The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

March 17, 2013

Jo Ellis: Forecast calls for warm chili, hot rods

By Jo Ellis

CARTHAGE, Mo. — Don’t let some recent balmy days lull you into thinking that spring is just around the corner. Well, it is, in a couple of days actually.

That doesn’t mean that we won’t have any more cold weather. The kind of weather that calls for chili cooking and chili eating. The forecast for this coming Saturday calls for temperatures in the low 40s and possibly even a bit of snow.

Sounds like perfect weather for the first Lowe’s Show Strength Chili Cook-off and Car and Truck Show, which is set for — you guessed it — this Saturday at the Lowe’s store in Carthage.

The combined events are a benefit for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Registration will take place on the day of the show.

Mike Highley, who is coordinating the events for Lowe’s, said amateurs and professionals are invited to participate in the cook-off. They may bring their chili already prepared, and there will be plenty of plug-ins for their crockpots.

In addition to the chili entries, there will be pulled pork sandwiches and soft drinks, which will sell for a donation of $5, with a portion of the donation going to the MDA.

The entry fee is $15 for each event. First-, second- and third-place awards will be made in each event, plus a special award for best of show. Goody bags, door prizes and more are an added incentive.

Highley, who has organized car shows since 1990, said the events will be held from 9 a.m. to about 3 p.m., when awards will be presented. When I talked with him last week, he said he already had more than 60 car and truck entries.

Saturday really is “car day” in Carthage. Right after the close of the Lowe’s show, many of the vehicles will convoy on down to the Carthage square to participate in the first cruise night of the year.

Vintage Rods, a 40-year car club, is putting on the event from 3 to 6 p.m. Club member Betty Saferite said the cruise is open to everyone, and the club welcomes new participants. “Come and visit,” she said. “It’s just a way to get our fliers out for the summer shows so everyone will know what’s going on.” The club’s annual car show is scheduled for the third Saturday in May.

A reminder: A few weeks ago, I wrote about a new cafe in town, Rumor Has It, which at the time was open only for lunch. Lee and Lilly Carlson are now serving dinner from 5 to 8 p.m. every Thursday and Friday.

The lunch menu starts at 11 a.m., but if you drop around earlier, you can get a cup of coffee and choose from an assortment of pastries.

ADDRESS CORRESPONDENCE to Jo Ellis, c/o The Joplin Globe, Box 7, Joplin, MO 64802 or email