Volume VIII, No. 2, Winter 1980


It's hard to believe that almost half of this school year is past, and still time continues to pass quickly. It seems that I'll never be able to confine myself to only one editorial column when I begin to think of all the news I have to share with you. After recuperating from summer vacation, the staff is once again radiating a great deal of enthusiasm and willingness to work. We handled a remarkable number of interviews soon after school started, because each of the new staff members began a story, as well as several experienced staff members. Assistant advisor, Delilah Shotts, has been especially helpful by supervising many of the interviews, so that Mrs. Massey may spend more of her time helping students in the classroom. In one week alone staff photographers shot over two hundred feet of black and white film and several rolls of color film. To say the very least, we have a good start on researching stories for upcoming issues of Bittersweet. Hopefully, this will reduce complications later in the winter if bad weather conditions make it impossible to go on interviews.

Staff members have also spent quite a lot of time introducing Bittersweet to the general public by speaking at various local club meetings and operating a few booths where we displayed our magazine and our book, Bittersweet Country. In early October, several staff members, our advisor, Ellen Massey and I traveled to Maramec Spring's Old Iron Days celebration in St. James, Missouri. For two days, we manned a booth set up in the historical museum within Maramec Spring Park, talking with visitors and investigating other displays. Later that month four staff members operated a booth at the Southwest District Teacher's Meeting in Springfield, Missouri. In November Mrs. Massey and four other students managed a booth at the State Teacher's Meeting in Kansas City, Missouri, for two days. During this time we also appeared on the Good Morning talk show at TV station KMBC (Channel 9), and enjoyed the city's attractions. We all love to participate in booths because we get to meet and learn from new people with interesting ideas everywhere we go. We always have a wonderful time and we are constantly reminded of just how many people are aware of and are interested in what we're doing.

In September a reporter and photographer from TV station KTVI (Channel 2) from St. Louis, Missouri, visited us while filming a series of short segments about the Ozarks as supplements to their newscasts. We were featured as well as some of the people we've written about.

It seems that Bittersweet is now beginning to receive some widespread recognition after seven and one-half years of publication. Bittersweet, Inc. was recently presented an award of merit by the National Association of State and Local History. Naturally we felt very proud and honored to be recognized by such a distinctive organization, and you, the supporters of Bittersweet without whom we couldn't have continued, deserve much of the credit for our success.

We are constantly trying to capture the thoughts of those who have lived many years and have experienced so much, and it is always a sad occasion when we learn that they are no longer with us. On October 18, Archie Locke of Springfield, Missouri, passed away. He and his wife were featured in the last issue of Bittersweet (Vol. VIII, No. 1). Also, Ray Flannary of New Franklin, Missouri, died October 27. He gave us the information for a story on his treasured antique airplanes, (Vol. VII, No. 4). He also helped us with the story on bee trees in this issue.


Frequently our readers write us inquiring about various stories we have published in the past. Since the subjects we research are based on history and preservation, our material does not become outdated, and many people collect the back issues of Bittersweet. We are continuing to hear responses and inquiries about the article on thong trees, entitled "Timber Talk" (Vol. VI, No. 2). Thong trees are trees once marked by Indians in the Ozark region. They bent the young saplings toward the ground and braced them with two forked sticks.

Then as the tree grew, it would be characterized by a sharp bend. They used these bends to point to the location of water, escape caves or medicinal herbs. An expert on the subject of thong trees is Mrs. Laura Hubler of Ironton, Missouri, who has done extensive research in this field. Still yet, we occasionally see a bent tree in the woodlands or along a roadside and are left wondering about its meaning.

This issue will be especially geared to the interest of our local readers in that it features a story written by Jerry D. Cox, one of our high school English teachers and a graduate of Lebanon High School. "And Finally It Was Christmas" describes a very special Christmas in the 1940's as he remembers it. Mr. Cox has been a friend to Bittersweet from the very beginning, as well as having had staff members

Tracy Waterman, Carmen Broyles, Dwayne Sherrer, Gail Hodges, Lisa Mestan and I in his classes. I must admit, as story editor of Bittersweet, it was quite an unusual experience for me to have the opportunity to edit my instructor' s writing.

Incidentally, if you've noticed a few errors in the typing of my editorial, it is surely due to the absence of our typist, Pearl Massey. Because of her recent illness, we have had to manage without her dependability, efficiency and, most of all, her cheerful smiles. Perhaps in my spring editorial I'll be able to brag on its wonderfully neat appearance because, hopefully, Pearl will be back with us as good as new.



We thank the following for their donations to Bittersweet.

James E. Herdson, West Simsbury, Conn.
Pearl Bundel, Lebanon, Missouri
Harold Hillhouse, San Bernardino, Calif.
Ray Cahill, Fowler, Colorado
Jake Shackelford, Shawnee, Kansas
Erma L. Pace, Hermitage, Missouri
Janice Mussman, Kearney, Missouri
Lebanon Chapter of AARP, Lebanon, Mo.
Mrs. Beecher Henderson, Kirkwood, Mo.
Hazel L. Ray, Long Beach, California
James Frank, Plainville, Illinois
John P. Phillips, Salinas, California
Opportunity Extension Club, Lebanon, Mo.
Mrs. Don Murray, Hayward, California
Mrs. G. C. Folkert, Bay City, Michigan


Copyright © 1981 BITTERSWEET, INC.

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