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The Ava 4-H Club is really growing, and as the weather warms their activities are also heating up, according to community service project leader Cleta Sweeney. Kids are taking part in their choice of beef and dairy cattle, cooking, horse and dog projects, while the entire group participates in various service projects.
The cooking kids have been making pizzas and cinnamon rolls. The dog kids are training (along with their pets) for two spring 5-K walks, in Mtn. Grove and in Ava. The horse kids are planning a benefit trail ride in May to raise money for diabetes research, and all are looking forward to the summer lineup of fairs. Leaders of the livestock project are committed to taking winners at the local level to Sedalia for the big state fair. It’s a busy time for all involved, as well as being lots of fun. If you live in Ozark or Douglas County and would like to be involved in 4-H, either as a member or adult leader, call Cleta at 265-3504.
Tom and Phyllis Bentley were relieved to hear from their son, Josh, who lives in Taiwan, that his area was spared any effects of the recent earthquake and tsunami. Taiwan does have many earthquakes, and Josh knows what they feel like, but is thankful that there hasn’t been a big one during his time there.
Phyllis says Tom is being faithful to his doctor’s recommendation of daily exercise and eating right after his recent heart attack and surgery, and although he still feels the after effects, his strength is gradually building back up.
Phyllis’s roots are deep in our Almartha community, with both of her parents growing up here and her ancestors being some of the earliest settlers. In speaking with her about the Historium’s newest project, Pass-Along Plants, Phyllis related that some of her earliest memories are centered around the gardens grown by her mother, grandparents and aunts and uncles. Phyllis’s mother, the late Neva Parker James, would bring her children out to the country from Gainesville, where she and husband Vernon made their home, to experience things like blackberry and gooseberry picking. When the group would be scattered around a thicket of blackberry brambles, Neva, who was part Indian and often had a special sense for things, would caution the children to stay away from an area where she “smelled a snake.” Phyllis said that she wished she had learned more about the customs of the old-timers, things that were passed down by word of mouth but now are lost to time.
During the week-long Pass Along Plants event at the Historium, we will also be talking about old-time cures made from native plants. I remember that my father-in-law, the late Curtis Taber, used to talk about how his mother made him wear an “asifidity” bag around his neck to ward off germs. I don’t believe it was a pleasant experience! If you have worn one of these or know anything about them, please call me at 265-3372 or email me at email@example.com. I’d love to learn something about what was in them.
Happy birthday wishes are extended to Mark Ray who will celebrate on Saturday, March 19.
Please make plans now to come out Saturday evening to the chili and soup supper at the Wasola Fire Department, which begins at 6 p.m. Local musicians are encouraged to bring their instruments for a jam session. These events provide a good opportunity to visit with neighbors, have a good meal and support the fire department, all at the same time. Hope to see you there!