September 8, 2005

John Cook Completes Motorcycle Tour de Capitals

It took the Memphis motorcycle enthusiast approximately two years to travel by bike to 49 of the United States state capitals, lacking only a motorcycle boat to get to Hawaii.

Lance Armstrong has made the Tour de France famous. A bike tour of a different variety has gained a Memphis man some notoriety of his own.

Its not like John Cook needs his love of motorcycles to make him known in this community. John and his wife Maxine have owned and operated Cooks Mens Store, a well-known western apparel store for 40 years.

But those in the community that didnt encounter John in the store or via his various other community service projects such as Rotary, surely saw the man riding his motorcycle in the parades.

He wasnt showing off. John simply found the love of riding and is more than willing to take advantage of just about any excuse to fire up his ride and head down the road.

Cook blames his love of riding on the fact that he started so late in life. John was 40 years old before he owned his first ride.

I just finally got exposed to the sport then, he said. I had a pretty large group of friends who all had motorcycles at this time and they all kept coming by and trying to get me revved up.

So John finally took the plunge. But it was a relatively small leap, as he shelled out $50 bucks to buy a small size 50 motorcycle.

He rode that for a couple of weeks and was hooked. The industry reeled in their newest catch, as Cook began upgrading, moving up to a 100 c.c. engine, then on to a 125, a 175, a 350, a 550, a 1000, a 1100 and then his 1200 10th Anniversary American Gold Wing.

Its just like any other hobby, fishing, hunting, golfing Cook said. We all have our interests, and for me its definitely riding a motorcycle.

In 1974 he started touring on his 550 Honda, traveling with his brother Charles to Arkansas, Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Colorado. They even traveled to the little known town of Sturgis, South Dakota where Cook joined with some 5,000 other motorcycle enthusiasts. Last year, the 63rd annual Sturgis rally drew nearly half a million bikers.

John enjoyed the sport so much he decided to share the fun with Maxine. Together the couple rode across the United States, Canada and even in Mexico.

The riding around all over our great country, thats simply the best, John said. We have seen some many different places thanks to riding, yet we are so thankful that we still live in the best part. Still, I love to ride.

Cook doesnt use the term love, loosely when he refers to riding his motorcycle. How else could one explain a man celebrating his 65th birthday by departing on a two-year quest to ride his bike to all of the state capitals in the United States?

The marathon began innocently enough back in 1998. On May 17, John departed from Memphis heading west. His first stop was Topeka, KS. He went on to Oklahoma City. Stop two on the 49 capital tour was made more memorable by his viewing of the bombed-out Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building.

While the site of the terrorist bombing dampened Cooks spirits some, he was reinvigorated by what he called the beautiful scenery on the road to Santa Fe, NM. Phoenix, AZ, was the next stop before John departed on one of the longest rides of his adventure, the 1,020 miles to Austin, TX.

That ride was hard on me, Cook said. It was kind of funny because it bugged me, until I finally told myself that it was a thousand miles, and I really didnt have to do it all in one day.

Between Texas and Louisianna, John experienced his first setback. He miscalculated on his fuel, and actually ran out of gasoline. Fortunately he was rescued by a passerby.

A nice young man stopped and brought me some gas, Cook said. We got to talking, and the fellow related what his father had told him, that anytime you go someplace new, you always learn something. Thats stuck with me on my trips.

Refueled, Cook pressed on to Baton Rouge and then turned north for the return trip, stopping in Little Rock, AR, before hitting Jefferson City, MO.

It was in his own state capital that Cook came across the book that became his guide on the quest. He was visiting with the folks in the souvenir shop, when one pointed out a book, The Capitals of the United States. John purchased a copy, which highlighted each states capital building. Now the book includes Johns own additions, as it has become somewhat of a scrapbook with photos taken by Cook at each of his stops.

On May 25, Johns 1500 Honda crossed the city limits of Memphis. In eight and a half days he had ridden 4,302 miles and visited nine state capitals on stage one of his tour.

