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Heather Gates, HG 37, Heather Attended the Oak Creek Valley Fair as a Sixteen-Year Old

Updated on January 29, 2019
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 got a 1990 light blue Chevy Pickup truck for her sixteenth birthday

A light blue 1990 Chevy Pickup Truck
A light blue 1990 Chevy Pickup Truck

Heather Achieved Her Sixteenth Birthday Benefits

June 30, 1997, was Heather’s 16th birthday, and it fell on a Monday. Since she had completed the full Driver’s Education course during the spring semester at school, and already had her learner’s permit, getting her driver’s license was simply a matter of going into the Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) office in Oak Springs on Monday and completing the process, which she did with no hitches. What a relief. Paul had taken her in to town to get her license, of course, but she was able to drive home. They were both pleased to have that ‘right of passage’ accomplished.

For her birthday, Paul had managed to find a light blue 1990 Chevy Pickup Truck at a good price that he knew would be one that Heather would like and also be able to make very good use of. Heather was thrilled, and was more than ready to take her first solo trip in it upon arriving home from the DMV office. She made her first of what would be many trips on the road to the stables from her house. This would be her new daily routine, rather than on the ATV across the pasture. She was a bit surprised that she sudden realized she would miss the ATV journey she had taken so many times in recent years. Heather reminded herself that she could still make that trip on the ATV when she wanted to. That relieved her mind as she drove into the stable parking lot to show off her new status.

As she parked the truck, facing in the direction of the trail rides, she could see Christopher Ogden, on his horse, Shadow, returning from a noontime ride. And alongside them, jumping from side to side, was the foal, Cloud, still not quite ready to wean from the mare, Shadow. Heather waved to Christopher, and he waved back. She stood there, by her truck, watching them approach, for just a few more seconds, before she moved toward the stable itself, to meet them inside. Of course, Christopher asked about the vehicle she had driven up in, and Heather was more than happy to share her day, so far. Then, they talked about the trail ride and having Cloud trailing along beside them. It made Heather want to take a ride with Sunshine and Azuza, so she did.

Heather Took a Ride on her Palomino, Sunshine, with Foal, Azuza, alongside

A Palomino Mare and Foal
A Palomino Mare and Foal

Heather Attended the Fair

Heather paid particular attention this year to the articles in the Oak Springs Enterprise local newspaper about the upcoming 118th Annual Oak Creek Valley Fair the first weekend in August. She had attended the local annual fair for as long as she could remember. Previously, however, she had never really considered why the local community put forth the effort and expense to hold such an event. With the recent increased interest in community and family history, however, portions of this discussion were prominent in the articles she was reading and the discussions she was hearing this year about the fair. One new thing that was happening this year, if fact, was that the new Oak Springs Historical and Genealogical Society (the Society) planned to have an exhibit at the fair. The Society wanted to use this particular community venue to share some of the artifacts and stories that community members had been sharing since the Society had asked for these earlier in the year. The participation by the community had been overwhelming. This was a great opportunity to share back to the community.

As Heather walked through the agricultural exhibits at the fair, she began, for the first time, to wonder if she should consider entering Azuza in the yearling horse competition next year. She had begun to seriously consider her fall FFA project to be ‘weaning to yearling’ of Azuza. Showing her at the fair in 1998 would be a nice culmination to the project. She would talk to Diane, Jennifer and her FFA instructor, Mr. Scott, about those possibilities. In the meantime, she thoroughly enjoyed the animal, especially horse, exhibits this year.

At the Society exhibit, Heather stopped and talk to Brian who was taking his turn at the exhibit along with Mona Evans. Brian said there had been a lot of interest in their exhibit. Already, twelve persons had signed up for membership in the Society, he added. They hadn’t expected that kind of response, he added, but were pleased with the interest, the questions, and the enthusiasm exhibited by quite a number of persons, young and old, who had come by. Brian further said that fifteen persons had also filled out pre-orders for the Oak Springs History Book.

The Patton Park Swing Set Had Been Set on Fire

A Wooden Swing Set on Rubberized Pellets
A Wooden Swing Set on Rubberized Pellets

Oak Springs Local Folks Made the News During the Summer

The Bevins Corporation announced in the Oak Springs Enterprise that Scott Gates, a recent graduate of the Farm Operations program at the Ozarks Community College had been named Assistant Farm Manager. In this role, he would be involved in the planning and direction of all farm related activities under General Manager Bart Bevins. The Bevins Corporation, the article added, was primarily involved in row crops, hay and pasture land management, and a large cow-calf operation.

From the Cop Shop report in the Enterprise: Local police were investigating a fire at the playground in Patton Park, in the southwest part of the city. It appeared that vandals had set fire to the wooden swing set as well as the rubber pellets on the ground about 9 p.m. the past Thursday night. An empty container of flammable fluid was discovered near the fire. As of this reporting, no one had come forward with useful information on who may have set the fire or why.

Ozark Communications Inc. had formally applied to the City Council to be the exclusive cable television provider to the City of Oak Springs. This had been in response to the Request for Proposal sent out by the City earlier. Theirs was the only application received by the time of the deadline for application.

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.

Video Book Trailer

Video Book Trailer

Video Book Trailer


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    • Homeplace Series profile imageAUTHOR

      William Leverne Smith 

      5 months ago from Hollister, MO

      Yes, she seems to have earned a pretty neat future...what will she do with it? That seems to be... the rest of the story. ;-)

      Thank you, so much, for your visit and comment!! ;-)

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      5 months ago from The Caribbean

      What a beautiful-looking birthday gift for the deserving Heather! She's living the dream with her own vehicle, her own horse and a good community with which to share her fun.

    • Homeplace Series profile imageAUTHOR

      William Leverne Smith 

      5 months ago from Hollister, MO

      My first car was 7 years old...always assumed that was a good number!! ;-)

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      What more could a farm girl want than a pickup for her birthday? I think I got fifty dollars for my sixteenth. :(


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