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Around Town with Janet Douglas

It’s never to late to achieve your goals

Tall in the saddle. Dr. Ray Murphy had been around horses and horse shows for many years, but had never ridden much or been in shows himself. His son, Mike Murphy of Cape Girardeau and daughter, Molly Hibbits of Farmington had both competed and been named World Champions in the Quarter Horse Youth Championships; Mike in 1982 and Molly in 1987. Dr. Murphy decided this year that he would like to compete Š and win. With his wife, Ann’s encouragement, he entered the Novice Amateur Class at the All American Quarter Horse Congress in Columbus, Ohio. Out of 129 competing in his class, he took first place. He was then eligible to enter the Amateur Western World Championships held in Oklahoma City, Okla. From a class of 50 riders, he was the only man and the only rider over 50 to be named to the top 15, where he placed eleventh. Incidentally, this was the first year Dr. Murphy had ever taken part in competitive riding, and he did it when he was 68 years old. Way to go, Ray!

The Grinch didn’t steal Christmas, but he did steal the High School Band from the annual Farmington Christmas Parade this year. The Dr. Seuss parade arrived as scheduled along with Santa and Mrs. Claus and a number of gaily decked floats and walking units, but for the first time since the parades have been held there was no high school band setting the musical spirit. Fortunately, the fabulous Winter Wonderland wouldn’t fit in the Grinch’s ‘bah-humbug’ bag, so the doors opened to delight children of all ages. Thanks to the Chamber of Commerce and the City Parks and Park Department for creating another wonderful Christmas event.

On the high seas. Rafi and Ursula Kthiri have returned from a Caribbean cruise that took them to St. Thomas and other exotic stops. Before boarding the cruise ship the Kthiris spent two days touring New York. It was a well deserved break for the busy chamber director, who said she loved New York and the cruise, but is happy to be home.

Ursula is now busy preparing for the annual Chamber Banquet that will be held Januray 27th at Alexander’s Banquet Center. Tickets are available now at $27.50 each. Call the chamber office at 756-3615 to reserve your seat at the community’s most prestigious affair.

Proud grandparents. Dale and Lynn Crites have their grandparents’ brag book out again. Their youngest son, Jason and his wife Erin, of Jackson, Mo., welcomed their first child on Friday, December 9. Elijah Wayne Crites weighed in at 8 lbs. 7 oz. and was 22 inches long. Mom, Dad and baby are doing fine, and grandparents are just beaming. Jason works for the Dept. of Conservation, out of the Jackson office and Erin is a manager at Applebees in Jackson. This is the fourth grandchild for Dale and Lynn, but they say being grandparents just keeps getting better and better.

Mary Ellen Halbrook is also celebrating a new generation with the recent arrival of her new great-grandson, Nicholas Scott Housewright. Congratulations to all.

A baby shower was hosted Sunday afternoon for Jenny and Jeff Bowling of Farmington in anticipation of the arrival of their first child. The shower was hosted by Lori Harris and Ricki Arnett of Park Hills. The Bowlings are expecting a daughter in early January.

Ring those bells! The annual Bell-ringing fund-raiser for the United Way of St. Francois County continues through Saturday, Dec. 24. If you or your family would still like to volunteer for this annual event, contact Bonnie Bockenkamp or Mike Gladbach at McDonalds. It’s become a tradition for many residents of the area to spend one hour ringing the bells to remind shoppers to drop their change and dollars in the kettle. All of the money goes to fund services for our neighbors (young and old) who need a helping hand. Get into the season’s spirit and volunteer.

Two new fast food restaurants open in Farmington. Papa Johns, owned by Randy LaMotte, held their VIP opening Monday night. Cynthia Matthews is the manager of the new pizza restaurant is located by Lowe’s on Karsch Blvd. and Potosi Street. Mike Gladbach will be holding the opening of his newest McDonald’s Restaurant located west of highway 67 on Columbia Street. If it didn’t date me so much I would mention that when I was a teenager in Farmington there was a total of two drive-ins and no more than four or five restaurants. How the times are changing!

A change we hate to see. Kathy Donze has announced that the last night of operation for the Martin Clardy House will be December 31. The Clardy Restaurant will be open for lunch and a wonderful New Year’s Eve dinner that day then will shut the doors for good. Kathy and husband Tom have owned and operated the Clardy House Restaurant and Bed and Breakfast for the last five years. The historic home with its five acres of land is now on the market. Let’s hop the new owner (no, it hasn’t been sold yet) will appreciate the beauty and history of the home and keep it intact.

A change of place. Marilyn Miller, administrator of the Camelot Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, recently welcomed Corey Powers to the staff. Corey assumed his position as Director of Huckstep Orthopedic Recovery Center that is now in operation at Camelot. Corey will be responsible for coordinating services at the therapy center that is operated through Aegis Therapy. Miller said patients that have previously remained hospitalized for needed therapy can now receive their treatment in a special therapy wing at Camelot. The average patient stay is 17 to 20 days. Congratulations, Corey and good luck in your new career.

