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.

Randy Scritchfield
Scott Harvey / KSMU

It’s an unseasonably warm 70 degrees in late November and I’m riding shotgun in a 1968 Plymouth GTX driven by Randy Scritchfield. We’re traveling eastbound on Kearney Street in Springfield, simulating a tradition that started in the 1950s and re-launched this spring after years of prohibition.

“Cruisers traditionally drive slow,” he tells me. “That way another cruiser might catch up to you.”

For the 64-year-old Scritchfield, cruising back in the early 1970s – when he started – meant driving from the Kearney Street McDonalds to Glenstone. 

(Logo courtesy Temple Israel)

The Jewish faith is steeped in tradition, and that goes for the local Jewish community as well.  To find out about some of their traditions I spoke with Rabbi Barbara Block of Temple Israel near Rogersville.

(Randy Stewart)

“A holiday tradition that seems as old as Christmas trees and mistletoe.”

Michele Skalicky

Every year for the past 69 years, Branson has upheld a tradition that began with a group of businessmen sitting around a table at the Shack Café on Commercial Street downtown tossing around ideas.

Among the group were Joe Todd and Steve Miller, according to Greg Pyron.  He said it was not too long after World War II, and things were looking up for Branson.  They were thinking up ideas for what they could do for visitors during the holidays.

Drury University

During the days leading up to the holidays, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed with all there is to do:  Gifts to buy, food to prepare, decorating to get done.  But a long-standing tradition in Springfield allows people to take an hour, de-stress and focus on the true meaning of the season.