Late last year, we witnessed some horrible wildfires in California. My heart went out to everyone affected. Even though the fires are pretty much subdued, the victims are living with the aftermath and, in a way, that is equally bad.

Late last year, we witnessed some horrible wildfires in California. My heart went out to everyone affected. Even though the fires are pretty much subdued, the victims are living with the aftermath and, in a way, that is equally bad.
Recently I learned that Jean Bird, a native of McDonald County, lived in the area and suffered a close call.
Jean was born in 1927, so she will soon be 91 years old. In spite of her age and her own wildfire experience, she wound up serving as a volunteer helping other victims.
I do not know Jean personally, but I did meet her once when she came into the fish hatchery gift shop while Russell and I were working our shift. Having heard much about Jean so I was really glad to meet her. Jean has been a strong supporter of McDonald County and has made many contributions to the preservation of the county's history. She also subscribes to this newspaper and is a regular reader.
Jean's Christmas card this year had a photograph of her having a formal tea in Santa Rosa on her 19th birthday with six friends. The six friends were police officers in full uniform. I'm sure that Jean is a big supporter of law enforcement and I'm sure they appreciate Jean's support.
So a big salute to Jean for all the good she does in this world. She is truly a remarkable woman—one to be admired.
I haven't been there lately, but I understand the little schoolhouse where George Washington Carver attended for several months is to see some big improvements soon. The school will be moved off its foundation so a better, more secure foundation can be constructed.
After it is put back in its regular spot, more things will be coming, including a new roof, interior work, and landscaping.
Work has been going on for quite a while and will continue for probably several years. I comment the Carver Birthplace Association because they are doing the work as they get the money.
What a great day it will be when the work is finally done and I predict the little school will be a major attraction in Neosho. Dr. Carver's work is known and admired world wide and how lucky we are to get to claim his presence in Neosho. Many of the traits he showed as an adult can be traced back to his boyhood at Diamond and in Neosho.
I am sure the Carver Birthplace Association could use a few more funds so if you want to donate to a good cause, that would be a good choice. I know other groups need funds as well so, if you have a little extra change, pick a good cause to help. You'll be glad you did.


Kay Hively writes a weekly column for the Daily News.