west plains daily quill

Home of my favorite small-town newspaper

Editor/publisher of my favorite small-town newspaper.
Giving credit where it is due, I wouldn't be a sitting in the Goose at the moment if it wasn't for Mr. Ed Barnes, owner of Avalanche Associates & Brothers. Barnes came out looking for trouble in the militia movement sector and found it here, thanks to a small town newspaper editor whose brains he picked. He came back full of stories of Frank Martin and his paper and town, and I accompanied Barnes out here on a lark. He's not here any more, but I still am. 


the wrong kind of blues

Donna Ferrato's  first view of domestic violence.
Donna's take on domestic violence has changed over the years. Getting out of a bad situation is not enough, she now believes. Women need to learn not to get back into such situations, and girls need to learn not to get into them in the first place. Hence her new campaign, "Unbeatable." Here is a look at a show opening at Vanderbuilt University, for which I wrote the text.


the right kind of blues


Everything in this picture is under water #soclear
 This is Blue Spring, the bluest of the several springs in the Ozarks. With a daily flow of 87 million gallons, it is estimated to be only the eighth largest spring in Missouri. It is more than 300 feet deep. It was very hot yesterday, pushing 100, and the temptation to dive in was great. The water is icy, however, and I was afraid I'd seize up and be unable to get out. Or turn blue myself.
Blues Springs flows into the Current River in Missouri


goodbye to all this

West Plains Farmer's Market

Yingdong Zheng and hubby
Many of you know that my week is regulated by the farmers' market hours on Wednesday and Saturday. They see me coming, especially Yingdong Zheng, who presses me with dumplings, Chinese spinach, bok choy and other Asian specialties.
  She and her husband met on line. "I still remember seeing her at the airport in China when we met," he says. "She was wearing this blue dress, and she looked so beautiful. She still fits into it too."
  Now her son from a previous marriage is in college, her mother is growing the bok choy in their garden and they just celebrated their tenth anniversary.


everywhere a sign

Something about the laundromat always gets me. It's called The Washboard, and sure enough washboards hang on the wall as decor. People who have actually used one other than in a jug band are thin on the ground even here. My plumber, however, says he grew up without plumbing in a house with dirt floors. I bet his mom used a washboard.
   Saw another sign of the area on a T-shirt: "They can''t take these guns away." Girl was wearing it right over her bazookas.


the bouquet

Outside the Goose
I am enchanted by this crazy plant that grows in a crack in the pavement next to the bridge.
For those of you who read this blog and have been complaining about too many pix and not enough writing, if you were present at the gala Entertainment last night, you will know why there are not more words this morning. In fact, be very proud that your correspondent even found a picture to post.


warning: grandbaby pix!

Celebrating tomorrow, August 23, in Block Island!


asking $35,000

For Sale
Next door to me, right across from the river. Said to be in decent shape. Owned by a Michigan couple now too old to come down. Very large yard. Taxes @ $60/ year. Not an investment property. I have a feeling they'd take less to off-load it. (Good luck with that! On the other hand, I was sucker enough to buy here. Fortunately the carrying costs are minimal, because I might have some difficulty selling. Though I could easily rent for, say, $150 a month. At that point I could recoup my investment in 12 years or so. . .)
  A fair number of people have suggested I import my friends to repopulate Thomasville, which seems to be losing faster than it's gaining. Don't all clamor for this place at once.


missouri wildlife

One of the local watering holes, the Klepzig Mill, near Eminence, Mo.

Local fauna, at Rocky Falls, Mo.
We went to Peck's Ranch to view elk. Peck's Ranch is the place the Beatles went on retreat for a couple days 50 years ago when they first toured the U.S. There's a guy around here still trying to sell a Champagne bottle he says they shared. Anyway, there were no Beatles there, nor elk neither, so it was kind of a bust, wildlifewise, except for a deer wandering around in the middle of the road. So as the day drew in, we went to other scenic locales in the area and did capture one specimen.


well, i'll be

I woke up when the house shook from the pounding.

Welding on another length of pipe.
"Take a good look at this here," said Randy (left). "Something you won't see much in the Ozarks. men working!"
  "Don't you go telling my wife!" joked Skip, the welder.
  They call it a "drove pipe well" around here. I don't know what it would really be called other than a piece of pipe in the ground. Harley's machine pounded down one 8' length, then another until, 19' down, they hit the river level. The water came up about 6' in the pipe. This ayem Randy and I go to town to buy a new pump, a new pressure tank and fittings. Then he will install and I may be able to take an actual shower instead of a dribble. Still won't drink the water, though the next-door neighbors all do from the same type of well.
  "You know what the only cash crop in the Ozarks is?" Randy asked me.
  "No," I said.


police action in missouri

Just think, if my crape myrtle (left and right) had grown properly I wouldn't have been able to see all five police vehicles. 

View from where I sit.
 "Stop! You have to stop!" That came from the red car in the middle of the road. The sheriff's truck was parked across the bridge over the Eleven Point, and there was no way around. The sheriff called in reinforcements, and pretty soon there were five police cars in front of the Goose. The three ex-cons had apparently got in some kind of fight in the next town of Birch Tree and fled. Birch Tree cops called the Oregon County sheriff to block them off at the pass.
   "Fuck you, you know you're going to have to let me go in five minutes, I know my rights," shouted one man. So I knew that they had had run-ins with the law before.
  The one with the big jailhouse muscles was taken away. The woman driver was taken away. The car was loaded on a truck and taken away. And somebody came to fetch the skinny ones home to Birch Tree. It was dark by then.
   So you see, it isn't all white-on-black police action in Missouri. White meth addicts get the troops out in force too. Course the suspects are all still alive. . .
The three suspects, handcuffed in front of Bear's house. Did no evil?


not renting yet!

Waves in front of the Block island properties
OK, people, I know you were out on Block Island for a day or a weekend or a week recently and you passed my place and said, "Wouldn't it be great to stay there?" Then you thought, "Let's get ahead of the game!" And you looked up Block Island on VRBO and emailed me.
  Sorry.  I am not booking new people until after I find out which of the old ones are coming back. I will deal with that in November. In January there may be a few weeks left. Get with me then. With two houses, it's like putting together a puzzle, and my brain might seize up if I booked year round. One month is all I can take. January. Be there.