Springfield Leader and Press from Springfield, Missouri on July 18, 1982 · 23
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Springfield Leader and Press from Springfield, Missouri · 23

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Springfield, Missouri
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Sunday, July 18, 1982
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23
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(0) n. Obituaries page 2 Daily record page 2 Missouri...... page 10 TheNewsLeader Sunday, July 18, 1982 Jig dancin' sizzles at Dora Picnic V 'A' I ' " X ft "- j .vN w ; -.. jbtt MtiMt ill! f r l Hii inr r MHiii I 'J jj is Li- -w Clarence Coburn, 74, (above) glides across the dance floor at the Dora Picnic Saturday. His sister-in-law Wilma Coburn, 66, of Granby joins right in while Curly Ha worth (above, with guitar) and his Mountain Sunshine band gets both dancers jumping. The Staff PhotoKevin Madden picnic also gave craftsmen such as Johnnie Griffin (left) a chance to show their wares. Griffin, a retired farmer and sawmill operator from Caulfield, displayed a table full of fiddles made from maple, oak, walnut and "anything that grows here in the Ozarks." By Kevin Madden The News-Leader DORA It was hot out there, and Clarence Coburn was about to get hotter. Fiddles were whining jerkily as the 74-year-old man appeared on the concrete dance floor and began to move in the overbearing afternoon sun. Jig dancin', he called it, and he . glided and scooted weightlessly across the floor like a 190-pound leprechaun. Cobum had traveled all the way from Joplin to attend the doings at Dora this weekend. Curly Haworth, the grinning leader of Mountain Sun-. shine Band, had let Coburn know the band was playing at the Dora Picnic-and asked if Coburn would come. Coburn showed up. In addition,-' about 999 other people were expected to attend the Dora Picnic this , weekend to go on canoe floats, examine crafts, drink beer and listen to a variety of live music. The, affair was sponsored by Paul Roy, owner of Roy's Store. By mid-afternoon .Saturday, Paul Roy's son Jerry looked around at the sparse crowd of less than 100 people and said, "It's July and it's so hot that most people don't show up until the music starts this evening. It's an evening event that goes from 7 to 1:30 in the morning." ' The evening would see the return of the Mountain Sunshine Band, a square dance and folk music group, as well as the appearance of Crystal, See PICNIC, Page 2C Miss Missouri basks in glory before her fans By Julie Westermann The News-Leader For perhaps the first time in the nine months since Julie Phillips began preparing for the Miss Missouri competition, there were no critical eyes watching her Saturday night. . The hundred pairs of eyes that watched her perform during a homecoming celebration at the Springfield Art Museum belonged to family, friends and city officials who were content to let Miss Phillips be herself and bask in the glow of a hard-won honor coming home to the Ozarks as A I the newest Miss Missouri, , Along with emcee Greg Roark, the 18-year-old Ava native reminisced about . each part ot the Miss Missouri competition, sharing with the audience her answers to the judges' questions and the little speech she had prepared for the . evening gown competition. Miss Phillips, wearing the same dazzling white evening gown she wore at the pageant as Queen of the Ozarks, said her favorite part of the competition was her interview with the judges. With the exception of two light questions, the rest were tough, no-non sense questions testing her Julie Phillips knowledge of current and controversial issues, she said. The hardest was the last question of all why should she be Miss Missouri? "It was tough because I knew we were coming to the end of the interview and there was still so much I wanted to tell the judges, so I tried to do both at the same time." The toughest part of the competition? It had to be the swimsuit competition, during which the judges watch how the contestants carry themselves in an uncomfortable situation, she said. During the evening gown competition, she fold the judges she always faces each challenge with success in mind. For the talent competition, which counts for 50 percent of the contestant's final score, she performed a Gershwin medley on the piano. She repeated her jazzy performance Saturday night, but admitted that it would undoubtedly undergo a few minor changes for the Miss America competition