It seems that everyone is breaking out of winter — or trying to do so. Committees, service clubs, and individuals are getting spring fever and there is a lot of movement. Several groups I associate with are very busy.
Up at the Carver National Monument, the support group, called the Carver Birthplace Association, is planning a very big project. They want to restore and open the little Lincoln School that is located here in Neosho on Young Street. Because of its association to George Washington Carver I think it is one of the most important historic sites in Neosho — and perhaps in Southwest Missouri.
I could talk all day about the little schoolhouse, but I hope and pray that the people and businesses in our town will reach out and help the birthplace association with the property. It cannot be replaced and deserves restoring. The little house was given to the Association by Arvest Bank. I hope other businesses and individuals will step up to the plate. The cost will be significant, but I truly feel it must be done.
The Friends of the Neosho National Fish Hatchery is gearing up for a big season. There will be events in March, April, May, June and July. Four fishing derbies are planned, with fishing opportunities for veterans, boy and girl scouts, for people with handicaps, senior citizens and kids in general. On top of that, there will be an open house and a 125th anniversary celebration. We will host The Conservation Commission, one of the state's most active and important commissions. The Friends group will be helping with all these things. We will supply most of the meals for the events and most of the things needed for the fishing derbies. Our budget will be stretched, but thankfully, we have the bookstore/giftshop which makes us money and we have received some grants from various places.
Last year, the Boeing Corporation gave us $1,500 to help fund the regular kids fishing derby. This year because they see our needs, they have notified us that they will increase their donation to $2,500. We are so blessed to have Boeing as a partner. This is such a large company, dealing in billions of dollars, but they aren't above reaching out and helping the little guy. Thanks, Boeing.
Finally, the Newtonia Battlefields Protection Association will be gearing up for summer and fall. Right now, I am working to get a short video presentation ready for sale. My new friends, Jerry and Dianna Rempp, came to visit during the Sesquicentennial Celebration last year. Jerry is a fine photographer, and he and Dianna wandered over the festival grounds taking pictures. He surprised me with a video collection of his photographs. In fact, the video is so good that we are going to get Jack and LeeAnn Sours and other musicians to create some background music. Jerry Rempp is happy to see us do this. He did the pictures to look like they are from Civil War times and the effect is magnificent. Mathew Brady, the famous Civil War photographer, would be impressed.
Page 2 of 2 - Kay Hively writes a weekly column for the Daily News.