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Samuel E. Warren Jr., The Prophet On Word Press

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Samuel E. Warren Jr.,

The Prophet

On

Word Press

by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

 

Every writer wants to make his mark in the world. Ernest “Papa” Hemingway, William Faulkner, P.D. James, Barbara Cartland, Agatha Christie, Erle Stanley Gardner, L.Ron Hubbard, Stephen King, Samuel Langhorne”Mark Twain” Clemens,Thomas Wolfe, John Ernst Steinbeck Jr., Robert Frost, Edgar Allen Poe and, now, Samuel E. Warren Jr.

 

The traditional way, of course, is to work as a newspaper reporter, editor, magazine writer, columnist, movie script author or playwright.

 

Thanks to the Internet, social media, software, hardware, computers,streaming video, cell phones and the electronic inventions from the 1970s through 2013 – tradition has changed.

 

Writers Write

 

I love to write.

 

My philosophy as a writer is simple: “Writers Write.”

 

Blog writers or authors may never be invited to book-signings like novelist authors.

 

However , blog writers electronic articles are posted in the vast never closes Library Of The Internet just waiting for someone to use a search engine – to find the listing tucked away in the virtual card catalog.

 

Lessons Of The Sam I Am Blog

 

I began my Sam I Am Blog around 2005 as a basic one person, weekly, and sometimes daily electronic newspaper.

 

It was never intended to be the “Dear Diary” of many websites but a collection of my writing and photographs.

 

I post stories,anecdotes, photos, opinions, editorials, commentaries, news reports, feature stories, short stories and a collection of my life experiences revealed in a variety of different formats.

 

I had toyed, for a few months, with the traditional stereotypical writer challenge of “The Great American Novel”.

 

I actually completed two novels written out in longhand in two different notebooks. The experience was fun, but time consuming. I put them on the shelf.

 

On my “Sam I Am Blog”, as of March 6, 2013, I had 275 post of articles and photos under my belt on that blog, This post, naturally, changed the number to 276.

 

I decided to try another writing project to add flexibility to my writing.

 

I wanted to do something controversial.

 

Politics And Religion

 

From the time I was a small boy my mother had always warned me, “Never Talk Politics And Religion In Public.”

 

On the surface, it is wise advice.

 

In a democracy like the United States Of America, you should find a way to talk politics and have your opinion heard. I believe what President Thomas Jefferson said about an “informed citizenry.”

 

Once you begin working you pay local, state and federal taxes, which means you pay the salaries of those politicians. Since you are putting their groceries on the table, there has to be a way to tell them what you think.

 

You should “talk politics”, but be wise about where you express your political views.

 

In the Real World, anytime you talk Politics or Religion, in public, you can sometimes watch an ordinary person transform before your eyes into a raving fanatical, lunatic.

 

Talk politics and people get upset. Their faces get red. They raise their voices. Their sentences become overloaded and bloated with dictionaries of cuss words and their tones climb well up into the decibel range.

 

Regardless of the political topic or issue, at the end of the day, a Democrat is a Democrat and a Republican is a Republican.

 

As long as alcohol and firearms are no where near the discussion area, most people will grumble away and come back another day to discuss or argue the merits of their issue, candidate or party.

 

When the dust has cleared all you have really done is waste time and found out ,in no uncertain terms, where a person stands.

 

Alas, Politics is essentially the age old Chevy versus Ford discussion.

 

Farmers who own Chevy and GMC pickups seldom have a nice word for Ford owners. Likewise, the “Ford Faithful” look down on the Chevy lovers.

 

Dodge and the owners of Japanese made pickups are looked at by the good ole boys of Chevy and Ford like, “What planet did you say you were from ?”

 

The Internet is a wonderful location. You find a virtual street corner and put down your soap box to stand upon. Then, you go into your best Voltaire and Robespierre

 

I, Sam The Democrat, keep my politics on my “Sam I Am Blog”. . .for now, anyway.

 

Momma The Mentor

 

 

I, Samuel E. Warren Jr., proudly proclaim myself a

 “Momma’s Boy.”

 

I could ask my mother any question and she would give me her honest opinion.

 

Momma never pull punches with me. If I was “In The Right”, then, she supported me tooth and nail.

 

If I was “In The Wrong”, Momma did her best to try and be the first one to tell me.

 

As a young man, I even asked Momma my “birds and bees questions” and she answered them.

 

My mother was a truly unique human, who lived her beliefs.

 

There was just one subject I could not get Momma to discuss with me: Religion.

