Volume II, No. 4, Summer 1975


Two years of BITTERSWEET. It seems impossible that I have learned so much in just two short years. When I first started I didn't even know how to write a story, and I didn't like to speak to groups. But being editor has given me the responsibility and put me in charge, so that I feel confident when asked to talk on BITTERSWEET. It has been a lot of fun and a lot of hard work. When I think back and see how many rough drafts it took for my first story, and how much easier it is now, I can say I have learned a lot.

This will be my last editorial, although I will have a few more stories in later issues. The new staff members for next year to replace the seniors have been selected and are already working with us. New editors will be chosen in a few weeks, so they can get started on their jobs. I hope you will enjoy next year's issue with new names on the by-lines.

These past two years I have met many interesting people. Going on an interview I get to know them as a friend, more than just information for a story. This is especially so when you go back for two or three times. One I enjoyed tremendously was Charlie McMicken. He was always willing to help--from calling a square dance, telling about barbed wire to showing his crafts. There was never a time I went to see him and Dorothy that I didn't feel welcome. This was why when I heard of his death, I was very sad. He loved the Ozarks very much and it showed when you talked to him.

We were fortunate to have on the staff this last semester our foreign exchange student, Doris Brelowski. She has added a lot to the class. Not only have we taught her about our culture, but she has told us about her country. In this issue (page 2) she tells her feelings about the Ozarks and what living here has meant to her. Doris will have a story in the fall issue on death and burial customs.

BITTERSWEET isn't just a class where you publish a magazine. These past two years we have spoken at many meetings and organizations. There have been two conferences in Illinois where we were asked co speak, and a workshop in Colorado where Jim Baldwin and Stephen Hough helped teach two other schools about publishing a magazine. In Missouri we have spoken many places to an age range from sixth graders viewing our class, to a group of senior citizens.



Dear Editor and Staff of BITTERSWEET:

I finished reading nos. 1 & 2 of Vol. II of BITTERSWEET. I love the wrap-around covers. Sunsets are a favorite of mine, and the spider web, all dewey on the barbed wire, is a masterpiece. I know it costs more, but I am still hoping the day will come when you can add more color. One of the best facets of the magazine is the plentiful use of pictures throughout. The drawings are instructive or amusing, sometimes both. They add zest and information to the stories and to the magazine as a whole.

Miriam Gray
Nevada, Missouri

We have added color this time. We hope you like the ones we selected.

Dear Terry:

I would like to compliment you so much for the excellence of your Spring edition of BITTERSWEET. It is a good job throughout--but I especially want to praise the wonderful cover spread. Stephen Hough is really on the ball with his photography, and I predict he will go far in that field if he chooses to do so.


Keep up your wonderful work. I know it will continue to have a tremendous influence on your life, regardless of what each student may eventually do for a livelihood. And I know the collecting and recording of activities of an older generation will find an appreciated place in the archives of your community and state, as perhaps it may in a broader field.
I look forward to your next issue.

William M. Hall
Houston, Texas

BITTERSWEET is superb.

One small mistake in grammar. It is one made so frequently that perhaps eventually it will be correct, but, for now, page 49 [Winter, 1974] should read, "Once in a while someone comes in so sick I want to get them back here to lie on the lounge

A happy reader

Several people have written in to show us "grammatical mistakes." We reproduce the speech of the people exactly as they say it. This is a part of their dialect and we are trying to reproduce the way they talk.

Dear Editors of BITTERSWEET magazine:

Just thought I might write you a little letter to let you know how very much your BITTERSWEET magazine means to me! I do enjoy it muchly and at present writing I haven't a single issue in my home. A dear friend who makes the dried apple face dolls has borrowed my last issue to get some helpful hints from your article. My four issues of last year are all down in San Diego at a retired teacher's home. She is showing them to teachers in that area in hopes they might start something constructive like your magazine. So you see I am keeping the ball rolling.
I also want to tell you that I feel quite sure that I know what your picture was in the last issue [Fall, 1974 p. 21] the one you had no name for. To me it is one of the very earliest plug tobacco cutters.
When I was a little girl I used to go with my grandfather on a walk across the country side to a little country store and there he would order two cuts of freshly cut chewing tobacco. The grocer would get out a long plug or whatever he called it, and would cut off four smaller plugs. My grandad always just bought two of them , as he said they got too hard to bite off a cud if he got more at one time. These he would put in his pocket without any wrappings, after, of course, he had managed to bite off one corner.
Thanking you for giving me your time and keep up the good works.

Calla C. Morris
Ocotillo, California


Keep up the good work. We really enjoy reading them. We intend to retire in the Ozarks some day. I have 175 acres near Salem, and my wife and I are really interested in the old way of doing things. I'd like to see articles on log cabin building, including people who might still be building cabins. I intend to build a cabin in 1985 on our property. I know FOXFIRE covered this a few years ago, but I'd like to see more on the subject.

George R. Bilbrey
Abilene, Texas


We would like to thank the following for their special help and interest in Bittersweet.

Ken Sweet, Jackson, Michigan
Virginia Watts, St. Louis, Missouri
Mary Bakke, Lebanon, Missouri
Howard Mendell, Connersville, Indiana
W. Pyke Johnson, Old Greenwich, Connecticut
Mary McNabney, Coffeyville, Kansas
Vicki Cravens, Lebanon, Missouri, for compiling our index

Ruth Massey, Lebanon, Missouri, for writing consultation

Missouri State Council on the Arts for making Bittersweet available to Missouri libraries


Copyright © 1981 BITTERSWEET, INC.

Next Article | Table of Contents | Other Issues

Local History Home

 Springfield-Greene County Library