Volume V, No. 4, Summer 1978
We have arrived again at the end of another year with the closing pages of our fifth volume. The final link with members of the original staff will be broken with the departure of this year's seniors, because these seniors are the last of those who worked with that beginning group. Now, when the continuing staff looks back to previous volumes and reads the by-lines and credits of those original staffers, none of them will have personally known, through Bittersweet class, those whose names appear there. But still that continuing staff learns from those they never knew. Looking back to the past, they can benefit from their predecessors' achievements and mistakes. I feel confident that the next year's staff, and all those following, will carry on the tradition of Bittersweet.
We have mentioned before that our book, Bittersweet Country, will be published by Doubleday and Company. We are still uncertain as to the actual date of release, but hopefully it will be on the market in late November.
As always, this spring has been especially busy. We have gone on several talks including ones at the Communications Day at Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau, the English Language Arts Conference at the University of Missouri at Columbia, the Marshfield, Missouri Historical Society and the Regional Gifted Conference in Champaign, Illinois. We always enjoy going places to talk about Bittersweet.
It has been one year since we sent out our readers survey asking several questions of our patrons. One dealt with how to handle our rising publication costs. Most of those answering preferred an increase in subscription cost to either including advertising or having less quality in our magazine. Some people heard our cry and our donations increased. Therefore, hopefully, if this generous support continues, we will not need to increase our prices yet.
The sadness of loss visited us again when we learned that our friend Ester Sterns had died. She, along with her husband Johnny, was featured in Vol. IV, No. 2, in a story entitled, "I Dreamed I Was in Heaven."
Every day we receive a great amount of mail. Some of the letters are from groups or individuals interested in starting their own project on cultural heritage. We are very pleased that others like ourselves are interested in preserving our country's fast disappearing traditions. Therefore, we have prepared a detailed informative letter for those interested in beginning a project like ours or for those interested in Bittersweet's own history.
You may have noticed that along with the usual index of Volume V there is another index in this issue. It is a cumulative index covering Bittersweet's five years of publication. This special listing includes subject matter and personal names of contacts. It was compiled at the suggestion of several of our library friends. We hope it proves helpful and informative for those interested in past articles. Bittersweet gives permission to anyone wishing to make copies of this index for use in libraries or resource centers.
Before I began writing this final editorial for this volume, I read the last editorials of each of the previous volumes. I found that those editors also shared my feelings at this difficult time. We have all looked back to our past experiences in Bittersweet, simultaneously laughing and crying. At this point we all begin to realize how much we have learned, not only in class, but in working With people and sharing a part of ourselves with others. I'm sure that not only the editors, but all the seniors feel this way. We are losing something very precious but also retaining the elements that made Bittersweet so valuable. Many of us are going on to college this summer. The remainder are working and will be attending later. But each of us, in our own way is taking Bittersweet with us for the rest of our lives. It will remain a very special part of us.
Recently my daughter called me on the phone and said there was a story in a magazine she got
from Missouri, and she thought she had heard me tell about a family being murdered by Jodie
Hamilton in Missouri. I said, yes, I remember about it, so she bought the BITTERSWEET for me
to read. The name of Jodie Hamilton always stuck in my memory, but I did not remember all the
details. I think my father went to the hanging. I remember it was talked about a lot. I remembered
that a horse was in the deal of settlement and Jodie was taken to different jails to keep the mob
from getting him. I was about eight years old in 1906 when that crime was committed. The people
talked a lot about it and we children were afraid. My younger sister and I were afraid in the dark.
We made our older sisters go to the back house after dark with us.
Thanks for having the story in the magazine.
Bessie Bond Love,
I'm rather certain you have and will receive much favorable comment on your Spring 1978 issue
and the treatment of the Civil War (I'm sorry--the War Between the States) in Missouri. I want
three extra copies. I need them to show my southern friends and relatives how much of the
unpleasantness really occurred in my native state. My paternal grandmother was a very young girl
then, but she said they did not know who was coming around the bend in the road next--Yankees
or Rebels--or, worst of all, Bill Quantrill's raiders. While he, Anderson and Clement would shoot
anyone who had anything they wanted, "Pap" Price called Quantrill his best uncommissioned ally.
I'm told that one of my great-uncles was a gymnast and that he was captured in the war. He could turn cartwheels, flip-flops and do handstands. The enemy group that captured him was on the move, and, when they would bivouac, they would mark off an area in which the few prisoners (six or eight) had to stay. To break the monotony about mess time one day, he was doing hand-stands, when he was noticed by an officer of the unit that had captured him. The officer said: "Say, that fellow is good at all that tumbling. Bring him over here." He went over and was cart-wheeling around and around for their amusement. Each time he would come around he would move a little closer to the thick underbrush. Finally he dashed into the underbrush and escaped. He told Grandma that he heard a couple of shots; but he really didn't think they tried to hit him. It was one less for them to feed.
Clyde Miller Smith,
Dear Mrs. Massey:
Thank you for participating in the Tenth Annual English Language Arts Conference here on
March 23rd. Your presentation, "Discovering Our Own Heritage: Missouri Bittersweet," was
most informative and interesting. I want to express my personal gratitude and relay to you the
expressions of appreciation that I have received from the teachers who attended.
As always, it was pleasant to meet your students. Yours is still the most exciting student publication in Missouri--actually, I can say publication, for it rivals the professionals and deserves to be classed with them.
Ben F. Nelms,
We would like to thank the following friends of Bittersweet for their donations.
Helen Henderson, Kirkwood, Missouri
Mrs. John Hill, Lebanon, Missouri
Gladys Bishop, Valentine, Nebraska
John Saunders, Strafford, Missouri
Mrs. Dean Miller, Kansas City, Missouri
Mary L. Ouellet, Montgomery City, Mo.
Zona Smith, Lawrence, Kansas
Miriam Gray, Nevada, Missouri
H. H. Pearcy, Kokomo, Indiana
Oliver M. Langenberg, St. Louis, Missouri
Mrs. Morris J. Williams, Arnold, Missouri
Copyright © 1981 BITTERSWEET, INC.