Dalbom straightens and watches it for a moment.
“That’s Stella: ‘Where eagles soar’,” he said.
It’s not the first time he’s mentioned the slogan on this day, having used it to punctuate his guided walking tour of the village, population 158.
Each January they are what draw to this dot on the map about 1,500 people hoping for a chance to view them through their binoculars or come away with a prize-winning photograph of the national symbol.
But the eagles don’t stay, nor do the people.
Dalbom, 82, and his wife, Doris, who is “a little younger,” have long had dreams of changing that.
“A new city hall. Wouldn’t that be great?
I hope it happens before I die.”
Stella is a village in Newton County located about 17 miles southeast of Neosho.
The population was 158 at the 2010 census. The town is known for the number of eagles that overwinter in the area.
It's Saturday night in a town whose population wouldn’t even fill a small elementary school most nights.
But on this night, stand by either of the two city limit signs and you'll see a line of car headlights approaching on Missouri Highway 171, dotting the darkness as they pass farm fields to the north and the south of town.
A year ago, their drivers would have hit the city limits and spent exactly 24 seconds in Asbury, a dot on the map between Joplin and Pittsburg, Kan.
Tonight, some of the cars slow to a stop.
They'll stay awhile, eating food, spending money, being entertained. They have come to Cowboy Bob's.
"It's a little magnet in the middle of nowhere," said Becky Peavler, who signed on as a server at Cowboy Bob's in October, as she prepares for the onslaught of diners.
The restaurant, which in May will celebrate a year in business, is the first restaurant to open in Asbury in many years — at least seven, when the now closed Stewart's Café across the street opened. Before that, no one can recall.
"I'd say it's unusual for something new to open in a town this size," Peavler said.
Asbury is in Jasper County, located 15 miles north of Joplin and 15 miles south of Pittsburg, Kan.
The town's school, which closed in the late 1980s, got new life in 2008 when current Mayor Benny Brown purchased it and renovated it for use as his home.