It was with great interest that my husband, Stan, and I read the Tumbling Creek Cave article [Conserving an Ozark Cave; October]. It only took a few seconds to realize that the author was writing about a cave that is very dear to our hearts.
Its entrance is located on property that was homesteaded by my husband’s great-grandparents, Harvey and Maggie Clarkson. It then passed to their daughter Velma and her husband, Ossie Taber, my husband’s paternal grandparents. My husband grew up hearing his father, Curtis, tell stories about going into what he called Bear Cave. Stan also ventured inside when he was a boy.
Because of the creek, it usually meant getting one’s feet wet, and when he suggested I go with him when we were courting, I declined. However, he did take me to the entrance to show me the big hole at the bottom of the hill which leads to such natural wonder.
Ossie Taber was a progressive man, and he realized that scientists could benefit from using “his” cave for research. So he allowed geologists from the University of Missouri-Rolla to explore, map and begin the work that the Aleys and many others have continued and built upon. Later, Ossie’s son, Doug, sold the property that contained the cave’s entrance. But this unique geological feature will remain a part of our family’s legacy. It makes us proud to know that the old Bear Cave is teaching scientists today.
Janet E. Taber, via Internet
Ken, I have a fix for muddy fish taste [“Ask the Ombudsman”; October]. Soak the fish in 1 cup apple vinegar and 2 cups water for about two hours, or until the meat bleaches white. Rinse thoroughly. It should remove the muddy taste.
Bill Sokolnik, via Internet
The comment made in “Behind the Code” [Setting nonresident deer permit fees; October] is right on. I grew up in Springfield and have fond memories from my youth of hunting and fishing all over the state with my dad—floating the Gasconade river, deer hunting south of Cabool in the Mark Twain National Forest, dove hunting near Carthage, trout and bass fishing in Branson, and crappie fishing on Stockton Lake.
My family all still live in Springfield, and I visit several times a year. I have not missed more than one or two deer hunts since I was about 12. I turn 38 this year! This deer season will be the third in a row I have brought my oldest son “back” to Missouri with me to experience deer hunting the way I did growing up. In a few years I will be bringing my youngest son along as well. My hope is they will be as in love with the Missouri hunt as I have always been and continue the tradition with their sons.
I am a Missourian at heart! I have received the Missouri Conservationist ever since I moved away in 1994. It has followed me all over central and northern Indiana and now to southwest Michigan. It keeps me up to date with Missouri conservation efforts and always gives my dad and I something to talk about.
Thank you for supporting realistic nonresident deer permit fees and explaining the reasons behind this philosophy.
David Stair, via Internet
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