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Heather Gates, HG 36, Heather Loved Working with her Foals during the Summer

Updated on December 4, 2018
Homeplace Series profile image

Dr. Bill's first passion is family history. His second is a passion for creating family saga, historical fiction stories that share it.

Heather worked with her foal, Azuza

A Palomino Mare and Foal
A Palomino Mare and Foal

Heather and Jennifer Continued the Hands On Approach with the Foals

Heather was careful to spend a few minutes every day, early and later, with each of the foals along with their mares. Two or three days a week, she spent extended time with each of them. Jennifer monitored this activity and they recorded the time as well as the specific type of contact for each of the foals. They discussed their activities regularly, to provide a variety of types of contact in accordance with the best information Jennifer had from her training and talking with her colleagues. Heather soon realized that this approach with the foals may well develop into her FFA Project for her Junior Year in High School beginning in the fall. Jennifer encouraged her to consider that, and keep the records accordingly for that purpose as well as their internal needs at the stable.


Following their wedding, Jennifer and Brian had taken a week honeymoon at a cabin at Big Cedar Lodge, on Table Rock Lake, just to the south of Branson, Missouri. Besides just enjoying the time together, away from day to day responsibilities, they spent a day at Silver Dollar City, went to see Andy Williams at his Moon River Theater, and attended a performance of the Presley Country Jubilee. They enjoyed good weather, good food and drink, and the generally pleasant atmosphere of their surroundings. On their return, Jennifer offered a thank you to each person who had helped cover for her while she was away. She did add, however, that she was really happy to be back into her normal routine again.


Shortly after Jennifer and Brian returned, Nicole (Mrs. Christopher) Ogden let it be known to the family that their first child was due in mid-October. The word spread quickly. Everyone was very happy for them, of course. Nicole planned to continue to work full time at the Big Thunder Lodge through the summer and into the fall.


Heather enjoyed reading in the Enterprise about the 4th of July Gala Celebration held this year at the Oak Springs Country Club. It was described as a ‘weekend to remember’ with good golf, good food, and fun games for the kids. Heather wasn’t part of the ‘country club set’ but found it interesting what those who were thought was a ‘good time.’ She found much more satisfaction, at this time, with her work at the stable, at the Mill, and occasional weekend outings with her friends. She sometimes wondered if that would change, at some time in the future.

They vacationed at Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri

A scene at the Lake of the Ozarks
A scene at the Lake of the Ozarks

Scott Gates Graduated on Saturday, July 18

Heather’s brother, Scott Gates, completed the requirements for the Farm Operations Associate Degree at Ozarks Community College during the first summer term. He participated in graduation exercises on Saturday, July 18. There were 35 persons who took part in this graduation exercise and over 250 persons attended the graduation ceremony. A graduation reception was held at the Homeplace Country Inn Heritage Room honoring Scott following the graduation exercises. Scott’s parents and sister, Heather, hosted the reception: his father, Paul Gates, his mother and her husband, up from Jackson, MS, for the occasion, Beverly Bevins Gates Threshold and Winnie Threshold. Total guests in attendance exceeded 70 persons including extended family, friends, and co-workers at The Bevins Corporation.


Paul and Heather, Peter, Shiela and Jeremy, Rachel Nixon, as well as Bart and Diane Bevins, gathered at the Pyramid Pizza Parlor for a pizza supper to continue the celebration of Scott’s graduation.


On Sunday, after the graduation, Bart and Diane Bevins spent a week long vacation trip to the Lake of the Ozarks. On their return, they told friends it was great to just sit on the balcony of their condo and stare across the lake for long periods of time. Bart especially enjoyed, he added, taking in several new restaurants they had not tried on previous visits. Diane concurred in that, just nodding her head in agreement as Bart went on and on about their good time.


Heather was fascinated by a story in the Enterprise under the Cop Shop heading. It told of Jeremiah Loomis having been released from the state penitentiary after having served over twelve years of an original 20-year sentence on drug charges based on his operation of a meth lab in the hills southwest of Oak Springs. The story went on to tell how his brother, Jasper, was charged in the murder of the public defender that represented Jeremiah in court on the drug charges. Jasper was killed by police officers, acting in self-defense, when they attempted to arrest him for the murder and he attacked them with a hunting knife. Paul filled Heather in on some additional details about the murder when she asked. [This is the story of my novella, ‘Murder By The Homeplace,’ available on Amazon in print or kindle edition.]

They vacationed by camping along the Buffalo River

A campsite along the Buffalo River in Arkansas
A campsite along the Buffalo River in Arkansas

Other Local News of Interest

Virginia Hollingsworth was moved to the Serenity Nursing Home from the Oak Springs Regional Hospital where she had been undergoing care following a serious fall she took while gardening at her home in the east valley. Her friend and neighbor, Karen Winslow, had assisted her in the move.


Peter Bevins, Managing Director of the McDonald Conservancy, announced that two more persons had accepted appointment to the Board of Directors of the emerging Land Trust. One was a professor in the Biology Department at the State University and the other was a Regional Director of the Missouri Nature Conservancy organization.


Peter, Sheila, and Jeremey Bevins enjoyed a week of camping along the Buffalo River in northwestern Arkansas. It was their first out-of-town vacation since Jeremy had become a part of the family late last year.

Author’s Note

This series of stories in the life of Heather Gates, a fictional character in The Homeplace Saga series of family saga, historical fiction stories (home blog found at thehomeplaceseries dot blogspot dot com), is being created as a way to use a minor character in the early writings to expand those stories and share details omitted in those earlier writings within the original overarching themes. These newly included details may have been left out of the earlier stories through editing or they may have seemed unrelated to central themes at the time. With the expansion of the entire Saga, over the years, it has become obvious that filling in some of the gaps in the story for overall better understanding of the individuals, their families, and their interactions would be useful to The Homeplace Saga body of work in total. The first thirty episodes ran in parallel with the timeline of the “Christmas at the Homeplace” novel. This episode represents stories following the end of the novel. These will run in parallel, starting with January 1997, with stories previously published on the home blog that ran monthly with new stories into early 1999. This provides the opportunity for new insights of events to be shared.

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    • Homeplace Series profile imageAUTHOR

      William Leverne Smith 

      7 months ago from Hollister, MO

      Heather was an active young lady...one reason I wanted to share her story. Haven't written about goats in quite a while... Thanks, for the memories!! ;-)

    • Homeplace Series profile imageAUTHOR

      William Leverne Smith 

      7 months ago from Hollister, MO

      The cycle of life, for sure. Best wishes!! Keep warm! ;-)

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      7 months ago from The Caribbean

      Heather's love for animals reminds me of my childhood when I helped my uncle take care of the goats. Amazing how she manages to be involved in everything else.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      This reminds me that babies will be appearing out at the farm in four months, and then the new cycle of life begins again. We just have to make it through winter. Brrrr so far!

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