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Joe G. Dillard
Reflections on the Blue Mound, Missouri area.

I was born in Chillicothe in 1937 and lived there until we moved to Blue Mound in late summer of 1945.

We lived east of the Blue Mound corner on the south side of the road, at that time an unnumbered graveled road (now LIV 430). Our property joined the old country school property where I attended the third through seventh grades. I attended either all or half of my eighth grade in Chillicothe.

We actually bought two properties at Blue Mound. The total acreage was a little over 3 acres. The people that lived there before us moved to Kansas City. I don’t remember for sure, but I think that there were two houses; one on each of the two properties. We actually lived in the one the farthest to the east (it is still there today - 2004, but is used as a tool shed for the rock quarry). The other house, as I recall, we tore down.

We also moved another smaller building from up Route Z north a mile or so to our place and converted it into a chicken house. That event was quite memorable. I had a chance to experience my dads’ ability to drive spikes with a railroad spike driving maul. What an awesome sight. He basically made one long continuous stroke, coming all the way from his heels to the top of the spike. He made stroke after stroke and never missed the head of the spike which I judge to be about as big as a fifty sent piece. The head of the spike driving maul was about the same size, so you can imagine the accuracy he had to have to be able to repeatedly hit that spike over and over again. He was driving the spikes through a freshly cut cotton wood tree that was probably about 8-10 inches in diameter. These logs were the skids that were placed under the building so it could be pulled down the gravel road (I'm not sure whether we used a tractor or a team of horses) to the new location. Two tree trunks were placed under each side of the building, and two more were spiked together across the ends of the "runners", or skids.

We moved the building and converted it into a chicken house. We divided it into two rooms. The north most room was the roost, while the south most room was the laying room, where the adult hens laid their eggs. One day, as we went to gather the eggs, we found a big black snake, eating the eggs as fast as she could. Her sides were lumpy due to the eggs she had already consumed. She was summarily dispatched.

A long standing story regarding the Blue Mound area was about the numerous rattle snakes. It was widely alleged that one individual had amassed a quart fruit jar full of rattles from the snakes he killed one summer. That would have been one big bunch of rattle snakes! We lived in the Blue Mound area for almost nine years, and I only remember seeing two. Neither encounter was too threatening. In general snakes like this want to avoid people as much as you want to avoid them.

One aspect of our property at Blue Mound was an orchard, mostly a peach orchard. It was an absolute delight the first spring we moved out to the country. It was early in the year and all the peach trees were in bloom. What a pretty sight. As I recall, it was the one and only time that my Grandmother saw them in bloom. She died before the trees bloomed again the next spring.

One of the more fun things about Blue Mound was the rock quarry. What fun! So much to do, so much to explore. There was an old abandon rock quarry just south and a little bit east of our property. It was started during the WPA days. The equipment they used was really primitive. There was evidence that some of it had been horse powered. (Which would not have been too unusual considering the era.) There were also a lot of hand tools left behind. The overall scene was just as though all the workers had gone to lunch and never came back to work. The tools were right where they left them.

We spent many happy days "running" the rock quarry. We would load up the wheel barrow with rocks and wheel it up to the crusher and dump them in. Of course the bottom of the crusher had long since rotted out, so the rocks we dumped just dropped through to the ground which was even more fun.

There were actually two old rock quarries. Both of them were on John Perry's old place. He owned on both sides of the east - west road going east out of Blue Mound. The east rock quarry was the oldest and had less leftover equipment and the crusher was gone (could it be that they had moved it to the second site?) Site number one was extra special because it had a small cave on it. Can you imagine the many happy days we spent in exploring that "cave" which was probably no more than 15-25 ft in length before it got so small that we couldn't get back any further. There was actually a sinkhole upstream from this "cave" about 300.

