September 27, 2007

Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage to Celebrate 10th Anniversary With Special Open House

What began as a dream more than a decade ago has turned into a growing community in Scotland County.

Dancing Rabbit will celebrate the 10th anniversary of the founding of the ecovillage near Rutledge with a special celebration Saturday, September 29th. Tours will be offered every half hour during the open house scheduled for 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. with guests seeing the communitys solar energy system, organic gardens and examples of strawbale housing.

The rural community has come a long way in 10 years. It started as an idea among a group of college friends in Stanford, CA.

The concept for Dancing Rabbit started in 1993 when Cecil Scheib, Rachel Katz, and Tony Sirna (and others) were living in a student co-op at Stanford.

We moved to Scotland County in 1996 and bought our land in 1997 (280 acres), said Sirna.

I met Tony and Cecil in college and they were very interested in the idea of creating an ecovillage, said fellow founder Rachel Katz. We were friends with Sandhill and when we were looking for a location, they invited us to settle near them. Also, the people were friendly, the land inexpensive, and the laws favorable.

Dancing Rabbit started with 6 members but in 10 years has expanded to now be called home by 37 individuals, including 8 kids.

We have built 16 buildings with most of them incorporating some form of natural building including strawbale and cob, Sirna said

DR as the residents often refer to their home, is totally off the grid with 10,000 watts of solar panels and 3 windmills.

Our goal is to demonstrate sustainable living and inspire others to live more ecologically, Sirna added.

That message was broadcast to the world when Dancing Rabbit was featured on an FX Network television episode of 30 Days. The program took two New York City residents out of the city and off the grid to live at Dancing Rabbit for a month immersed in the communitys ecological lifestyle.

Its that very lifestyle that brought Katz to Rutledge and has kept her here for over a decade.

I like living in alignment with my values, whether they are about my impact on the environment or how I want to balance work and recreation, she said. I feel very privileged to be able to structure my life as I wish.

Sirna offered a similar affirmation of life at DR.

For me I enjoy getting to live out my ecological values with other people who share them, he said. I love the day to day camaraderie and cooperation with so many people. I also enjoy having a flexible schedule and working on so many different things day to day - gardening, construction, computer work, childcare, cooking, and more. I love how our lives are in touch with the seasons and the natural world around us.

Their surroundings have changed quite a bit. Katz grew up on Long Island, in the suburbs of NYC and attended Stanford University, which is where she met Tony. Sirna was raised in suburban Detroit before moving to the West Coast to go to school.

We ended up in Rutledge because we had visited Sandhill Farm and really liked the area and made good connections here, Sirna said. The people in Scotland County were, and are, incredibly friendly to us and welcoming. We were looking for affordable land where we could grow food without having to irrigate.

It has been 10 years since the community was born and its founders noted plenty of changes in that time beyond just the large amount of growth.

In the beginning our facilities were very primitive and rustic, Sirna said. After 10 years we now have a lot of infrastructure and things are

comparably very comfortable and modern.

Both Katz and Sirna agreed that the past years have only scratched the surface of what the future holds for the ecovillage.

There are two challenges that I see, one external, one internal, Katz said. Internally, as we grow we struggle with the social issues that go along with having more people. People know and trust each other less, and it is more difficult for us to continue to practice consensus decision-making. It seems that many communities plateau at around 80-100 people and it will be interesting to see whether we can make strong enough systems and culture to push past that number.

Externally, there is the struggle with staying relevant. When we started a decade ago, neither biodiesel nor climate change were household names. We need to keep expanding what we do and talk about to stay at the cutting edge of environmental sustainability and remain an inspiration.

The communitys outreach efforts as well as its continued growth over the past decade have insured just that. Dancing Rabbit has been an inspiration to many in the community that have toured the village or have followed the residents efforts in the newspaper, on television or via the DR website (

PEARL GRUBB (12/8/1924 – 7/16/2016)

Pearl Elizabeth Grubb, 91, of Memphis, MO, passed away July 16, 2016, at Blessing Hospital in Quincy, IL.  Pearl was born December 8, 1924, in Lockridge, IA, the daughter of Alvin and Ethel Duttweiler Stephenson.