 

I could never get my mother to discuss religion with me.

 

I did enjoy tossing out ideas and watching her shift around in her chair and try to change the subject.

 

Momma had been exposed to the Pentecost beliefs as a little girl, but, did not really practice those beliefs as an adult.

 

Every Human’s Achilles’ Heel

 

Thanks to Momma, I discovered The Achilles’ Heel Of Every Human On Planet Earth – Religion.

 

As a young boy, Momma had told me she would never tell me what to believe when it came to religion.

 

She held true to her word.

 

Through the years, I would run various religious ideas by her and her Midwest Ozarks upbringing made it obvious that Momma wasn’t fond of the idea, but, she never told me, “No.”

 

Through childhood, into the International Order Of DeMolay, into college and on to active duty in the United States Armed Forces, I came in contact with various people of numerous religions and faiths.

 

Through my life experiences, I have visited various churches, sit through sermons, Mass and lit incense in temples.

 

I never found “The Religion”, but I did discover “The Spiritual” in my Life.

 

In my Quest, I had to move past the salesmen and the recruiters and I did.

 

Religion’s Cereal Salesmen

 

Religion is like cereal, there are many boxes on the store shelves and they all come in different packaging and flavor. They all meet the minimum daily requirements.

 

I just never appreciated the self-righteous “salesmen” and the “quota recruiters”, who always tried to strong arm their way into my Immortal Soul.

Award a man or woman a sheepskin in religion and suddenly that person acts like they are “God’s Little Brother” or “God’s Little Sister” and they have all the answers.

 

The “Witnessing Religions” are the worst because they lead their religious associates to believe that they have to “spread the word” and carry out the “ministry”, so a man or woman starts to talk.

 

You listen. You can ask questions. But, if your questions have humor or any cynicism, sarcasm, or skepticism; then,”Lo, you are a disrespectful sinner”.

 

If one of your questions hits the aspiring apostle’s nerve or the devout disciple’s ego the wrong way, then, their facial expression changes and usually their voice rises and the person seems more offended and aggressive.

 

The serial salesmen don’t appreciate it when you call them on their “testimony.”

 

Their faith usually sends them out to do “testimonials” like a vacuum cleaner or a tractor salesman and you are suppose to be the good customer and not question company advertising and marketing.

 

After all, the salesmen and the recruiters have memorized the serials of stories and weren’t suppose to know if the product or service actually worked.

 

These testimonial people are serial salesman they can tell you an episode of Psalms, Deuteronomy, or whatever, but, they can’t actually tell you if Jesus ever went out on a date with a woman or Saint Peter’s wife’s middle name.

 

Through the years, I have learned, rather than risk teasing a hungry dog, who I will invariably,make foam at the mouth and angry – I smile and shut the door.

 

 

The Human Computer

 

Sometimes though Religion forgets it is “Food For The Soul” and not the Universal Hardwired Programming Of Each Individual Human On Planet Earth.

 

People can always choose to reformat their mental hard drives with Operating Systems of their own choosing and select or reject various upgrades to their programming based on their Life experiences.

 

The World’s Old Traditional Religions forget they are the FORTRAN, COBOL, assembly, and machine languages of past generations.

 

The sprite, peek and pope graphics of the early humans who were flesh and blood pizza boxes that were amazed by flashing cursors of light from lighting and swamp gas to St. Elmo’s Fire,

 

Like computers, people evolved over the years and Prometheus, got tweaked with enough intelligence to carry his own cigarette lighter and maybe even learn how to wire up a house.

 

Prometheus like other humans sought to expand their human programming on their own to reach out beyond Global Positioning Satellites to interface with God.

 

Meanwhile, while the old religions are still scratching their heads over the Apple IIe and the old Packard Bell 386 in the church, synagogue or mosque basement, people out in the Real World is glance at their Kindle readers, i Phones, and cell phones.

 

While religious officials may worry that they are becoming The 8 Track Tapes Of Humanity, people in the Real World wonder if they have the latest state of the art portable electronics to keep up with breaking news and check their email without switching their Internet Service Provider and upgrading to another cell phone plan.

 

The Vatican got Pope Benedict XVI a twitter account, which got canceled when he became the Emeritus Pope.

 

The old religions are working with the electronics, but they have yet to grasp the ASC II understanding that their doctrine and dogma has got to be upgraded to be saved into the evolving servers of the human mind.

 

Despite the technology of the Real World, there are humans, who get that Amiga formatted floppy and the MS-DOS 5.0 floppy loaded into their minds and they do not want to challenge or risk accidentally overwriting their religious beliefs.

