Saturday, March 21, 2015

letter from Eva

Dear Minerva
I cut out this article, no big deal, but I tell Marsha I rather live in the past. It's been so long since I've been to Winona & don't remember much but one time sat in the car while Leland walked around & I think he went inside a store & visited awhile. I don't know if it was this one or not, of course, but I believe the one he went into was where his Aunt Nan & grandmother had worked.
This weather is so changeable its hard to cope. When its too cold & snowy I stay inside, like to get my car out to keep the battery up.
Im sure I can't tell you a think about lonely-so I won't.
Lester Aude keeps pretty good tabs on you. Some thin must have happened to him his items aren't nearly so long.
Well, I'll stop rambling. Take Care. Love to you. Eva.
and here's the newspaper article she enclosed:
Music keeps the door open. WINONA, Mo.
An aged, two-story stone building on the west side of Winona's square has a sign saying exactly what it once was:
"The Ozark Store."
Indeed. What's here is the genuine article.
The second word-Ozark-has been overused and misappropriated for years. Ozark anymore is a gleaming fast food joint along U.S. 54 near Osage Beach, Mo. Ozark is anything around Branson. Why there's even an Ozark Road in a hilly section in Kansas City.
But hereabouts is the real McCoy-places like Eminence and Greer, Wilderness and Peace Valley. Signs pushing pottery and walnut bowls don't appear every 500 feet, leastways on state routes. Logging and cow-calf operations, not tourism, are how most make a living.
So The Ozark Store fits. It's a spare, no-nonsense structure, plain and solid. Fancy it ain't.
Not so long ago it was empty, another casualty in the depopulation of rural America.
Before that Raymond George sold furniture out of it. One of George's predecessors had groceries and pumped Red Crown gasoline.
Around 1900 the edifice housed the Church & Bolch General Store, old pictures of which show an interior literally crammed to the ceiling with merchandise.
A hint of the old store's vibrancy is still on the north wall-faded yellow letters saying : "General Merchants." Church & Bolch carried just about everything.
Underneath, in smaller letters, is a warning: "Post No Bills," meaning Church & Bolch wanted no truck with anybody pasting advertising broadsides on their building. Broadsides used to be a big deal before weekly shoppers, radio and cable.
The prohibition on posting bills indicates that the store, back when this town of 1,000 plus souls was double that because of logging, was a busy place.
One can almost see the spring wagons and horses filling the square on Saturdays, and the crowds who'd come to buy their flour and sugar, do their business, visit with neighbors from the next ridge.
Of course, all that was a long time ago.
Still, come here on the first Saturday of each month and a little of the old ways still reverberate from, of all places, The Ozark Store.
"We open for a jam session at noon but most people are here by 9," says Judy Taylor, who along with her husband-logger and minister Archie Taylor-has converted the old store into Strings and Things, a shop catering to Ozark musicians. They sell guitars, banjos, fiddles, mandolins and accessories.
"Electric instruments?" asks Judy. "Haven't had much of a call. That kind of music isn't real big down here."
What you hear, says Judy, is picking and strumming, bluegrass and gospel. Somehow, she says, the new country and western music, now often sounding like the cacophony of hard rock, has bypassed this place.
"People here want to play their instruments, not plug them in," Judy says. "When we have the jam sessions, people just pile in here-all the way from Kentucky."
Which pleases Judy, 47, and Archie, 50, no end. They and their teen-age daughter and son, Kelley and Buzz, pick up their instruments and join in.
A group of people, a family, and an old building.
Somehow, that's sort of neat.
article by James J. Fisher
(I love newspaper clippings, what you read and save says something about you, I think. and I really enjoyed this article that Eva saved from an unknown newspaper....deb

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