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Heather Gates, HG 38, Heather Finished a Busy Summer in Style

Updated on February 5, 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 attended the Missouri State FFA Convention

The Missouri FFA logo
The Missouri FFA logo

Heather Attended the State FFA Convention in Kansas City in August 1997

Heather rode with her FFA Instructor, Mr. Scott, and his wife, Joy, to Kansas City to attend the Missouri State FFA Convention. Heather’s project documentation had been entered into competition based on the rating it had received in her local chapter and the recommendation of her instructor. At the convention, Heather was required to make a brief presentation and answer question from the judges about her project. Mr. Scott told Heather this was required to assure the judges that she had actually performed the project and was thoroughly familiar with it. Heather had been anxious about the process, but did well with her presentation and answered all of their questions with relative ease. She was, in fact, of course, totally familiar with what she had done and all the documentation they had read and reviewed.

In addition to attending convention plenary sessions, the three of them attended the FFA night at the Kansas City Royals baseball game with the Minnesota Twins. It was the first time Heather had attended a Major League Baseball game. She knew that Mr. Scott was a big fan, already, so they had talked a lot about the game on the trip from Oak Springs to Kansas City. Heather enjoyed all the activities and met many young men and women from around the state in the process of doing so.

When the awards were announced for the competitions, Heather learned that she had earned a Blue Ribbon for her project. Mr. Scott said, “See, I told you had done a really good job on your project.” Heather was both pleased and humbled that her work was recognized in this way. With this stimulus, Heather found that she and Mr. Scott had a good discussion of her new project idea for the fall. By the time they arrived back home, she was more than ready to get back to work at the stable with her horses. Rachel Nixon interviewed her for the Oak Springs Enterprise and there was a nice article and photos in the local paper the following week.

Heather was part of the wedding of her brother

A special wedding cake
A special wedding cake

Heather was a Bridesmaid at Scott and Rachel’s Wedding early in September

Scott Gates and Rachel Nixon were married at the First United Methodist Church in Oak Springs with the Rev. Clarice McCauley officiating. Heather Gates served as Brides Maid along side Maid of Honor, Penny Nixon, sister of the bride. The church was filled with family and friends. The reception was held at the Homeplace Country Inn Heritage Room in order to accommodate everyone. Hosting the reception were Paul Gates, father of the groom, and Dick Nixon, father of the groom, along with Mrs. Beverly Bevins Gates Threshold, mother of the groom and her husband, Winnie, of Jackson, Mississippi. Following the traditional cutting of the cake, lunch was served to all guests. Music for dancing was provided by the local band, Black Magic. Following the reception, the bride and groom left for a honeymoon trip to Branson, Missouri.

The September meeting of the Oak Springs Historical and Genealogical Society (the Society) was well attended. Heather was pleased to see six new members introduced at the meeting. Each of the new members noted that they learned of the Societies program from the exhibit at the fair and wanted to become a part of it. The reports of the first exhibit at the annual fair were overwhelmingly positive. A few recommendations for the next year were entered into the minutes for the planning committee to consider for 1998. Following the meeting, a notice in the Oak Springs Enterprise thanked those who had ordered “The Founding” book and reminded others of the need to get pre-orders in by the 30th of September. Also, the Oak Springs Savings Bank reminded everyone that it was not too late to start a Christmas Club Savings Account.

The Oak Creek Outfitters, Inc., announced that float service on the upper Oak Creek at Big Thunder Lodge was now open for business, even though it was getting late in the season. Completion of all facilities took a little longer than expected, but service all the way down Oak Creek from the Lodge in Dent County to the facilities at the south end of Oak Creek Township were now open. Portage is now available around the falls at the Mill, by appointment. Jonathan Offutt, General Manager, offered his thanks to all the parties involved in making this possible.

The police identified the guilty parties

A wooden swing set with rubber pellets
A wooden swing set with rubber pellets

In the Local News for September

The Cop Shop section noted that local police arrested two juveniles following the investigation of a fire at the playground in Patton Park, in the southwest portion of town, a few weeks back. The fire destroyed the wooden swing set as well as the rubber pellets on the ground. An empty container of flammable fluid discovered near the fire was found to have fingerprints of both individuals charged with the crime. Eyewitness reports placed the individuals in the vicinity near the time of the act. The fingerprints confirmed their involvement. When the evidence was presented to them, they both confessed to having set the fire. They claimed to have a grudge against parents of some children who regularly played there. Juvenile court will decide their punishment.

Lori Winslow attended a Residential Real Estate Workshop in Springfield during the first week of September. Karen Winslow accompanied her and they enjoyed visiting some of the Springfield sites and restaurants while they were there.

The Oak Springs Enterprise carried notices of the upcoming 11th Annual Arts and Crafts Show fund-raiser to be held on Saturday, September 27. As usual the Show would be held at both the Homeplace Country Inn and the on the grounds of the Oak Creek Mill and Mill Market. The prime beneficiaries of the community wide even were the charities Breast Cancer Awareness and HIV/AIDS Awareness. Mona Evans was the Chair of the Planning Committee for the 11th Annual Show. Full-color programs for the art show were available for purchase at the Enterprise Office.

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.

Note: This will be last of Heather Gates series of stories. Thank you for enjoying them with me.

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    • Homeplace Series profile imageAUTHOR

      William Leverne Smith 

      5 months ago from Hollister, MO

      Thank you, Dora. She as a good, full life, that is for sure! ;-)

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      5 months ago from The Caribbean

      Heather is doing everything I would have liked to do: winning an award, attending a baseball game, participating in the wedding party. You've made her so adorable!

    • Homeplace Series profile imageAUTHOR

      William Leverne Smith 

      5 months ago from Hollister, MO

      Thank you, Mary. I always enjoy your comments!! ;-)

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      5 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      I love to be brought back to a simple life in the past when life is lived with a community.

    • Homeplace Series profile imageAUTHOR

      William Leverne Smith 

      5 months ago from Hollister, MO

      Thank you, Bill, for that. I'm sure we will see more of her at some future time. ;-)

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Of all your many characters, Heather is the one i relate to best.Not sure why, but I love her story.


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