Pearl attended grade school and high school in Lockridge, IA, graduating with the class of 1942.

On April 25, 1943, she married Jacob Warren Grubb in Fairfield, IA and to this union, four children were born: Russell, Elaine, Diane and Jerry.

Pearl’s married life as a homemaker began in Atchison County, MO.  In 1952, she and Warren moved to Scotland County after purchasing a farm seven miles southwest of Memphis, MO.  She was very faithful to her family and marriage.  Pearl was the corner stone to the farming operation which involved row crops, cattle and several hundred head of hogs.  There were many days that Pearl assisted with the chores during the planting and harvesting season in addition to caring for the family.  Her children remember some of the difficult times growing up on the farm, but regardless how tough things were, Pearl was dedicated to feeding and clothing her family.

Pearl’s family was very important to her.  The many birthday celebrations, annual Thanksgiving and Christmas gatherings were special to her and will be missed by all the family.  At these gatherings, there was never a lack of food.  Pearl would make noodles, bake rolls, pies, cakes, and tea rings for family gatherings as well as several members of the Memphis community that ordered them.  For many years, she baked goods for the Scotland County Soil & Water annual meeting.

Once the grandchildren started arriving, Pearl became very dedicated to them: babysitting and feeding them when needed, entertaining them, playing games, etc.  Pearl was a quilter and made each of her 12 grandchildren a quilt upon graduation from high school.  She enjoyed working crossword puzzles, jig saw puzzles, crocheting and was a weekly letter writer to many family members that were not close by.

Pearl was a member of the Memphis United Methodist Church and attended regularly.  In her later years, she looked forward to attending church, followed by eating lunch with some of the family at Keith’s Café.  She enjoyed having her children and grandchildren stop at her home to visit.  She was truly God’s example of putting others first and not letting the materialistic society influence her.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband Warren; two brothers, Glen and Robert Stephenson; one sister, Frances Seibel; one sister-in-law, Vaunceil Stephenson and three brothers-in-law, George Hinshaw, John Anderson, and Jerry Fish.

Pearl is survived by her children, Russell Grubb and wife Karen, of Hannibal, MO, Elaine Briggs and husband, Richard of Memphis, Mo, Diane Duley and husband, Phil of Memphis, MO, and Jerry Grubb and wife, Lisa of Memphis, MO; 12 grandchildren, Linda Briggs of Memphis, MO, Brian Briggs and wife, Melinda of Memphis, MO, Daniel Grubb and wife, Allison of Minneapolis, MN, Sarah Moss and husband, Jason of Memphis, MO, Amy Hunziker and husband, Jaryt of Boonville, MO, Leslie Ranney and husband, Justin of Kansas City, MO, Laura Colvin and husband, Marc of Wyaconda, MO, Kaitlin Grubb and Kevin Fountain of Memphis, MO, Andrew Duley of Downing, MO, Bethanie Grubb of Memphis, MO, Anna Duley of Kirksville, MO, and Abbey Duley of Columbia, MO; 13 great-grandchildren, one sister-Winnie Fish of Hillsdale, MI, one sister-in-law, Roberta Stephenson of Keosauqua, IA, and one brother-in-law, Harold Seibel of Traveres, FL;  along with several nieces and nephews and many friends.

Memorials are suggested to the Scotland County Nutrition Site, Scotland County Health Department or the Memphis United Methodist Church and can be mailed to or left at the Payne Funeral Chapel, 202 E. Madison St., Memphis, MO 63555.

Online condolences may be sent to the family by logging on to Payne’s website at

Funeral services were held Thursday afternoon, July 21, 2016, at the Memphis United Methodist Church at 1:30 p.m. with Pastor Paul Smith officiating. Interment followed in the Memphis Cemetery  Pallbearers were Brian Briggs, Daniel Grubb, Andrew Duley, Jaryt Hunziker, Marc Colvin and Justin Ranney.  Honorary pallbearers were Phil Duley, Richard Briggs, Jason Moss, Larry Riney and Mike Ahland.  Musicians were Sarah Myers, pianist, and Tom Cotton, vocalist.

Arrangements were entrusted to the care of the Payne Funeral Chapel in Memphis.