in Atlantic City, N.J., in September. "It needs to be more showy, so we're going to be working on giving it more audience appeal," she said. As far as her Ozarks fans are concerned, judging from the applause, she didn't have to change a thing. D cSay-.Wli Wheels of time grind on old mill; restoration plans collapse with it By Jill Young Miller The News-Leader , i . TURNBACK The weak and weathered 114-year-old Dilday Mill, perched on the edge of Turnback Creek in Dade County, collapsed like a house of cards this summer. The mill's name soon could be erased from the National Register of Historic Places. It was Dade County's . oldest existing water-powered mill. Spiders now spin webs between splaying boards. Stray cats wander through the debris. Water spills over the dam and hits the rocks, marking time. On Christmas Day 1867, John B. Dilday raised the frame of the mill. A few months earlier Dilday had ; bought the property where the Finley Mill had stood until It was torched during the Civil War. ; The town of Turnback, almost midway between Pennsboro and Everton on what now is Dade County K, blossomed to a population of 35. It had a post office, a general store, a blacksmith and a doctor. By 1889, however, the population of Turnback had dwindled to 18, foreshadowing the fate of the Dilday Mill. ' Linville Jones, 74, witnessed the mill's decline. As a boy, he rode a horse to the mill to buy his family's flour. "The old mill was kind of a gathering place in the teens and '20s," he says. Through the decades, however, business faded, and the town of Turnback died. The mill closed in 1543 and changed owners several times. In the 1950s, the son of one owner sold much of the mill's equipment. A junk dealer bought the turbine wheel that powered the mill. "That was when the mill started falling apart," says Chick Wickizer. Wickizer and his wife, Katy, bought the miller's cabin and the mill in 1964. The Wickizers rebuilt the dam in 1966. Then they bought jacks and timbers to underpin the old mill and begin restoration. They never intended to restore the Dilday Mill to its original state, but they wanted to stop the mill from buckling inward and slipping off its foundation. And Mrs. Wickizer dreamed of making the mill a home. "Everyone thought I was insane, but I thought it was a fine idea," Mrs. Wickizer says. In 1967, Wickizer was in a serious head-on auto collision. A few years later, by the time Wickizer was ready to tackle the project again, the mill had become too shaky. "It had reached such a state of decay that I was afraid to take a crew of men in. It wasn't even safe enough to go into the mill and dismantle it," Wickizer says. So the Wikizers posted "Keep Out" signs on the building and waited for the inevitable. Between the last weekend in June and the Fourth of July, the inevitable occurred. "It was there when we left and gone when we came back," Mrs. Wickizer says. "It's sad." Wickizer already has begun picking through the nibble, salvaging timber and other materials. He says the mill's collapse could be a blessing in disquise. "Now that it has collapsed, I can salvage it piece by piece," he says. "It probably will take me until this time next year to clear the site, but then I can start rebuilding." , ' . The Wickizers do not plan to rebuild the several stories of the mill. They want to build a one-story structure, install turbines and generate power for their cabin. ' ' ' ' ' : ' Jones, who was born in 1908, never expected anyone to restore the mill to its original condition. There's no need for a mill on Turnback Creek anymore, he says, because the days of small milling communities, like Turnback, are over. "The old mill, well, the old mill had been there for a long time. And for a long time, it didn't amount to any-. thing," he says. "It's just history now." 1 lyN. mi ' -wag . If r i - 1 Staff photoMike Penprase The 114-year-old Dilday Mill in Turnback, above, stood on the brink of collapse for many years. Shortly before the 4th of July, time took its toll and the mill fell 'like a house of cards.' 