Volume 33, Number 1, Fall 1993
My interest in the preservation of historic buildings and the natural beauty of our Ozarks stems from being a fifth generation native of Taney County.
We have all watched areas of development that appear frightening. Seeing hills and valleys peeled of the lovely green seems almost unforgiveable. There is another side to this feeling. People the world over have discovered this area so rich in natural beauty that this interest has brought great change to the Ozarks as a whole. We must share the beauty which simply means accepting the great changes that must come about to take care of our natural beauty yet accommodate the masses of people who come to enjoy it.
In many ways this has been done by county and local officials. Planned development has been of great interest for years. Not perfect, far from it, but without the pre-planning of the last ten or more years, we would experience greater shock than we have.
Our efforts to press harder in this area should be enhanced and all-out diligence in saving those things from our heritage that are irreplaceable, small streams, lakes, trees and historic landmarks. You will have my full support in the things we attempt to do in these areas.
My interest in the White River Valley Historical Society goes back to its beginning in 1961. At that time my father-in-law, Charles Holman, was living and was one who was interviewed early on so some of his folklore of the turn-of-the-century could be enjoyed. He had come to the area along with his father, M. L. Holman, who was a consulting engineer for Powersite Dam during its construction.
Charles was hired by Empire District Electric Company to survey the water levels of Taneycomo Lake. In his work, he spent days doing surveying in the very rugged Ozark hills and would spend nights in the homes of families living along the river. He became well versed on the tall tales, many of them holding truths but usually embellished to add to the excitement of the tellers audience.
Mr. Holman was exceptional at retelling theses stories. Though both my maternal and paternal ancestors were long-time natives of the area, I had not been exposed to many of the Ozarks tales that I heard from my father-in-law. From then on I began to listen with more interest, ask more questions and tried to retain more of what I heard. Belonging to the Society for many years, yet not being able to participate helped to heighten my interest.
In recent years, I have been more engaged in my own family history as well as other interesting people of the area. I look forward to helping further the goals for the Society, realizing all along to follow in the footsteps of Kathleen Van Buskirk is more of a challenge than I can adequately fulfill. With the help I have from the best of officers, I shall try to achieve. Thank you for your confidence in me.
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