John, I just cannot put my Missouri Conservationist, issue 6, June 2007, away to the shelf without telling you how great your article is. [Note to Our readers; The Future of Child’s Play].
I wasn’t raised on a farm, but early on I had a real love for the outdoors, and the majority of my seven sons acquired that same great feeling. Your article made me feel that, if more families were at least exposed to the factors you so beautifully describe, we would have young people more in tune with the way the world should be.
Ernie Dunn, Kansas City
Conservation Commissioner 1977–1983
Mr. Hoskins, I’m the executive director of the Kirksville Area Chamber of Commerce, and I have met you on several occasions. I’m sure you don’t remember me, but I wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed your June article in the Conservationist magazine.
I now have two toddlers and we are consumed with enjoying the outdoors. Fortunately, we live on 20 acres of an almost 1,000-acre family farm, and our children have all of the benefits that you detailed of your youth in the article.
Alisa Kigar, via Internet
Having just received my issue of the magazine, I must agree completely with your observation of childhood play. My eldest son (I have three, equally near and dear to my heart), Jon, at age 3 had already chosen his career—discovering the wonders of the earth—in his own backyard. It amazed me that he could spend so much time digging ditches and making bridges for his little trucks and cars.
In college, Jon chose geology-geography and I began to worry that he would never find a job! Little did I know! Three weeks after graduation he joined Peabody Engineers to do soil testing for the power plant on the Wabash River near Vincennes, Ind. (referred to in a recent issue of National Geographic). He is now the manager at WIPP in Carlsbad, N.M., making sure that the solid nuclear waste is properly disposed of, still interested in taking care of God’s earth. Child’s play started a career.
Thank you for the beautiful magazine. After my family reads it, I’ve been passing it on to a great-niece who home-schools her three daughters. Their child-play will be in several acres of “wilderness” near Willow Springs, having relocated here from Oregon.
Elizabeth Hoff, Mountain View
Bear of a job
Tuesday afternoon a black bear showed up in my backyard. I called and left a message on agent James Dixon’s cell phone. He called me right back and gave me advice on how to deal with the bear. He followed up the next day with two phone calls and came out last night to sit and watch to see if the bear would return. I just wanted to say how appreciative I am of his demeanor, kindliness and diligence about his job. It was very exciting to see a live Missouri bear, and I wanted to pass on kudos about James. I also appreciated my Missouri Conservationist magazine as it had the numbers I needed when I was frantically searching the phone book.
Trudy Watford, Oldfield
Mary’s Deer Roast
This is the recipe mentioned in this month’s Note to Our Readers on the inside front cover.
Ingredients: 1 can beef gravy, 1/2 cup Italian dressing, 1 package dried beef onion soup mix, 1 can mushrooms.
Soak roast in milk overnight; rinse and rub in garlic powder to taste. Mix above ingredients and pour over roast. Cover and bake one hour for each pound of meat at 300 degrees. Cool, slice thin, and put back in juice to serve.
Submissions reflect readers’ opinions and may be edited for length and clarity.