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Christmas Trees To Go Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

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CHRISTMAS TREE ROADSIDE SIGNS IN TANAUAN_DSC_6192_resized

Christmas Trees To Go

Cities around the world always allocate a portion of their budgets for decorations for holidays. Slow or bad economic conditions can have public administrators trying to come up with ways to save, especially, if they have to buy new Christmas decorations for the city.

 

Here is a Christmas decoration idea that is not only “budget conscious” and “cost effective”, but “environmentally friendly” and adds a new idea to the issue of “recycle.”

 

In the United States, vehicle owners sometimes wonder, “What can I do with the old tires off the car or pickup ?” Answer: Build a Christmas Tree.

 

Using metal poles, angle iron and old automobile tires, these unique “On The Roadside Christmas Trees” line the shoulders of the road into the city of Tanauan in the Republic of the Philippines. These trees are painted white, but if you get out your silver, gold or green spray cans, then, you can come up with your own paint scheme.

 

This photograph was taken, during the Christmas 2011 season. While these holiday trees seem securely embedded in the roadside shoulder, they are obviously portable because come January they are Christmas Trees To Go . . . into storage until next year. Go ahead and fire up your Lincoln arc welder and build yourself a Christmas Tree. Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons license.

Superb Snack Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

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W L FOODS YAAHOO MOCHA SANDWICH_A SUPERB SNACK_Nikon D 70 Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr. 0020_resized

Superb Snack

 

W.L. Foods’ Yaahoo Mocha Sandwich snack is one of those snacks that you can’t eat just one. My wife, Christy Warren, brought a small bag of the snacks home after work.

Christy owns and operates the CSW Cafe at 128 Independencia Avenue in Tacloban City.

 

Christy liked the snack and thought I would. Christy is right. The Yaahoo Mocha Sandwich is one of those snacks that you can’t eat just one. It looks like a golden, crisp Ritz cracker. The taste and flavor reminds me or a graham cracker.

 

People with dentures will probably want to have a large glass of cold milk, steaming cup of tea or a hot cup of coffee to “dunk” the snack cracker in. I did the “dunk” test. In a cup of coffee, the snack does not fall apart like a doughnut has a tendency to do.

 

Parents with infants “teething” might want to consider this snack cracker for the infant to nibble on.

 

I am no food critic, but I know what I like. When I sit down at the laptop to type an article, I keep one of the snacks nearby and it is great to have one of the mocha sandwich snacks handy when you are watching a movie. I put this snack in the movie snack category with Goobers, Malted Milk Balls, Twizzlers red licorice twists and boxes of Junior Mints.

 

The international grocery wholesalers of the world should at this point be reaching for their cellphones to call the Republic of the Philippines to figure out how to get regular shipments of this snack to put on the shelves of grocery stores, supermarkets and in movie theater snack counters around the globe. Nikon D 70 Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

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Paradise’s Public Parasols Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

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ROAD TO TANAUAN CHRISTMAS SEASON 2011_DSC_6188_resized

Paradise’s Public Parasols

Miniature umbrellas line the roadside into Tanauan in this holiday photograph of Christmas 2011. Every culture has a unique way to celebrate holidays. Christmas is one of those global holidays were people and nations get creative in their decorations and observances.

 

The Republic of the Philippines holds the world record for having the longest Christmas season, which begins in October and ends in January. I noticed this year that some people waited until early February to finally take down their Christmas 2011 decorations.

 

I have not noticed if the tiny umbrellas have returned to the roadside, yet, this year, but, it is only early December and there are still plenty of days until Christmas. Photo by Samuel E, Warren Jr.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons license.

Jeepney Photos Photos by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

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Jeepeys Saturday Afternoon in Tacloban City Nikon D 70 Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.0010_resized

Jeepney Photos

 

Editors, bloggers and webmasters, if you need photographs of jeepneys for your publication, blog or website, you might want to check out my “The Samuel E. Warren Jr. I Love Jeepneys Photo Album on Picasa.