The Simple Act Of Compassion 

Society at large is in a world of hurt.  Everyone has enough on their plates; even to the point of overload if not, at least, significant distraction.  To be frank about it, every person hurts significantly.  What we want to address is how to ease the pain; no, cure the burdens we each encounter.

A healthy perspective is to recognize that humanity is a composition fabric.  No one is an island; though we often seem to strive to find our space and guard it ferociously. When we are blended, however, we learn to look out for one another.  Community is to offer substantial strength.

Loneliness, on the other hand, is devastating.  We may find ourselves all alone.  We need at least one someone to help.  Good neighbors, then, like teamwork or family or group carry new health for all encompassed within the expanding populace of valued acquaintances.

From experience (observing others and my own), the strongest way to recovery from feeling abandoned or forgotten is to care for another/others.  Deep within the secret passages of our hearts is the yearn to make a difference… for someone else.  When we set our insecurities aside and wade out into the deep end of the pool to give assistance to another, our weight can seem to lift.  The simple act of compassion is all that is needed for any individual who is struggling with depression or loneliness.

The magic of God is that He noted a hurting world and waded right into the center of its deepest wounds; insult, abandonment, and even death.  He arrived with a message;  “I.  Understand.”  Take a look at Hebrews 2:14-18 and then 4:14-16.  The life that we encounter when we give ourselves away to those who hurt is the fulfillment of what God has promised all along; if we will lose our lives we will find them.

Those who can’t find life to be of meaning and purpose are the same ones who measure conversations and actions by what they want without compassion for a neighbor who is hurting every bit as much.  When we give ourselves away in sympathy toward another, we run into the very life we have always craved.

If you happen to be having a very bad day (or even life), bring such to an end by caring more about those around you.  As you lift their spirits by giving your valuable attention, He will lift yours.  He promises.  That’s the way… the only way.,. life works.  Stop the complaining.  Shelve the criticizing of others.  Do something meaningful.  Love your neighbor more than yourself.  You’ll like the results.

Medal of Honor

The Medal of Honor is the United States of America’s highest military honor, awarded for personal acts of valor above and beyond the call of duty. The medal is awarded by      the President of the United States in the name of  the U.S. Congress to U.S. military only.  There are three versions of the medal, one for the Army, one for the Navy, and one for the Air Force. Personnel of the Marine Corps and Coast Guard  receive the Navy version. The Medal  of Honor was created in 1861, early in the American Civil War, to  give recognition to men who distinguished themselves “conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidly” in combat with the enemy of the United States. There have been 3,469 Medals of Honor awarded  to the nation’s soldiers, sailors airmen, Marines and coast guardsmen since the decoration’s creation, with just less than half of the awarded for action  during the four  years of the Civil War. The Medal of Honor is usually presented by the President in a formal ceremony at the White House, intended to represent the gratitude of the American  people, with posthumous presentations made to the primary next of kin. In 1990, Congress designated March 25 annually as “National Medal of Honor Day”. Due to its prestige and status, the Medal of Honor is afforded special protection under U. S. law against any unauthorized adornment, sale of manufacture, which included any associated ribbon or badge. 621 of these Medal of Honor have been awarded posthumously. One of the first Medal of Honor was awarded to Seaman John Ortega in 1864.

From Jauflione Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution

Strategic Planning

I’m reminded of an old country song that goes like this. “It’s too hot to fish, too hot for golf, and too cold at home” (Imagine a deep twang). Well, while the home fires may still be burning, it’s definitely too hot to fish and too hot for golf. So, I just sits and thinks and plans. And in the late afternoon or early morning I check trail cameras and move tree stands because harvesting a deer doesn’t happen in the late fall or winter but more often than not, it happens in the summer. It happens without a bow or gun but with a map, a camera, and strategic planning.

