Another sign that spring time is just around the corner -- a lot of dust in the air. Dust from the winds and it seems we're going to get the winds this time of year when the temperature gauge starts climbing. Farmers are also contributing to the dust in the air, but that's a good thing.
The milder weather is letting them in the field a little earlier than some past years. Judging by the few I've run into I think they're ready to get back at it.
The subject of the mild weather came up with one of the farmers I ran into last week. He said he could tell we had experienced a mild winter because his rain gauge hadn't broken. He went on to explain that he leaves a rain gauge out pretty much year round and pretty much ends up having one freeze and break over the winter. Of course that didn't happen this winter, yet.
I recall some 20 years ago sitting in a Lions Club meeting in Blytheville at lunch only to come outside after that hour-long meeting to find a couple inches of snow on the ground. If memory serves, and it doesn't like it once did by the way, I think we got about six inches before it was all said and done. That happened in early April.
Still, it's been a mild winter and most of us are not complaining.
* * *
"I'm currently reading the best-selling book, 'Ameritopia' by Mark Levin and after listing some light-heartened comments about current events, I now share the closing comments in the epilogue, which are timely to today's political atmosphere:
"'Upon taking the oath of office on Jan. 20, 1981, in his first inaugural address President Ronald Reagan told the American people:
"'If we look to the answer as to why for so many years we achieved so much, prospered as no other people on earth, it was because here in this land we unleashed the energy and individual genius of man to a greater extent than has ever been done before. Freedom and the dignity of the individual have been more available and assured here than in any other place on earth. The price for this freedom at times has been high, but we have never been unwilling to pay that price. It is no coincidence that our present troubles parallel and are proportionate to the intervention and intrusion in our lives that result from unnecessary and excessive growth of government. It is time for us to realize that we are too great a nation to limit ourselves to small dreams. We're not, as some would have us believe, doomed to an inevitable decline. I do not believe in a fate that will fall on us no matter what we do. I do believe in a fate that will fall on us if we do nothing.'"
Excerpted from Gary Rust's column in the (Cape Girardeau) Southeast Missourian, Feb. 22, 2012
* * *
A kind word
D. W. Wilson stopped in the office last week and said how much he enjoyed reading this little passage in the newspaper. Shucks, that's the kind of stuff that gets a column writer all fired up. I'm good to go for a few more weeks now.
By the way, Mr. Wilson is selling a car and something tells me it's a pretty good deal. Look him up if you're in need of some reliable transportation.
* * *
Letter to the editor
"EDITOR DEMOCRAT: In your last issue was a timely article from the board of health, which I heartily indorse and, if I did not know the true condition of things here, I would say that the people would be wise to follow. But the condition is this: We have open ditches on nearly every street and we have the stock running at large. A man with one little pig in a pen, one hundred feet from his house, is advised to dispose of his pig and do away with his pen, when, at his from gate, not more than twenty or thirty feet from his front door, is an open ditch in which a dozen hogs wallow all day long. That looks like irony. The little water that stands around the pump is not responsible for the mosquitoes we have, but the cattle which come out of the swamps and stand around in the shade of our houses bring them. Our sidewalks are broken down by the stock and are covered with filth and dirt by them and ladies are often compelled to drive hogs and cattle off the walks, or take to the street. We can never hope to have a beautiful town until we put up the stock and cover the open ditches. And, as a matter of truth, we have a stock law that has never been repealed."
The DDD's unofficial, but much appreciated historian, Vivian Helton, found that letter on the pages of the Friday, March 18, 1904 edition of the Dunklin Democrat.
With all the money that's being spent -- your tax dollars at work -- fixing up the sidewalks around the square I hope we continue to keep the stock out of the center of town.
Bud Hunt is regional vice
president, publisher of the
Daily Dunklin Democrat, Daily Statesman, Delta News-Citizen, Missourian-News and
North Stoddard Countian.