Sunday, March 2, 2014

A Bridge to Communication, Cooperation, and Compromise


Photo courtesy of Mary Smith (WFFOL Calendar) 
Looks like the original "Good Ol' Boys" just after the turn of the century and a small group of young
"wanna be's" standing in front of what is now the Lil O' Opry.

But, all levity aside, this old building has served West Fork for a century or more.  If you look on the cast iron corners on each side, you'll see the date 1886 and that the cornerirons were cast in Neosho, MO.  It has served as a hotel, a bank, lumber yard, hardware store and more.  It has protected women's house plants in its windows during the winter.  And now it is the home of great music and family entertainment every Saturday night, featuring great talent from all around our area near and far.

Young people, it would be worth your time and effort to ask your parents, grandparents, and great grandparents about their memories and experiences of this building and other buildings along Campbell, McKnight, and Main Streets.  This is all part of your heritage and your family's heritage and for those who have moved here, like myself, it is part of the history of the town we now call home.  Good stuff, great stuff! Kay and I live in a house that is on the location of the old Hardin Hotel and framed out of the lumber from that old building.  We remodeled a house on Cedar Street that was built in the 1890's. The upgrades will make the house useful to Kay's mom and maybe other families for years to come. Around the corner on McKnight Street, we remodeled an 1890's house that was once occupied by Clyde Helsby, who operated the blacksmith's shop next to it to the south. It is now home to a young couple.

Photo courtesy of Henri McCorkle

The point is this.  Whether you're talking about buildings or people, they all have worth, strength, experience, history that cannot be replaced.  I've been questioned about a bridge of communication, cooperation, and compromise.  Lesley, that's exactly what I've been doing for nearly four months now as West Fork's Mayor. All of those people that my opponent wants to discard, I want to work with.  People who want to contribute are welcomed, listened to, and included.  Facebook is not a forum or a driving force for city government.  Common sense and hard work are what are moving our community forward, not bickering, closed conversations and groups, and constant, unsubstantiated criticism of everything.  You want to criticize? It serves no purpose. You want to contribute? Then contribute.

(George, sorry it took a while to get to the point.)


  1. I'm not from there,but have family there.I enjoyed your article.

    1. I love these old pictures and the history of them. Keep them coming. Does anyone have a picture of the old one lane trestle bridge that crossed over the river going into West Fork? I know that Mrs. Edyth Underhill had some hanging on her living room wall.

  2. There has been some buzz in the community about a debate between the Mayoral Candidates. Some citizens feel that such an event would be advantageous to the voters who could see the candidates and hear, first hand, how they feel about the issues that concern all of us. Others have indicated that it might be a good way to clear up unsubstantiated criticisms of our city's government and our candidates. If a debate, structured of course, could be set up, would you be willing to participate? If not, please explain.