50 and still going! Sonny and Elma Jennings will observe their 50th wedding anniversary on December 26, 2005. It will be a low-key celebration as their three children Jay, Jeff and Ben are planning a celebration with an Open House in July of 2006. 

Aloha! Pattie and Dennis Smith and Betty Forsythe have just returned from Hawaii, where they attended the wedding of their son and grandson, Jacob Smith to Wendy Judd. Both are Chinese linguist stationed in Hawaii where Jacob is in the Army and Wendy is in the Navy. The Smiths said Hawaii was warm, breezy, and sunny, not to mention green and beautiful Š then they got to return to Farmington and 14 degree weather. Bummer!!

Home again. Jeanette and Keith Bishop recently returned from a European trip where they visited his cousin John Summers and wife Val in Torquay, England. Torquay is located in the southwest near Plymouth. While there they also visited the Eden project that is the largest biosphere in the world, much like the Climatron at Missouri Botanical Gardens, but much larger. They also visited King Aurthur’s castle at Tintagel on the Cornish coast, and the Jamaica Inn featured in Daphne du Maurier’s novel and the Hitchcock film. After Torquay, the Bishops went to Budapest and spent a few days with Msadek Lahmar, their former exchange student. Msadek is now manager of Tunis Air for eastern Europe. On their return to England Jeanette and Keith visited two lady friends in Milton Keynes and ended their trip in London where they went to see the musical, ‘Producers’ at a West End theater.

A Farmington connection. The tragic crash of the Chalk Ocean Airways seaplane in Miami earlier this week has a thread that runs back to our town. The Chalk Airline was originally established by Arthur &#8220Buck” Chalk of Delassus with seaplanes that carried passengers from Miami to the Bahamas, Cuba and other locales. Buck was an uncle of the late Velma Chalk Dugal. Carole Short, daughter of Velma and Leo Dugal, shared the twist on the story and said when Buck started the airline in February 1919 in Miami he flew gangsters as well as the lawmen who were chasing them, and through the years a lot of celebrities such as Ernest Hemingway, Errol Flynn, Judy Garland and Howard Hughes. Chalk Ocean Airlines is the oldest scheduled airline in the world. Buck died in 1977 and the airline has been sold several times since then.

A new feature. Old Glory God & Country on Karsch Blvd. has expanded into Christian Books and have opened The Book Nook. The area features Bibles, Alpha books, Christian novels, and inspirational books.

Happy Holidays. Clinton and Jeannie Roberts hosted a festive open house at their home last Sunday for their many friends and neighbors. The holiday socializing went on from 4 to 7:30 (?) p.m. and the guests thoroughly enjoyed the abundance of food, refreshments and the opportunity to exchange holiday best wishes.

The graduate. B.J. and Nancy Johnson and Barbara Hartshorn traveled to Kansas City last week to see their daughter and granddaughter, Allison Johnson, graduate from University of Missouri-K.C. Allison graduated with a degree in Biology. Following the graduation ceremonies, a party was given in her honor by her finance’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. O’Donnell of Sedalia, MO. Allison and Tim O’Donnell are planning an August, 2006 wedding.

We lost a number of community friends in the past two weeks and extend sincere sympathy to their families. Among those who will be remembered for their contributions to this city are Florence Bone, who was a nine-year member of the Farmington School Board and a retired elementary teacher. Her wit and wisdom were much admired by her family and all who knew her.

Sympathy also to the family of Ralph Wozniak who died on December 17. Ralph had been a representative of the Western and Southern Insurance Company for 28 years. Besides his family, he will also be greatly missed by the members of his ping-pong group, which he helped to establish a number of years ago.

Also to the family and relatives of Dorothy Detring. Dorothy was the daughter of the late Henry and Ethel (LePere) Detring and was raised on their farm in Libertyville. She had made her home in Aurora, Colo. for many years where she passed away on Dec. 11. Funeral services were held in Farmington last Saturday. Among those attending from out of town were her sister and brother-in-law, Katherine and Dr. Bedford Knipschild, of Marshall, Mo. and her brother and sister-in-law Stanley and Gail Detring, of Morganfield, Ky. She is also survived by her brother Walter Detring and his wife, Jessie of Farmington.

Sympathy also to the family and friends of Mary Bryan Giessing who passed away last week. Mary was the preceded in death by her husband Melvin &#8220Pete” Giessing, who for many years operated the Giessing Milling Company on North Washington Street. Mary was well known for her love of singing and played the organ and several other musical instruments.

Make Christmas bright for a child. The St. Francois County Community Partnership Director, Al Sullivan said last year 1,395 children in St. Francois County who live in poverty-stricken families had Christmas due to the many people who helped to meet their needs. This year individuals and organizations are again encouraged to help make a difference in the lives of these children by becoming involved in &#8220Caring Communities Christmas 2005” by making a cash donation to sponsor a child; purchasing and donating new toys, or in a number of other ways. Contact Al at Caring Communities at 760-0212 for information on how you can help.

This will be the last Around Town before the end of the year, so I send best wishes to everyone for a very Merry Christmas, and a New Year filled with peace, good health and all good things.

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