When the “new” rock quarry moved in it was even more fun. My recollection of the “new”quarry includes several items. First, was the excitement of the daily dynamite blast which occurred about 4 p.m. each work day. There was the obligatory “fire in the hole” auditory warning, a slight rumble of the earth, a tower of blasted rock going skyward, a mighty roar and then an after-noise as individual rock particles fell back to earth. The bigger ones fell first followed by smaller and smaller ones. Then, quarry workers would come over into John Perry’s hayfield and load up the bigger ones that had drifted over with the wind and haul them back to the quarry. According to the quarry workers, a perfect “shot” was when almost no rocks went up into the air. They seemed to have a lot of imperfect shots! The blasting did seem to affect our “living” water wells. At least they seemed to go dry more often after the quarry moved in.

One of our (my Brother John and I) surprises came one day when we were watching them put the big rock chunks in the crusher to make gravel or lime. One quarry worker was at the top of the conveyor belt that took the rocks to the crusher and he would pluck out any roots or other debris among the rock fragments. He also had quite a little pile of unexploded sticks of dynamite. When he saw that we were watching him, he picked up a handful of them and threw them into the crusher. Wide-eyed, we hit the deck only to see him laughing at us. He explained later that the pressure of the crusher wouldn’t set off the dynamite, it needed the electrical spark that went through the blasting caps that actually started the explosion. Needless to say, we were much impressed by this.

I still have a few strands of that dynamite wire that they used to wire up for a blast. They used miles of it down through the years and since it was blasted into all lengths, they made no attempt to recycle it. So, one of our daily or weekly routines was to go to the quarry and pick up the left over dynamite wire. We would roll it up into little balls and at one time probably had over a bushel basket full! I still have a small piece left.

Other activities at the rock quarry involved the pools of water that they formed. The water was always clear and good for swimming. We did a lot of that and we also did something else when we got a little older. We would run our old cars down the quarry roads right off into the pools with water splashing everywhere. Of course the old cars would drown out, so we would pull or push them out, dry them off and do it over again. Now was that dumb or what?

The dynamite in those days (early 1950s) came in wooden boxes. Those boxes were really nice and we used them for many things. One use involved our old dog, Flash. He came with the place when we bought it from the Fleshmans. Well, he died after the “new” quarry moved in so we buried him in one of the dynamite boxes at the edge of our property.

One last remembrance involved the old cars again. I had an old 1929 Chevrolet that only started once in awhile. My Brother and I spent a lot of time pulling that old car trying to get it started. On one particular day we pulled it all the way down to the quarry and still couldn’t get it started. We pulled into the quarry, turned it around and started back to the main road. My Brother was looking back at me to see if I had gotten it started and pulled over into the middle of the main Blue Mound road and hit Edwin Haynes’ car as he was coming south. Not a good scene. Neither one of us were old enough to drive. My memory is little blurred on the outcome, but the word “grounded” comes to mind.

My Father really liked animals. At Blue Mound we had a pig, a cow (for milk, but who also had a calf), a pair of goats (for awhile until they started getting into the house and then they had to go), a sheep, lots of chickens, bantams, guineas, ducks, and a dog (Flash, a Heinz dog, with probably some beagle, but much larger and longer legged).

Old Flash was a real deal. He was a basic hunting dog. We would say, "Let's go hunting", and he would beat us to the door. Or, we would try sneak out with a gun and he would go ballistic. He was ready. He wanted to go hunting. It didn't make any difference to him what he hunted, be it squirrels, rabbits, or turtles. But, what he really liked to hunt most of all was ground hogs. Why, I'm not sure, but he would "run a mile for a ground hog". He really had a thing for them. He would dig in a ground hog den for hours. He wanted them, and he wanted them bad. And, when he got to them, he was something to behold. He would grab them, shake them from side to side, and bite them. He was a real ground hog dog!

He was an ideal dog for a couple of young boys (my Brother and I). When he died (we found him dead in the grader ditch), we buried him in the lower part of the chicken yard in one of the wooden dynamite boxes) we had procured from the rock quarry (the new one). It was one sad day.

Old Flash was basically an outside dog. I don't remember him ever being tied up. I don't remember him having a dog house, but he must have. We had lots of sheds and even a small barn, but none of them had an opening that a dog could go in and out of. I vividly remember when old Flash turned up one morning with a deep gash on his throat. It ran almost from ear to ear! Then about two days later, he came in with a gash on the top of his head which went almost from ear to ear. It looked like the only thing holding his head on was his spine. We "doctored" him with a little salve, and shut him up in a shed at night so he couldn't go back out. We were concerned that whatever he was fighting with might kill him. I am happy to report that he got over it and it never happened again.

When we first moved to Blue Mound, there was no electricity (which meant no light switches, no refrigerator, no fans), no running water, no garbage pickup, no TV, and almost no phone system. The rest of the community had the old hand crank type phones, but I don't recall that we ever had one of those. The other neat thing about the area was that the farmers were still using horse powered equipment for farming. Tractors had been invented, but these people either could not afford them or they were just a little slow to adopt to this new fangled equipment. Therefore, the plowing, the harrowing, the cultivating, and the harvesting was all done with horse drawn equipment. So, the farmer would get up, eat breakfast, do the rest of the chores (like feeding and watering the rest of the animals, chopping enough wood for the day and night, etc.), and then put the harness on the horses so he could later hitch them up to a particular piece of equipment.

The harness was a wonder of leather and metal that fit over the horse, pretty much from the front of the horse, up over their body and down over their rear end. There were so many pieces. Some models were really quite fancy, others more utilitarian. The whole harness probably weighed several pounds. The amount of time it took to put it on varied with the deftness and experience of the farmer and the constitution of the horse. It seems like on any given morning any particular horse got it into their head that they didn't want this metal and leather contraption on their body and did ever thing they could to keep the unavoidable from happening. Avoidance techniques ranged from the fairly sneaky one of just gently leaning toward the applicator and mashing him against the wall of the stall to bucking violently threatening great bodily harm to them and the applicator. Securing the harness was accomplished with buckles and snaps. I can still hear the metallic snap as the farmer ran through the process. Of course all the pieces had names, although I don't remember all of them. There was the bridle, the collar, the bit, the hames, the reins, the single or double tree, the whatever. Not only did the farmer have to put this on the horses and take it off, he had to oil it and do other maintenance on it. The bottom line was that the farmer had a tough, hard long row to hoe when it came to accomplishing any kind of work.

For instance, chain saws had either not been invented yet, or not perfected, or produced in great enough quantity to bring the price down where every one could afford one. So, what did they cut wood with? They used person power. They felled trees with either axes or crosscut saws. Big pieces were split by hand using a maul and wedges. Our next door neighbor, Bob Dillard, would cut mostly smaller trees with his two man cross cut saw, trim the limbs off with an axe, and then haul the whole tree carcass back to the barn yard on the farm wagon to be cut into lengths suitable for burning by using the buzz saw. A buzz saw was a real deal. It is probably one of the most dangerous pieces of equipment known to man or beast. Basically, it is a fast moving circular piece of steel with sharp teeth around the perimeter. The idea is to lay the uncut piece of wood on the table and push it through this fast whirring piece of toothed steel with out losing any fingers, or worse yet a part of your arm. People burned wood to heat their house and to cook their food, so wood gathering was a ongoing, seemingly never ending, process as was carrying out all of those ashes after they burned all of that wood. Country life was not all that easy.

Going to school in the country was much different than going to school in town, at least it was in those days. The old one room country school was a real deal. All grades (1 through 8) in one room with one teacher, can you imagine? The smallest kids (first graders) set up front closest to the teacher. A matter of discipline I guess. The school was one big room with a separate entry way for storage of coats, lunch boxes and drinking water. It was a big deal to be asked to go out and fill the drinking water receptacle from the well. It was also a big deal to get to clean the black board, clean the erasers, and a few other chores that had to be done on a fairly routine basis. I remember three teachers; Mrs. Adams (that later went to Liberty Methodist Church), Miss Mantzey, and Miss Baker, who I think immediately became my first crush. I thought she was the most beautiful woman I had ever seen. She also really liked us kids.

The Blue Mound School was located on the immediate southeast corner of the crossroads. The total school grounds incorporated about ˝ to 3/4 of an acre. The school house itself was located close to both of the roads. It was an oblong building, being a little longer than wide, and, of course it had the obligatory bell on top. And, if we were real good, you got to ring that bell. Since there was no indoor plumbing, we had two outside toilets, one for us boys (located the farthest from the door) and one for the girls. The boys was a three holer (most home versions were one holers and at best two holers).

One incident at school occurred after the war in the mid-1940s. We flew the American flag each day, and finally had one that had become pretty tattered. Well someone got the brilliant idea of using it to pull the merry - go - round. Not a good idea. It is called desecration of the flag which is a serious offense. We found this out when my cousin, who had just gotten out of the Navy came to the school ground and proceeded to really chew on the current teacher. I was really impressed that someone would talk to our teacher that way! Obviously, he was right.

Another aspect of the school house was the library at the back of the room. As I recall, the library was located on each side of the furnace, which was right in the middle of the room at the back). I don't remember much about the library, but I think that I may still have one of the books (the Deerslayer).

Other things that I overlooked about the country school include the social functions (like the box suppers, and it seems like some other type of function) that we had there and the recreational facilities, such as the merry-go-round and the swings. We played the game anty, anty over by throwing a ball over the school house. I also remember that the U.S. Geological Survey set up a tall tower on the edge of the school ground.

Just south of the school was located the old country store. Not the old, old type country store of the late 1880s and early 1990s, but more representative of the mid-1900s. It was owned and operated by a man named Luther Whited. I don't remember if he was already there when we first moved in or not. He had his store in the front part of his house, and lived in the back part. Actually, he may have added the store part on to an existing house.

He later added a small dance hall-bar called the Blue Moon. Now there was a real deal. I don't remember this too well except that it seemed to be a fairly short-lived phenomenon.

Mr. Whited was an interesting individual. He played the violin, and had a small white house-dog that drank whiskey and would "sing" as Mr. Whited played the violin. Now, that was a real thriller to us kids. We would go pester him until he would get out the fiddle and play until the dog howled.

We did not buy most of our groceries at Blue Mound since we were in Chillicothe almost every day anyway. Of course, we kids would buy pop and candy whenever we could successfully beg some money off our folks. Later, we would earn our own money for these treats.

We actually worked for free early in the hay fields and oat fields. Then we started getting paid for killing ground hogs, a quarter for each tail we turned in. Needless to say we hunted ground hogs relentlessly. I recall that we killed as many 20-30 in one summer.

Old Flash, our dog, loved it. The only thing that he liked more than hunting ground hogs was eating and scratching.

One of our early jobs was also mowing yards. We did this in the near neighborhood, but I don't remember how much we got paid for doing it (a couple of bucks, I think). We had a regular circuit that we did. Later, we helped do gardening in Dawn and also cleaned out chicken houses for Lloyd and Jean (Shatto) Jones.

Lelia Davis lived right across the road. Bob Dillard lived across the road and toward the corner of Route Z. The next house directly east of us was already abandoned before we moved out to the country. I don't know who lived there last. Mr. Perry lived across the road and off to the east. Further on to the east were the Hoyts. On the north side of the road was Johnny Hoyt who wrote a small book about Blue Mound. Across the road to the south was Bill and Helen Hoyt and there two kids; Janie and Warren. I can remember going down to their house to visit. We did several things. One, we fished in their creeks and ponds. Two, we swatted sparrows in their chickens houses and had wet corncob fights near their pig pens. But, two of the most memorable things that ever happened at their place was: 1) Playing the "Buck and Wing" over and over again and playing like the words were actually different (actually dirty even) and 2) Hearing Warren's mama tell him to quit saying "By God" and hear him say "But, By God mommy I can't"!

Further on to the east, at the cross roads (and a little to the north and east) was a house where my Uncle Fred and Aunt Roxie Schneiter lived for awhile. I do remember visiting them. Especially one morning for breakfast. We had fresh made biscuits, fried fresh pork, sliced tomatoes, fried potatoes, etc. It sure was good. Uncle Fred was the one that taught me about snipe hunting.

This is the same bunch of folks that lived in the Grand River bottoms in a house on the east side of highway 65 about a half mile south of the railroad bridge south of Chillicothe. I have a very fond memory of a cold winter day when we harvested a couple of snapping turtles through the ice in a small slough just back of their house. We would spot the turtles at the edge of the ice, hit the ice above them with the blunt end of a single bitted axe, then turn the axe around and chop like the dickens to get to the turtle before it got away. Roxie cooked those rascals up and were they ever delicious! I vividly remember the big old white serving plate that was mounded with steaming brown fresh roasted turtle meat. Scrumptious.

We spent many, many days afield. What an idyllic life! Exploring, daydreaming, just wondering around, sort of Huck Finn like. No cares, no worries, just plain fun.

Now, I need to describe how I got the scar on my chin. After all of these years, I don't even realize that it is there. Once in awhile I will nick it when I'm shaving, but otherwise it just doesn't exist until someone asks me about it. Then the whole story comes out again. Some background first. It happened when we lived in Blue Mound, Missouri. A gravel road runs directly east from the crossroads that comprises the remains of that small north Missouri town. (I don't know when they took it off the highway map, but today there is still a highway sign marking it. The old schoolhouse is still there. The old church is still there. And, what once was a store is still there. The Blue Moon is gone. Proceed east on the gravel road, past the Bob Dillards on the left, the Hadley Dillards on the right, Lelia Davis on the left, an old abandoned house on the right, then Mr. Perry's place on the left. This was mostly a straight shot from the four corners. After the Perry place, the road not only went down a pretty sharp hill, but it also made an "s" curve. It was winter and we had been having great fun sliding down this hill. We would pick up great speed going down. So much speed that we really couldn't make the sharp curves without caroming off the ridges of gravel that the road maintainer left at the edge off the road each time it was graded. Then came the fateful day when we not only had snow on the road, but also several inches of ice. With the ice our sleds flew even faster, and the last curve was even harder to negotiate. On one particularly fast run (I was per usual behind my brother), I hit the gravel ridge of gravel full speed. The big difference this time from all the others is that I did not carom off the gravel and proceed on down the hill, but instead shot up over the gravel and came down in a deep grader ditch that had some sharp tree stumps left from a ditch cleaning the previous summer.

It was well below zero that Sunday morning. And, my face was so cold that I did not even sense the immediate pain. I did notice about three or four drops of blood on the ice and snow. John had already negotiated the run and had started to walk back for another run. When he got to where I was climbing up out of the ditch, I knew that I must be hurt pretty bad because he offered to pull me home on his sled. You got to be kidding! In Real Life he would not only never offer to do something like this (unless he was trying to pull another one of his cruel jokes on me) he would just not have ever done it.

Therefore, when he offered to pull me home, I figured I must be mortally wounded (maybe even near death!). This suspicion was confirmed when we got home and my Mother took one look at me and almost fainted. My mom was one fairly tough cookie, so when she looked faint, I thought "oh poop, I don't even want to look either - and I didn't - I never saw that sucker until it was completely healed some months later". I had on a fairly substantial parka that day because of the intense cold and later remember my Mother, Father and Brother talking about the blood icicles that had formed between the cut on my chin and the collar of that parka - not a pretty sight I'm sure.

Now what were we to do? We are 12 miles from Chillicothe. It is fairly early on Sunday morning. The road is a veritable sheet of ice and it is extremely cold. And, to top it all off, our car (a 1937 Chevy) wont start! Enter, my cousin, Ocal Berry (one of many nieces and nephews of my Mother’s), who had moved back from California.

I don't remember whether it was John or my Father who went over to get Ocal. He lived in the first house on the east side of the road as you go north from the four corners. It was so slick that he fell twice getting over to our place. He couldn’t get his car started either. Ocal was a pretty good mechanic and finally got our car started, but something was wrong with the transmission, and we had to drive all the way to Chillicothe in low gear! I thought that we would never get there! I remember that Mother had wrapped a couple of towels around my neck to keep the blood from dripping down on my clothes.

I guess that Mother had called the doctor in advance. As I recall, he met us at his office, or actually at the drug store downstairs from his office. He had a key for the front door of the drug store and went there before he took me upstairs to his office, an experience that is hard to forget. Surprise number one was the pint of whiskey he got while he was in the drug store. He begin to nip on it right away. In retrospect I don't blame him. I don't imagine that I would be too happy facing some bloody little kid early on Sunday after seeing patients all week long (including Saturdays - I ought to know since I went almost every Saturday for a year or so). He was good enough to offer me a pull on the bottle, but I declined. What a fool I was, especially when the first procedure he performed was to deaden my face with shots. It would have been infinitely better to have taken at least one liquid shot before getting all those shots with a needle in the area surrounding the cut. He poked me at least 6 or 7 times with that needle. After each one, he would wait a little while, take another pull from the pint and then ask me, "Does it still hurt son?". Finally, I said “no”, and we went on to the next procedure which was to sew up the cut. Eight stitches as I recall. I didn't feel much except as the needle went through the flesh, I felt the skin bunch up as he pulled the stitch up tight. Almost makes my skin crawl just to think about it!

Well, he finally got it sewed up, bandaged up and got me out of there, just about the time he finished the pint. Perhaps he gauged the size of the bottle he needed by the length of the cut. I don't remember how long I wore that bandage, but it seemed like forever. I recall missing school a couple of days because I had to come to the doctor which meant I had to come in with my Mother at 7 or 7:30 a.m. and stay all day. My Dad did not drive and we only had one car. So, after all the bandages had been removed, I finally ventured a look. What a rough line. You know as well as I do that with the skill levels and techniques in existence today that scar would only be a very thin line. But what the hey, he got it fixed and now I hardly ever notice it.

Another memorable event at Blue Mound was the "thunder/lightening” ice storm that I experienced near the old rock quarry with the cave just east of were we lived. As I recall it was late fall/early winter and I was out picking up walnuts late one afternoon. And as you know, at that time of year it gets dark real early in the evening. It was also cloudy and there was already a coating of ice on the trees. It was getting darker and darker, and suddenly it began to lightening and thunder. What a sight! The lightening was glistening off the ice draped trees and producing the most eerie sight you could ever hope to see in nature. The shimmering effect of the intense light of the lightening bouncing off the branches of those ice ladened trees was just something to behold. The thunder just became a giant exclamation point to the whole experience. It was a real deal. You would have to have been there. I just stood and watched it for several minutes and then beat it for home, somewhat awed and somewhat frightened. It was nice to get home where it was nice and warm and light, with a nice hot supper waiting.

Suppers (That’s what we always called the evening meal. I'll never forget the first time I heard someone call supper “dinner”. I thought that they were just mixed up. It was clear to me: breakfast was in the morning, dinner was at noon, and supper was when you ate in the evening) at our house were a real deal. Frequently, we had fried potatoes and something else, but more often than not we had fried potatoes. My Father did not work that much outside of the home, so he often fixed supper since my Mother worked at the glove factory in Chillicothe. Any given day, my Father would begin to peel potatoes at about 4:00 p.m. He was very slow and methodical about the peeling. He always had a pretty good sized pan of potatoes to peel, about 10-12 good sized ones. Of course after we moved to the country we raised a lot of potatoes, and kept several bushels of them in the "storm cellar".

