It is said that a large percentage of New Yorkers have never been out to visit the Statue of Liberty. Most non-New Yorkers don't understand this. Yet we who live in smaller towns are guilty of the same thing.

It is said that a large percentage of New Yorkers have never been out to visit the Statue of Liberty. Most non-New Yorkers don't understand this. Yet we who live in smaller towns are guilty of the same thing.
It is amazing to me the number of Neosho residents who come to the fish hatchery for the first time. It is not unusual to hear people say they have lived here for years and have never come to see what it is all about.
The same is true of the George Washington Carver National Monument. Many have never visited this park, even though it has a lot to offer, from picnic areas to a museum to special programs.
Last weekend the park held a storytelling festival and it was first-class. I got to see two of six presentations and I enjoyed them immensely. How lucky for us that this piece of the National Park Service is in our neighborhood because it offers so much.
The hatchery and the Carver Monument are not the only source of entertainment and cultural programs. Also, last weekend there was a music festival in Morse Park to honor our veterans. If you enjoy a concert such as this, you could have gone free of charge.
All around us are events and places of artistic and historical interest. We should go not only for our own sake, but to support these places to assure they will be around for years to come.
Don't forget to take the kids or grandkids along. Even if they don't seem particularly interested, you can be sure they are soaking it in. When they are a little older the kids may actually thank you for giving them your time and efforts.
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There may be more vacationers on the road this year because the national park system raised the price of lifetime senior passes. When word got out that the price was rising substantially, sales of the passes went through the roof.
We in Neosho were lucky enough to be able to buy them right here at home and I hope everyone gets to use them many times over. The Neosho National Fish Hatchery have sold the passes for years. Other places used to sell them but quit because they were not good sellers. I remember a few years ago that Dave Hendrix, former manager, asked my opinion about the passes. I encouraged the hatchery to continue. Thank goodness, he decided to continue and many have benefitted from that decision because we didn't have to drive a long distance to get a pass.
I don't know the figures, but the local hatchery sold an incredible number of passes in the last few months. The best part is that the money brought in is put into a special account in the hatchery's name and can be used for the benefit of the hatchery.
In this past, not much money was raised, but this year there will be quite a bit more. Many of the sales came from folks who drove in from Nevada, Lamar, Joplin, Monett and even from out of state. We received money because we provided the service.
Good for us.

Kay Hively writes a weekly column for the Daily News.