After his visit to the southwest, John next mapped out the second leg of his journey, this time heading northeast.

On June 21, Cook departed from Memphis heading east. Springfield, IL was the first stop. Then it was on to Indianapolis, IN, followed by Columbus, OH. Cook made a pit stop in Brookville, PA, where he stayed at a friends home. He resumed the quest as he made it to Harrisburg before journeying into our nations capital, Washington, D.C.

That was definitely a challenge because of the road designs, Cook said. Its shaped like a wagon wheel with all kinds of one-way streets. But still I got to see all the national monuments and all of the history.

The history lesson continued as John made his way to Annapolis, MD, the site of the oldest state capital in the U.S., Dover, DE and Trenton, NJ, were two more stops as Cook said he found himself amazed that he was wandering among buildings with such history, like in Maryland, where George Washington had actually resigned his post as Commander and Chief of the Continental army back in 1783. He marveled at the four towers of marble and granite that comprised the Hartford, CT, capital building.

After hitting Providence, RI, and Boston, MA, John finally began to ride out of the urban sprawl of the east coast. He still couldnt avoid the crowds though, as his misfortunate timing placed him in Concord, New Hampshire at the same time as a big NASCAR race, making it impossible to find a hotel room.

John continued north and hit Augusta, ME, and then stopped at Montpelier Vermont.

This was the only one of the 49 state capitals that I didnt either walk around or ride around, Cook said. I couldnt, because the building is actually built into the side of a mountain.

From there the journey turned to Albany, NY, before John headed to Buffalo, NY, and got to see Niagara Falls. He continued through Canada on a straight line for Lansing, MI. He then turned back south and traveled through Chicago on the return to Memphis where he arrived July 3.

The East Coast was amazing with its history, its huge ports and giant ships, Cook said. The ocean and the mountains made it a very nice trip that I would have enjoyed much more without my mishap in Pennsylvania.

An accident in the Keystone state left Cook with broken ribs, making the last 3,000 miles of the ride a little uncomfortable.

Still he completed the 12-day trek, covering 3,967 miles and 15 more state capitals.

Leg three of the five-stage trip started August 2 when Cook again departed Memphis, this time heading north to Des Moines, IA. He learned a little about politics in the gold-domed capital building where an engraved sign reads Nothing is politically correct that is morally wrong.

The northern tour went on to Madison, WI, and St. Paul, MN. Bismark, ND, presented an enjoyable ride across the northern plains. Cook admired the capital building as he approached the city, noting it is the tallest of all state capitals, standing 19 stories tall.

Cook was able to admire the length of the Missouri River as he paralleled the massive body of water on his way to Pierre, SD. Of course, it was August, so John made a detour to Sturgis to check out the biker rally before heading on to Lincoln, NE.

Cook covered 2,402 miles on the five-day excursion and will tell you that the midwest ride is definitely his favorite.

Stage four was the most ambitious thus far. Cook took off April 19, 1999 and headed southeast for what would be more than 4,000 miles on his motorcycle.

Nashville, TN, was stop #1 followed by Atlanta, GA, and Montgomery, AL.

Cook got to view two state capitals in Tallahassee, as Florida not only has a new modern building but also maintains the original capital building, restored to its original condition.

A strong desire to see Key West sent Cook on a detour across Alligator Alley and down the states west coast to his farthest southern stop. He returned up the east coast and on to Savannah, GA and then Columbia, SC. Here Cook saw the brass markers that represented canon shells that had hit the building during the Civil War.

Raleigh, NC, and Richmond, VA, had Cook two more stops closer to his goal.

But the cyclist found his trip soured by a call from home. He received word that his mother had passed away. That cut short his visit with friends in Lynchburg, VA, as he jumped on his bike that evening and rode until he had to stop for sleep. He made it back through Charleston, WV and Frankfurt, KY, before getting back home May 26. He covered 4,158 miles in eight days.

But that proved to be nothing compared to the final leg of the quest. A week later, John and a friend, Jerry Speer, departed Memphis to hit the remaining spots in the northwest.

