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Old Job…

Did this story bring back memories of my younger life on the Petite Saline Creek [December; Page 20]. And Jack Veirs was part of it. He bought furs off my great uncle and drove horse and wagon to Gootchers Mill to pick up furs. And when I was first married in the early ‘70s and renting a place for $35 a month on the creek just south of Boonville, I trapped and continued to sell furs to Jack.

I remember my young wife going with me to sell in Fayette. She was pregnant with our second son. Even though she had helped with my furs, this was a bit much for her. The smells were overwhelming, so she stayed in the pickup. I told her it smelled like money to me. We managed to save enough fur money to buy our own place.

My grandfather was also selling furs to Jack. He would make enough to buy stuff for the kids, grandkids, and great-grandkids for Christmas. I learned from my grandfather how to make every penny I could. Like you could make 50 cents more on skins just by skinning and stretching them. We even used the meat from several of the animals.

Thanks for taking me back a few years.

David Chenault, via Internet

Frost flower facts

Your November issue contains an item about frost flowers [Page 5], which I believe is in error on one small point. If the plant were truly dead, there would be no sap action to produce the frost flower. This phenomenon occurs when top growth has been killed back by cold air, but the root system remains active in the warmer ground. I enjoy the magazine enormously; my thanks.

Constance Tyndall, Springfield

Editor’s note: Conservation Department botanist Tim Smith agrees that the roots must still be active (alive); only the aboveground parts of the plants are dead.

Who is Chmielniak?

I have been receiving the Missouri Conservationist for well over 15 years, and I just wanted to let you know that I thoroughly enjoy it. I am a born-and-raised city girl, and wildlife and conservation matters have always fascinated me. I get a good chance to sneak away from the hussle and bustle of city life and just drift away seeing and reading about another relaxing part of the world (animals in the wild, trees, flowers, lakes, streams, fish, etc.). And the first thing I do when I get my mag is go to the back and read the cartoon . . . it is always so good and funny!

Cynthia Henderson, St. Louis

I loved the cartoon in the September issue, “Thinking outside the box,”[Page 32] by Chmielniak. Her cartoons add a very special touch to the Missouri Conservationist.

Would it be possible to share with us a little something about the cartoonist?

Thelma McKim, New Bloomfield

Editor’s note: Betty Chmielniak Grace has always liked cartoons. She worked them into assignments in school and produced them for displays when she was a naturalist for the National Park Service and the Missouri Department of Conservation. Her work has appeared in many state and national publications, including the Missouri Conservationist, Ranger Rick, Country Woman, Summit and King Features Syndicate’s “The New Breed.” She lives on a farm near Albany, Missouri with her husband, son and daughter.

Submissions reflect readers’ opinions and may be edited for length and clarity.

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