 

Jeepneys lack the debonair style of the American “muscle cars” and would never be mistaken for a foreign race car. Yet, the Philippines’ jeepneys are flexible, versatile vehicles that have the toughness of an American farm pickup, the useability of a small school bus, the reliability of a sedan and the originality of the most unique taxi cabs in the world – found only in the Philippines.

 

Internet surfers, feel free to browse the photo album to see if you can find any photos that you would like to download to use as a desktop background or to package as your own desktop theme.

 

You might want to check the photo album every few days because I like to add photos to it . . .after all,

“I Love HEART_Nikon D 70 Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr. 0008_resized Jeepneys.”

 

Sam

A1_Yamariza Jeepney on a Saturday afternoon in Tacloban City_Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.-01_resized

 

 

 

The Samuel E. Warren Jr. I Love Jeepneys Photo Album

 

https://picasaweb.google.com/115529281361827670221/TheSamuelEWarrenJrILoveJeepneysPhotoAlbum

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons license.

Photography Patrol – Young Man Sells Flowers at the Santo Nino Church in Tacloban City–Photos by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

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Photography Patrol – Young Man Sells Flowers at the Santo Nino Church in Tacloban City–Photos by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

Young Man Sells Flowers at the Santo Nino Church in Tacloban City Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr. This young man is one of two flower vendors, who offer flowers for sale, outside the Santo Nino Church in Tacloban City, Republic of the Philippines. This photo was taken Friday, April 13, 2012. Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

Photography Patrol – Lady Flower Vendor at the Santo Nino Church in Tacloban City–Photos by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

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Photography Patrol – Lady Flower Vendor at the Santo Nino Church in Tacloban City–Photos by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

Lady Flower Vendor at the Santo Nino Church Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr. This woman is one of the two flower vendors, who offers flowers for sale, outside the Santo Nino church in Tacloban City. This photo was taken Friday, April 13, 2012 – “Friday the 13th,” Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

Weekend Plans in southwest Missouri ? Summer Photo Feature

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Weekend Plans in southwest Missouri ?

Into James River

by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

Fisherman carries his catch of blue gill from the James River. “Galena, MIssouri – Float Fishing Capitol Of The World” – Before Table Rock Dam became famous for water sports, anglers came to Galena and the James River to go “float fishing” from the 1930s through the mid 1960s. In 2011, visitors and tourist still journey to the waters of the James River around Galena to canoe and kayak. Still some people bring their fishing pole and fish from a boat, one of the banks or wade out into James River. Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

One of those weeks. Everything that can go wrong – Did.

The temperatures have been through the roof – and you felt like you were sweating in the shade. How many more hours until the week end ? You can’t wait to kick your shoes off and just kick back and relax. Have you already made your plans for the weekend ?

A Chair To Relax In On A Bank Of The James River – One local landowner has the right idea. Pull up a chair and watch the canoes float by. Bring your chairs to the gravel bars of the James River and relax. But, please, leave this man’s chair alone. Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

Grocery prices seem to keep rising. And, gas prices are out of this world with no end in sight. The TV news and

Secluded Cabin on a bank of the James River at Galena. The heavy rural foilage and vegetation in and around Galena make it a paradise for people who want to get back to “The Great Outdoors.” The James River weaves in and around the countryside, which is still home to deer, raccoons, wild turkeys and foxes. The massive bluffs ov Horse Creek that look down on James River will amaze tourists and inspire photographers. Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

the news stories that show up on your computer make it seem as if the “Whole World Is Going Nuts !” Thank God for the Week end.

How many hours until the week end ?

If you are looking for an idea to relax. Consider James River. If you live in northern Arkansas or southwest Missouri, then, one way to relax and get away from the cares of the world is to kick your shoes off and wiggle your toes in the waters of James River.


Bring a fishing pole and fish off the banks of the James River or relax on one of the gravel bars and just watch children playing in the river.

Galena. Missouri is a small town of under 500 people, in southwest Missouri, near Springfield, Republic, Nixa, and Branson on the banks of the James River.

You can spend the day on the James River and should still be able to drive into Branson for an evening music show.

