The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO


May 18, 2013

Dablemont: Thanks for letters, cards, condolences

I feel guilty at times being unable to answer all the letters and emails we get from those of you who read this column.

There are just too many to answer properly, and I am not going to send out some pre-arranged universal message to everyone. So I will use this column to thank all of you who sent cards and condolences on the loss of my mother and my Uncle Norten and my uncle Roy McNew, all of whom died within just a couple of weeks of each other. It is great to know that so many people read this column and care that much. From my heart, thanks to you all.

There are also notes and messages about other things, and I can’t answer the bulk of them because I just don’t have the time. Putting out our magazine, The Lightnin’ Ridge Outdoor Journal, is a major job, and because of that, I have not been able to finish several books I have started. That should change now, as I have hired another employee, Mrs. Kathy Pirtle, from over around Stockton, Mo., who will be helping with many things I can’t keep up with. Kathy will mainly be in charge of advertising in our magazine and on my radio program. She will also help me respond to folks who contact us through the mail and via computer.

Most of you know I am not very computer savvy, nor do I want to be. I want to spend my time outdoors if possible, and I hate sitting behind a desk unless I am writing. So I have started but not finished several more books, and I intend, now that I have Kathy working for me, to publish at least two of those books by fall and possibly three. If I succeed that will give me a total of 10. Kathy will arrange and keep track of the festivals we attend and speaking engagements. I speak at various places where groups want to hear about the outdoors in a humorous or nostalgic way, and to tell the truth, I have a hard time remembering where I am suppose to be and when.

Kathy will also be helping to set up new websites, one of them for the conservation group that we started years ago called Common Sense Conservation. We have a hard time keeping everyone scattered across the Ozarks informed about this organization, and I believe we have to have a website where Missourians can discuss the Missouri Department of Conservation and what it is doing.

Sometime before fall gets here, Kathy will organize another big dinner for all of our Common Sense Conservation members and get started making this a viable and strong organization, working for desirable change in the MDC.

Kathy will also work with people who want to try to write their own book and have it published through the Lightnin’ Ridge Publishing Company we started a few years ago. Sondra Gray, our company’s editor for the past four years, and Dorothy Loges, who does all layout and design for my books and magazines and has been working with us for 10 years, will both continue to do what they do so well.

We now have more than 30 newspapers using this column, and I never realized when we started how much of an enterprise this would become. But what I like most is having the opportunity to show a side of the outdoors to people they have never seen, and communicating with good country people who I get to meet at swap meets and speaking engagements, and through the mail. I may not get to answer your letters and emails, but I read them all.

 Fishing Report

The crappie are just starting to spawn in many Ozark reservoirs, very late.

White bass are running much later than I have ever seen them.

Yellow suckers and Black Buffalo are just starting to shoal in waters that I fish, and folks, as hard as this is to believe, mushrooms are still popping up in numbers greater than I have ever seen. My hunting and fishing partner, Rich Abdoler says that up the Osage River last Saturday he found 183 nice big fresh morels, all in cedar glades up high on the hillsides.

    Help Wanted

I would like to enlist the help of some canoeists who would help me clean up a section of the Pomme de Terre River in a couple of weeks.

The stream, when it receives enough rain, is a pretty little river with bluffs and caves and fish and furbearers and birds, something this area 30 miles north of Springfield should be proud of. But it is the most trashed, littered river I have ever seen in the Ozarks, and folks, I have floated them all! None compare to this.

It seems to be that a family or families use the bridges on the upper Pomme to throw their trash in the stream. It is just unbelievable. If a major attempt to catch those folks was made, with just a little effort it could be stopped, but in this region, for some reason, folks do not seem to recognize the value of this stream and what it could do for the community if it were given the credit it deserves.

Honestly, I find I cannot take a photo of any section of the stream without getting tattered white trash bags in the photo, and it appears that one family may be creating its own landfill right on the banks of the river down below Highway 32, complete with bulldozers and roads.

I am hoping that some groups like the Ozark Paddlers Club and the Missouri Smallmouth Alliance might join me in a day of floating and cleaning up the stream. I have spent my whole life on Ozark rivers, and I’ll bet we can stop at some spots and you can learn a great deal about rivers and the wildlife along it. I can also teach you in very short order how to paddle a canoe from one side all day long so you can ease quietly down the river in a straight course without having to switch sides constantly to straighten your canoe.  

I am going to need help with this project, but I hope it will call attention to this river and its value and the awful load of trash it gets from some very uncaring people who do not have much of a life, or common values.

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