Saturday, November 28, 2009

A Reminder of Winter to Come

My Original Woodcarving Store in Winter

A Painting of Mine of the old Dugan House in Winter

A Painting of Mine of Old Hanley, Missouri in Winter

Images of Past Winters

Winter can be harsh to say the least and unforgiving to those wo are not prepard and to the wild creatures who are out there, life can be very hard. But the beauty of winter covered in snow, the vivid colors of the birds, cedars and any thing bright is a wonderful contrast. A snowy path through the woods offers an experience to remember for a long time. Wild turkey can be seen foraging for food and the glimpise of deer is not unusual. Crows can always be heard in the trees ahead fussing at an owl. The above photos are but a few of the images of winter. Adios.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving Greeting

Christmas and Frisky of long ago

To all a Happy Thanksgiving

I can look back on many Thanksgiving days and that is a wonderful thing. There were snowstorms, hardtimes and goodtimes, wars, sadness, and a lot of happiness, but the years kept moving along and in those years are good memories, for many of those I knew and loved are now gone, my goodness the young are abundant in the family so It is a very nice time of the year. Adios

Saturday, November 21, 2009

A Tale of Baldy Mountain

Butcher Redoak

Baldy Mountain

My Friend Two Lanterns

The Patriot

A Tale of Baldy Mountain
Baldy Mountain is located below Bennett Spring on the Niangua River
Settle back with a cup of hot Red Rose tea and a biscuit and journey with Butcher Redoak in a new adventure near Baldy Mountain. The place is real as are the people, but the time, ah I don’t really know, but it was back when men or at least a chosen few were as free as dust devils.

The rode off Baldy Mountain and crossed a shadowed lea
Butcher Redoak on a mean eyed mule with Twinkles John on a dun with a crooked knee
Irish Bob sat on a pinto a stepping high to the Niangua River bank
Astride their mounts they sat a looking about, Ozark men ragged and lank
Irish Bob cradled a Hawkins rifle, Twinkles John a Tennessee
A fifty four Buffalo rifle lay across Butcher’s knee

Twinkles John spat tobacco and nudged the dun
Irish Bob kicked the pinto and squinted into the sun
And they followed Butcher across the river and headed up a brushy draw
Bucher hauled back on the mule and pointed to what he saw
A wisp of smoke a drifting across the trace ahead
The men moved in slowly, showing no fear, but horn was ready and round ball lead
Irish Bob grunted and swore and then gnawed a chew
Twinkles John grinned, nodded, a twinkle a glittering in his eyes of blue
Not far ahead stood an old friend, Two Lanterns wearing buckskin britches dirty and torn

They quickly joined Two Lanterns around a smoky fire and watched as he poured coffee into rusty tins
Two Lanterns divulge a tale and swore it was true of Flatlanders a looking for him
He chuckled and reckoned he could handle all seven of them

It wasn’t long and they heard the Flatlanders riding hard to where they stood
The mean eyed mule shied away and Butcher shouted, but it did no good
He drew a forty four Colt from his belt and squeezed off a round
And saw through the shroud of smoke a Flatlander a lying on the ground
Twinkles John squinted down the Tennessee, brought a man down, laid him to rest
Irish Bob spat an amber fluid and the Hawkins’s roared and a Flatlander fell ending his quest
Two Lanterns nodded and strode to the front of the scene
He spied a fellow wearing green
Two Lanterns brought up a pistol, the Patriot, his next of kin and held it to the left and squeezed off a round
The smoke settled and the Flatlanders were at peace a lying on the ground

The mean eyed mule brayed a looking for comfort and galloped to where Butcher
Butcher whacked the mule gently across the nose, but gave him a boot where it did some good
It was time to leave and the men bid Two Lanterns a fond farewell and again crossed the river and headed out over the shadowed lea
Butcher sat astride the mean eyed mule, Twinkles John on the dun with a crooked knee
Irish Bob sat astride the pinto a prancing high up the river bank
Side by side they rode, Ozark men ragged and lank
Up Baldy Mountain they rode and then turned when they heard a hearty hale
It was Two Lanterns voice a coming from the brushy vale
“Ride easy my friends,” he shouted, “keep your powder dry, watch your topknots and be the best you can.”