Sitting In The James River – Sometimes a writer and photographer has to leap into a subject with both feet. On this day, I waded into the James River and found a shallow spot to sit in the river and let the water flow around me.I also promised myself if I ever win the Missouri Lottery that I would buy one of those waterproof housings for my camera. Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

In The James River – In the Spring and Summer, there are shallow places in the river by Galena, Missouri, where you can wade into the river or relax on a gravel bar. If you pay attention to the current, you can sit in James River and lean forward with your camera and get a photograph of the water flowing under the Y Bridge. Photo by Samuel E Warren Jr.

If you have a short canoe trip in mind, then, you might consider putting in at Horse Creek, which is basically about

Man’s Best Friend Stands Guard On A Gravel Bar In James River. One pet owner brought his dog to allow the animal to be able to “dog paddle” and swim in the river. Later the dog, got comfortable and stretched out to enjoy the afternoon sun. Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

half-way between Abesville and Galena, Missouri.

Time To Shove Off – Weekends and days off, during the Spring and Summer, are times when you can put a boat, bass boat, canoe or kayak into Missouri’s James River at different points along the 130-mile waterway and enjoy a day of boating or fishing. This boat rests on a rock on a bank of the James River, near Galena, Missouri. Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

Sam

Life in the Ozarks Snapshots Feature – SUMMER DAYS ON HORSE CREEK

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Life in the Ozarks Snapshots Feature

SUMMER DAYS

ON

HORSE CREEK

by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

The far cattle gate of Warren Land is just a skip, hop and jump from Horse Creek Road , as the crow flies.

Horse Creek Road – This snapshot was taken July 9, 2011 through a car windshield. This is one of the first views you see after turning off of MIssouri State Highway 176 on to Stone County’s Horse Creek Road, which runs alongside James River. Snapshot by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

Horse Creek Road – This snapshot was taken July 9, 2011 through a car windshield. This is another of the views you see driving down Stone County’s Horse Creek Road, which runs alongside James River. Snapshot by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

Usually when someone mentions “Horse Creek,” you think of the church that holds regular religious

Horse Creek Road – This snapshot was taken July 9, 2011 through a car windshield. This is another of the views you see driving down Stone County’s Horse Creek Road, which runs alongside James River. Snapshot by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

services as well as weddings and funerals. I even took my camera and shot a wedding at the Horse Creek Church around 1986.

Visitors and tourists to Missouri sometimes have a different reason to “go down Horse Creek” : James River.

The Missouri Department of Conservation maintains the H.L. Kerr Access down on Horse Creek Road, which has a boat ramp that allows people to be able to put their boats in the James River. During the Spring and Summer, traffic passes the house and turns off the main highway to “go down Horse Creek.”

The Horse Creek Swimmin’ Hole

One of my fond memories of Horse Creek is I almost drown in Horse Creek as a child. Uncle Richard had taken, my cousin, Donna and I to Horse Creek to “go swimmin.’” It was in the early 1960s and, basically, Horse Creek was just a local “swimmin’ hole. People knew about “float fishing” on the James River, but Horse Creek didn’t have the popularity it has in 2011.

In the 1960s, the orange life vests weren’t that popular for use up and down the James River. Table Rock Dam had only been up and running a few years. Southwest Missouri had yet to become associated with water sports. Fisherman and professional anglers came to Galena to go “float fishing” or to fish for bass and catfish, but canoes and kayaks were not usually associated with the James River in and around Galena. Fishing and not boating was the allure that brought people to Galena and the James River.

Us, Stone County kids went wadin’ into the water to look for minnows and tadpoles. We, local kids called it “swimmin’, but, basically, we would sit on our backsides in a shallow spot in the river and lean forward so that our heads stuck just above the water. We’d move our arms and pretend to be swimmin’.

I hadn’t learned to swim.

Donna, really knew how to swim.

Donna and I were playing on old automobile inner tubes, near the shore. I hadn’t been paying attention to the current in James River, which had carried me farther from the shore than I needed to be.

Needless to say, I paniced! I hooted like an owl ! I screeched like a banshee ! Donna was in the water near the shore.

