Volume X, No. 2, Winter 1982
One of the things that I enjoy the most about being story editor is I get to look at the staff's stories and critique them. I read the articles and give my opinion on what would be better to take out, add or completely rewrite whatever needs to be. I think the reason why I like it so much is because I get to see every story before the magazine is printed, so that it's not a total surprise what it is about. But then there is a bad side to it. Sometimes other people get mad at what I suggested for their story, such as taking out a paragraph that they really like which had nothing to do with the topic of the story.
I also help a great deal with the new staff members by answering their questions, showing them where supplies are found, and what to do. The first year staff members have been enthusiastically working on their stories and have shown equal interest in their committee work. Some of the new stories started are native Ozark flowering trees and shrubs, rope making, muzzle-loading guns and several interesting people. They all should be good to read.
I know the rest of the staff is with me when I express my sympathy to the family of Glenn Rickman, who was featured in the Spring, 1982 issue with several other fiddlers. I am sure that the world of fiddling in the Ozarks will be affected by his death. He was eighty-one years old when he passed away after a long illness on September 2, 1982.
We very much enjoy getting letters from people whom we have written about, so we know what
they are doing. Recently we received one from Mary Scott Hair, who was featured in the
Summer, 1982 issue.
Just think: it has been nearly a year since you kids came to Hurley the first time. How I enjoyed your visit, both times you were here! And I loved buying each of you an ice cream cone at our little store.
I had a busy summer! My fan mail really picked up after the piece came out in your nice magazine, and I'm still hearing from folks who didn't read it at the first. Thank you very much. Also, thank you for the complimentary copies. I appreciated them.
I'm sure you know of Glenn Rickman's death so it was just great that you did his story when you did. Fastened to the underneath side of his casket "lid" was a flower arrangement in the shape of a fiddle. Then there was a small instrument fastened in the ribbon of the casket spray. He looked so peaceful...Friends who knew him will really treasure the copy of Bittersweet with his piece in it.
Again, thank you. And if I can be of any help at any time, just whistle! "Oh, we have a new (to us) fire truck, and we are ever so proud!
Constantly we are asked where do we get cur story ideas. Sometimes staff members know about some, but most of the time we get letters from you, the readers who write in about someone who knows how to make something unique, or who has had an interesting life. We appreciate this, and if if weren't for you sending in suggestions and people's names, most of the time we wouldn't know about them. We can always use new suggestions.
The Bittersweet staff has been at quite a few booths and talks lately. Kirsten and Mrs. Massey talked to the Ozark Mountain Chapter of the Missouri Society of Sons of the American Revolution in Springfield. Mrs. Massey along with Melanie, Suzanne, Anne, Le Anne and Beth spent the day running a booth and giving a talk at the District Teachers Meeting in Springfield.
Dena, Allen and Mrs. Massey presented a talk at the Missouri Folklore Society meeting at Warrensburg. Allen, Jeff, Kirsten and I, along with Mrs. Massey, spent two days in Kansas City running a booth at the Missouri State Teachers meeting and giving one of the workshops. That was lots of fun, especially since it was my first time in Kansas City and we got to go to a dinner theater.
We have received a few comments from our readers regarding the use of a few swear words in some of our stories. We had to decide whether or not we should print the words. We, of course, try not to use words which may offend anyone in our own writing, but we find it difficult to omit them when we are quoting the person telling the story. If it's a part of their everyday speech and we took it out, then we would not be printing true material. We have been trying to be true and accurate. We decided that we will try to avoid it as much as we can without changing their statements, but not to completely leave it out. In many cases, for every one profane word published, we edited out about twenty.
This decision goes along with others past staff members have made about writing about hangings, murder and other unpleasant aspects of Ozark life. Our name, Bittersweet, means both the bitter and sweet parts of life. We feel we can not ignore some aspects of life because we would only be showing the sweet.
Though it is hard to believe that this is my last year in Bittersweet, and for that matter, in school, I know it is true. Even though I expected it, it still came as a surprise when I opened the mailbox and found brochures from two of the military services. I guess they are trying to take advantage of my undecided mind--to go on to college or find a job. I still have half the year to decide, and still more to learn about myself.
But until graduation, I'll be concentrating on my work in school as a senior and on Bittersweet.
We thank the following for their donations to Bittersweet.
Lebanon Welcome Service, Norma Woosley, Hostess, Lebanon, Missouri
Norvel Phelps, Collinsville, Illinois
Willis Ezard, Conway, Missouri
David Barker, Montgomery, Missouri
J. B. Shackelford, Effingham, Illinois
Rotary Club, Lebanon, Missouri
A. D. Zimmerman, Overland, Missouri
Lois Folkert, Bay City, Michigan
Mrs. A. Donald Anderson, Richland, MO
Mrs. Beecher Henderson, Kirkwood, Missouri
Erma L. Pace, Hermitage, Missouri
Ernest F. Hamilton, Lakehurst, New Jersey
E. J. Waltenspiel, Moraga, California
George A. Purdy, Seattle, Washington
June Hicks, Rio Linda, California
Irving Payne, Greeley, Colorado
Mrs. Edwin B. Crocker, Storm Lake, Iowa
Copyright © 1981 BITTERSWEET, INC.