Cook questioned if he was not getting a little soft as the first day on the road the duo hit rain. It was not the only roadblock Mother Nature would provide.

They made it to Cheyenne, WY, but hit a huge windstorm that nearly blew them off course on the way to Boise, ID. It turned cold as they crossed the narrow mountain roads en route to Helena, MT.

They kept going north, crossing into Canada on the way to Alaska. They headed for Calgary, riding along the Columbia Ice Field.

They took a break at Pink Mountain and awoke from a nights sleep at a motel to 18 inches of snow. They were stalled for nearly three days by more than 20 inches of snow.

They made up for the layover with a hard day of riding.

When we pulled into the motel, I was cleaning bugs off my windshield and kept wondering why I was so tired, Then I looked at my watch and saw it was 10:30 p.m., but the sun was still up. Thats the first time Ive ever went to bed with the sun still up.

The two bikers finally made it to Juneau, AK, and then turned around and headed back to the good old USA.

It was kind of interesting as I was sitting there in Alaska to stop and think, just a month or so before that I had been all the way across the nation down in the Florida Keys, Cook said.

The next stop was Olympia, WA, before hitting Salem, OR, and Sacramento, CA. Carson City, NV, and Salt Lake City, UT, were stops 47 and 48 before the final destination of Denver, CO. was reached.

Twenty days later the two men returned home after covering more than 7,700 miles on their motorcycles.

I always get asked, which one is the prettiest, Cook said. Well, thats sort of like judging a queen contest, I mean you just cant pick one over another as they are all so amazing.

Regardless of all of his stops on the 59-day, 23,000 miles adventure, Cook never had any doubt what his favorite sight was.

I saw so many beautiful things on my trips, but none compares to getting that first look at home when you finally get back, he said.

With his obvious love for home, one might wonder why Cook undertook the massive trip.

It was a challenge- and I won, Cook said. As a kid, I always wished my horse could have wings so that I could ride every place. On the highway, I realized God had given me my Gold Wing very humbling.

Special 100-Year Homecoming Services This Weekend at First Christian Church

The Memphis First Christian Church will be hosting Homecoming Services to celebrate the completion of the current church building (located on corner of Jones and Main Streets) which was completed in 1916.  The celebration will take place this weekend –  September 30- October 1-2, 2016.

Phillip Gore and Tim Hawkins former ministers of the Memphis First Christian Church will be the speakers for the Sunday, October 2, morning worship service, and former Memphis resident Terry Rush will speak at the closing service on Sunday afternoon.  Following the morning service, there will be a luncheon served.

There will also be services on Friday, September 30, beginning at 7:00 with a “Linger Longer” fellowship time after the service.  On Saturday, October 1, there will be a barbecue at 5:00 with services beginning at 6:30.

Special music for the services will be provided by the Gateway Singers and Paul Burton and Mercy’s Bridge Band, a country gospel group.  The Planning Committee for the Church Homecoming Celebration will share historical information about First Christian Church as part of the three special services.

Members of the community are cordially invited to attend all of the services and meals for the celebration.

Mayor Reckenberg Proclaims Constitution Week, Sept. 17 – 23, 2016 in Memphis

Memphis Mayor William Reckenberg was joined by members of the Jauflione Chapter of the NSDAR to sign a proclamation declaring Constitution Week in Memphis.

Memphis Mayor William Reckenberg was joined by members of the Jauflione Chapter of the NSDAR to sign a proclamation declaring Constitution Week in Memphis.

On Friday, September 23, 2016, Mayor William Reckenberg signed and issued a proclamation announcing September 17 through 23, 2016 to be Constitution Week in Memphis, and asks our citizens to reaffirm the ideals the Framers of the Constitution had in 1787.

