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Around Town by Janet Douglas

Frozen Parkland was an early Winter Wonderland

The shimmer and glint of a million crystals reflected from ice-encased trees and shrubs from the weekend winter storm, and power lines became long strands of sparkling diamond necklaces. Mother Nature, in one of her wilder artistic moods, fashioned a landscape of glimmering white on white that was breath-taking to behold … and ‘wicked-mean’ to endure. Driving along in a toasty warm car while in search of a motel with heat and light after spending a night in less than toasty conditions, we still had to marvel at the beauty of the glittering country side. It was definitely a glitzy winter wonderland … but for my part I much prefer the Winter Wonderland constructed by the Parks & Recreation Department at Long Hall.

It didn’t take long to discover the ‘pioneer spirit’ gene of previous generations has been entirely eradicated in me. I quickly found myself joining the other residents out early Friday morning searching for 1) hot coffee, 2) hot food, 3) generators, 4) lanterns, flashlights and candles. Foraging is not for the faint-hearted.

Although we were among the fortunate who had power restored after about 36 hours, I gave up about half way through and headed down I-55 to find comfort in a motel that still had room at the inn.

Not enough can be said about the tireless efforts of those men (and women) who worked round the clock to restore power as quickly as possible under extremely difficult circumstances. We applaud them whole heartedly. But even with their best efforts, some neighborhoods were still without power Tuesday. Be sure to check on relatives and friends to see if they are okay.

Thanks a million … A lot of people do deserve kudos though, including the members of our police department who checked on all of the community homes to make certain the residents were all right. I was amazed to find on Friday and Saturday that indeed ‘neither snow, (and in this case) ice, nor dark of night ‘ stopped the mail from being delivered.

A whole bushel of ‘warm fuzzies’ need to go the Farmington Elks for providing meals both Friday and Saturday for all of those who were working on getting the power lines back up, both from the city and out of the area; the city police; and members of the National Guard who were here to help during the crisis. It was quite an undertaking and the Elks took it on.

There are probably many others whose good deeds will become known as we all thaw out. Sincere thanks to all of you. And, hopefully, Maw Nature has gotten over her violent ‘cold flashes.”

The real deal … The real Winter Wonderland, which offers a far more friendly atmosphere, will be opened this Saturday, Dec. 9 following the annual Christmas Parade through downtown Farmington. The parade theme this year is “A Storybook Parade” that begins a 6 p.m. Applications to enter a unit, walking or mechanized, can still be made at the Chamber of Commerce office through Wednesday. Bud Norman and his crew of talented elves are hard at work putting the final touches on Long Hall to create a home for Santa and his Mrs. during their stay in Farmington. Plan to be on hand to welcome Santa to town … temps are supposed to be a balmy 35 or so!

Stocking the shelves … The Chamber of Commerce will be out picking up the food drive items from the various participating businesses this Friday. The canned goods and other non-perishable items will be divided between the two local food pantries. Contributions can also be made at Winter Wonderland Saturday evening. Just a thought, with the experiences of power failures still fresh in our minds, donations of flashlights and batteries might also be appropriate to be distributed through the Ministerial Alliance and St. Vincent de Paul food pantries.

1st Knight … Plans for the all-family 1st Knight celebration set for December 31 have been canceled. Organizers found that time was a little too short to enlist the number of volunteers and enthusiasm needed to make the event a success. An earlier start for 2007 may be considered. But …

Battle of the Bands plays on The free “Battle of the Bands” event for teens to welcome in the new year is still on. According to Steven Downey, who is organizing the bands to play from 7 p.m. to midnight, at last count seven bands, including “Bi-Level,” from the St. Louis area will compete in a monumental Battle of the Bands in the Centene Center. The event is sponsored by the City of Farmington and the Chamber of Commerce. Snack and beverages at a minimal cost will also be available. Organizers remind those attending that this is a totally alcohol-free evening, that will be strictly enforced.

