Volume 32, Number 4, Summer 1993
A hundred years is a long, long time
To weave into meter and lore and rhyme
So, briefly, Ill sing of a golden smile
And a plea to the hearts of the folks worth while.
Born at the dawn of a distant day,
A babe as fair as a rose in May.
Rocked in a cradle of "hickry split"
By the proud young parents, Faith and Grit.
The babe was swaddled in homely things
And fed from a bottle of living springs.
Schooled in the ethics of tree and sod,
She grew to youth in the land of God.
She wasnt pampered in idle dreams,
Her world was real with its hills and streams;
Where the wolf stalked forth when the sun wasgone
And the "bob-cat" challenged the crimson dawn;
Vvhere the "pot hound" blinked at the old "smooth bore"
And a coon-skin hung on the cabin door;
Where the grist mill thundered its awkward lay
To the simple folk of an early day.
Where "Sorghum Holler" and "Possum Run"
Were the rainbows end to a "Barl o fun."
Here the "gal growed up" as gals will do,
Nurtured in toil when the land was new.
All "fussed up" in a homespun gown
For a "mule-back" ride to a cross-roads town.
Comely and shy as the piping quail
In the old worm fence by the river trail.
Her fame soon grew as a winsome Miss
And suitors fought for her golden kiss.
But this is the edict she spake to all:
"My charms are gratis to great and small.
All ye who would strive for my golden smile
Must measure up to the folks worth while."
And, speaking thus, she spread her charm
To the swains of the village and the field and farm.
Thats how it started. A hundred years
Since the babe was born to a world of fears.
Through calm and tempest, through sun and rain,
She breathes her message to bill and plain;
For fair Missouri retains her youth
And her early precepts of love and truth.
And, true to her standards, her lure, her smile,
Were glad to be on of her "folks worth while."
Sorghum Holler and Possum Run
Are still extant in the realm o fun.
But the swaddled babe is a woman grown,
With a sizeable family, all her own.
She rides no more to the "deestrict skule"
In a homespun frockon a flea-bit mule,
But she goes "de luxe," like a millionair
To greet her kin a the big State Fair.
From the Missouri Centennial Exposition and State Fair Official Souvenir Program, 1921.
Copyright Ó White River Valley Historical Quarterly
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