The Proclamation reads as follows:

Whereas, September 17, 2016 marks the two hundred and twenty-ninth anniversary of the drafting of the Constitution of the United States of America by the Constitutional Convention; and

Whereas, it is fitting and proper to officially recognize this magnificent document and the anniversary of its creation; and

Whereas, it is fitting and proper to officially recognize the patriotic celebrations which will commemorate the occasion; and

Whereas, public law 915 guarantees the issuing of a proclamation each year by the President of the United States of America designation September 17 through 23 as Constitution Week;

NOW THEREFORE, I, William Reckenberg, by virtue of the authority vested in me as Mayor of the City of Memphis in the County of Scotland do hereby proclaim September 17 through 23, 2016 as CONSTITUTION WEEK and ask our citizens to reaffirm the ideals the Framers of the Constitution had in 1787 by vigilantly protecting the freedoms guaranteed to us through this guardian of our liberties, remembering that lost rights may never be regained.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of Memphis to be affixed this twenty-third day of September in the year of our Lord two thousand sixteen.

The United States Constitution stands as a testament to the tenacity of Americans throughout history to maintain their liberties and freedoms and to ensure those unalienable rights to every American.

In 1955 the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) petitioned the Federal Government to dedicate September 17-23 as Constitution Week.  Congress adopted the resolution and on August 2, 1956, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed it into Public Law 915.  DAR Chapters have been observing Constitution Week various ways since then.  The local Chapter, Jauflione, places a display in a store window to remind the public of the Constitution and its significance to our way of life.  The city Mayor also issues a proclamation declaring Constitution Week.  This is an annual reminder of the inalienable rights the Constitution affords all Americans.

The aims of the celebration are to:  (1) Emphasize citizen’s responsibilities for protecting and defending the Constitution, (2) Inform people that the Constitution is the basis for American’s great heritage and the foundation for our way of life and (3) To encourage the study of the historical events which led to the framing of the Constitution in September 1787.

Written in 1787, the Constitution was signed September 17th.  But it wasn’t until 1788 that it was ratified by the necessary nine states.

The Constitution is a living document, being amended 27 times.  Of the written national constitutions, the U.S. Constitution is the oldest and shortest.

Jauflione Chapter, NSDAR helps keep alive the memory of the men and women who secured the Nation’s independence, whose bravery and sacrifice made possible the liberties Americans enjoy today.

Scotland County Speedway to Host Memphis Bottom Heavy Fall Special This Weekend

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With a special payout schedule making it more profitable for all drivers and a pleasant weather forecast, the Scotland County Speedway should be rocking this weekend for the Memphis Bottom Heavy Fall Special races to be held Friday, September 30th and Saturday October 1st.

“We have received an overwhelming amount of calls and messages on this show from people who have never raced in Memphis,” said promoter Mike Van Genderen. “As a race track, we never know how many cars will show up, but with the amount of calls we have a good chance of getting a great field of cars. Memphis usually gets around 30 cars in most classes.”

If the fields swell to 40 cars or more, the modified, stock cars and sportmods would all pay $2,000 to win.

Van Genderen stated there will be prize payouts on both nights with more than $60,000 in purse money on the line this weekend.

The Bottom Heavy Nationals feature a “bottom heavy” payout, meaning much better returns for all racers, instead of the traditional top heavy payouts that send the bulk of the prize money to the top finisher.

Hobby stocks, sport compacts and Lee County late models will also be in action on both nights.

Hot laps on Friday night start at 7 p.m. Fans will need to be at SCS an hour earlier on Saturday night, with hot laps scheduled for 6 p.m.

The two-day event will feature two complete shows, with payouts each night.

Grandstand admission will be $15 with students entering for $7 and children six and under receiving free admission. Pit passes will be available for $30 or a two-day pass for $55.

Absentee Voting Process Underway for November 8th Election

election

While the general election is still more than a month away, voting technically began on Tuesday, September 27th, the first day for absentee ballots to be cast.

Under Missouri law (statute (115.277, RSMo) “Any registered voter of this state may vote by absentee ballot for all candidates and issues for which such voter would be eligible to vote at the polling place if such voter expects to be prevented from going to the polls to vote on election day.”

