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Sherry Lynch was puzzled when she heard her name being called from the stage at the Vanzant Picnic. She was over by the concession stand enjoying some pizza and could not imagine why she might be called to the stage. She had not purchased tickets for the quilt drawing or any other item, yet there it was again, “Sherry Lynch, please come to the stage!”
Her surprises were just beginning. Up there waiting for her was her husband, Dennis Lynch, who greeted her warmly and then read the proclamation: “For uncommon valor in the face of thorny peril, Sherry Lynch is hereby crowned Thistle Queen of the Kingdom of Vanzant!”
He placed a royal magenta robe about her shoulders and on her head a tiara bearing the likeness of a pair of musk thistle blossoms. Thunderous applause, much good-natured laughter and photo ops followed as Sherry beamed—The Thistle Queen.
This all came about as the result of a comment made by mail carrier, Marty Brown, who was visiting with Dennis at Plummer’s Junction one day. Dennis took the idea to Lynn Koereer, the bookkeeper there at Plummer’s, who took it to Brenda Plummer who approved it and the end result was this award, which recognized Sherry’s accomplishment—the eradication of acres of musk thistles from the Plummer’s property.
Over a period of a month, Sherry, who has been working for Mick and Brenda Plummer for more than two years, systematically cut the flowering heads off the thistles and then cut the stalks and dug the roots of the plants.
Working from Gators, she and her helpers, Aaron Costar and Sam Lorey, removed 20 or 30 pickup truck loads of the noxious weeds from the whole of the Plummer’s south farm and two large pastures in the Denlow area.
Sherry said that she had enjoyed the scenery and being out on the farm. In addition to working at the Junction, part of her job with the Plummers has been mowing various properties in the area. She took advantage of the time when it was too wet to mow to work on thistle removal.
This thistle is a European weed that was introduced accidentally to the eastern seaboard in the mid 1800’s. Since then it has spread throughout North America, where it has become a weed of considerable economic importance especially in range and pastureland.
Spread by airborne seeds, each flower can produce as many as 10,000 seeds and while the flowers are pretty enough, the plant itself is unpleasant and prickly. A remediation project of this magnitude requires some real dedication.
Sherry was born and raised in Mountain Grove and has lived in the area all her life. Her husband is from Tyrone, Missouri over by Houston. They have four children and seven grandchildren who keep life interesting and busy for them. They have lived in Vanzant for four years and feel at home there. The Plummers are certainly glad to have them in the neighborhood.
The appreciation is mutual. Sherry was surprised and pleased with the recognition for her hard work and expresses her thanks to the Plummers, to Lynn for making her crown and robe, to her helpers on the job, to the mailman who had the bright idea and to her husband for his good natured orchestration of the presentation. Sherry Lynch—Thistle Queen!