Opinion

Out and about

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Hi neighbors. What a busy week! We all have plenty to do to keep us busy, but I hope you plan on going to see the musical "Meet Me in Missouri." The first showing is tonight, Saturday the 19, at 7 p.m. and tomorrow, Sunday, is the last showing at 2 p.m. The performance is at the Fox Playhouse located at 110 South Main St., just off the Nevada Square.

With 20 songs about Missouri, or written, produced, published or originally performed by Missouri natives; there is something for every taste in music.

Both showings are free and open to the public. They are co-sponsored by the Vernon County Historical Society and the Community Council on the Performing Arts, which are two non-profit organizations. Donations to help cover the cost of production (like that great air-conditioning we'll all enjoy) will be gratefully accepted.

One of the songs to be performed is "It's the Closest Place to Heaven (Where the Little Shamrock Grows)" written by Nevada son James W. O'Connell. According to the Bushwhacker Musings magazine, O'Connell had two sons, Roy, who was a railroader and founded Nevada Auto Parts in 1923; and James D. who operated a Hupmobile agency in Nevada in the 1920s.

The Missouri Singers who will be performing are all local talents, including many who have participated in the show the last three years. Several songs encourage audience participation. It's all good fun the family can enjoy.

Also this week was the El Dorado Picnic. I'm not certain how many years they have been holding that event, but it started long before my recollections. Thursday I went over to help sell books for the Cedar County Historical Society at the Wayside Museum just west off Main Street and across the road from the park.

There is always something going on in this vicinity. Just last week was the Vernon County Youth Fair. Don't forget the rodeo! Bushwhacker Days before that.

I remember the Pow Wows that were so popular for so many years but haven't happened for several years now. I guess hardly anything goes on forever, other than history itself.

If you haven't visited the Bushwhacker Museum this season you owe it to yourself to stop by. There is a lot to see and the cost is minimal for the amount of entertainment and educational opportunities.

As a person who lives in Nevada, and who volunteers at the Museum, I can assure you that as local visitors, you will be in good company if you come in to take the tour.

Volunteering only three hours on one day each week for a couple of years now, I personally have seen visitors from Canada, England, Germany, Italy, New York, New Jersey, Minnesota, Ohio, California, Texas, Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Connecticut, Florida, the state of Nevada, and every large city in Missouri, not to mention dozens of Missouri's smaller towns (and other places I've forgotten.) All the visitors are amazed at the horrible conditions prisoners faced in the old jail, which was still hosting 'guests' as late as 1960. One trip through and you will also find that an overwhelming thought! Another thing all the visitors have had in common is a great appreciation for the way the Bushwhacker Museum staff and volunteers have designed the exhibits and the research materials available there.

Please take my suggestion and come in and look around. Bring the grandparents and the children, they will all enjoy the tour.

Until the next time friends remember, it doesn't matter so much where you go and what you do, as long as you are sharing the adventure with friends or family.