Saturday, August 16, 2008

Ozark Mules

My parents have subscribed to a wonderful magazine called The Ozarks Mountaineer for about thirty years. Mom reads each issue and then passes them onto to those of who want them. I always enjoy reading them when I visit and take them home to Larry to enjoy.

The magazine is filled with stories of people, places--some of which don’t even exist anymore--food, tall tales, events, and the history of the land I call home. I was born in Lockwood Missouri and my sister Mary has a piece of the hospital wall where I was born stored in her house at Branson waiting for me to come and retrieve it. The hospital was being torn down and she just happened to be driving by that day and asked the construction workers if it was possible to have a small piece and they said sure and loaded a piece about three foot by three foot into her trunk. Someday I will bring it home, but for now it is safe.

My mom was born in Ozark and my dad was born in Dadeville. Some of my best childhood memories are taking summer vacations to visit my grandparents, aunt, uncles, and cousins. Occasionally my mom and I would take the train to Kansas City at Christmas and then ride the “milk train” to Springfield where a family member would pick us up. Those old routes between Kansas City and Springfield are gone but not forgotten.

Daddy always told me that if you came from Missouri (we pronounce it with a short a sound on the end --Missoura) then you were from the “show me state” and “stubborn as a mule.” This would explain why I need to know how to do things for myself, or why if you want me to do something I need to know why. I guess this line of thought follows the other slogan for my home state “mule headed.” Yes, I have my hand raised!

Reading the March/April 2008 issue of Ozarks Mountaineer there was a great article on Calvin Jones: Voice for Missouri Mules. This gave me a new prospective and respect for the Missouri state animal. Mr. Jones said, “…the truth is having any of those phrases used to describe you should be considered a compliment.”

Mules are smarter than most people think. They are half horse and half donkey. Mules won’t do something they aren’t sure about, will take breaks when they are tired, can withstand more stress, and work under hardship. This is so me. They also have very long memories. Yes, that’s me. If you mistreat a mule he will get even with the person who hurt him. Maybe someone should check my DNA because this sounds just like me.

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails