Where Is That Place?

I should have taken notes. There are a lot of things that I should have written down. Family history that resided with my Grandma Richardson and my Uncle Carl Sweeney is just one of the things that I really should have captured when I had the opportunity. I sat and I listened and genuinely enjoyed the stories and information, but there were a lot of the stories that were only told once and those have escaped me.

Another thing I should have written down was the locations of numerous different places. These places existed with our immediate area and most within Newton County. My Dad would use the names of these places often. Names such as Possum Trot, June Gate, Waddell, Union School, and so many more.

In the late ‘80’s a part of the winter duties was to map all the county roads on a five-year rotation. This would determine the money each county would receive from the CART (County Aid Road Trust) Funds from the State of Missouri. Each county would receive money based upon their road inventory for maintenance. I recall mapping Barry County one winter when I drove through a now non-existent community named Corsicanna. Later, when I was in the office a conversation came up about the area that I had been mapping. When I mentioned Corsicanna Opal McDaniels responded with, “That’s where the cannon factory was.” That is what I heard. I responded with the fact that I was unaware that there had ever been an armament producer in that area. He then replied with, “No, I said canning factory, a place where they can green beans and the like.” I said, “Oh, you mean a cannery?” He came back with, “No, a canary is one of them little yellar birds!”

The reason that all of this surfaced is the goodwife and I were headed out on our weekly fishing foray at Roaring River. When we first left the house that morning, we intended to go and eat breakfast at Terry’s Café in Shell Knob. (There’s an endorsement if there ever was one.) Then about a mile east of Stella, the goodwife asked if we had ever considered eating at Longview. At that point we turned and headed for Longview only to find that they didn’t open until 8:00 a.m. At this point we reverted to the original plan and once more set out for destinations to the east. Heading eastward on Highway 76 we passed through Simco and Bethlehem.

These locations were two of the places that would surface regularly in Dad’s stories and conversations. Seeing these two names stirred something within me. At that point many other names began to surface. As I ran down the list I was drawn back to the fact that I had not written any of these down. Not only this information, but lots of information that is now gone with the loss of family members.

As I recalled certain locations, all I could ask is, “Where is that place?”

-Paul Richardson is the proprietor of In Sane Marketing Solutions. He writes a weekly column, The Horse I Rode In On for The Neosho Daily News and The Aurora Advertiser.