Volume VII, No. 1, Fall 1979
Since I have been on the staff of Bittersweet, a lot of things have happened. There is much to be said for going on interviews, giving talks, attending workshops, and just working with the other kids in class. But one of the most enjoyable times I have had as a member of the staff was this summer. Ed Johnson, of Johnson's Outpost, outfitted our group for a canoe trip on the Niangua. It isn't often that we assemble without having the magazine on our minds but on this occasion we had no other choice, as Mrs. Massey threatened to drown the first one that even thought about work. And so we spent a relaxed day on the river, stopped at the ruins of Corkery (featured in Volume VI, No. 3) and for the most part had a very good time. The worst that happened was when through conniving the sabotage of Vickie and Becky, Mary Schmalstig and I were the first (and almost the only) to capsize. I guess, though, it served us right. Anyway, we learned our lesson and didn't plan anything else until we were safely on the river bank.
Speaking of the Niangua, congratulations to Glenn "Boone" Skinner of Conway, Missouri, on his book, The Big Niangua River. Already we have found this manual a great help as reference material about the river, its tributaries, and the surrounding terrain. If you are interested in having a copy send him $8.00 (which includes postage) and he'll be glad to send you one.
Summer staff ran its usual six weeks this summer, and at its beginning we started working full throttle on this issue. At the end of the summer however, we had accumulated enough stories not only to allow us to be selective in choosing this issue's contents but also to fill another whole magazine.
Many of the new staff members who were especially eager to get started came this summer and helped us out. This was a great asset and Mrs. Massey tells me that not often has there been such a turnout from the new staff. Yet, that wasn't the only good part of the summer. Nancy Honssinger, a graduated staff member, came back and worked with us. It was quite a treat for us to get to hear some of the tales of early interviews and escapades, plus we found that she has very good ideas.
August 9-12 some of the staff attended a national cultural journalism workshop sponsored by Foxfire, Inc., at Washington University in St. Louis. It was very interesting to learn some of the procedures of other magazines and various publications like ours, and meet so many students that are doing the same type of things we are.
Last year's graduating staff suggested that perhaps we hold an orientation period for a few days before school started to acquaint the on-coming staff with Bittersweet procedures. We took this suggestion and created a two-day orientation, August 21 and 22. Personally, I am quite pleased with the interest and motivation of the new staff and anticipate a very good year.
You may have noticed that our masthead is a little different from Volume VI. Instead of putting each staff member in categories, we found that it was easier and took less space to revert back to using the headings of Staff and Associated Staff. Staff is just as it appears, the current staff of the magazine. The Associated Staff, however, is last year's graduated staff plus any of the previous staff members who made contributions to this issue. This policy will hold true for the remainder of the volume.
One of the hardest aspects of being editor for me (there are many) was to think up a logo idea. Though usually I am very opinionated on most things (and I'm sure the rest of the staff will agree to that) thinking up a logo that characterized an aspect of my personality left me "idea-less." Some of the more avid Norman Rockwell fans may recognize this adaptation from an early painting of his. I knew that I would have trouble meeting the deadline, but actually I overestimated myself; instead of tomorrow, the deadline is today, and I am still at a loss for a way to complete the editorial. But even that will work out okay, because for the space that I can think of nothing to say, I can fill with letters from our readers.
COMMENTS FROM OUR READERS
To the Bittersweet Staff:
Your summer issue is the best ever. Actually, I couldn't put the magazine down once I got started.
I just loved "I'm in Love with Life" with the Mondales. They sound like such lovely people.
I was very fascinated with "This is the House that Clara Built," never having heard about a mud house. The best one of all was "This World Has Been Kind to Me," about Shorty Crews. When I finished that story, I felt that I knew Shorty all my life. Melinda Stewart did a wonderful job on this story.
Thanks for all the enjoyable reading.
Mrs. G. Schmalstig,
Dear Ms. Massey:
On behalf of myself, my wife, and our group of students, I want to express our genuine
appreciation to you and the fine staff of BITTERSWEET for the friendly hospitality you showed
us on our visit last week! Every one was so gracious to share with us what you have learned and
what you are doing. It was a very profitable and enjoyable visit.
Our students came back filled with enthusiasm and can hardly wait to get started. We are beginning regular meetings for the remainder of this year, and several of the pupils want to work on projects this summer.
Edgar J. St. Clair,
Dear Mrs. Massey:
I want to thank you and your staff for sending me the extra copies of BITTERSWEET, Summer
issue. I am a great admirer of your magazine and all you and your staff are doing.
I am reluctant to bring up this--but the quote in the Bald Knobber story attributed to me is erroneous. I hope I did not through a slip of the tongue connect the Taylor Boys with Captain Kinney's death. They were involved in Taney County goings-on at the start of the Bald Knobbers and were the first victims when the organization started punishment.
I am wishing you and your staff everything that is good.
Lucile Morris Upton,
ED NOTE: Thanks for calling this to our attention (VOL. VI, No. 4, p. 27). We don't know how
we did it, but the quote is completely wrong. Sorry.
Please accept my belated renewal and a small donation in memory of Melva Palmer Williams Ellis, a great lady, who died in your city in June of this year. She was a most capable and beloved teacher in the one room country school house of yester-year. She taught all grades from primary through eighth, found time to give individual assistance to those in need of it. She encouraged and inspired youngsters to fulfill their true potential. She was patient, understanding, tolerant and kind. After her school days were over, she never lost interest in the young folk. Many of her former pupils have kept in touch all through the years. She was extremely proud of your venture of Bittersweet Inc.
Morro Bay, California
We thank the following for their donations to Bittersweet.
Mrs. Phil M. Donnelly, Waynesville, Mo.
Edward Owen, Lebanon, Missouri
Eldon Kissell, Springfield, Ohio
Kathryn Dudley, New Canaan, Connecticut
Mrs. Robert Stickney, Kearney, Neb.
Mrs. Frances Coe, Chilhowee, Missouri
Jim O'Quinn, Lebanon, Missouri
James Hudson, West Simsbury, Conn.
Miriam Gray, Nevada, Missouri
Ruth Gieschen, Kansas City, Missouri
Joyce Rustin, Morro Bay, California
Francis Balcom, Anaheim, California
sabelle Amos, Lebanon, Missouri
Fay Akey, Arlington, Texas
Russell Rouse, Columbia, Missouri
Copyright © 1981 BITTERSWEET, INC.