A couple of weeks ago my wife and I were sitting at Captain Tony's enjoying dinner with our friends, Daryl and Vicky Wilcoxson. Out of nowhere came a blow to my ribs that knocked the wind out of me and almost put me on the floor.
I spun around and saw a flash of yellow with a touch of white mixed in. Out of instinct I shot back with a punch of my own to fend off the attacker. My efforts at self defense were muted by yet another punch that landed on my shoulder.
At that point things were about to get serious when my attacker laughed. Yeah, twisted sense of humor. She then said something that sounded like, "I'm sorry," but I'm not really sure what she said because my ears were still ringing from my head hitting the table after the first punch and I was gasping for breath.
The other people at the table, Rick and Cathy Bell were sitting with the aggressor and her husband, were, understandably, speechless. Daryl was so taken aback by the brawl he actually put his fork down for a second.
Once my head cleared and I could assess the situation my attacker did try to apologize, albeit amid bouts of belly-splitting laughter. When the dust settled my assailant said she had turned too quickly to say something to Vicky and just flung her arm around. Guess she's another one of those people who can't talk without using their hands.
I realized there would be no point in trying to press assault and battery charges because my legal fees would likely be a lot more than hers. Perhaps what she needs is just "counseling" and I think there are people in her office at the high school who can help with that.
Once the mugging ended and it was determined there was no intent to actually cause undue bodily harm we had a good laugh. However, I did keep peeking over my shoulder throughout the remainder of dinner, just in case. I have now healed, almost, completely from my wounds and am able to resume writing the column this week.
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"Work on the gravel road from Holcomb to White Oak ... began Wednesday of this week when Dennison and Son began surfacing. This stretch of road is 5.8 miles long and will help much in closing the gap with Holcomb to the surfaced road into Kennett.
"The contractors have already unloaded ten card loads of gravel and beginning work with a large crew such as they have, should complete the job in short order."
--March 28, 1924
"Measures to empower the State Highway Commission to establish a state patrol for the state highways in order to protect the public against marauding criminals and reckless drivers, have been introduced in both branches of the General Assembly...
"The measure authorizes the Highway Commission to appoint a superintendent, fix salary and provide him an office in Jefferson City. It is empowered to appoint as many patrolmen as it deems necessary. The commission is further authorized to give powers of patrol to its own employees."
-- Jan. 29, 1929
There is absolutely no truth to the rumor Don Shelton was the first patrolman hired when the patrol was created. And current Missouri State Highway Patrol troopers Dennis Rainey, Reggie Walker and Brett Emerson are glad the first action of the legislature took place before the latter.
Thanks to the DDD's unofficial, but much appreciated historian, Vivian Helton, for finding those two nuggets among the archives.
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Carol Rhea Tinnin, former food page editor at the DDD and former Miss Missouri, writes from Utah to say hello to friends back here. She enjoys Utah and being near the kids and grandkids, but has fond memories of Kennett, Mo.
Carol said some of her friends there would find it hard to believe she was food page editor because she "can't cook anything without burning it anymore." I'm betting she's just being a little self-deprecating, though.
Carol reminded me of the time she fixed one of her favorite dishes - and one I had personally never had before - vinegar cobbler. Carol recalled, correctly, "You were searching for a gentle, nice way to tell me you hated it. I'll never forget the look on your face as you sampled it that day."
It was one of Carol's more interesting recipes and probably the only thing she ever fixed that I didn't, over-enjoy, shall we say.
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Pretty in Pink
Join us in helping the fight against breast cancer. Sitting out in front of the DDD office is a bright pink newspaper rack. Money from all newspapers purchased from these racks will go to ICARE.
That organization is through the Caring Council it provides direct assistance to individual cancer patients with financial needs. That's important and the attractive thing to us here at the newspaper is that ICARE help can go straight to the individual. We thought that was important when trying to identify an organization to support.
And even though Breast Cancer Awareness Month officially ends on October 31, I think we'll keep the pink box out there for four weeks, until Nov. 16, because we got a late start.
Bud Hunt is publisher of the Daily Dunklin Democrat, Daily Statesman, Delta News-Citizen, Missourian-News and North Stoddard Countian.