Adios and to you Two Lanterns wherever you may be, travel easy my friend.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Brice Missouri of Old

A foot bridge over Bennett Spring near a Baptism site
around 1922

A Time to Remember
Baptisms at Brice Missouri
By Ronnie Powell
On a cold windswept November, Sunday afternoon in 1949 a large crowd of people gathered near the once thriving town of Brice Missouri. The site where these people were congregating was located between the ruins of an old grist mill and a limestone bluff, near water’s edge. Steam from the fifty degree water of Bennett Spring branch wafted up into the wind. The occasion, a baptism was about to take place in the crystal clear water of the branch, a ritual important to most folks then and now.
Situated apart from the rest of the people, were thirty men, women and children waiting at the water’s edge to be baptized. Joyce a young girl at the time, stood with her father near the bank shivering. “I was dressed in light clothing for the immersion and a bit apprehensive of what to expect,” she said. “When at last my turn came, I timidly stumbled out into the stream to stand next to Pastor Earl Scrivener. He immediately led me to deeper water and placed a firm hand over my mouth and nose.”
Raising his eyes skyward the Pastor said. “I now baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost.”
“Seconds later the water closed over me and I thought I would drown,” said Joyce. “When Pastor Scrivener brought me up he immediately led me ashore and I was quickly taken to one of the outhouses to change into dry clothing.”
This particular baptism at Bennett Spring, (Brice) was the aftermath of a six week revival taking place at the Community building in Windyville, Missouri. Earl Scrivener a renowned Baptist minister of the area at that time, endowed with great intensity and persuasion ultimately led the converted and their families to the beautiful Bennett Spring Valley to complete the final aspect of their born again experience.
Minnie Pitts Powell recalled for me a time in the spring of 1922 when she was a small girl accompanying her parents to Bennett Spring, (Brice). The purpose of the journey was to take corn there to be ground into flour and stock feed. The trip began at Hog Eye, Missouri, by wagon heavily laden and lasted from sunup to sundown.
“The next morning after the corn was delivered to the mill the family learned there was to be a baptism later in the morning.
“We had nothing better to do and decided to attend the event,” Minnie said. “There were a large number of wagons, buggies, saddle horses and a few automobiles parked along the stream and many people were gathering at the baptism site. We were later invited to share a bountiful meal spread out on the ground and met many people including kin for the first time.”
Baptisms are still being conducted in several of the streams across the country. Dousinberry Creek and Four Mile are but two of the tributaries of the Niangua River where these events take place. The Niangua River at the Williams Ford, Moon Valley and Windyville Bridge are also among the sites where baptisms still occur.
Old traditions often fade when changes take place and perhaps baptisms in the rivers and creeks will someday cease. Many who attend church at the present practice baptism in indoor pools, but of course the outcome is the same, but lost are the gatherings of friends and families crowding close to the bank singing, “Shall we gather at the river.”
Baptisms are considered a blessed event and have transpired countless times since the man of Galilee was baptized.
Today Bennett Spring is a Missouri State park, catering to trout fishermen. For the most part Brice is no longer there, torn down and carted away many years ago. The old mill is gone, only traces of it remain. The bluff is still there at one of the baptism sites and it’s not difficult to imagine a crowd gathering on a Sunday afternoon waiting for a most remarkable event to transpire. Adios

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Heidi's Remarkable Journey Continues