 

Therefore, they backup their religious beliefs to a hard drive in their heads and ward off any ideas they consider worms, trojans, viruses or back doors to their hardwired religious beliefs.

 

Nuclear Religious Reality

 

A Religious discussion can get you hurt, hospitalized or, based on some news stories, in the United States and around the globe: DEAD.

 

The topic of Religion is essentially the equivalent of realizing that you are in possession of nuclear material and realizing that you have to handle it carefully otherwise you are at Ground Zero of Three Mile Island and Chernobyl.

 

Nonetheless, Religion is an important issue to every human on the planet because it always leads to a belief of some sort in an Afterlife.

 

I believe Religion is far more Nuclear than Politics.

 

Politics makes people angry because it takes money out of their wallets and purses, but people know they have to have some semblance of public order provided by government.

 

Otherwise, Life is a never-ending chaos of neighbor against neighbor for property and goods, which results in the legendary Hatfield and McCoys feuds that last for generations.

 

Politics ends at the tombstone.

 

Religion is one of those personal issues that goes to the core of the individual and challenges a person to examine their Immortal Soul.

 

Politics can lead to War; Religions start Wars.

 

Samuel The Prophet

 

I knew a religion blog would serve my curious and controversial needs.

 

 

I needed a catchy title. I got it.

 

I needed something to catch the eyes. I got it.

 

I posted some articles. I did it.

 

I post to the blog and wait for feedback and comments.

 

Publicity is always hard to achieve because it costs money.

 

Free publicity is rare.

 

Now, I have decided to do some publicity for my religion blog.

 

The Samuel E. Warren Jr., The Prophet” blog is on a Word Press website.

 

Word Choice

 

I decided the word, “Prophet” would probably take some religious people to “Defense Condition One status and have a klaxon going off inside their heads.

 

At DEFCON ONE, I would like to believe they will visit my blog and read through some of the articles.

 

In the Midwest, Moses is an old respected Holy Bible prophet.

 

For someone in the early 21st Century to use that hallowed, revered, respected, sacred English word, “Prophet,” would be ?

 

Heretical. Not really, because a word is just a word, but the meaning gives the word Life.

 

To call oneself a “Prophet” is Blasphemous ? Not really, because financial publications have run articles on “Profit Prophets” of Wall Street through the years.

 

However, the word, “Prophet” does catch your eyes and stimulates your mind.

 

The word choice of “Prophet ?”

 

I done did it.

 

The Samuel E. Warren Jr., The Prophet blog is a platform to look at religion.

 

I know I will not change anyone’s religion.

 

The purpose is not to convert anyone.

 

The purpose is to challenge religious ideas.

 

The purpose is to ask people to think.

 

The purpose is to inspire people to seek a religion that helps them in Life.

 

I challenge the traditional religions.

 

I’m the writer, editor and publisher, so I get to be “The Devil’s Advocate.”

 

Feel free to hit me with your “The Beast,” “The Anti-Christ”, “The Blasphemer,” “The Heretic” and other not so nice comments.

 

I have on my asbestos underwear, so I’m ready.

 

Keep in mind though that I do respond to comments left on my blogs.

 

If you want to look at other than traditional religious views, please, visit my “Samuel E. Warren Jr., The Prophet” blog on Word Press.

 

Sam

 

Link

 

Samuel E. Warren Jr., The Prophet

 

https://samuelewarrenjrtheprophet.wordpress.com/

Written by samwarren55

March 7, 2013 at 6:25 AM

Posted in Bloggers, Blogs, Business, Current Events, Editorial, God, Holidays, Money, Mythology, New Age, Observances, Opinion, Religion, Religion, Sam I Am, Soap Box Religious Opinion, Spiritual, The Ozarks

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Christmas Cash,Costs,Challenges of The Ozarks 1960s

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Christmas Cash,Costs, Challenges

of

The

Ozarks’

1960s

THE OZARKS OLD HOUSE_Photo by Samuel E Warren Jr_resized

The Old House

Of The Ozarks

This small house beside Missouri State Highway 176 in Stone County, Missouri in The Ozarks can go unnoticed by passing motorists. This Old House served as The DeLong Family Home in the 1960s. Birthday parties, Fourth of July, Halloween Trick or Treat events,Thanksgiving Supper and Christmas Day Dinner celebrations were held in the three – room house, which had a Laundry Room built on in the 1970s. There was no inside plumbing. Uncle Joe built an Outhouse down on the hillside. While the house did not have the social comforts of some 20th Century homes in The Ozarks; it always felt like “Home” to DeLong family members, who returned to Stone County and the Missouri Ozarks anytime of the year. Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

 

by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

 

christmas-tree-logo-photo-two-thumbnail_thumb[1]Home in my childhood was “The Ozarks.”