Justification for using absentee voting includes absence on election day from the jurisdiction of the election authority in which such voter is registered to vote.

Voters who are incapacitated or confined due to illness or physical disability, including a person who is primarily responsible for the physical care of a person who is incapacitated or confined due to illness or disability, may also vote by absentee ballot.

If religious belief or practice or employment as an election authority prevents a voter from making it to the polls on election day, they may also use an absentee ballot.

Scotland County Clerk Batina Dodge stressed that absentee voting is not early voting.  The voter must sign an affidavit stating their reason for voting absentee.

Absentee ballots may also be used by incarcerated individuals, as long as all qualifications for voting are retained; and by certified participation in the address confidentiality program established under sections 589.660 to 589.681 because of safety concerns.

Application for an absentee ballot may be made by the applicant in person, or by mail, for the applicant, in person, by his or her guardian or a relative within the second degree by consanguinity or affinity. Disabled voters, college students, and military personnel may also apply by mail.

The deadline to mail absentee ballots is November 2, 2016.

Dodge explained how the process works.

“Upon receiving an absentee ballot in person or by mail, the voter marks the ballot, places the ballot in the ballot envelope, seals it and completes the statement on the ballot envelope,” she said. “The affidavit of each person voting an absentee ballot shall be subscribed and sworn to before the election official receiving the ballot, a notary public or other officer authorized by law.”

Each absentee ballot must be returned to the election authority in the ballot envelope and is to be returned by the voter in person, or in person by a relative of the voter who is within the second degree of consanguinity or affinity, by mail or registered carrier or by a team of deputy election authorities.

The last day to vote absentee ballot in person is November 7th, the day before the General Election.

Back to the Grind In Bible Grove

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There is no need to reinvent the wheel, but due to changes made more than 6,000 miles away, a local manufacturer was forced to go back to the drawing board to redesign a product that has helped put Bible Grove back on the map.

After unveiling a unique manual coffee grinder in 2010, the husband and wife team, Justin and Britta Burrus launched Red Rooster Trading Company from their home in Bible Grove.

Their top seller is the Camano Coffee Mill and they saw its sales double each year selling more than 5,000 units in 2014.

Justin and Britta always had it in the back of their minds of having their own mechanism manufactured in the USA. Late in 2014 the company started having issues with their supply chain based in Taiwan. This was the encouragement they needed to start the process.

“If our growth had continued along the exponential path we saw in the first few years, we were on track to sell approximately 10,000 Camano Coffee Mills in 2015.  That is when the rug was jerked out from under us,” said Justin. “We were growing at a pace we could handle and we were getting known around the world for our quality goods as well as customer service. Then we had to basically start over with the Camano Coffee Mill.”

The owners’ faith kept them afloat over the next two years as they fought to find a way to produce their grinder in the USA

“We offer a wide variety of products like pepper mills, cutting boards, candle holders and even custom furniture, but the coffee grinders are definitely our bread and butter,” said Justin.

Instead of closing up shop when they no longer could import the grinder component of their manual coffee grinder, the couple embarked on an 18-month journey to replace the mechanism.

“Looking back on it now, we can say this was a really good thing,” said Britta. “This is a much better product and now we have more control over the supply chain and quality of our product.”

The couple confesses it didn’t always have such a positive feel for the transition that took them all over the United States in search of a foundry to build the cast parts to their Camano Coffee Mill.

“I knew our old grinder,” said Justin. “It was a good product, but it also had room for improvement. We took advantage of the opportunity to manufacture our own grinding mechanism in the USA and redesigned it. The end result is a superior grinder that is even more beautiful & functional.”

There are over 2 dozen different USA companies that manufacture components of the mechanism that is assembled at the Bible Grove shop.

“For something that you can hold in one hand, it is pretty complex, with a lot of moving parts,” said Justin.

Now nearly all of those components are built right here in the United States, with the vast majority of the components from the Midwest and even several locally made parts.