4 - - J:- 111 ... ' -Hit,, Hyatt disaster anniversary passes quietly By Paula Maynard United Press International KANSAS CITY Robert Grant danced away the summer night to the swing music of the Steve Miller Orchestra, enjoying many of the same tunes he danced to at the Hyatt Regency Hotel less than a year ago. The recent dance at another hotel ballroom might be an eerie reminder to some of the night most Kansas Citians would choose to forget July 17, 1981, when two elevated walk way ss at the Hyatt Regency Hotel collapsed and killed 114, injured more than 200 and left the city In shock. But survivor Grant doesn't view it that way. "I'll never put (the Images of the disaster) behind me," said Grant, who was hospitalized for two weeks with Injuries he received that night. "But I won't stop dancing." Neither will many other Hyatt Regency tea dance regulars who now attend twice-a-month dances at the rival Radis9on-Muehleback Hotel. A year ago Saturday, Miller's trombonist had just completed his solo in Duke Ellington's melody "Satin Doll" when the two 32-ton walkways crashed to. the Hyatt Regency lobby floor in an avalanche of concrete and steel. There was only a one-second warning for the 2,000 revelers. Grant, 46, a salesman from suburban Ray-town, was knocked down by debris. His partner escaped unharmed. Grant's agony was filmed by a television news crew. Many times since he has watched his tiny image lying on the rosy tile an electronic deja vu. . The disaster scene has changed at the $50-million, 40-st6ry Hyatt, the city's tallest building. ' Gone are the three walkways swinging artistically, but perilously,, from the girders above. The glass roof and walls of the 60-foot-high atrium have been 'rebuilt at a cost exceeding $3 million with only one overhead walkway, anchored in bedrock. In February, the National Bureau of Standard's investigation concluded a weak suspension system had been responsible for the collapse. Edward Pfrang, who headed the NBS investigation, said any working engineer should have been able to see that the walkways were so flimsy they could not even satisfy the city building code. Now, thanks to the scrutiny of armies of reporters, lawyers and engineers prior to the 'I'll never put (the images of the disaster) behind me. But I won't stop dancing.1 Robert Grant building's reopening, the 2-year-old, 733-room Hyatt Regency may be one of the safest hotels in the world. But Jill Tvedten-Long, 22, is not so sure. She picketed with her three sisters and about 20 others at the Oct. 1 reopening of the hotel. She has never entered the building where her father, battalion fire chief John Tvedten, was killed. Mrs, Tvedten-Long said she was disturbed then about what she considered the city's failure to enforce its building codes and she says she is still angry. "Nothing has changed," says Mrs. Tvedten-Long. "Nothing can change. We cannot depend on other people .for our safety. We cannot depend on other people to do their jobs well." Mark Williams, 35, the last living person pulled from the rubble that night, feels differently. "Anger does no good," says Williams, who was trapped in the debris for 10 hours. "People have to live with their own mistakes. My dad taught me that trying to get even is time twice wasted." "Both my wife and I are coping the best we can," says Chuck Hayes, 33, a radio newsman who was the last victim to be released from the hospital. "I still harbor lots of feelings of anger, and sometimes this tragedy seems like a lifetime ago and other times its seems like yesterday." Hayes and his wife, Jayne, 30, also attend physical therapy sessions three days week. He was hospitalized for 131 days. No official service was planned by the city on the anniversary. Mayor Richard Berkley even suggested the news media was making more of the occasion than was warranted. "We are all in the real world and we know people are going to have to have some difficult times," he says, "It's not in any way that people are not thought about, but my feeling was that (the anniversary) should be handled by each person in their own individual way. If you create an event, it makes it harder for some people." The bloodstained remains of the walkways are locked in a warehouse in the shadow of the Hyatt, only a few blocks from another guarded building containing documents about the hotel's financing, its construction and the structural failure of the walkways. Both depositories are protected by court order. Of the more than a dozen defendants In a myriad of lawsuits, the biggest targets have been Hallmark Cards Inc., the parent company of Crown Center Redevelopment Corp, which owns the building, and Hyatt Corp., which leases the building for its subsidiary, Hyatt Hotels Corp. So far, Insurers for Hallmark and Hyatt " both private, family-owned corporations have paid $25 million to settle more than 160 claims. , See HYATT, Page 2C I

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