State of the Ozarks 2014 Arkansas / Missouri Calendar

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Lilley’s Landing Celebrates Fishing Heritage

(Branson, MO) “Years ago they had fishing tournaments on Lake Taneycomo starting from downtown Branson,” remembers Phil Lilley, owner of Lilley’s Landing Resort & Marina. “Theyw were very well attended and it was a winter event for a lot of people. Slowly those events went away and nobody really picked them up. We started to continue that tradition.”

Their annual February trout tournament (held on February 22 this year) is named for the Lilleys’ longtime friend, Vince Elfrink who passed away not long ago from cancer.

“Vince was a College of the Ozarks grad, a really good fisherman, and he would give you the shirt off his back if you needed it. We wanted to honor him by naming the trout tournament for him. We feed folks afterwards and it is a really special time for a lot of the guys.”

Lilley’s Landing is noted not only as a successful business in the Branson community but also as a place where locals can simply fish off the dock.

Canoe Race to Restore Historic Greer Mill

(Oregon County, MO) Brian Sloss of the 11 Point River Canoe Rental writes, “We’re inviting everyone to participate in our first Great Eleven Point Canoe Race to benefit the Greer Mill Restoration Project! The race will be held on April 26, 2014. An all-inclusive entry fee includes:

Two-man entry fees include a $40 donation to the Mill Project. Solo entry fee includes a $20 donation to the Mill Project. Two-man entry fee is $180. Solo entry fee is $90. Medals will be given to the top three finishers. Come race, have fun and save our history!

Non-racers need to make a donation of at least $20 to attend (and be prepared to buy raffle tickets). Camping is reserved for canoeists.

From Brian Sloss, 11 Point River Canoe Rental

Creation Carvings to Showcase at Strawberry Festival

(Sparta, MO) David Egesdal, high school mathematics teacher at Hollister High School and impassioned Ozark wood carver, plans to display much of his work at the upcoming Kimmswick, Missouri Strawberry Festival June 7-8. Egesdal has also been experimenting with a variety of subjects including traditional Hawaiian Menehune carvings. “Most of the custom orders I get are gifts for someone,” notes Egesdal. “It really means a lot that people want to buy my work as a gift for a loved one.”


(Pepper Flats, AR) His name was Nathan Percival Toresut. He hated the name Nathan and you’d better not call him Percival or Percy if you didn’t want a knuckle sandwich. Nathan was not what you would call a bright boy in school. In fact, a lot of the kids called him “dumbbucket.” I used to help Nathan with his classroom studies and he sorta attached himself to me as his best friend.

Nathan finally graduated from high school with a lot of help from his friends but he couldn’t hold a job because he kept messin’ up. He got a job at Emmett’s Grocery Store as a sacker and shelf stocker but that didn’t go well at all.

He kept puttin’ the wrong items on the wrong shelves. He’d put the canned vegetables on the pasta shelf and the cheese and dairy products in the freezer. Mr. Emmett felt sorry Nathan and kept him on as long as he could but people got to complainin’ and takin’ their business elsewhere, so Mr. Emmett had to let him go.

One day Nathan heard some old boys talkin’ about all the money they’d gotten from robbing a Quick Shop Store and how easy it was and know one would ever find out who did it. Not havin’ a job and out of cash, Nathan decided to stick up the Quick Shop over in Turtle Creek.

He had seen Western movies and how the outlaws had masks over their faces but they used guns and Nathan was scared to death of guns ever since he was foolin’ around with his dad’s shotgun and it went off and blew a hole in the chicken house wall.

He figured the next best thing to use that would scare the clerk at the Quick Shop into givin’ up his money was a large clawhammer as his weapon. One day in April he walked into the Quick Shop in Turtle Creek, pulled out his clawhammer and said, “Your money or your life!” (He’d seen the western movie outlaws say that).

The clerk reached under the counter and pulled out a shotgun. Nathan froze. The clerk called the police and Nathan was arrested for attempted robbery. He was sentenced to three years at the county farm in Jubeit (pronounced “You-bet”) County. The townfolk all started calling him “The Clawhammer Kid” but later shortened it to just “Clawhammer.”

One night two of the inmates at the county farm got with Nathan and told him of their plan to escape. Nathan joined them and soon they had dug under the outside gate and escaped into the woods.

When the guards made their bed check, they found the three missin’ and sent out a party with dogs to track the escapees down. The three heard the dogs and guards comin’ so one of them said, “Let’s hide in the trees. They’ll never find us there!”

So they all climbed trees and hid. The dogs led the guards to the base of the trees and one guard shined his light up in the tree and said, “We know you’re up there so come on down!” That inmate went, “Meeeoooow, meeowww.” The guard said, “Nuthin’ up there but an old tom cat.”

They went to the next tree and the guard said, “Boys, we got you covered. Give yourselves up and come on down!” The other inmate went “Hoo, hoo, hooo!” The guard said, “Well, that’s just a hooty owl. They ain’t up there.”

So the guards went to the third tree and said, “Now boys, this is your last chance. If you don’t come down now, we’re goin’ to start shootin’!”

And Clawhammer went, “Mooooooooo.”

From Arkansas Red’s Hillbilly Happenin’s.

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