Beautiful Heidi Jade

Heidi’s Remarkable Journey Continues
The last few months have been without exception miraculous to say the least for Heidi. She and I have become very close. She is content at last. This is not to say she doesn’t have memories that haunt her. She runs at the sound of a loud noise and is fearful of strangers, but at least she now barks at them. As of the time of this update she allows no one to pet her except me. Each night after she enters her cabin, I go inside with her and share a peanut butter treat with her and afterwards I lie down next to her and brush or pet her and soon she sleeps secure inside her house. She has a bed of blankets, foam rubber and other assorted covers and she sinks down warm and dry. She usually awakens after a short time and finishes her regular food and proceeds to groom my arms and a portion of my face. Now and then she peeks out of a window, unafraid of the night sounds. I have provided an electric light for us during my visit. Heidi loves to walk along the road and occasionally finds a grub to eat. She plays with her toys, digs in the yard and sets and watches me when I leave the yard. Time will heal her mental wounds of this I am certain and someday she will go to my wife. But for now I am delighted she has a home, a house and place to play and most important people who love her. Heidi, is a gentle soul and grows more beautiful each day. Heidi is content, you can see it in her eyes. Each day brings new discoveries to her and she learns from them. Adios.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Irish Green

Irish Green
No one it seems knows where the wild rose hides or listens to a breeze when it tugs at your sleeve.
No one it seems knows what an owl will ask, sitting high on the limb of a tree
No one it seems walks across a moon-lit field where there are no shadows to fear

Go when the moon is high in the midnight hour and you will find the wild rose along the way and it will offer you a bloom
Stop for a moment to listen to a breeze when it tugs at your sleeve and stirs memories, shaded by lovely green
The owl will nod and then ask, “Who”?
“My dark haired woman with Irish green eyes.”

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Showing My Metal

It is the Metal in Me A Showing

The Great Horse Race

We Were Wild, Baldy and Me

Baldy in 1949

This story is true and is presented here in its original version
A Time to Remember
The Great Horse Race
By Ronnie Powell

It was in the spring of Forty Nine when I rode away one day
I sat astride a Quarter horse called Baldy and was heading for Long Lane town
I was only in my thirteenth year, but I held my own on the spirited bay
The saddle I sat was forty years old, wired together to make it sound
Baldy pranced and pawed when we came to Dousinberry creek
He tossed his head defiantly and refused to cross the bridge to the other lane
Baldly snorted loud, bowed his back and I heard the saddle creak
I loosened the reins and gave him his head and grabbed a handful of mane
Baldy leaped from the bridge into the water below the bridge
I rode that rascal down into the water, for there was no other way
Baldy swam to the other side, bounded up and we headed up the ridge
Baldly gallop passed the Liberty church and nearly wrecked a Nash that day
Lather was showing on Baldy’s neck when he pranced into Long Lane town
He side stepped a Forty One Chevy and came to a halt in front of a store
I shoved back my hat and with my red hair a shinning swung down
I shook off some dust and spit on my hands and then proceeded into the store
I laid a nickel down to pay for a frosty bottle of Royal Crown
I was grinning from ear to ear when I walked outside to where Baldy stood tied
I lifted the bottle to take a long drink, but then spied a horse and rider a coming toward me
The horse was a stallion and was dancing high toned like, carrying his rider with pride
The rider, a young man looked down, sitting tall in the saddle, a sight to see
The man tossed his head and slapped his leg and made fun of Baldy and me
The rider on the fancy horse boasted for all to hear, “No horse can outrun this stallion of Arabian breed,” he grinned
I glared back at the man, and then said for all to hear. “Mister, Baldy is the fastest. What you say ain’t the truth
That feller’s face turned red as a beet and he replied. “There is only one thing to do, let the race begin.”
We lead our steeds to the edge of town and took time to cinch our saddles down
We turned our horses onto a road heading south and then swung astride those feisty mounts
The man on the stallion boasted again, said he’d run the gelding into the ground
I pulled my hat down tight and squinted down the road and listened to the count
The stallion burst foreword on the count of ten
Dust swirled around Baldy and me as I gave the gelding his head
Baldy leaped forward, with ears laid back and I held on, that Quarter horse was running to win
Baldy’s eyes were aglow, his nostrils a flame as he raced the stallion who lead
The race would take us to Dousinberry creek, three miles along a narrow winding lane
I stood in the stirrups a leaning forward, the brim of my hat blown back
Baldy ran out of control, his powerful legs bore us on and on and we began to gain
The stallion tossed his head, bared his teeth as side by side they ran on that slender track
A mile to go and they thundered on and then Baldy pulled away
I turned in passing my eyes focused on the man and the stallion and I waved a fond ado. Adios