Uncle Richard had been “hard of hearing” since birth. I’m screaming my lungs out ! I’m scared. I’m frightened. I’m frantically waving my arms. The river current has carried me from the safety of my shallow spot. My feet aren’t touching the bottom anymore !

Donna saw me and must have thought I was fooling around in the water. She just looks at me. I’m waving my arms like a puppet with broken strings and screaming. Suddenly, she starts to slowly swim toward me.

I had gotten a whistle out of a box of Cracker Jacks, which I wore on a string necklace around my neck. I’m screaming ! I’m blowing the whistle fiercely for help. I’m bobbing around in the water like a fisherman’s busted bobber.

I go under !

I come up!

Water in my eyes blurs my vison, which only frightens me more. My hands thrust out. I slap the water ! I go down into the water again. When I come up, the toy whistle is full of water. All I’m blowing is wet air.

Donna is swimming toward me. I’m reaching out and shreiking ! I’m about six or seven years old, so I’m freaking out !

I see Uncle Richard, on the bank, at the back of the old black 1952 GMC pickup – naturally, he has his back to me. I look and Donna is swimming faster toward me. I struggle to stay afloat.

Fortunately, Donna reaches me.

I survived that day on Horse Creek in the James River.

Birthday Party At Horse Creek On James River

My childhood friend, Jack Gordon had a birthday in August. His mother, Loretta, and my mother, Opal, were friends. Thus, for a year or two Jack would have his birthday party at Horse Creek and all us kids would wade or swim in the James River.

One of the nice scenic views of Horse Creek is the massive bluffs that tower over James River at that location in the river.

People come from around the United States to “float fish” or canoe the James River. Still, as a child, I only went down Horse Creek to go swimmin’.

Horse Creek Church – This snapshot was taken July 9, 2011 through a car windshield. Stone County’s Horse Creek Road, which runs alongside James River, curves past the Horse Creek Church, which is one of the oldest churches in Stone County, Missouri. Snapshot by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

I’m sure, the Missouri Department of Conservation has rules and guidelines on safety in and around Horse Creek, which would be posted on their website.

Horse Creek Road – This snapshot was taken July 9, 2011 through a car windshield. This is another of the views you see traveling along Stone County’s Horse Creek Road, which runs alongside James River. Snapshot by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

Take the advice of a Stone County Old Timer, visit the Missouri Department of Conservation websites and their blog. Read and pay attention to the information, so when you visit Horse Creek and James River you’ll have an idea of how to go about wisely and safely enjoying your time on the river.

Horse Creek Road Trees Joplin Tornado Damage Photo 2 – This photograph was taken July 9, 2011 through a car windshield. This is another of the views you see driving down Stone County’s Horse Creek Road, which runs alongside James River. The bend in the left hand side of the road shows trees that were damaged in the thunderstorm the night that the EF-5 tornado struck Joplin, Missouri. Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

Horse Creek Road Trees Joplin Tornado Damage Photo 3 – This photograph was taken July 9, 2011 through a car windshield. The trees on the right hand side of the road in this photograph were damaged during a thunderstorm the night that the EF-5 tornado struck Joplin, Missouri. Joplin, Missouri is 78 miles from Galena, Missouri, but the thrunderstorm collapsed at least six turkey houses along Stone County’s Horse Creek Road. One person reported witnessing two funnels touchdown and pass through Abesville, Missouri, which is about four miles from Horse Creek Road. The trees damaged in this photograph reveals another location along Horse Creek Road where the violent winds of the thunderstorm made a path through the trees, Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

Horse Creek Road Trees Joplin Tornado Damage Photo 1 – This photograph was taken July 9, 2011 through a car windshield. The trees in this photograph were damaged during a thunderstorm the night that the EF-5 tornado struck Joplin, Missouri. Joplin, Missouri is 78 miles from Galena, Missouri, but the thrunderstorm collapsed at least six turkey houses along Stone County’s Horse Creek Road. One person reported witnessing two funnels touchdown and pass through Abesville, Missouri, which is about four miles from Horse Creek Road. The trees in this photograph reveal the brutal violence of the thunderstorm that spawned the EF-5 tornado that struck Joplin, Missouri. The force of the winds that past through Stone County that evening twisted, snapped and even peeled some of the bark from these trees on Horse Creek Road. Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

Today, when I stroll over across the road into the cattle pastures of Warren Land, my farm dog, “Sarge”, sometimes likes to chase squirrels, raccoons and groundhogs through the cedar trees to near Thelma Clines old homeplace. Then, Sarge, dashes further into the woods to take a dip in the hidden cattle pond in the holler. I keep strolling through the pasture and Sarge knows that I’ll be waiting in the far cattle pasture by the end gate.

