As the weather gets warmer, things are picking up in the gardens on farms and in fields. If the weather stays sunny for a few days, I would expect to see farmers and ranchers making hay. And the lawns and gardens are taking shape for summer very nicely.

There's a lot of activity on the local historic front. I am involved with several projects that are moving along. A lady called the other day, wanting to schedule some summer school visits to Newtonia. I passed her along to our caretakers, Robert and Rachel, and I'm sure they got her scheduled. I'm also sure the visits will require some of the friends to help out. But, that's why we are there — to help.

A big project is underway for the friends at the George Washington Carver National Monument. Something is always brewing up there. With government funding problems, the monument has a personnel shortage so volunteers will have to put their fingers in the dike to help out. I'm sure that the events this summer and fall will go off as usual.

The Jaeger Festival is wrapping up and I salute John Mills and his group for their efforts. I often pass by the Jaeger farm and that makes me wish a group would buy the John Jaeger house and restore it. The Jaegers are very big historical figures for this area and the longer we wait, the harder it will be to do something to recognize them.

The Neosho National Fish Hatchery, one of the oldest historic sites in Neosho, is perking along. They, too, are having to tighten their belts, but they also have a strong friends group to help out. The hatchery will celebrate its 125th anniversary this summer. They will have some kind of celebration, although I don't think the exact plans are in place. By the way, there is some new folk art in the bookstore. Mr. Nichols, our folk art carver, has come up with a totally different style, so come have a look. One of his pieces recently sold at a charity auction for $600. They are much more reasonable in the bookstore.

Completely off the subject but I saw a security video from New Orleans the other day. It showed a man walking down an empty street at 5 in the morning. He was approached by a man with a shotgun. The thug walked right up to the man and practically put the gun in the man's face. With the gun so close, the man simply grabbed the barrel of the gun, wrestled it out of the thug's hands and chased the thug off. Just watching this video, I felt like a kid watching a Saturday matinee and the hero gets the best of the bad guy. I almost shouted out loud with joy.

But later, the thug came back and offered to trade the man's cell phone, which he had dropped, in exchange for the shotgun. The man's answer was to use the gun to bash the back window out of the thug's car!
That was one stupid robber!

Kay Hively writes a weekly column for the Daily News.