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Block Party Rocks Bug Scuffle

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August 19, 2011 by wcobserver

Photo by Terry Ropp - Youngsters from left to right and top to bottom Irene Ball, Cheynne Fraiser, Clayton Ball, Ty Brauwell, and Danny Fraiser jumping on a trampoline at the Ropp block

By Terry Ropp

What is summer without a block party? The problem is that blocks don’t exist out here in Stickler and the surrounding country so Larry and I held a Bug Scuffle Buddies Block party with brisket and brats. We delivered most invitations face to face and had about fifty people show up, half of which were kids infants through teens. Because Larry is a walking almanac of people, he knows everybody, but not everybody knows everybody else…thus the party. We made name tags with addresses to help, but in the end Larry introduced everybody which worked really well because comfort groups broke up and “neighbors” started to get to know neighbors they have known of or waved at for years. Others simply hadn’t taken the time to catch up for a long time and took good advantage of the opportunity. Visitors from out of town also came along with the Bug Scufflers. Marvin and Linda Jones’ grandson Evan Miller came from Kansas and Brenda and Doc Lloyd Keck’s nephew Simon and his daughter Andie Jo came from South Carolina.

John Brown, a retired police officer and currently head of security for the Federal courthouses in western Arkansas, spent many hours seasoning and cooking the brisket until it was tender perfect. He also saved me because I don’t grill. Don’t even ask about Larry. My plan was to use a grill you put on top of the stove lent to me by David Stills who has a deer cabin further up the road. My rescuer used our misused and lonely grill to finish off brats he simmered in beer. In appreciation we gave John, a Cub’s fan, a Cub’s coozy. Not much, but heartfelt. Then people started bringing in food which ranged from chips and dip to casseroles to peach cobbler, cookies, and brownies. No one had to leave hungry.
The kids were great and had a good time. Next door neighbor Andrew Plauger, who will be starting high school in West Fork next fall, spent time teaching young Ely how to play horseshoes, and a bunch of the little kids jumped on the trampoline. Then little Ty Brasuell, who was adopted about a year ago from Red China by Tracy and Lorie Brasuell, pointed at the chubby, meditation-posed Buddha stature in our front yard and said, “There’s Larry, only he’s sitting down!”

Some of the men played horseshoes while teenagers visited and took pictures of the party and the surrounding views. My granddaughter Kashmir and I tried to snap shots of everybody to give out later. We didn’t completely succeed but got enough good ones to catch most people.

One of the greatest pleasures for me was learning more history about our Bug Scuffle parcel. Dale Quentin told me his Uncle Lester lived here with his family and at that time Doc Keck’s mother Eva Woods lived with them while she taught at the Bug Scuffle School during which time she met Loyd who became Doc’s father. One last little tidbit which shows why we love Arkansas: The Furrs live on Crawley Road and the Crawleys live on Pierson Road and I have no idea who the Piersons were (are?)…yet.

At present our plan is to make this an annual event because a community is like ecology where everything is interconnected and interdependent. We found a beautiful community when we moved here, and the stronger the ties, the stronger the community. We would like to be part of that strengthening process.

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