 

The Ozarks is one of the places in the world, where myth and reality live side by side.

 

You live your life in The Real World and sometimes it seems like you look up and see a wild,white-haired Mark Twain smiling down at you with his pen in hand.

 

The heavy snows of winter fall. The scene looks like a Currier and Ives lithograph on a china plate and then you feel the “bone chilling cold” enter your body. You see your breath. You trudge out of the knee-high snow into the warmth of your home.

 

You “warm” by the large, rectangular, dark brown “Warm Morning” gas stove and realize winter in The Ozarks means Christmas is usually just days away.

 

You get a hot cup of coffee and wonder why people think The Ozarks is “permanently stuck in an 1800s Time Warp.”

 

MV5BMTUzNzE1MjY0MV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMDE3MjU1MQ@@._V1._SX359_SY500_If you ever watched an episode of “The Beverly Hillbillies” you may believe the fictional characters represent “Life In The Ozarks.”

 

You would be wrong.

 

I grew up in the Ozarks and I never ate possum.

 

I have ate squirrel.

 

Uncle Hobert DeLong was a “dead on shot” with a rifle. Every time he went into the woods, he came back with a “mess of squirrels” and sometimes “a mess of rabbits.”

 

Of course, no one remembers Jed, granny and the rest of the Clampett were supposed to have been from Bugtussel, Tennessee and the characters get associated with The Missouri and Arkansas Ozarks.

 

Cartoonist Al Capp made a large fortune drawing the comic strip of Lil’ Abner for 43th years that reached 60 million readers in more than 900 American newspapers.

 

Capp’s newspaper comic strip was one of my mother’s favorites. Capp put the characters in Dogpatch, Kentucky, but as a kid everyone though if you were from The Missouri and Arkansas Ozarks, then, you must be like Lil’ Abner.

 

I never went to a Sadie Hawkin’s Day dance.

 

Dancing wasn’t allowed at Galena High School in the 1960s. It was an issue that came up with every senior class wanting a “Prom.” The Baptist and Pentecostal churches of the 1960s in Stone County were vocal in their objections and they kept the prom dance out of school.

 

I graduated in 1973 in a “Graduation Exercises” ceremony, but there was “No Prom” because the churches still didn’t allow dancing in school.

 

 

 

The Ozarks Hillbilly Stereotype

 

No matter how incorrect the “hillbilly” stereotype is about The Ozarks. Americans and foreigners seem to cling to the dumb hayseed and lazy cartoon and television stereotypes of “The Ozarks Hillbilly.”

 

The irony is that the Ozarks is pretty close to the center of the United States and it has always seemed like an “undiscovered country” to foreigners and other Americans.

 

My geographical calculations of “The Ozarks” begins from the southern city limits sign of Jefferson City to the southern city limits sign of Little Rock, Arkansas, which is what I always considered to be, “The Ozarks.”

 

Stone County, Missouri is in the southwest section of the state and borders Arkansas, which means, “reckon I grew up one of them thar’ Ozarks’ country boys.”

 

Missourians in the Ozarks joke, “If you don’t like the weather just wait 15 minutes and it will change.” There is truth to that joke. The weather doesn’t always change every 15 minutes, but in a 24-hour day, the weather can change several times in a day.

 

Pen To Paper

 

To put pen to paper and write a story about Christmas in The Ozarks, I will have to set the stage.

 

There are many famous Missourians from United States Army Generals of the Armies John Joseph “Blackjack” Pershing to “The Most Trusted Man In America” Walter Cronkite, but, usually the celebrities are known as Missourians and not necessarily, “Ozarkers.”

 

Neosho, Missouri’s Thomas Hart Benton put his brush strokes on canvas to paint pictures; I will try to paint a word picture of life in The Ozarks in the 1960s.

 

Tom Sawyer Childhood

 

Life in “The Ozarks” in Stone County, Missouri in the 1960s was like “Tom Sawyer on a tractor and in a pickup truck.” Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Midwest buckboards and stagecoaches were replaced by 18-wheelers, Greyhound and Continental Trailways buses.

 

Rose O’Neill’s Kewpie dolls could be still found in toy stores in the Ozarks. Overall, Life in southern Missouri had not changed all that much since the days of Mark Twain, Laura Ingalls Wilder and Rose O’Neill.