Horse Creek Road – This snapshot was taken July 9, 2011 through a car windshield. This is another of the views you see driving down Stone County’s Horse Creek Road, which runs alongside James River. Snapshot by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

At this gate, I can lean over the gate and watch vacation traffic round the curve and slow down to look for the turn off to Horse Creek.

Horse Creek Church – This snapshot was taken July 9, 2011 through a car window.. Stone County’s Horse Creek Road, which runs alongside James River, curves past the Horse Creek Church, which is one of the oldest churches in Stone County, Missouri. Snapshot by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

In 2011, I can stand at the gate and watch the large recreational vehicles slow down to look for the county road turn off, Fancy dual wheel “babe magnet” pickups, pull their shiny, expensive bass boats, but, they too, slow down to look for the turn off. The brake lights come on and I know the vehicles are making the turn to “go down” Horse Creek to James River.

I pat Sarge on her head. “Time to head to the house, Sarge. Those people are going fishing on Horse Creek.”

Horse Creek Church – This snapshot was taken July 9, 2011 through a car windshield. Stone County’s Horse Creek Road, which runs alongside James River, curves past the Horse Creek Church, which is one of the oldest churches in Stone County, Missouri. Snapshot by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

Sam

Right or Left ? Stone County’s Horse Creek Road merges into Missouri State Highway 176. If you turn left on to the state highway you will pass through Abesville, Missouri. If you turn right on to the state highway you will drive over James River and pass by Galena, Missouri. Snapshot by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

HORSE CREEK – JAMES RIVER – LINKS

Horse Creek Road – Missouri Department of Conservation H.L. Kerr Access http://mdc4.mdc.mo.gov/Applications/MOATLAS/AreaSummaryPage.aspx?txtAreaID=6413

Hootentown – H.L. Kerr Access http://hootentown.wordpress.com/kerr/

Missouri Department of Conservation Fishing Prospects http://extra.mdc.mo.gov/fish/prospects/?m=14

Missouri Department of Conservation Missouri Watersheds http://mdc.mo.gov/landwater-care/stream-and-watershed-management/missouri-watersheds

Missouri Department of Conservation: Missouri Outdoors http://missourioutdoors.blogspot.com/2011/04/missouri-department-of-conservation_14.html

James River Basin Partnership http://www.jamesriverbasin.com/

Galena Y Bridge – Table Rock Lake Vacation Guide http://www.gotablerocklake.com/table-rock-lake/galena-y-bridge/galena-y-bridge.html

Southwest Missouri Conservation Areas List http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Missouri_conservation_areas_-_Southwest_region

Summer Photo Feature – Wade The Water – of James River

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Saturday Afternoon on the James River – July 9, 2011

Wade The Water

by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

Scrunch your toes in the smooth rocks and cool waters of the James River. I did. Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

The cool waters of the James River flows past Galena, Missouri. The automobile traffic over the new bridge ignores the consistent river unless she rises out of her banks and threatens flooding.

Saturday afternoon on a gravel bar in the James River, near Galena, Missouri. Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

In Spring and Summer, the James River offers people the opportunity to take their shoes off and wade into the cool waters of the river on a hot July afternoon. 

Saturday Afternoon on a gravel bar under the Y Bridge on a bank of the James River, below Galena, Missouri. Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.


People can sit in lawn chairs on the gravel bars or float the river in canoes and kayaks.

Missouri’s James River flows the 130 miles from Webster, Greene and Christian Counties into Stone County.

