July 29, 2011 by wcobserver
To Miss Muxon:
“What began as a wet spring has quickly turned into a stiflingly hot, dry summer here in the Boston Mountains of the Ozarks.
While flooding was rampant in May, it’s July now and the grass surrounding your Craft School of the Ozarks, our Ozark Folkways, is crunchy and brown and desires no cutting what so ever. I worry that a metal blade striking rock could start a small blaze out back, so we will give the weeds their space and hold off on cutting a while longer.
It seems that one goes from fearing the throes of ice in December, which can accumulate at once on these curves, to dreading the prematurely falling leaves in July and August, due to highs reaching into the one hundreds.
Perhaps it is nostalgia or a wish for the strength to endure these hot days that causes me to wonder back to the many summers you must have spent here on this mountain alone. What fortitude you must have had, Miss Muxen.
The native stone of this old building certainly holds in the heat and cold well, albeit not necessarily in synch with the preferred season. In February, there were days when even with the propane blasting, the front windows of the building were covered in ice. Now here I am in July, standing in front of the window air conditioner just to keep from melting into the old oak floors; but enough complaining. I wanted to write a few lines to you this week to tell you what is going on during this long, hot stretch of early summer. I am imagining, when I finish this letter, I will walk out and drop this into the box, sending it off to some exotic location where you are on this day. If heaven has an address, I would address it to you there.
Perhaps you will get the gist of the letter without ever receiving it? I would like to imagine, and I do, that you know what is going on here as well as I do. Perhaps better and even before I do.
I am faithful. I am hopeful, but I am not crazy. I am hopeful and full of the dream, but I know, as you must have all those years ago, that without continued support from the extended community, from students interested in the classes we offer and financial supporters willing to invest in keeping this old building up and running, we only tread water and one can only tread water for so long. Miss Muxen I am hopeful, but I am also realistic.
There I’ve said it. The weather is too hot to hold that in for too long. Now back to the dream we share.
Two thousand and eleven is the first year since you began this dream back in the early 1940’s that your building has taken on the form of a real school for children and adults. We are offering a variety of classes and I sense the excitement growing in the community. This summer alone, we are offering three special camp opportunities for children: an art camp, a stone-masonry camp and an upcoming fiddle camp! We offer weekly and monthly classes in writing, quilting, knitting, photography and basket making, to name a few. We hold monthly art receptions on the First Friday of each month in the Constance Wright Gallery at Ozark Folkways and we will soon begin construction on an outdoor stage to feature more local Ozark musicians: Live on the Mountain!
I am extremely excited about the possibilities, my friend, so I hope you will excuse my earlier heat-related doubts that we can indeed pull this off.
The heat will break soon, as it always does, and the cool fall winds will blow over us, and we will go on. I believe. I believe. Yes, I believe.
I will leave you with that, Miss Muxon.”
Yours in hope and faithfulness,