Over the years, I have been able to hunt several places where I had to scout before I hunted. My normal routine would be to walk around in the woods for a few hours and determine where I needed to set a tree stand. Most of the time, I would decide on the first place I saw signs of any deer activity. I was too quick to settle on a spot because I felt like I was wasting time walking when I could be hunting. As a result, I rarely saw many deer. The professionals do it differently. On a five-day hunt, they will spend at least two days locating the deer and finding out where the best places to hunt might be. They will also consider the wind in determining when to hunt a particular spot. They have discovered that killing a deer is much easier when you know its pattern and tendencies. They have discovered the actual harvest is simply the culmination of time spent learning the behavior and practices of the game they are hunting. They were not successful because they pulled the trigger on a deer, but because they understood how their deer thought and acted.

What goes for good hunters also goes for good communicators. Good communicators are not able to connect with an audience simply because they have good speaking skills. They connect because they have learned how their audience learns and behaves. They have learned it is worthless to have answers to questions no one is asking. Over the years it seems for many pastors, we spent too much time communicating and not enough time on finding out how our audience learns and what their tendencies were. We preached on Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday night, and did it with passion. But when you look at church attendance today, I am not sure that we were as effective as we could have been. For me, I wish I had spent more time scouting and less time in the stand. Because the goal was not to see how many times I could speak. It was to celebrate a harvest. And that is still the goal.

Gary Miller

Outdoor Truths Ministries

Rutledge Renegades

Our sympathy to families and friends of Barbara Whitefield, Dennis Hoffarth (Dancing Rabbits), Martin Huber (worked at Zimmermans), Nathan and Mary Joyce Zimmerman (loss of baby boy), Sheldon Paul, and Mervin High.

Neal and Dawn Kirkpatrick’s daughter, Ann and husband, Jahaziel Cantu and children, Eli, Elizabeth and Lydia, from Flower Mound, came up for a visit.  They visited with other relatives and friends and went on a few tours.

Martin Guinn and Reva Hustead and great-grandsons, Will and Waid, went to Kirksville.

Neta Phillips went to Kirksville.

Charlene Montgomery went to Kirksville.

Some others in this week were Dale and Lisa Tague, Ronnie and Bonnie Young, Marjorie Peterson, Alyson Ewald, Mark Mazziotti and daughter, Cole Mazziotti, Ruth Ludwick, Robert Peed, Bill and Margie Delaney, Don Tague, Milt Clary, Bob and Dorothy Hunolt, Nancy Jo Waack, Kathy Blythe, and Otho and Dorva Harbur.

Junior and Millie Elliott Celebrate 60th Anniversary

elliott new web

Junior and Millie will be celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary, hosted by their children on Saturday, August 6th at the Downing Park Shelter House from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. Junior Elliott and Millie May Mounce were married on July 29, 1956 at the United Methodist Church in Memphis. They are the parents of four children, Michael Elliott, McDonough GA, Rodney and Scott Elliott of Downing, and the late Wanda Cain of Kalona, IA. All friends and relatives are invited. The couple requests no gifts please.

elliott old web

RV Reunion Held at Catfish Place

The annual reunion of residents of “Lake Josephine RV Resort” in Florida was held at the Catfish Place in Arbela, MO on July 11, 12 and 13.

Guests arrived from Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Florida and Missouri.

Everyone enjoyed dinner on Monday night at Keith’s Café.  The activities included golf, fishing, shopping, card games and a wiener roast.

The Catfish Place had a noon meal on Wednesday, the 13th, for the entire group.  Hosts were Steven and Gale Longworth, Patty Cripe and Melba “Babe” Mattingly.

Robbins, Sayre Announce Engagement

Sayre Wedding Announcement web

Carlon and Shirley Sayre of Memphis along with Kim Robbins and Rodney Robbins of Hull, IL are pleased to announce the engagement of their children, Tanya Sayre and Greg Robbins.  A September wedding is being planned.

Judy Boland Donates Elaborate Costumes to the Memphis Community Players


Judy Boland is pictured here with some of the elaborate costumes she recently donated to the Memphis Community Players to use in their theatre productions as well as the high school drama presentations.  The costumes were all hand-made by Judy and her late husband, John Boland, along with other members of the Krewe de la Boutte Dominique, and used in their annual Bal Masque held on the eve of Mardi Gras.

