This past week I did a feature on three women who live in McDonald County. In the feature, I made a mistake and called one lady (Peggy) by another’s name. Not only did I do it once, but I did it twice. As the saying goes, only journalists and baseball players have their errors published in the paper every day. I apologized to Peggy and she was very gracious.
An e-mail came the other day from Carolyn Read who lives about 600 miles away. She said she has a subscription to the Neosho Daily News. She had read with much interest my feature story on the destruction of the carriage house on Harmony Street.
Carolyn has a long history with that carriage house and also the big house that is referred to as the “Speakman House.” Carolyn’s grandfather, Russell Hunt, once owned the big house and Carolyn spent a lot of time there with her brother.
“…My brother and I spent many hours in our younger years playing in the carriage house. My grandfather, Russell Hunt, had the former cupola set on a foundation in the southwest part of the yard and it became Bill’s and my playhouse. There was a window, door, a little table and chairs, and we spent endless hours playing out there. Great memories….”
Carolyn was sad to read about the loss of the carriage house, as are most people when something that holds good memories of their childhood is gone. But I am glad I was able to report the story in the newspaper. Many years from now, because of the newspaper, people will know what happened. I have always thought the newspapers are the first draft of history, and they serve as a valuable asset to our cultural knowledge.
I suspect that if the next time Carolyn came back to Neosho and discovered the carriage house was gone, she would always wonder what happened to it.
Now she knows.
Since the sad death of the Ozarks Mountaineer, a new magazine has been born which is pretty much in the tradition of the old Mountaineer. I think two issues have been published and the staff is getting on their feet. Starting a magazine is very difficult. You have to line up writers, get advertising and pay for everything, even the publishing and postage.
The Journal of the Ozarks is headquarters up near Bolivar with Larry Dablemont as its publisher. Russell is writing a column for this new publication and I expect when I find a suitable subject, I will submit it.
Like the story about the old carriage house, I hope this new publication will speak to people who live in the Ozarks and to those who once lived here or ever wanted to. The new magazine may not reach the heights of the old Mountaineer, but I am glad the staff is trying.
Kay Hively writes a weekly coumn for the Daily News.