Sense of Community

March, June, September, December

From poverty concerns to major policy decisions, this series dives beyond the headlines to provide in-depth coverage of issues facing people and organizations in the Ozarks. KSMU's team of reporters combine for 10 stories each quarter, to air the final weeks of March, June, September and December.

Jennifer Moore / KSMU

A school bus pulls into the circle drive at the Christos House domestic violence shelter in rural Howell County.  The exact location is kept secret to protect the people staying here.  Two kids leap off the bus. They’re greeted by the shelter supervisor and a friendly black dog.

Kelli Neel, the supervisor, says the shelter has several traditions to help the residents weather the holidays.

“Because when you come into shelter, your whole life is disrupted. So you don’t get to participate in traditions that you’ve already established,” she said.

Jennifer Moore / KSMU Radio

We humans spend lifetimes keeping up traditions built around home and family.  But what happens when your home and family are no more?


In this morning’s Sense of Community segment on local traditions, we’re transporting you to the annual holiday party in the Kabul Nursing Home in Cabool, Missouri.  It takes place each year about a week before Christmas.


Mike Smith / KSMU-FM

“There are traditions all around us, in everything we do.” says Howard Wright Marshall.  “Generally speaking, a Tradition is some sort of craft, or story, song, fiddle tune or even recipe that has been transmitted largely by aural tradition from one person to another. Over several generations, these things become embedded in the community, and help tell us a lot about the personality of the place, and the kind of people who live there.”

Mike Smith / KSMU-FM

Mona McCann, has been quilting since she was a kid:  “I think there’s something real emotional about quilts. I feel like so much of you, is expressed is a quilt.”  Mona-Gail Pearce grew up on a farm with a Clever Missouri mailing address: “I was born in the country, and one of my grandmothers was a quilter, and I thought she was the greatest thing on earth.  My mother and aunt grew up in the Methodist Church in Clever, and I would go to the quilting each week with them.  The ladies would have lunch and talk about things in the community.”

Scott Harvey / KSMU

One after another, Faye Davis pulls a postmarked card from a large stack and adds to it some holiday cheer in the form of a decorative stamp.

“We have one with a Christmas tree. It says ‘Seasons Greetings Noel, Missouri – The Christmas City – Ozark vacationland. This one is a wreath that just says ‘Seasons Greetings Noel, Missouri – Christmas City USA.’”