“We buy all of our wood locally.” said Justin. “The bulk of our components are built within eight hours travel time of Bible Grove. We are excited about the fact of bringing jobs & the manufacturing process of this product to the USA.”

The key to the entire process was finding a foundry to cast the main assembly for the unit. The couple visited dozens and dozens of potential foundries around the country. The parts they needed cast are complicated and smaller than most foundries wanted to produce. The volume needed as well as it being cost effective was also an issue. Finally after almost a year of research and meetings the foundry they are using today met all the conditions including the cost.

“It has been a difficult process, but God sent us the right people, at the right times,” said Britta. “He is so good to work out all of the details.”

One of the key details was what many would call a happenstance meeting. Ted, a Michigan hunter calling upon the couple about a wounded deer that had jumped the fence, turned into the missing link to having the Camano Coffee Mill manufactured in the USA.

“Our property borders the conservation ground, so we get a lot of calls like this with people wanting to get access for this or that. So at first I just figured this was another one of those,” said Justin. “But when Ted called back he mentioned that he worked at a foundry.”

The search for the injured deer fostered a conversation that ultimately led to the new Camano Coffee Mill.

“While we were looking for his deer, we started talking and Ted became very interested in our product,” said Britta. “Before he left, we gave him a grinder.”

When Ted returned for his next hunting trip he brought with him some CAD engineering drawings of the mechanism and friendship grew quickly as the couple began bouncing ideas off their new friend.

The family opened their farm to Ted, who was rewarded with a nice deer. At the same time he was introducing Red Rooster Trading Company to several  foundries where he had connections, traveling with the couple on occasion to meet with prospective suppliers.

“It is amazing how much work went into this process.” said Britta. “And it all happened because God had a deer jump over a fence.”

The search became so desperate at one point, the couple even considered starting their own foundry.

“After searching for more than a year, we gave it a look,” said Justin. “We believe in this product so much, we were not willing to let it die.”

Once the foundry was identified and with the continued help from Ted, the couple started working on securing other required services, such as metal stamping and machining as well as nailing down suppliers for the numerous other components.

“The final step was switching from a cast iron burr to a ceramic burr,” said Justin. “This allows for a more consistent and versatile grind. The Camano can grind coffee beans for everything from Turkish, which is  a super fine grind to French press which is a coarser grind, depending on what brew method you prefer.”

The company isn’t adding to the national import imbalance. Once the first run of 1,500 Camano Coffee Mills was offered for pre-order sale back in April, Red Rooster immediately sold out within two weeks, with the bulk of the order heading to Japan.

“Believe it or not, we recently had two importers from Japan right here in Bible Grove,” said Britta who added the local company also has filled large orders to Canada, Germany and Australia.

Since firing back up production in April, the company has already sold 3,000 mills despite being forced to raise prices to reflect the cost of the new design.

“That has been the initial marketing challenge,” said Britta of the price increase of the mill from $65 to $89. “It is more expensive to have made here but it is also a much better product. We know that once it is in people’s hands they will immediately see, feel and experience the quality. It sells itself.”

With production already ramping up, Red Rooster now will look to streamlining assembly and production at the newly expanded shop.

“That was another blessing in disguise during the slower time,” said Britta. “Justin turned this building into an amazing workspace. Since we weren’t busy with producing the Camano Coffee Mill we had time to expand and make some needed repairs.”

With orders flowing in, it may be more of a challenge for the next group of expansions that the company has plans to make. This includes installation of a paint booth to allow the wood components to be more efficiently finished.

“After the lull we experienced, and at points the creeping in of doubt that we were ever going to get back up and running, being too busy is a blessing not a problem,” said Justin.

Among the Camano Coffee Mill’s improvements are a pair of signatures in the cast iron base. The first says made in the USA, a testimony to two Bible Grove residents’ drive to build a better product. The second is a Bible verse, Psalm 34:8 which speaks to the coffee product itself as well as the couple’s faith that helped them make it through this difficult process. “Taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!”

