Cruisin' The Missouri Ozarks
I’ve always thought of my self as an explorer; and that is what this book is all about; exploration. In this case, exploration of a small part of a place that I like to think of as Heaven on earth; a place that dose not get much press but holds treasures like no other place on earth; through history and hardship the Ozarks is a place that many people might no of; but few outside of its boundaries have explored. Although I would like to explore the entire Ozarks from the banks of the Missouri River to the Boston Mountains of Arkansas, to the fringes of eastern Kansas and northeastern Oklahoma; I have decided that time, money and expense have limited me to a place that although I am familiar with; holds things of which I myself have never seen; therefore I intend to take you on a journey through the southern Missouri Ozarks; through my home. As a young child growing up near Seymour Missouri the world was as big as my backyard; and a backyard for a kid growing up in the Ozarks can be pretty big. In my case it consisted of a few acres of wooded oak and hickory; a few cows and a horse named Brownie, who lived to be over fifty years old in human years. All the while keeping watch; especially in the days before I started school was my Grandma Goldie Davis. I spent a lot of time with her; and she would tell me stories about her youth growing up in these same hills. A greater person I have never met; for it is through humility that greatness comes through the human soul. My Grandma worked hard her entire life; she was hardened and shaped through a life of hard work and virtue in the hills and holler’s of the Missouri Ozarks. In a time before most people had electricity or cars; the original hillbillies were a people to be respected; for they scratched an existence out of the land; they worked hard everyday just to live, and still found time for church and music on Sundays. The modern day Ozarks are a changing place; and like many people who grew up in these times in the Ozarks we didn’t think there was much to do. So like many kids; when I was old enough to drive I started just cruising around. It started out just in my home town of Seymour; then later my friends and I would drive a few miles to the town where I was born; and on the square of all places; to Mansfield; a town that has history of its own. When it was suggested by my dad that I start writing a book in my third year of college about all the driving around and taking pictures I did; and currently do; I didn’t think much of it. So one day I decided that I would make this book a reality. Not only a travel guide; but a story of traveling and experiencing these places; so this book will write it’s self. This book is a story about its own creation through the travels and experiences of these places contained in the pages. So like the young boy I was exploring my back yard; I am taking the reader on a journey through the towns, back roads, history and points of interest through the southern Missouri Ozarks. And from the inspiration to stay true to my heritage I dedicate this book and my journeys to my Grandma, Goldie Ann Davis.
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