Volume V, No. 3, Spring 1978
No, this isn't a new volume--but yes, I am a new editor. The story editor of the first two issues of this volume, Diana Foreman, has taken advantage of Lebanon's early graduation policy and has gone on to college. We at Bittersweet are very proud of her because she is the first L.H.S. student to graduate after the first semester of the senior year. Diana is now attending the School of the Ozarks at Point Lookout, Missouri, studying elementary education and English.
After a staff election I became the new story editor, necessitating another election to fill my former position. Teresa Maddux became the editor for the art committee. Since I have been in her same position, I can say for Teresa--and all the former art editors--thanks to the Lebanon High School art teachers. From the first issue until now, they have helped us with our illustrations. Their advice, new methods and helpful suggestions have been of tremendous value to us. We especially wish to thank the present teachers, Eric Purves and Alva Hazell. Because of their interest our art work has improved.
Another vacant editorship was filled by Melinda Stewart. She took over as circulation manager and is doing a great job handling our mail.Several readers have asked us why we have recently been writing about the more unpleasant aspects of Ozarkian life. We have featured stories of World War I, jails and, in this issue, the civil War and a hanging story. These, too, are part of our bittersweet heritage. We would not be truthful in saying there is nothing bad about the Ozarks. Therefore, we must write about all aspects of life. To do justice to the Ozarks we must tell of the hardships and difficulties that help to strengthen the people and teach them endurance.No one is infallible--least of all we on the staff. We know there are always typographical errors and minor mistakes, but in our last issue we had several more serious mistakes we would like to correct. On page 13 of "Bittersweet Rag" we spoke of a trumpet player named W. D. Candy. His name should have been W. C. Handy. On the same page Paul Whitfield should be Paul Whiteman, and on page 14 the creator of boogie-woogie was Pinetop Smith, not Pinecoff. In the process of transcribing the tapes, we misunderstood the actual names.Another mistake on page 32 of "Stony Lonesome" is the caption of the lower picture. The man shown unlocking the jail is M.F. Taylor, not W.V. Kennedy as the caption states. Our apologies to both men. One further mis\-take was in stating that the Lebanon jail was last used in 1965. The actual date was 1955.
We know these aren't all our mistakes, but these were the ones brought to our attention.
It seems each year we are saddened several times by the passing of friends we have made through Bittersweet. We are sorry to report the deaths of Daisy Cook and Julia Massie (both Summer, 1975) and C.H. "Dutch" Snyder (Spring, 1974 and Fall, 1975).
Dear Good People:
Your Vol. V, No. 2, Issue 18 on steamboating on the Osage River brought back many memories.
I have known Homer C. Wright all of my life. My father, Samuel Adcock, was a "boatman" for
several years, and worked on the steamboats from Osage City to the upper reaches of the Osage River.
I had several uncles, brothers of my father and of my mother who worked on the steamboats. My father and mother went on a steamboat excursion down the Osage
River from Tuscumbia, Mo., on their honeymoon in 1899. Father told many boating stories--how the boat would pull in to the river bank and load up with cord wood for fuel--how one old farmer always had grape vines out for cord wood and how the
farmers would stack the sacks of wheat by the river to be taken when the boat could load it.
Sometimes it had rained on the sacks and the wheat would sprout and grow through the sacks.
The top layer of sacks would be green with growing wheat.
My father also ran the ferry at Tuscumbia for some time. Sweet memories of days gone by!
Mildred (Adcock) Smith
I was especially pleased to receive your expression of sympathy. It brought to mind how much
pleasure Daisy got out of working with the staff when the article on her work was developed.
BITTERSWEET can take credit for part of the publicity that brought the public attention to her pictures.
Ed. Note: Daisy Cook was featured in a story entitled "Visiting Daisy Cook," Summer, 1974. She did paintings of Ozark life and an exhibit of her work will be on display in Lebanon this spring.
Dear BITTERSWEET Staff:
I found your magazine in the waiting room of my doctor. I loved the name, as I gather bunches of bittersweet in fall. I thumbed through it and could not give it up. I was born and raised in the hills, but not the Ozarks--in St. Louis County--but our ways, when I was young were the same as you told of them--the threshing wheat harvest, the blackberry picking, the spring for cooling and the "Shepherd of the Hills" story. I've seen the play and enjoyed it so much. I just love the "Hill people." I had to ask to borrow the copy so I could read every line of it. I am 75 years old.
Lillie M. Chartrand,
St. Louis Co.
Dear Young People, greetings and good wishes:
Thanks for my last copy of BITTERSWEET. As usual it is a very excellent production.
I retired in May after 71 years of practice, but still have some patients that come to my home for medicine like chronic cases of high blood pressure.
To all of you my best wishes for your present and futures.
Ed. Note: We are always glad to hear from Doctor Ruth, a doctor for Osceola, Missouri, and the surrounding area. She was featured in the Winter, 1974 issue.
Your Vol. V, No. 2 Issue 18 on the Maramec Iron Works evoked many memories, as many of my
ancestors were involved in this venture.
This was an early attempt to smelt iron ore using charcoal, which produced a very superior type of iron, which commanded a top price from the tooling industries in St. Louis. Early attempts were made to float the iron down the Meramec River on flat boats, but because of the short bends, trees in the way, etc., this was abandoned. Then the iron was hauled by ox cart down the south back of the Meramec to the St. Louis market. The way was so rough other means were sought. A canal was dug from the Gasconade River to near the Mill at Paydown. Iron was hauled to Paydown from the Maramec Iron Works, loaded on keel boats and floated down the Gasconade to the Missouri River at Hermann. The Gasconade was as crooked as the Meramec, and presented some of the same problems. So, much of the iron was hauled overland from the Iron Works to Hermann where it went by rail or by barge to St. Louis. This overland road is still known as the Old Iron Road. It passed near the area where I was born.
My grandfather, Jackson Smith, hauled the iron blooms to Paydown and also to Hermann, using a double yoke of oxen.
The timber for the charcoal to smelt the iron was cut at a convenient height, so the carts used to haul it had very large wheels, so the axles would clear the stumps. The cut timber was set upright, with an opening in the center. When a large amount was erected, a fire would be set in the center opening. When it was burning good, the opening would be sealed and alI of the timbers covered with dirt, and left to smoulder to produce charcoal.
The Maramec Iron Works and Spring, have been an attraction to me all of my life. I, along with family and friends, have spent many pleasant hours visiting there.
Thank you so much for reviving those memories.
Copyright © 1981 BITTERSWEET, INC.