Ministerial Alliance to Host Annual Coat Drive

coat drive

The SCMA will be holding its annual coat drive during the month of October starting Monday, October 3rd and concluding Friday, October 28th this year.  The collection sites will be at the elementary school and the Nutrition Center here in Memphis.

Following the drive, coats will be collected and be available at the Clothes’ Closet.  The Clothes’ Closet is open on Mondays and Wednesdays from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., except on the first Wednesday of the month.  On that day, the Clothes’ Closet is open from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.

Event organizers would like to thank everyone for their participation in the coat drive.  If you have any questions, please call Mary Baldwin, director of the Clothes’ Closet, at 660-988-6148.

SC Genealogy Society Learns About the History of the Potato

The Scotland County Genealogy Society met Monday, September 12th.  President Darlene Johnston called the meeting to order with twelve members present and one guest.

Terry Arnold gave the secretary’s report and the treasury report was given by Rhonda Davis.  Both were approved.

It was decided the group would set up a table at the Christmas Bazaar once again this year.

There wasn’t any old business today.

Under new business it was decided to have a bake sale in November.  Everyone agreed to have it held on Tuesday, November 22nd (two days before Thanksgiving) at the Genealogy Building.  A time will be given later.  The baked items will be homemade pies, dinner rolls and cinnamon rolls.  Hopefully this will help out some busy moms, grandmas or whoever is planning a big dinner.

The meeting was then closed and a great program was given by June Kice on the history of the potato.

The group learned that the potato first started by the Inca Indians in Peru around 8000 B.C.  The Incas had many uses for potatoes other than eating them.  Raw slices were placed on broken bones to promote healing, they were carried to prevent rheumatism, ate with other foods to prevent indigestion and helped to measure time by how long it took for potatoes to cook.  In 1536, Spanish Conquistadors conquered Peru and discovered the flavors of the potato.  They took them back to Europe.

Sir Walter Raleigh introduced the potatoes to Ireland in 1589 near Cork.  They came to the New World in 1621 as a gift to the governor of Virginia.  President Thomas Jefferson introduced the French Fry in 1802.

Did you know that during the Alaskan Klondike Gold Rush, from 1897-1898, potatoes were worth their weight in gold because they are high in vitamin C?  Also, in October 1995, the potato became the first vegetable to be grown in space!

Thanks June, for this very good information.  Now we know more about the potato today than we did yesterday!  The next time you have a potato remember it has come a long way.

Following the presentation, everyone enjoyed delicious refreshments served by Twila Stevenson.

Genealogy meetings are held the second Monday of each month at 1:30 p.m. at the Genealogy Building across from the Memphis Fire Station.  The Genealogy Society would like to invite anyone to join them.  There is a lot of information on family history for those that would like to come in and see.

Submitted by Terry Arnold, Secretary

Sew & Go Quilt Guild Hosts September Meeting

The Sew and Go Quilt Guild met at the Memphis United Methodist Church Tuesday evening, September 13th.  After delicious refreshments served by Linda Koser, Michele Drummond and Debbie Payne, President Tina Newcomb called the meeting to order at 7 p.m.

Liz Reel, of the program committee, introduced Marci Prose from Ottumwa, IA. She gave a very interesting and informative program on Weighted Blankets. Her group, “Sharing the Weight”, makes weighted blankets that work wonders for autistic children and even adults with Alzheimer’s Disease.  This group provides the pattern and materials (if desired) for anyone willing to make these blankets.  She distributes them world-wide and at this time has a waiting list of over 4,000 people wanting them.  The guild agreed to look into making some.

The raffle drawing was then held and the winner was Debbie Kittle.

Roll call was “Your Favorite Book.”

The minutes from August were read and approved.

Communications:  Jeannie Childress read a letter introducing “Little Blessing Retreat Center” in Cameron, Missouri; Betty Duncan had received eight free tickets to the Des Moines Quilt Show in October and they were given to those wanting to attend; Randi York told of the Green Acres Retreat to be held September 30 and October 1.

