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Hope many of you readers were among the large crowd that attended this years Masquerade Ball at the Chateau Charmant (the castle in Olga). It was so much fun and I even made it out on the dance floor a couple of times. I appreciated my grand kids, Nicholas and Sarah Inman taking me and when I wasn’t dancing, it was nice to visit with several friends around the room. I appreciated Bill Gdanitz and his lovely wife for keeping me company as well. My friend Charlotte Dickerson was there, we had a lot of fun shopping for an outfit for her. Although, it was a nice evening, I decided to bow out early. When I was leaving there was a white limo waiting and I asked the driver if he was planning on taking me home and he said, sure. I jumped right in and I appreciated the young couples who were aboard for letting me have the thrill of being dropped off at the door in a limo. They even took my picture in front of it and it was the ending to a great evening. The ball sure brings a lot of people to the Olga area.

While mentioning Bill Gdanitz, who is president of the Fordland Clinic Board, I would like to give him my appreciation for the words of congratulations that he shared from the stage for our family. Nicholas and Sarah are expecting a baby this next May and we are all really excited for them. It was so kind of him to mention it in his remarks. Also, we appreciate Robert Marsh for his kind words.

Friday, I joined members of our family to attend the “Celebration of Life” for Arminta Jones at the Pat Jones Memorial Park at the Buena Vista Ranch. Her service was held in the pavilion down next to the James River. They had enclosed the pavilion and put carpet down the middle and they had built a raised platform for the front of the building. There were hundreds of people present and it was nice to see so many gathered to pay their respects to such a special lady. She was a member of our church and we will miss her each week. There was a good number in attendance from our congregation and I think she would have been so pleased. Grandson Nicholas officiated and a great choir from St. Louis sang. They sang as people were arriving and as they were leaving. They were Chris and Kyle with True Spirit. Also, Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers sang. Her grandson’s, Jerry Mooty and Stephen Jones spoke as did her granddaughter (Charlotte Jones Anderson) and her son, Jerry Jones (owner of the Dallas Cowboys).

While there it was nice to see several longtime friends from the Webster County Opry audience, including Thelma Lou Grier and Rachel Straw. Also, several dear faces from Marshfield including: Vicki Shalloup and Jewel Aulds (Jewel took care of Arminta for many years), Phoebe Cleir, Elsie Myers, Betty Jo Cantrell, Bill Stacey, Jan Gallagher, Lois Farnsworth, Anita Keeling, Butch Alcorn and Jerry and Diana Diehl. Certainly a testament that Arminta touched lives all over the area. She was laid to rest at the Shiloh Cemetery, next to her beloved Pat Jones. Afterward, we were among the number that attended the reception at her home, where we visited with her family about her enduring legacy. She would have been so pleased at the gathering and to have heard the music and tributes at her service. She was so supportive of this community and belonged to the Pleasant Panthers and other organizations on the south side of the county. However, she will probably always be associated with her many years as co-owner of Exotic Animal Paradise.

We will never forget the many times that we have gathered in her home. She was our cousin on the Clark side of the family and she was so gracious to everyone. Just this July, 120 of our church members gathered for worship in her living room. It was a great service and she enjoyed having us all there. Later, that day the church enjoyed the annual “Fourth of July” picnic under the same pavilion where her service was held. I know that our great granddaughter, Reagan Inman enjoyed going with her Daddy on many Friday mornings to visit her at the ranch. Reagan will really miss her as well, she called her Mamaminta. I am glad that I was able to be at her service and to remember such an angel of a person. Arminta had turned 90 on October 23 and was surrounded by her family in her hospital room in Dallas, where she would later pass away.

The leaves on this side of the county have been so beautiful this year, however, I fear they have already reached their peak. You may still see a few striking glances of autumn. We hope to see you out this way in the near future. Have a blessed week until we meet here again.

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