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A Trip to the Ozarks #4

Corroborating this last statement is the fact that the assessed
valuation of all the holdings, belongings and properties of these
railways is said to be but little in excess of of aforementioned
sums.

Seeing these things are so it must be evident to anyone who gives
but a moment's consideration to the subject, that it will be many
a day before even a small percent of these crossings will be done away
with - consequently, does it not behoove everyone to use the utmost
caution and the most thorough circumspection when approaching these
places where, in the past, have too often been not only a menace, but
a vertiable death-trap to many unfortunate human beings. Let me cite a
case in point :

On Jan. 25th, 1929, a motor bus carrying 25 passengers was approaching
the town of Bellevue, O., A swiftly moving express train is nearing
the same town. At the same time a fierce wind, accompanied by a
blinding snow-storm is prevailing. The motorist, disconcerted by the
fierce wind, and the blinding snow is unable to see any appreciable
distance ahead of him. Before he is fully aware of his imminent danger,
he is on the crossing, is struck by the train and 19 of the 25 passen-
gers are killed. In thsi case it should be said that no blame be attach-
ed to the motorist, for under the circumstances he was utterly unable
to see and forsee the dreadful catastrophe in which he was involving
not only himself, but the helpless passenger, who, no doubt, had
implicit faith in his trustworthiness and ability to bring them in
safety and security to their destination.

During the 4 weeks we were in the Ozarks, we were at the Summit Hotel,
which is so called, because it it is claimed that the grounds on which
the Hotel is built represent the highest point of the Arkansas Ozarks.
But there seems to be some mistake about this as I shall show presently.
About 3/4 of a mile from the Hotel there lives a Mr. Spies, who at one
time was Scout Master of the Boy Scouts of Fort Worth - and an excellent
Scout Master he was too. Receiving, as he did, a salary of nearly
$ 5000 a year, he yet resigned his position as Scout Master in order that
he might engage in farming in the Ozarks. He has a small farm of about
40 acres, most of which is under cultivation. He has however, reserved
a small strip of woodland, in which grow undisturbed year after year
many of the herbs, shrubs and trees peculiar to that part of the Ozarks.
Among the trees there was one that is not uncommon in the mountains -
the Red Maple (A. rubrum). This is the tree whose leaves in the Autumn
turn a flaming crimson, as says the poet

"When the maple's burned to crimson
And the sassafras to gold;
When the days are warm and sunny
And the nights are frosty cold."

Mr. Spies, besides being a farmer, is a scientific horticulturist. His
favorite garden flower seems to be the zinia. Not only was his garden
filled with zinias, but, as he has by skillful crossing, produced a
number of hybrid zinias, these flowers represent many hues, tints and
shades of color. Seeing a wild heliotrope growing in his garden (and
Indian Heliotrope) - Helitropium indicum -, and calling his attention
to it, he told us he intended crossing it with the common garden heliotrope
and thus produce, as he was sure he could, a larger-flowered and more
fragrant heliotrope. He has a large orchard and a fine vineyard.

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