Volume V, No. 1, Fall 1977




REFLECTIONS FROM THE EDITOR


Thinking of all the friends I have made through Bittersweet and all the things they have taught me, I would like to dedicate this issue, about people, to all the people who have supported us and given valuable pieces of their lives to be recorded in our pages. I would also like to extend a special thanks to the Missouri Arts Council for their continued support in the form of 250 subscriptions which we will send to junior and senior high school libraries in Missouri.

As I reminisce about the friends who have extended a helping hand, I also think of the ones that have passed away. Two very recent deaths in our family of contacts are Emmitt Massey and Spencer Legan. We greatly miss both of these men, but we all cherish the memories they left with us.

Not only are we dependent on our contacts, but also on you, the subscriber. We have received many helpful new ideas and suggestions for old problems through our recent readers' survey. Thanks to everyone who took the time and effort to fill out and return them to us. Angela Hancock and Mrs. Massey have spent several hours tabulating the responses so I could include the summary in this issue.

Nearly half of all those responding subscribe both for the subject matter and because young people do the work. Those who marked just one choice overwhelmingly chose subject matter. Some other specific reasons for subscribing listed were: readers' interest in the area, in folklore, crafts and oldtime ways; nostalgia; roots in the area; the staff's appreciation shown to old people; and the magazine's usefulness in teaching, its clean reading and high quality. All but one who replied were aware that high school students do the work.

The regular features liked best were dialect, superstitions, place names, and photo essays in a four-way tie for first, with recipes, introducing the staff, editorials, index and letters from readers following respectively. Every story suggestion we received is now on file and hopefully someday we will have time to do a story on the subject. We do not assign story topics, but let staff members select what interests them.

The favorite longer article was "Pieces of the Past," a story on quilts, with "From Hills to Hotels" and the series on Ozark rivers, caves and schools following closely. The personality features also rated very high and several readers were kind enough to simply say, "I like all of them." (Almost every story we have published was mentioned as a favorite with these appearing most often.)

Although we received very few complaints about the magazine, we appreciate those we did receive and are considering what we can do about each one.

On whether we should continue to include sound sheets 70% said continue, 6% said don't and 24% didn't say. We will definitely have at least one more in the winter issue on ragtime and fiddle music.

"What would you prefer to help us meet our rising costs?" was the last question, with a list of possibilities to choose from. The following is the order of preference. (1) Raise subscription cost (76% yes; 2% no). (2) Include advertising (23% yes; 17% no). (3) Publish only three per year (17% yes; 12% no). (4) Cut quality of paper (13% yes; 15% no). (5) Limit area (9% yes; 10% no). We do not anticipate making any of these changes in the near future, however some changes are inevitable as costs increase. We are doing everything we can to keep down costs without cutting quality. There is one thing every subscriber could do to help us offset these changes. That is to renew subscriptions on the first notice which is enclosed in the magazine. This would help cut postage costs of renewal notices and mailing single magazines to late subscribers. Postage is one of our greatest single expenses after printing costs.

Thank you for your continued support and cooperation.

D.F.



REFLECTIONS FROM OUR READERS

Dear Bittersweet:

Just to think back a bit--- I was born in 1911, so some of the wearing apparel of today is a far cry from the accepted dress in my early life in Tuscumbia, Missouri. I recall that a school mate who came to visit me had a beautiful pair of black "bloomers." I was so fascinated by them that I constantly nagged my poor mother until she made me a pair of black bloomers! What style!
We girls were discussing the old bone staved corset in school, and even then there were some who had never seen such a contraption. So I sneaked into Mother's trunk and "appropriated" (No, it was stealing then) one of her corsets and wore it to school. At noon several of the girls went with me to the "toilet" and took turns trying on the corset. One girl, my cousin, liked it so much that I gave it to her. My memory now is so faulty that I don't know if I got it back or not.
Let's move on through time some. Let's see, now--first it was "see through" then "bra-less," then topless--My goodness, let's stop now!

Mildred Smith,
Chesterfield, Missouri



Dear Ellen Massey:

I am a member of the Vernon County Historical Society, so I feel complimented that your class visited our Bushwhacker Museum in Nevada last October. However, there is more history in Vernon County than just Nevada.
The original town of Montevallo was laid out five years before the city of Nevada which makes Montevallo the oldest town in Vernon County.
There isn't much left of Montevallo now, but it has so much history surrounding it, and now, I have the "Old Country Store and Museum" in the only original business building now standing. I thought your group might enjoy visiting it sometime and seeing the village of Montevallo that I am constructing in miniature as it was in 1920 when the original buildings were intact.
Besides the store, I have the antique doll reproduction studio here at home and many people have found it interesting also.

Elsie M. Logan,
Montevallo, Missouri



ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

We would like to thank the following friends of Bittersweet for their donations.

Shirley Grimes, Ballwin, Missouri
Lester and Carolyn Thornton, Savannah, Mo.
Gertrude R. Williams, Arnold, Missouri
Genevieve Fertick, Chaffee, Missouri
Marvin Kerby, Harrisonville, Missouri
Mary Ouellet, Chesterfield, Missouri
Glenn Pedersen, Springfield, Missouri
Charles Baldwin, Columbia, Missouri
Dorothy Kiesow, Tennessee, Illinois
Dollie Burdell, O'Fallon, Illinois
Al Oestrich, Columia, Missouri
Mrs. Arnold Irish, Belleville, Illinois
Eldon Kissell, Springfield, Ohio
Mrs. John Hill, Lebanon, Missouri
Mrs. Burton Weathers, Springfield, Illinois
Mrs. R. D. Stringhan, Lawrence, Kansas
VirginaCrocker, Storm Lake, Iowa
Leta Pryor, Rich Hill, Missouri
Netta Gibson, Raytown, Missouri
Russell R. Rouse, Columbia, Missouri
Mrs. Paul Akey, Hurst, Texas
Debbie Myers, Milan, Tennessee
Gertrude Toth, Bethesda, Maryland
Judith Dourney, Herkimer, New York
David Barker, Montgomery City, Missouri
Mrs. James E. Porteus, Oneonta, New York
Joseph M. Jakupcak, Oak Park, Illinois
Margaret McNabney, Bartlesville, Oklahoma
Mike Hite, Dayton, Ohio
Donald M. Lance, Columbia, Missouri
Joyce Rustin, Morro Bay, California
Francis H. Balcom, Anaheim, California
Betsy Jane Maier, St. Louis, Missouri
Almon A. Atkins, Springfield, Missouri
Mrs. Glen O. Blair, Camdenton, Missouri

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Copyright © 1981 BITTERSWEET, INC.


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