 

The Tomato Factories” of Reeds Spring, Abesville, and Galena in the 1930s had been replaced with “The Garment Factory” in Reeds Spring and Crane and Crane had a “Casket Factory.”

 

Fasco in Springfield, Missouri employed several people from Stone County. In 1960, Silver Dollar City was just beginning operations. Branson, Missouri in 1960 was “no threat” to country music in Nashville, but, Nashville musicians would begin to head for Branson, during the 1960s. In the area of economics, “times were tough”, in Stone County and southwest Missouri in 1960.

 

Blood Out Of A Turnip

 

Every nation has an economy. Money flows around in the metropolitan and urban areas, but in rural areas the ocean of money flows into a narrow stream that sometimes becomes a dry creek bed. In Stone County, it seemed even the rocks in the creek bed were usually “bone dry.”

 

After The Great Depression and World War II, the United States economy was strengthening. In the rural areas of the Ozarks, being “poor” is still a way of life.

 

In the early 1960s, the local power companies were working hard to provide, stable and reliable electricity.

 

Stone County, Missouri had a reputation of being one of the poorest counties in The Show Me State.

 

Traditionally in Missouri, statistics reveal “Mining” is the major source of manual labor income for the state. Farming comes in second. There were caves in Stone County, but no working mines.

 

Farming is hard work. Even with good weather and the money to buy seeds, livestock and equipment, farming is a full-time job to make a living.

 

Gardening maybe a hobby; Farming is a job.

 

Grandma DeLong like to sum up an economic situation as, “I couldn’t afford to make a down payment on an old settin’ hen with all her eggs rotten.” The purpose of this country statement was to point out that someone was “financially broke.” It was a common financial phrase that you heard in The Ozarks in the 1960s.

 

By 1960s, some farmers in Stone County had had it with “life on the farm.” Some people sold their farms and moved to other states. Some people stayed on their farms, but tried to get a “public job” at Silver Dollar City.

 

When it came to money in Stone County, Missouri and The Ozarks in the 1960s “people minded their Ps and Qs” and sometimes the lack of money was described as “Trying to get blood out of a turnip.”

 

Ozarks Hills And Hollers

 

Corn and tomatoes were the big income producing crops in Stone County, Missouri in my childhood in the 1960s. There were always stories of some of the corn being used to produce “moonshine” and “white lightning.”

 

In the early 1980s, I was “home on leave” from the military and a family friend unscrewed the lid on a Mason jar and asked me if I wanted some of the clear liquid.

 

I thanked him, but decided not to drink the “white lightning.”

 

The geography of Stone County had some cliffs and bluffs in the landscape of the hills and hollers. When the soil was too rough, rocky or poor to raise any other crop, usually the farmer would sew cane and other pasture grasses.

 

Fertilize was not all that expensive, but, the amount needed to nourish the soil and get crops to grow was sometimes too big a chunk of money out of a farmer’s budget.

 

Uncle Richard had one field beside State Highway 176, that the family called, “The Cane Field” because it was too rocky and the soil too poor for any other crop. The cane was used to feed to the cattle in the winter time,

 

Spring and summer usually the crops grew well and there was plenty of pasture to feed the livestock. Farmers didn’t get rich, but they made “the ends meet.”

 

Deep Freeze

 

Winter in southwest Missouri in the 1960s was always Armageddon. Fields were buried under blankets of deep snow. The important contribution of the deep snow and cold temperatures is the weather would kill off chiggers, ticks and snakes as long as farmers burned the brush in their fields and hollers in the early falls.

 

Burning the tree leaves in the hollers that fell kept deep leave beds from filling up the hollers. In the winter time, chigger, ticks and snakes would burrow into the deep leaves to try and wait out the winter until spring.

 

Southwest Missouri’s picture postcard “snows” were efficient in freezing farm ponds, which stayed frozen unless you broke the ice with an ax for the cattle to get a drink.

 

The weight of a Black Angus, Polled Hereford, Jersey or Holstein cow would sometimes shatter the ice and a cow could drown trying to get a drink of water in the winter.

 

Later in the 1960s, someone invented a device to stick in farm ponds in the winter to keep the water from freezing.

 

The deep freeze of the Ozarks in winter would freeze trees. The weight of ice on the limbs would cause the limbs to fall and take down electric lines. If you were lucky, you would be without electricity for a day.

 

On average people usually went without electricity for two to three days usually two to three times,during winter from October through April. The worst case scenario meant you would go without electricity for one to two weeks during the winter.