James River flows under and around the Y Bridge, which leads into Galena, Missouri. Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

Horse Creek, between Abesville and Galena, Missouri, is an a less public spot to enjoy an afternoon on the James River.  Horse Creek was one of my favorite “swimming holes” in my youth and the large rock bluffs above James River are an obvious reminder that you are in Stone County.

The new bridge past Galena, Missouri, spans across the 130-mile long James River, which flows through Webster, Greene, Christian and Stone Counties in southwest Missouri. In the 1940s and 1960s, Galena, Missouri boasted the title of “Float Fishing Capitol of the World” and anglers came to Galena, Missouri to fish the waters of James River for small mouth bass. Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

Beneath the City of Galena, James River provides a constant, consistent source of entertainment for a lazy summer afternoon.

A view of the James River Outfitter’s Campground from a bank of the James River. Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

Kick your shoes off and wiggle your toes in the James River. I did.

Relax on a gravel bar by the new bridge on the James River by Galena, Missouri. Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.


James River in Missouri Websites

Fun on a gravel bar by the new bridge on the James River, near Galena, Missouri. Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

Missouri Department of Conservation James River http://www.missouricanoe.org/river-maps/jamesfinley.html 

Searching through a canoe on the banks of the James River. “Where did I put that fishing pole ?” Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.


James River Outfitters http://www.jamesriveroutfitters.com/

The James River flows under the new bridge, which leads traffic past the small Ozarks’ town of Galena, Missouri, in southwest Missouri. Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

                                                                                              

Wikipedia James River in Missouri http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_River_%28Missouri%29   

Paddle a canoe on the James River. Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.


Paddling canoes on the James River heads to a landing on a bank, near Galena, Missouri. Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

Paddling canoes on the James River head for the shore, near Galena, Missouri. Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

My Recollection of Old Spanish Cave

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My Recollection

of

Old Spanish Cave

by Junior Warren

Tales of the Spanish Conquistadors making their way through Stone County, Missouri. They carried treasure chests of gold doubloons and rare jewels. This childhood folk tale has a real physical location: The Old Spanish Cave, near Reeds Spring, in Stone County, Missouri.

Old Spanish Cave is NOT an urban legend or Ozarks folklore.

The treasure of Old Spanish Cave ? Will have to be found to be proven.

Childhood Visit

I visited the cave as a child in the 1960s.

I was in the 3rd, 4th or 5th grade at Abesville Elementary. Thus, the years would have been 1964, 1965 or 1966.

My mother, Opal M. DeLong Warren, a farmer, and I went one afternoon to visit the man, who happily mentioned that the land he owned had a cave. As I remember the events, it seems the previous owner had told him about the cave, but had apparently never had any intention of opening the cave to the public.

My mother had went to see the couple about some farming matter and the cave owner brought up the topic of his new cave.

Southwest Missouri’s Famous Caves

At the time, southwest Missouri’s Famous Caves totaled two: Fantastic Caverns, near Springfield, Missouri. Fantastic Caverns gained fame with their ride through jeep tours of this amazing cave.

http://www.fantasticcaverns.com/

Silver Dollar City had only been up and running as a tourist attraction for a few years. Marvel Cave, which for a time was known as “Talking Rocks,” near Silver Dollar City, was beginning to attract visitors and became the other major southwest Missouri cave that attracted bus loads of tourists each year. (For information on Silver Dollar City visit the website http://www.silverdollarcity.com/ and to find data on Marvel Cave, check out Wikipedia’s article on Stone County, Missouri’s famous Marvel Cave http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marvel_Cave )

Branson, Missouri had the Baldknobbers musicians and there was talk that people like Buck Owens and Roy Clark might open music theaters in Branson. It was the early -1960s and Taney County’s business optimism was leaking across the county line into Stone County.

Suspicious Stone County Folk Tales

Stone County, Missouri has a wealth of folklore. When I was a child there was the tale that famous Spanish explorer, Ponce de Leon journey through southwest Missouri, in search of the Fountain of Youth and thus, Ponce de Leon, Missouri was named in his honor.

There was also the tale that Abraham Lincoln had once journeyed through southwest Missouri. Thus, Abesville, Missouri was named in Lincoln’s honor.

