A Little Lagniappe

A Recollection of Growing Up in the Ozarks and Knowledge of "Hard Work U" or College of the Ozarks

Elaine Boston 

Louisiana State Chairman

College of the Ozarks

John Robinson Chapter

My family has been in Missouri for multiple generations.  We lived on the eastern edge of the Ozarks in Ripley County, and my grandmother's family lived on the western edge in Howell County. My father always described himself as a "hillbilly".  He loved the raw and pristine wilderness for its beautiful springs, rivers and game.  He was at his peak when he was out fishing or hunting in his beloved Ozarks.

My husband Larry's family moved to Missouri when I was in high school.  His father was the high school science and chemistry teacher.  He was acquainted with the Board members of the School of the Ozarks and saw an opportunity for many of the bright, but poor, students who inhabited the area.  When Mr. Boston, as we always called him, took a student to Branson, Missouri to the college, that student was always offered an opportunity to live and study there.  I specifically remember a classmate of mine whose father was in prison for murder that Mr. Boston took to the college.  He was admitted, accepted, and graduated with honors.  He lived an exceptional life which would never been 

possible without a college degree.

If you are unfamiliar with the college, you MUST visit.  The students put in many hours of hard work every week.  They raise their own food for the most part and make the absolute best ice cream in the world!!  They also have weaving and other many items for purchase in the gift shop or on-line.  The School is especially known for an item that i enjoy at Christmas time- fruit cake!!  I may be the only person I know who enjoys fruit cake, but perhaps they have not tried the one from the College.  DAC chapters offer the cake and many other items for sale in support of the School.

The students also operate a restaurant and hotel- a delightful experience.  Great food and service and the local town of Branson has grown to be a significant center for music shows and other talent.  Sixty Minutes called Branson the "Live Music Capital of the Entire Universe."  Individuals can tour the school and visit the museum which consists many of donated items that have been given to the school which defy description. It contains old cars, motorbikes, movie items and a little of this and that!!  Great to see how the very rich and famous felt compelled to support the school for their Christian beliefs and work ethic.

The local flora and fauna are unmatched anywhere.  The Powersite Dam nearby on the White River, which form Lake Taneycomo, is within reasonable distance.  The Lake of the Ozark offers great fishing opportunities.  Branson also has a steam locomotive train called the "Branson Scenic Railway" that will take you into the mountains and stream areas close to town.  There are many cave sites to be visited.

So, when you need items for gifts or for yourself, check out the items available on-line or in person at the College of the Ozarks!!  Have a stay and a few meals in the wonderful Ozark air.  Meet your family there and have a family reunion!!  It is the "thing to do."