 

A Country Mile

 

The strength of my childhood came from my family in the Ozarks. Momma, Grandma DeLong, Uncle Richard, Uncle Hobert, Aunt Mary, and Cousin Donna were my family in the Ozarks.

 

In Houston, Texas, I could step out in my front yard. Donna and Debbie Brinkley from the house next door only had to walk out their gate and a few feet to walk into my yard for us to play.

 

In the Ozarks, neighbors always seemed to live a country mile from your front door.

 

Thelma Thomas was my closet neighbor in 1960 and she lived about a tenth of a mile from my front door on top of a hill. Her kids were grown with families of their own.

 

The Galena School District usually included Jenkins and Wheelerville, Missouri, which was only a few miles from Crane, Missouri. And, Crane, Missouri was 10 miles from Galena.The district would extend south to almost Reeds Spring, which was about 15 miles from Galena.

 

Many of my classmates would have to do chores before catching the school bus in the morning. The bus ride for some of the kids meant they were on the school bus for two hours before they arrived at Galena Elementary or Galena High School. After school, they would spend two hours on the bus once it left the school.

 

You would see classmates in school, but the distances and the rural road conditions to their parents’ farms meant that “visits” and social interaction was almost impossible, except for possibly on the weekend.

 

Crane, Missouri was only 10 miles from Galena and we usually only went grocery shopping in Crane on Saturdays.

 

 

 

Life On Planet Earth Before Electronics”

 

Children of the 21st Century will think I grew up in The Dark Ages because there was no Internet, no facebook, no twitter, no computers, no X box, no play station and no cell phones.

 

Yes, there was “Life On Planet Earth Before Electronics.”

 

Fire had been discovered. My father always carried his Zippo cigarette lighter.

 

We didn’t have to use stone tablets and chisels because there was an archaic device called, a typewriter that used ribbons, bond paper and carbon paper that helped people put words on paper for future generations.

 

Telephones Come To Stone County

 

Telephones were being installed in homes, near Galena and Abesville, Missouri.

 

In order to have a telephone in your home if you lived near State Highway 176, you had to be willing to be on “a party line”, which meant when your phone rang, your neighbors telephone gave off a jangle sound,

 

There was one public telephone booth in Galena, Missouri. The phone booth was on the sidewalk by the US Post Office, next to Floyd’s Barber shop, which was next to Rose’s beauty shop, which was next to the Hillbilly Cafe and sat across the street from the courthouse. In 2011, that area is now a parking lot for The Stone County Judicial Center.

 

The reason why the telephone was so important in 1960 was it allowed Momma to call Daddy in Texas and he could call her from Texas. Grandma and Uncle Richard never had a telephone. DeLong and Warren family members, who lived in other states could call us and we could call them.

 

In the 21st Century, when it seems children own a cell phone as soon as they learn to speak; it may be hard to imagine the importance of a telephone in your home, but, imagine for a moment that you lived in the snow and ice of the South Pole and you were trying to make a phone call to your grandparents in the United States.

 

If your grandparents lived in a city like Houston, Atlanta, Los Angeles or New York City, it would be easy for them to place a call. But, if you lived in a remote location at the South Pole, there might not be phone lines or cell phone towers, so you might not get the phone call.

Old Missouri Spring Photo by Junior Warren1

Old Missouri Spring

This old spring is on Warren Land in Stone County, Missouri. The Ozarks area of the United States has always been difficult for “people to live off the land” because the soil is poor and rocky. If you need rain; you will get a drought. If you need sunshine;you will get a flood. Nature seems to enjoy working against farmers. Wildlife and insect pest can have a negative effect on crops. The Old Traditional Ozarks Hillbilly concept portrays citizens as dumb and lazy. The truth is an Ozarks Hillbilly is one of the smartest and hard working people, you will ever meet because they use their elbow grease and common sense to work a “Miracle” on stubborn pieces of land to earn a living and raise their families. Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

 

 

The Miracle Of Life In The Ozarks

 

When you think of “The Ozarks” in the 1960s; you understand the word, “Miracle” is a reality.

 

The Ozarks’ lunar style geography of cliffs and bluffs, poor soil, an over abundance of rocks, moody weather, predator wildlife like wolves and coyotes as well as insect pests; it is a “Miracle” that people were able to live, earn a living, and sometimes prosper in this section of the United States.

 

When you are a child, you open your toys on Christmas Day. Underneath the Christmas Tree, you begin to play with the toys.