As a child, Old Spanish Cave and the tale of the vanishing conquistadors was told like the Ponce de Leon and Abesville tales – but, Old Spanish Cave had a real physical location to back up it’s story.

Coming Tourist Attraction ?

The man, who talked to us about his cave, mentioned his desire to try and open the cave to the public. The story, we were told is, essentially that Spanish conquistadors took refuge in the cave either from the weather or Native Americans. The story claimed the conquistadors had either one or three treasure chests of coins or jewels.

Mystery takes over and at that point, it seemed people weren’t certain what happened to the soldiers or their wealth. Naturally, Old Spanish Cave was the last supposedly confirmed sighting of the soldiers and the treasure. Folklore suggests that either the soldiers buried the wealth and never came back for it or left the wealth there with the intention to return.

Although it was late in the afternoon, my mother and I did have the opportunity to step inside Old Spanish Cave. There was no grand public entrance. Literally, it was a rough arch shape opening in the side of a rock hillside. To a farmer walking by, the opening would of looked just like a large hole at the base of a moss covered limestone cliff.

There was a small black yard gate at the entrance that the owner used to keep trespassers out. Traditionally, Stone County farmers usually didn’t talk about caves on their property to keep out trespassers and fortune hunters as well as not having to worry about liability issues of someone roaming around their property and falling into a cave by accident.

Unlike southwest Missouri’s famous caves, at this point, in the 1960s, the cave had not been as thoroughly explored or developed. There was still some sunlight, so the owner, momma and I stepped inside the first chamber.

Inside Old Spanish Cave in the 1960s

About 10 feet inside the opening there was a nice deep hole. When you are eight, nine or ten years old a 10 foot hole can look like it is 100 feet deep. My “knee high to a grasshopper “ mind measured the hole at about 20 to 30 feet across and probably about 10 to 20 feet deep – keep in mind – these were the measurements of an excited grade school kid looking down into a really deep hole, with the story of Spanish Conquistadors hiding their doubloons away in the Missouri hills.

I remember to the left of the massive hole in that center chamber was a pool of water about three feet wide and probably about two feet deep. The pool of water, supposedly kept the relative cool temperature throughout the year.

There were some tool shaped pieces of wood that could be seen in the bottom of the big hole, which could suggest someone might have at one time been digging in the cave.

My mother and I only went into the first chamber, while the landowner serving as the proud tour guide told us the story about the cave and explained that he had hopes to explore and open all the cave to the public. The entrance and chamber of the cave, actually seemed spacious. It had no lights, so the setting sun served as the persistent indicator that our time would be limited to look around the cave.

Missouri The Cave State”

Treasure hunters surfing the web and trying to find the location of Old Spanish Cave will be confused by other reported or suspected locations of this cave. One possible reason for the confusion on the location of the cave could come from the amount of caves in Missouri.

Around the late 1960s one of the popular tourism slogans stated: “Missouri The Cave State.” Growing up in Stone County I knew several kids and landowners who mentioned that they had caves on their property. Supposedly the entrances of some caves were wide enough you could easily walk into, while others were holes in the ground that a small dog would have problems going into or out of.

I remember Old Spanish Cave, was on private land, near Reeds Spring. The cave is near the Coon Ridge Coffee Shop before you reach a sign for the city limits to the City of Reeds Spring, as I remember.

Old Spanish Cave – A Tourist Attraction ?

In looking through my Galena Bears yearbooks from 1962 through 1976, I found there were advertisements for Old Spanish Cave for the years 1969, 1971 and 1972, which suggests the cave was open for a time to the public.

Photograph of the Old Spanish Cave ad in the 1969 Galena Bears yearbook

I found stories on Ancestry.com by people that also recount visits to the legendary southwest Missouri cave.

Could there be gold doubloons and Spanish jewels in Old Spanish Cave ?

The end of this tale will have to wait until some adventurous treasure hunter gets permission to venture inside the earth and see what lies hidden in the regions of Old Spanish Cave.

Me, I love to think the forgotten conquistadors are resting comfortably alongside their full treasure chest in the seclusion of Old Spanish Cave.

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