Jeannie gave the treasurer’s report.

Activities committee distributed the Quiltless Quilt Blocks for our 50/50 drawing.

The Shop Hop will be October 15 and $5.00 was collected to lock in your space.  We will leave from the Memphis square at 7:00 a.m. sharp.

We got good feedback from our quilt show at Memphis Mercantile during Antique Days.

Sarah Myers’s Jelly Roll Quilt and Betty Duncan’s Peace Cottage Quilt received the most votes for Viewer’s Choice.

The challenge committee reiterated their agenda for this year with Selvedge Tips presented next month.

Our fall retreat will be October 22nd and they have an exciting day planned.  There will be tutorials on paper-piecing, a guest speaker with a trunk show and Fall Color Quilt Blocks to be made.

Lastly, Show & Tell was held.  I got so excited looking at everything members brought that I forgot to write names down. You know who you are and your quilts were wonderful.

Submitted by Betty Duncan

Two Blood Drives to be Held in Memphis First Week of October

During the first week of October, blood donors will have two donation opportunities in Memphis.  On Tuesday, October 4th, from 1:30-6:00 p.m., the American Red Cross will be set-up in the Multi-Purpose Room at the First Baptist Church.  The second opportunity takes place Thursday, October 6th, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Scotland County Hospital.

Healthy individuals are needed every day to maintain an adequate blood supply for patients in need.  Once a donor has made the commitment to give blood, it is important to take a few simple steps to prepare and help ensure a good donation experience.

The Red Cross recommends donors get a good night’s sleep, eat a good breakfast or lunch, drink extra water and fluids to help replace the volume you will donate, avoid caffeinated beverages, and eat iron-rich foods to boost your iron level.

Donating blood is an easy way to help others and only takes about an hour of your time.  The Red Cross encourages donors to give blood every time they are eligible; every 56 days for whole blood donations and every 112 days for double red cell donations.

To donate, simply call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org to make an appointment or for more information.  All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients.  A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in.  Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood.  High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

The American Red Cross provides shelter, food and clothing to victims of disasters; supplies more than 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches lifesaving skills; ministers international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families.  The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission.  For more information, please visit redcross.org or join their blood at blog.redcross.org.

Gooden-Emons and Kinney-Zaerr Family Reunions Held September 25th

The descendants of Gooden-Emons and Kinney-Zaerr families gathered Sunday September 25, 2016 at the Downing Depot with 48 family members present from Iowa and Missouri. The event was hosted this year by Janet Fishback and Randy Sayre.

Janet Fishback offered grace and everyone enjoyed delicous fried chicken and carry- in side dishes and desserts.

They family played “Let’s Make A Deal” and won small prizes if you could produce items requested from pocket or purse.

We had 21 items donated to the Silent Auction and the funds will replenish next year’s meat and paper products for the 2017 reunion.

Joyce Frederick and Lisa Gooden will host next year’s event.

Those in attendance were Larry, Karen Claussen, Shelbyville Mo, Edward, Regina Gooden, Jesse, Connie Gooden, Bloomfield la, Gerald, Ken, Derek Kinney, Reinbeck la, Barbara Sparks, Mystic la, Barbara Creath, Milton la, Carolyn Rudicil, Edina Mo, Lowell, Linda Gordy, Loyd, Louise Gordy, Arbela Mo, Jennifer, Ashlyn Laws, Carla, Rick, Carsten, Bricklyn Reinbach, Glenwood Mo, Stanley Frederick, Matt, Brant Frederick, Joe Sayre, Memphis Mo, Joyce Frederick, Baring Mo, Mindy, Hailey Roberts, Donna Gooden, Juanita Gooden, Lisa Gooden, Missy, Warren, Evan, Ethan Huggins, Deb Gooden, Vance, Colby, Emma Frederick, Lancaster Mo, Clarence, Rosalie Kinney, Holly, Kennedy Gregory, Jeff Phillips, Randy, Delores Sayre, Jim, Janet Fishback, Downing Mo.

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