 

As a young man, you can find yourself trying to decide if you want to go “Home For The Holidays.”

 

As a senior citizen you can sit back with a cup of coffee or a glass of egg nog and remember the toys and the celebrations. When you look back long enough at your childhood, you really begin to understand and appreciate the sacrifices that your parents made for you.

 

At last, you can understand, the challenges, costs,hard work and the effort that your parents made to make Christmas seem like a “Magickal Holiday” that simply happens.

Sam

thumbnail 1 old missouri spring

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons license.

Written by samwarren55

December 23, 2012 at 4:23 PM

Posted in Bloggers, Blogs, Business, Crafts, Current Events, Ecology, Editorial, Family, Holidays, Money, Nature, Opinion, Patriotism, Rocks, Stone County History, The Ozarks, Tourism

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“Opal” The Hog Farmer by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

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Parental Portrait for Christmas

 

Opal

The Hog Farmer

OPAL M DELONG WARREN_resized

 

Opal

Missouri Hillbilly

Opal M. DeLong Warren, would proudly proclaim to someone she had just met, “ I am a Missouri Hillbilly.” Opal may not be The Show Me State’s First Woman Hog Farmer, but, she should certainly be in the rankings as “One Of Missouri’s Most Prolific Women Hog Farmers.” From 1960 until 1982, Opal had 25 sows of the Yorkshire, Hampshire and Duroc breeds that raised litters of pigs that averaged 12 to 18 pigs per litter. Of the awards that she earned in her lifetime, one of her favorites was the year, the Galena Chapter of the Future Farmers of America presented her with a Chapter Farmer Award.

by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

In 1960, momma and I moved to a farm in Missouri. Through the years, her herd of hogs would expand to 25 sows of Yorkshire, Hampshire and Duroc breeds.

 

Our United Nations of Pork would welcome litters of 10 to 18 pigs, running, rooting and squealing over the landscape for 20 years.

 

In the process, the 10 acres of land would come to resemble the lunar landscape thanks to the dedicated snouts of hogs rooting into the soil. The air was always fresh and clean.

 

Of course, when the wind shifted and the aroma of hog manure assaulted your nostrils, people would always reconsider their “Tom Sawyer” and “Little House On The Prairie” philosophies of “Life In The Country.”

 

The Good Ole’ Days Of Pork Production”

 

Hogs always got the “bad publicity” for the smell of livestock manure in the country. Every time people “pushed” to implement “Planning and Zoning” one of the favorite fairy tales that the critics would shout is, “You don’t want your neighbor to put in a ‘hog farm’, next to your property.”

 

The Planning and Zoning argument is silly. If you have a “sensitive nose” – stay the hell away from a farm !

 

Hogs always got the bad publicity. Yet, all farms have barns, barnyards and feed lots. It does not matter if the farm is a dairy farm, a cattle farm, a mule farm, a horse farm, or a horse ranch, livestock takes care of their daily body functions. When the breeze shifts, your nose will notice. Manure is manure and it always smells bad.

 

Nonetheless, the 1960s through the early 1980s were “The Good Ole’ Days Of Pork Production,” when hog buyers through the country would stop by and pay you top dollar for a litter of well-fed feeder pigs ready for market.

 

Lost In Place

 

Green Acres” was one of my favorite television shows as a kid. Eddie Albert played the New York City lawyer, who moves to the “boonies” to live the simple life of a farmer. There was a major element of truth to the script; you really do need “a successful lawyer’s salary if you want to be a farmer in the United States.”

 

Hungarian bombshell actress, Eva Gabor played the role of the New York City socialite wife, who was miserable living out in the “boonies” on a farm. The actresses discontent is another major element of “truth”: rural life is not as convenient as city life.

 

In Galena, Missouri in 2011, the nearest hospital was at least 40 miles away in Springfield, Missouri and Aurora, Missouri. There is also a hospital about 25 miles away in Branson, Missouri. Medical emergencies rely on the ambulances and sometimes medical helicopter flights.

 

The nearest pizza in the rural area around Galena in 2011 was about five miles away at Speedee’s in Galena or 10 miles away in Crane, Missouri.

 

In the rural surroundings of Galena, Missouri, after 8 p.m., you will have to wait to the next day or get in the car and drive to Springfield, Branson West or Branson if you want a pizza, taco or movie.

 

The Biggest Gamblers In The World

 

A curious irony of life in the Midwest is the conservative, religious culture is against “gambling”; yet, farmers are some of the ‘Biggest Gamblers In The World” because nature and weather always seems to be “rigging the deck” against farmers.

