|Monday - December 24, 2012
Wishing you a Merry Christmas and all the best for a New Year
From all of us here at the Ozark Folk Center State Park
We wish you
a wonderful Merry Christmas,
a happy holiday season and
a healthy and prosperous New Year.
Award winners honored at Christmas dinner
All of our folks here at the Ozark Folk Center go above and beyond their job descriptions to share their love of Ozark crafts, musics, herblore and hospitality with you, our visitors. But each year, we vote among the staff and contract crafts people and musicians to honor a few exceptional folks. These awards were presented this month at our annual Christmas party.
Craft Person of the Year goes to Linda Odom, of Aunt Linda’s Apothecary Shop. In 2012 she has remodeled her second shop; taught soap making classes to students from around the USA; worked as a host with the Road Scholar program; trained two apprentices; and helped countless visitors use the new electric mobility lift – all while single-handedly running one of the top shops in the Craft Village.
The Helen Meggs Volunteer of the Year Award goes to the Master Naturalist. This group of naturalist has contributed to the maintenance of the Herb Gardens this past year, contributing much needed labor to an important aspect of the park.
The Musician of the Year for 2012 is Caleb Cobb, Samuel Cobb and Nathan Cobb. The Cobb Brothers, all multi instrumentalists, got their start on the stage at the Ozark Folk Center State Park and have become one of the premier musical groups in the region. Aside from their outstanding musical ability Caleb, Samuel and Nathan are all fine young men and represent Mountain View and all of Stone County in a way we can all be proud of.
The 2012 Hospitality award goes to Assistant Superintendent Josh Epperson. Josh is the true example of hospitality. Voted by his peers and employees for consistently going out of his way to make park guest happy.
Shawn Hoefer was voted by his peers to receive the Bette Rae Miller Spirit Award for his dedication to the mission of the Ozark Folk Center State Park. Shawn consistently exceeds the visitors expectations, voluntarily assists the park with special events, and other areas within his wide realm of expertise. The operation at the OFCSP is better for Shawn's contributions."
This year there were three Arkansas State Parks Director’s Special Commendations awarded.
Bette Rae Miller - For 26 seasons of friendship, hospitality, and work. For 26 seasons of setting the bar for customer service. For 26 seasons of being the one employee who made hundreds of thousands of visitors feel instantly at home. For 26 seasons of being the reason for a Bette Rae Miller Spirit Award. For 26 seasons of being the loveliest person in Stone County.
Mary Gillihan - Mary consistently does her job with excellence, being a leader in her field, and always energetic. Mary is known for her hospitality, storytelling, and musical talent.
Melody Miller - For her tireless work, consistently going above and beyond expectations of guests and staff, faithfulness to the operation, and creating order and efficiency in the work place.
Abundant Blessings from the Heritage Herb Gardens
The Heritage Herb Garden at the Ozark Folk Center grace the park with visual colors and textures, sweet and pungent aromas, and help us to interpret the history of the human use of plants.
This is the time of year to reflect on blessings and to acknowledge abundance. Take, for instance, the perfect design that is place for plants that provide food for us and animals; give us shade, fuel and shelter life-giving oxygen to the atmosphere. Over the winter, the soil is freezing and thawing, making nutrients available for next spring’s growth. Above ground, most plants, especially trees, have shed their leaves, revealing a view of distant vistas and allowing the eye to see the lay of the land. The fallen leaves become food for pill bugs, slugs and earthworms. These macro organisms, along with microscopic fungi and bacteria, are breaking the tissues of the leaves down. In this way, the elements that were taken up by the plants are given back to the soil, to nourish future plant growth. The plants feed the soil and the soil feeds the plants, then the plants feed us. Nature is abundant in blessings, even in winter.
To all those who read these words, regardless of your religious practice and garden activity, my wish to you is that you know that you are blessed abundantly. May you find joy in your home and in your work. If I don’t see you in the future—I’ll see you in the pasture!