The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

April 22, 2012

Jo Ellis: Historic preservation never lost on Carthage

CARTHAGE, Mo. — May is Historic Preservation Month, and Carthage Historic Preservation will hold its annual observation of Derby Day on Saturday, May 5.

Hours are 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the historic Phelps House, 1146 Grand Ave.

The organization has held its annual membership drive on Derby Day the past several years, recognizing that Churchill Downs, the site of the Kentucky Derby, was built in 1895, the same year that the Phelps House and the Jasper County Courthouse were built.

The theme fits well with the group’s credo that historic preservation is a race against time and indifference, a race that never ends, said member Judy Goff.

A brunch, featuring smoked ham, angel biscuits, baked French toast, fruit, juices and coffee, will be served from 10 a.m. to noon.

“We will have 1895-style games, croquet and bocce on the lawn, checkers and Parcheesi on the porch,” Goff said. “We will wrap a Maypole and admire those wearing Derby hats. Attire of the 1895 style is encouraged and appreciated, but not required.”

The evening of May 5 will mark the opening of an exhibit at artCentral featuring the impressionistic oil paintings of John Lasater, of Siloam Springs, Ark. The public may attend.

Lasater has titled his show “Ordinary Beauty.” It highlights the rural landscapes, people, animals and the simple subjects of nature that he knows in Northwest Arkansas. His work is primarily in plein-air venues, reflecting the light and conditions at the time of the painting.

A former professional art designer, illustrator and art director, he is now a full-time artist. He has won multiple awards in national shows and outdoor painting exhibitions. He co-founded the Heart of America Artists Association, which holds annual painting events in the Midwest.

The opening reception will be at 6 p.m. that Saturday. Sally Armstrong, artCentral director, noted that the Saturday reception is a departure from the gallery’s usual reception events, which normally are held on Fridays.

Two veteran actors (and directors) will star in Stone’s Throw Dinner Theatre’s next production, “Kitchen Witches.” Betty Bell and Betsy Fleischaker take wooden spoons and rolling pins in hand in their portrayal of two rival cooking show hosts on a local television station.

They are joined by Doug Dickey and Daniel Burkett as the director/producer and cameraman who mainly just try to stay out of their way. The strong-willed women’s bickering, arising from 30 years of shared history (including one shared man), builds to a funny second act as their sarcastic verbal exchanges turn into a full-fledged food fight.

Bill Welsh directs this production, which opens Thursday, May 10, and runs through May 13. It repeats the following weekend, May 18-20. Both the matinee and the evening performance on Sunday, May 13, will be special Mother’s Day events. Reservations: 417-358-9665.

Kudos to Boy Scout Troop 9 and Scoutmaster Doug Lown for the work they did Saturday, April 14, improving the looks of Kellogg Lake Park. Despite heavy rains, they managed to scrape and freshly paint most of the posts and cables in the park, paint the old pavilion, and clean out an overgrown flower bed. The project is under the guidance of George Schramm, who has undertaken the work to earn his Eagle Scout badge. Several of the 25 members of Troop 9 helped Schramm with the work. Thanks to all Scouts and adults who participated.

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

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