 

Everyday is a “Gamble” for a farmer because nature, weather, falling crop and livestock prices can leave a farmer and his or her family homeless in a couple of years.

 

Cash Cows Of Farm Finances

 

ARMCHAIR FARMER Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr._resizedA cow will have one calf a year, while an old sow can have two to three litters a year with the number of pigs ranging from six to 18.

 

In farming, cattle are usually considered as the “Cash Cows of Farm Finances” in raising livestock, but, in southwest Missouri in the 1960s, it was easier to get into hog farming. Hogs provided a stable, consistent revenue stream which allowed a farmer to expand into other areas of livestock production like beef cattle. Momma’s hogs provided the money for her to get a herd of about 50 Black Angus cattle. Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

It takes about a year to raise a beef heifer or steer to the size to send to market. It takes a few months to raise a pork litter of pigs to the size to send to market.

 

If you have the land and the money then buy your Stetson, boots, high priced tractors, babe magnet farm pickups, fancy stock trailers and invest in a herd of horses or cattle.

 

If you have a small budget and need to get into livestock farming quickly, buy you a couple of sows, rent you a couple of acres of land away from nosy neighbors and planning and zoning bureaucrats and get into hog farming.

 

Farming is a business like any business with it’s own up and downs. Cattle and horse farming is like trying to build a multinational, global corporation overnight. Hog farming is like realizing you need a small business to build into a global corporation.

 

Momma grew up on a farm, so she knew that hogs is your best overall money-making agricultural investment.

 

Chicken farming and turkey farming makes money, but, there is a sizable investment in building the big, long chicken and turkey houses for poultry. Raccoons, foxes, wolves and snakes love chicken and turkey, perhaps, more than people, so the “hen house” and turkey houses have to be designed to keep out these types of wildlife.

 

Crop farming takes a lot of land and you have to rely on the weather to give you the right amount of rainfall and sunshine at the right time. Weather never cooperates with farmers.

 

Plus crop farming takes several months to get the seeds in the ground up to a harvest height. If the weather doesn’t get you, then, falling prices and insect pests will. After the American Civil War, a small pest,called the “boll weevil” kept cotton crop production down in the south until during the 1980s.

 

Hog farmers usually stand a greater chance of success than other types of farmers based on the investment needed to get up and running and the ability to keep things up and running over time.

 

As you make money, then, you can invest in cattle or crops and consider setting aside your rubber boots for the hand tooled leather cowboy boots to wear to the stockman’s club.

KEROSENE LANTERN 3505 STATE HWY 176 YARD SALE_resized

The Coal Oil Lantern

Farmers in the Missouri Ozarks usually called the lanterns, “coal oil lanterns”, instead of kerosene. In the 1960s, in southwest Missouri, electricity wasn’t always stable, especially when heavy snowfall had tree limbs freezing, breaking off and taking down power lines for two to three days at a time. The lanterns provided light in a hog shed at night, which came in handy when an old sow was giving birth to a litter of pigs. By the mid-1960s, Samuel E. Warren, my father, used his electrician skills to put lights in momma’s hog sheds. Still, we kept a lantern, in the corner of the sheds, just in case the lights went out. Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

Thank God For Hogs

 

Momma’s hogs put me through grade school, high school and let me chill out in college until I signed up for a military career.  

 

Around 1965, momma got some Black Angus cattle, which made money. But, the real dollars and sense of southwest Missouri farming for our family from the 1960s through 1980 came from the hogs.

 

Opal M. DeLong Warren, my mother, the business woman, knew the secret of financial success is saving and managing your money whether you work in public or are self employed. I should of learned these lessons earlier in life.

 

Perhaps, now, that I have written down these lessons, people will read and understand the common sense Ozarks logic, so that you never go hungry or thirsty and you don’t always have to worry about the roof over your head at night.

 

As long as people enjoy a good steak or a slice of ham, farmers will have jobs. In my country boy opinion, vegans and vegetarians are welcome to their plants and pasture grasses.

 

Keep in mind, though on any farm I live on, “The cattle have first choice at the pasture grasses. The vegans and vegetarians will just have to settle for the blades of grass in my front yard.”

 

And, come breakfast, I usually have a “hankerin’” for some pork chops, ham,sausage,and bacon.

Sam

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons license.

Written by samwarren55

December 20, 2012 at 9:35 AM

Posted in Bloggers, Blogs, Business, Ecology, Editorial, Family, Food, Money, Nature, Opinion, Real Estate - Warren Land, Stone County History

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