margie Washeck 3. Evelyn Shilling, and Geneva and J.V. Dalton 4. Tammy and Beverly Roetto 5. Geneva Brown and Sam Dalton 6. Tom VanDerhoef, Shirley Stumpff, Becky Hull, Margaret Kerr and Kenneth Gauthier 7. Mary Ann Buchanan and K.C. Caldwell 8. Glen and Wilma Seufert 9. Lynette Davey and Howie Anderson 10. Harold and Judy Reynolds 11. Carolyn Jones and Rick Madison 12. Mary Mason, Dixie Trotter and Garry Rose 13. Maura Sparks and Jay Grunwald

Connection Magazine | 59

The Monett Historical Society held its first New Year’s Gala party on Dec. 31 at the new Monett Museum at 418-422 E. Broadway.

New year’s gala

2 1






10 1. 2. 3. 4.

Amanda and Dan Harbaugh, Sandy Bouray, Andy and Michelle Goodson Justin and Sarah Hart Phyllis Garrett, Amanda Lee, Beth Garrett Darren and Kari Bass, Karen and Brad Wells, Julie and Randy Witt

60 | March 2017


5. 6. 7. 8. 9.

Jack Goodman and Greg Huntress Chad Kelly, Cheri Davidson and Janet Hyde Gale Huffmaster, Jim Hyde, Charlotte and Dan Connor Tom Patterson and J.D. Roberts Susan Huffmaster and Jeanne Ann Camp

10. Front: Liz Marshall, Martha Randall, Kara Brower and Sarah Meredith. Back: Jeff Meredith 11. Front: Christa Stout, Ed Hamm. Back: John and Karen Richardson 12. Mary Mael, Carlene Garner and Lynn Kellhofer 13. Julie Beckwith and Darrin Newbold

Dining for diabetes


3 1





6 12

The 15th annual Dining for Diabetes fundraiser was held Saturday, Jan. 20 in the multi-purpose room at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Pierce City. The theme of this year’s event was celebrating Chinese New Year. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.


LeAnn Anderson, Gary Anderson and Shari Stofer Bev McCauly and Norma Clinton Teli Ramirez, Daniella Ramirez and Jennifer Ramirez. Luciana Buren and Jill Denefrio Brad Ridenour and Ruth Ridenour Shane Anderson Darren Bass


Connection Magazine | 61

Cassville Area Chamber of Commerce Banquet





5 Cassville Area Chamber of Commerce Banquet was held Feb. 4

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


Lydia Alverson and Chris Smith Melissa Inman and Terri Desrochers Jeff Swadley and Lisa Henley Christy Hermansen, Chad Johnson and Becka Bokor Rachel Freeman, Matt Freeman and Clara Hermansen Ken and Perryleane Lingle Pat Chapman and Ralph Kelley Jerry, Linda, Stephanie and Jeremy Marple


62 | March 2017

My connection

Cynthia Knight with sister, Carla, and friends brought Connection Magazine with them to dinner on the Carnival Magic. They did a seven-day cruise to the Western Caribbean in January.

During a recent fishing trip to Campfire Island on Rainy Lake in Canada, Ed Norman, Ralph Scott, J.L. Phillips and Steve Wise took time to review Connection Magazine.

Carmine and Barbara Androsiglio of Cassville took Connection Magazine to Key West, Fla., in November to celebrate their 24th wedding anniversary.

Steve Terry and son Jason took a trip to England and France in January. They are pictured at Stonehenge and the Eiffel Tower. They also visited Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, Parliament, Westminster Abbey, London Eye and Tower Bridge.

Connection Magazine | 63

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All Lines Of Insurance • Located 2 miles south of Purdy


64 | March 2017

Acambaro Mexican Restaurant . . . . . 17 At The River Consignment . . . . . . . . . 13 Barry Electric Coop . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 Bennett-Wormington Funeral Home . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .44 Carolyn Hunter, DMD. . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Cassville Health & Rehab . . . . . . . . . . 21 Coast to Coast . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 Community National Bank. . . . . . . . . 48 Cornerstone Bank . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 Cox Medical Centers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68 Crane Family Dentistry. . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Crowder College. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Diet Center. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Doug’s Pro Lube. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52 Eastside Church of Christ. . . . . . . . . . . 4 Edward Jones . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Farm Pro. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 First State Bank of Purdy . . . . . . . . . . 44 Fohn Funeral Home. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 Four Seasons Real Estate . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Four States Dental Care . . . . . . . . . . . 53 Freedom Bank of Southern Missouri . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .39 Friendly Tire . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 Guanajuato Mexican Store. . . . . . . . . 42 J&J Floor Covering. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55 J. Michael Riehn, Attorney . . . . . . . . . 21 Ken’s Collision Center. . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 Lackey Body Works. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 Les Jacobs. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Michael Carman Furniture Gallery. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .67 Monett Chamber of Commerce. . . . . . 9 Ozark Methodist Manor. . . . . . . . . . . 32 Peppers and Co.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 Race Brothers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Scott Regional Technology Center. . . . 9 Security Bank of Southwest Missouri. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .32 Shelter Insurance. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 Sunrise Family Restaurant. . . . . . . . . . . 2 Superior Spray Foam. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 TH Rogers Lumber Co. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 The Jane Store . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64 The Niche . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 Tomblin’s Jewelry. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Trogdon Marshall Agency. . . . . . . . . . 42 White’s Insurance. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64 Whitley Pharmacy. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Willis Insurance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

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Parting Shot “It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.” ― Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

66 | March 2017

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Connection Magazine | 67

68 | March 2017

Connection March 2017  
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