Battle of the clubs … The St. Francois County Country Club presented trophies recently to those golfers who brought in the top scores for the year. Dustin Hoehn won the 2006 Men’ Club Championship, while Bonnie Stevens and Pam Heisel tied for the honor on the distaff side. Darren Welch took the Men’s Handicap Match Play and Bonnie Stevens won the Ladies event. In team play, Capt. Larry Cruse and team members Wesley Welch, Daren Welch, Ron Denman, Darrell Hibbits and Bob Bone took the honors as the Men’s Evening League Champions. Bob Mell’s team of Bill Kure, Ken Eaton, BJ Johnson an Drag Hoehn won the Afternoon League Championship.

Growing pains The recently completed VA Clinic built through the efforts of the American Legion Post #416, is already experiencing the need for more space. A Legion member said the number of veterans from a seven county area who receive medical care at the clinic has increased dramatically with the opening of the new clinic. The local Legion Post is the first in the United States to be the driving force behind having a clinic built, but … they are going to be looking for help from businesses and individuals throughout the region to help pay off the debt they incurred in doing so. The effort this small post has made to help veterans is amazing … now they need your help. Contact Post Commander Ken Kelly or any Legion member to make a contribution.

Thankful granddaughter … Young Hannah Beckmann was treated to a very special birthday treat by her grandparents, Joe and Carolyn Stocker of Farmington. The trio traveled to Branson over the Thanksgiving holiday to enjoy dinner and the show at the Dixie Stampede. Hannah is the daughter of Dean and Renee Boeckmann.

50 “Good” Years … Rocky Good was seen sporting a gold rose at the Ministerial Alliance Thanksgiving service worn in honor of the 50th anniversary of his parents, E. J. and Missie Good of Amsterdam, Mo. Believing that ‘one good turn deserves another,” a reception in honor of their parents was held on Nov. 18 in Amsterdam, hosted by Rocky, his wife, Cheryl, and his siblings: Dawn and Bruce Patterson of Lee’s Summit, Mo., Edna and Randal Gaylord of Olathe, Kansas, and George and Trisha Good of Amsterdam.

Sympathy is extended to the family of Iretta Spencer. Funeral services were held on Nov. 27 at the Farmington Christian Church for Iretta Spencer. Iretta will be remember by many as the smiling woman who worked at Medical Arts Clinic for nearly 40 years, and by even more for her friendship and kindnesses. Iretta is survived by her daughters, “the five Spencer Girls:” Mitzie (Mrs. Bill), Detjen, Mary Voertmann, and Jeannie (Mrs. Clinton) Roberts of Farmington; Cheryl (Mrs. Pat) Smock of Hollister, Mo. and Claudia (Mrs. Jack) McCracken of Columbus, Ind.

New hand at the helm … Congratulations to Susan Evans who has been named Interim President and Chief Compliance/Financial Officer of Conservative Financial Services, Inc. to replace William H. Sharp, who resigned. Susan will be responsible for the management of all the CFS operations throughout Southeast Missouri and will also continue her duties as the Chief Compliance/Financial Officer. CFS was purchased from Sharp in 2001 by First State Bancshares of Farmington, who continued to serve as president until the present. Investment Advisors Randy Duke, Cindy Minnis, Larry Pipkin, Norman Kraft and Jack Rozier, along with Evans, will continue to service the CFS clients.

New beginnings A call to Bill Sharp to learn his future plans, brought forth the information that as of January 2, 2007 he will be opening a new brokerage firm in Farmington affiliated with a major New York stock exchange. To paraphrase a popular slogan from the 60’s, “Old stockbrokers never die … they just trade away.”

Changing owners … More business changes in town. The Mayfield Real Estate offices located in Farmington, Park Hills and Terre du Lac, have been bought out by C/21 Heartland. The new owner and manager is Ken Inman who also owns eight Century 21 offices in Cape Girardeau, Jackson, and Hillsboro. The local office continues to be located on Karsch Blvd. but plans are underway to move to a new locale by the end of the year.

Hoop Shoot back on track … The annual Hoop Shoot hosted by the Farmington Elks Lodge has been rescheduled. According to event chairman Larry Forsythe, the shoot will be held Saturday, Dec. 16 at 4 p.m. at the St. Joe gym. If you have questions, contact Larry at 756-6272 or Rod Denman at 756-1418.

The storm has passed, and though we have repairs to be made and much cleaning up to do we once again turn hopefully towards the days ahead, made much brighter by the coming of Christmas. Stay warm, stay safe, stay thankful.

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