Judy Boland is pictured here with some of the elaborate costumes she recently donated to the Memphis Community Players to use in their theatre productions as well as the high school drama presentations. The costumes were all hand-made by Judy and her late husband, John Boland, along with other members of the Krewe de la Boutte Dominique, and used in their annual Bal Masque held on the eve of Mardi Gras.

by Andrea Brassfield

The Memphis Community Players recently received a generous donation of elaborate costumes from Judy Boland.  These costumes represent many years of hard work and tradition to Judy and her late husband, John Boland, who passed away suddenly December 26, 2015.

John and Judy relocated to Memphis following Hurricane Katrina, although Judy is actually a native Scotland Countian, graduating from Memphis High School in 1966, the daughter of the late Wayne Glasgow and Irene Dodge.  John served twenty years in the Army, retiring in 1992, and then worked for the Veterans Administration as a Federal Commissioned Police Officer in New Orleans, LA.

John and Judy were married in August, 1993 and spent the next twelve years with their families in Slidell, Louisiana.  While there, they enjoyed being involved with the rich Mardi Gras culture and became members of the Krewe de la Boutte Dominique, the first charted carnival organization in Slidell.

“Krewe de la Boutte Dominique” literally means “people from the Hill of Dominique.”  Historically, the Hill of Dominique is a place on Bayou Liberty close to St. Genevieve Church.  That church is significant in the history of the Krewe, since the original members were Ladies of the Alter Society at St. Genevieve.  Some Krewe members were descendants of the first families who settled the Slidell community.

This Krewe was established in 1970 and was a diverse group of hard working, fun loving people of all ages and all walks of life.  Together, its members provided the talent, creativity, energy, and camaraderie for which Dominique was well known for.  Unfortunately, following Hurricane Katrina, the Krewe became inactive, but is still remembered for their magnificent Bal Masque, which was held each year on the eve of Mardi Gras known as the Lundi Gras.

The late John Boland and his surviving wife Judy are pictured here in costumes worn during the 2000 Bal Masque of Krewe de la Boutte Dominique.  Judy was chosen Bal Captain for the 30th annual event themed “A Journey into the New Millennium”.

The late John Boland and his surviving wife Judy are pictured here in costumes worn during the 2000 Bal Masque of Krewe de la Boutte Dominique. Judy was chosen Bal Captain for the 30th annual event themed “A Journey into the New Millennium”.

The Bal Masque kept Krewe members busy all year.  Starting in April, the King and Queen, Maids and Dukes, and Captain were elected.  Once the Ball Captain was chosen and the announcement of King, Queen, Maids and Dukes was made, work began on designing and making the elaborate decorations and costumes for the Bal.  Additionally, Krewe members were responsible for their own costumes and paid for everything themselves.

Judy says while she sewed the costumes, John spent many tedious hours stoning them, placing the jewels and sequins meticulously where they belonged and gluing them to the fabric.  She also added, “I learned my sewing skills from 4-H and Mrs. Browning in high school.  In our class, we were well acquainted with the ‘seam ripper’.”

For Judy, the culmination of her hard work and dedication to the Krewe came in 2000 when she was selected to be that year’s Bal Captain.  The Captain was the person most responsible for the Masque Bal, leading the organization of decorations and costuming.  The theme for her Bal was “A Journey into the New Millennium”.  The working Krewe designed and created various depictions of the universe and space – some realistic and some the product of their imagination.

The Slidell Sentry-News reported on the Bal in their March 12, 2000 edition:

“The dramatic entrance of Captain Judy Boland through a time portal of smoke, personifying ‘Starship Commander’, signaled the beginning of the pageantry and pomp.  Her elaborate Medici collar was adorned with gold lame’ stars and the illusional cape accented her space suit.  She was attired in gold holograph spandex, accented by her headpiece of white ostrich plumes.  She carried a lighted laser saber and star-crested shield, completed by her golden laser gun, holstered in Old West tie-down tradition.”

John, voted a Duke for the New Millennium themed Bal Masque, also made a dramatic entrance “wearing black velvet, heavily embellished with appliqués representing the U.S. space missions, space shuttle, space stations, and an array of objects found in space, all hand-made of lame’ and glitter cloth, sequins, and crystals.”

The late John Boland is pictured here in his “One True King” costume which he wore in the 2004 30th annual Bal Masque of Krewe de la Boutte Dominique.  John was voted King of that year’s Bal.

