Rural Missouri - March 2020 - 5

Missouri
RURAL

RM | PERSPECTIVES

Traditions and trout

Volume 73 | MARCH 2020 | Number 3
EDITORIAL STAFF:
Jim McCarty, editor
jmccarty@ruralmissouri.coop
Paul Newton, managing editor
pnewton@ruralmissouri.coop
Heather Berry, associate editor
hberry@ruralmissouri.coop
Megan Backes, creative director
mbackes@ruralmissouri.coop
Zach Smith, field editor
zsmith@ruralmissouri.coop
Angie Jones-Wheeler, co-op page designer
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Mary Davis, production manager
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Editorial:
Rural Missouri
P.O. Box 1645, Jefferson City, MO 65102
573-659-3423
info@ruralmissouri.coop
www.ruralmissouri.coop
Advertising:
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the merchandise and services offered are accurately described and sold to customers at the advertised price. Rural Missouri and Missouri's electric cooperatives do not endorse any products or
services advertised herein. Advertising that does
not conform to these standards or that is deceptive or misleading is never knowingly accepted by
this publication.
Rural Missouri is published monthly by the
Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives,
Caleb Jones, CEO/executive vice president.
Individual subscription rate: $10 per year or
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Group rate for members of participating RECs
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Copyright 2020, Association of Missouri Electric
Cooperatives. Call for reprint rights.

USPS 473-000 ISSN 0164-8578

Circulation of this issue: 562,231

asasasasasasasasasasasa

by Caleb Jones
cjones@amec.coop

T

he calendar
may say spring
is still nearly a
month away,
but for me winter ends
March 1. That's opening day of trout season
at Missouri's four trout
parks. It's a safe bet I
will be among the faithful at Bennett Spring
State Park on that date. This was a great day at Bennett Spring with Grandpa and my
I was 5 years old
‚ÄČ e caught fish!
brother, Clayton. W
when my grandfather,
the way Grandpa taught me keeps me
Carson Teel, took me
grounded in the important things in
and my brother, Clayton, to Benlife like family and friends.
nett Spring for the first time. I can't
Our traditions - whether it's fiddle
remember if I caught a fish that day,
playing, picking walnuts to shell or
but I can assure you I was hooked
gigging suckers - are what makes
even if the fish weren't.
rural Missouri the place people want
For the past 35 years nothing has
to live, work and raise their families.
kept me from the tradition of openWhen I think of traditions, I am
ing day at Bennett Spring. No matter
always reminded of families I see
where I was or what I was doing, I
attending the many electric co-op
never missed this sacred day on the
annual meetings across the state. The
water. I remember flying home from
tradition of supporting their electric
my first job in Washington, D.C.
cooperative started with grandparents
when I barely had two quarters to rub
or great-grandparents, who rememtogether just to be part of the happy
ber how electric cooperatives brought
throng competing for open water.
electricity to rural Missouri when
For me and thousands of other
everyone else said it couldn't be done.
Missourians, opening day is a rite of
It continues with parents who
passage to be shared with friends and
appreciate the "Concern for Comfamily. Grandpa Carson has passed
munity" - the seventh Cooperative
away, but this tradition is carried on
Principle - that all cooperatives
by myself and my brother.
practice. It stays with the kids when
Clayton and I take trout fishing
they participate in one of many youth
seriously, whether it's opening day
activities sponsored by local electric
or a quick trip down on a blue-sky
cooperatives.
Missouri morning. If he catches more
It's shared by the employees and
fish than me, you can bet I will do my
directors, many of which are the secbest to catch one that is bigger than
ond and third generations to carry on
his best keeper - and for the record,
the cooperative tradition.
I usually do.
I want to thank all of you who supSometimes March 1 is a pretty misport the people who bring you power
erable day to be standing in a stream
at your electric cooperative. For them
fed by a 100-million-gallon spring. So
it's more than a job, it's a tradition -
what makes grown men and women
one that I am honored to carry on.
practice this folly? I can sum it up in
one word: tradition.
Jones is the executive vice president
Traditions are important in this
and CEO of the Association of Missouri
fast-paced age. Flipping a fly at a wily
Electric Cooperatives.
trout or the simple act of tying a hook
MARCH 2020 | RURALMISSOURI.COOP

5


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Rural Missouri - March 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - March 2020

Contents
Rural Missouri - March 2020 - Cover1
Rural Missouri - March 2020 - Cover2
Rural Missouri - March 2020 - Contents
Rural Missouri - March 2020 - 4
Rural Missouri - March 2020 - 5
Rural Missouri - March 2020 - 6
Rural Missouri - March 2020 - 7
Rural Missouri - March 2020 - 8
Rural Missouri - March 2020 - 9
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Rural Missouri - March 2020 - Cover3
Rural Missouri - March 2020 - Cover4
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