For the uninitiated, the "storm cellar" was like a detached basement. First, they dug a pretty good-sized hole in the ground, then poured concrete to make an underground concrete room that had steps leading down to it from ground level, and then they covered the whole structure with dirt and added a wooden door that could be opened up to allow you entry from above. The door opened back to expose the steps leading down. You could pull the door closed behind you, and then you could seek underground shelter from the storms. We did that every once in awhile, when we thought that a tornado was threatening. Since there was no electricity in the cellar we had to take down a source of light or just set in the dark. We had kerosene lanterns that we took down. Our parents would chat, and us boys would get over into the potato bin and play. We were oblivious to the possible destruction of any storm and thought it was fun to go to the cellar, especially since we had a chance to open and consume a jar of home made grape juice as we waited for the storm to subside. We also stored canned jars of green beans, tomatoes, peaches, cherries, and many other delectable veggies and fruits.

Early spring suppers were the best. We had fried potatoes, once in awhile some kind of meat, but in early spring we had fresh green onions and radishes from the garden. My Brother, John, and I used to pile up the "tails" of the radishes to see who had eaten the most. Some kind of contest, eh? I imagine our digestive systems wondered what had happened! I do know that we ate lots of beans, both green and dried.

Getting the bee tree. My Cousin Ocal had spotted a bee tree; probably sometime during the summer or late fall. Well, it had become very cold (what winter, I'm not sure) and Ocal decided it was time to go get the honey. So, we took an axe, a saw, some buckets, and I don't remember how many kids and adults. The bees and the bee tree didn't have a chance. As I recall, it wasn't a whole tree as much as it was a limb. Anyway, the limb was cut, the honey (and a plethora of bees) were scooped up into the buckets and a good time was had by all. The real thrill was a day or two later when the honey (and the bees that were still with it) that we left on the back porch began to warm up. There were bees everywhere. I don't think anyone got stung, but there was a constant threat. The wild honey of course was good, but it does require an awful lot of effort. Some people prefer buying their honey at the store and let someone else deal with getting it from the bees.

I recall going on one coon hunt, again I think it was again with my Cousin Ocal, but I don't recall seeing a coon or very much about the whole affair except we were outside at night and I remember the moon was shining.

The snipe hunt. Oh yes, what a production. I was set up from stem to stern. I don't remember if my Brother John was in on this one or not. It was my Uncle Fred Schneiter and that bunch. They had worked on me for quite awhile that day getting me properly prepared. Come nightfall, I was ready. They took me out to the end of a corn row in the field, gave me sack, told me to wait as they went to the other end to drive the snipe my way (I was supposed to catch them in the sack!), and then they went back to the house to laugh and see how long I would stay out in the field. A real lesson learned. By the way, I don't remember how long I stayed out there, but it was quite awhile.

Two things happened in our life just like clockwork each week. We would go to Chillicothe for groceries and other supplies each Saturday and we to church at Liberty Methodist Church each Sunday. Going to town was a real experience each week considering that the other 6 days we were not around very many people at all. Town and all those people and all that commotion was a hoot. I don't recall if we had a definite schedule for accomplishing this feat each week or not. I know that it did include several different activities, but I don't recall whether there was any order to it all or not. Of course it always included a trip to the grocery store. We usually went to the one just east of the square on the southeast side. (I don't remember the name.) Four items stick out in my mind; bologna in the big, long round cylindrical sticks, spam, butter (actually margarine) that we had to add the coloring to before it looked like butter, and ice (which we bought at the ice house) to recharge our ice box (an ice box was the forerunner of the modern day refrigerator except the ice box was just a receptacle to hold ice.)

We moved from Blue Mound back to Chillicothe in 1954. I will always have fond memories of the time that we spent there.

If you would like to submit your recollections, please contact me at: 3535 West Arbor Way, Columbia, MO 65203 or e-mail

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Blue Mound History - Joe G Dillard
3535 West Arbor Way, Columbia, MO  65203