The late John Boland is pictured here in his “One True King” costume which he wore in the 2004 30th annual Bal Masque of Krewe de la Boutte Dominique. John was voted King of that year’s Bal.

In 2004, it was John’s turn to enjoy the top honor of being crowned King of the 34th annual Bal Masque.  The theme that year was “Tunes of Animation”.  In addition to the Bal Masque, the de la Boutte Dominique float was seen in the Krewe of Slidellians and the Krewe of Pearls parades that year.

The Picayune newspaper in Slidell reported, “The audience rose in eager anticipation as “The Lion King”, or 2004 King John Boland, took the stage and descended for his first royal walk to the sounds of a lion roar and the tune “I Just Can’t Wait to be King.”  Applause and cheer greeted Boland as he displayed a lavish costume, crown and headpiece characteristic of his role as “Simba”.

To make this Bal Masque even more special, two of John and Judy’s grandchildren served as pages; Jesse Salisbury and Courtney Litzenberger, along with two other pages, followed the “Lion King” behind his train as a group of lion cubs.

Throughout their years of involvement with the Krewe of Dominique, John and Judy participated in costume designing and sewing for numerous themes including ‘Venetian Carnivale’, ‘Tunes of Animation’ and a military salute with ‘Stars and Stripes Forever’. One thing is for certain, whether he was filling his role as Santa Claus or “The One True King”, John Boland along with Judy, his life co-captain, graciously and whole-heartedly embraced their work with enthusiasm and dedication.

Though difficult to part with these amazing costumes, Judy is excited to see them put to use and hopes to return to future theatre presentations where she can watch them come to life again by our own community players and high school performances.

Hyde Reunion

The annual Hyde Reunion was held at the Grand Hall in Memphis on Sunday, July 17, 2016.  Those in attendance believe this to have been the 41st reunion.    Over 70 descendants and friends of Hollis and Nellie Hyde, and Virgil and Helen Hyde gathered to enjoy a catered meal prepared by the Rutledge School Restoration Group.  The afternoon was spent visiting, taking and sharing pictures, and reminiscing.

Those in attendance were: Mr. and Mrs. Leland Hyde,   Mr. and Mrs. Roy Hyde, Mr. and Mrs. Richie Radar, Annette and Dustin Humphrey, Jerry Hyde, Mary Morgan and Karla Rainey, all of Memphis; Mr. and Mrs. Fred Bertram of Gorin; Mr. and Mrs. Kirk Townsend, Joshua and Danielle of Wyaconda and Taylar Eggleston-Wood; Tim and Chloe Bertram and Richard Hyde, Mr. and Mrs. Anthony Hunziker and Hunter, Connie Bross,  Mr. and Mrs. Dennis Hunziker,  Mr. and Mrs. Asie Boatman, and Lance Boatman of Kahoka;   Stacey Boatman of Wayland; Connie Hyde, Tobias and Oakley Hyde, and Michaela Newberry of Luray; Mr. and Mrs. Maurice Hyde of Eldora, IA;   Mr. and Mrs. Leslie Waterman, and Taylor and Cole Courtney  of Donnellson, IA; Mr. and Mrs. Bob Thompson, and Mr. and Mrs. Norman Hughes of Kirksville; Mr. and Mrs. Gary Winkler, Brittany and Allison of Macon; Mr. and Mrs. Mitch Ballhagen and Jason Sherrer of Lebanon; Jessica Thompson and Nick Smith of Green City; Mrs. Kathy Hyde of Conway; Mr. Bob Moore of Keokuk, IA; Mr. and Mrs. Don Bundy, and Mrs. Vanessa Bowlin, of Blue Springs; Mr. and Mrs. Mark Bundy, Sandra Bundy, Stephen Bundy and guest of Lee’s Summit; Mrs. Margaret Hyde, and  Katie and Michael VanMeter of Independence; John Gauld V and John Gauld IV, of Kansas City; and Mr. and Mrs Chad Ebeling, Zach and Lydia of Mt. Pleasant, IA.

Mr. Maurice Hyde offered the blessing on the meal.

The next Hyde family reunion will be held on July 16, 2017.

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