Northwest Arkansas Times from Fayetteville, Arkansas on May 12, 1974 · Page 13
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May 12, 1974

Northwest Arkansas Times from Fayetteville, Arkansas · Page 13

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Fayetteville, Arkansas
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Sunday, May 12, 1974
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SEaiON B FAYETTEVIUf, ARKANSAS, SUNDAY, MAY 12, 1974 Poison Poke? Not In The Ozarks Sharp Idea Would Save Post O///ce I have been advised, second h a n d , that the Washington County Historical Society is the designated local agent in charge of the National Bicentennial Celebration. Unfortunately, the society has been too busy with other matters to gel iLsclf involved in setting up plans for '.he celebration. It isn't too late, though. A 'pageant, replete with gay costumes and stirring speeches can still be organized. I notice, in Tact, that Fort Smith is presently seeking official designation as a "Bicentennial Community" for the nation's 20l)lh birthday, two years hence. Why does Fort Smith deserve the honor more than Fayette- villc? Saint Sebastian was a Godly man, right enough, but has no connection with the American (he was Italian). Bicentennial: w h e r e a s , Washington County is named for the most significant figure of the American revolution. As I u n J e r s t a n d it, there are three major areas of participation: Heritage '76; Festival '76, and Horizons '76. Any one of the three seem pertinent to Fayetteville's competency. There is still a modicum of "Heritage" t h a t hasn't been torn down, and anyone who can remember back to the occasion of the original "Chicken of Tomorrow" knows that "Festi val" is well within local means In view of the present state of flux in our downtown area however, we kind of lean toward "Horizons "76" as the logical theme. How appropriate .if it couid be arranged to bull doze down the entire south side of the Square for the occasion This would symbolize effec tively the "new horizons" ol modern taste, and, at the very same time, expose to folks seated in the grandstand on the Square, the greater reality ol horizons th^t lie off down the lovely West Fork valley in the direction of West Fork. I AM A W A R E THAT the Historical Society doesn'l need my help with ideas, bul as a suggestion, why not sel up a formal Bicentennial Com mittee and t h e n provide il space in the Old Post Office building? The old P.O. is almost empty now, clean as a hounds- tooth, and. solid ns Fort Knox Two birds might be poachcc with a single stroke, in fact, If this arrangement could be brought off. · With, a Bicentennial Commit tec safely ensconced in the olc edifice, even when GSA moves out, how could Urban Renewa tear down the old building while a distinguished committee hard at work on the grounc floor? And how could the Housing Authority conveniently eject so patriotic a group, the eve of so momentous national occasion? In other words, the Bicentennial Committee could probably save the old building, at leas until after the '76 festivities. By that time, who knows, maybe the Urban Renewal project wil have run out of money. By ROBERT G. WINN How often we take for granted '.he familiar and plenti- ul flora about us without giving lought to the possibility that .hese may not be used or even nown by those living away rom our Ozark mountains, uch was the case with the well nown and widely appreciated xke - or pokeweed of these ills. In spite of the fact that le plant, is according to the Encyclopedia American, "a ative of the United States from Maine to Florida and westward o Minnesota and Texas," many jeople are not acquainted with ts use. The Encyclopedia further tales that "The young shoots nd seeds are edible, but only fler the root has been .removed /ith great care, since it is poisonous. The deep crimson juice IF ALL OF THIS sounds too ridiculous to take seriously let me say (hat there actuall ARE a number of concerned citizens here in Our Town stil hoping to find a warm spot in the Housing Authority's bureau cartic heart in regard to saving the Post Oflice. If the foregoing is foolishness on my pare, the ensuing com merits mo^t assuredly are not Those who care, DO care, am that -- to me, at least -- i; worth a good deal, just on the face of it. The "preservation isls" arc not without their mea sure of logic, too. The old P.O building is quite solid, and I COULD be converted withou extensive interior remodelling Not remodelled in the fashion of a modern skyscraper, cer tainly, but after the fashion o which the slructure was origin ally designed (which lament ably, seems to be an idea fore ign to contemporary architec tural standards). Frank Snnrp. genial proprie for of the Smokehouse on Dick son, is among several person presently convinced of thi greater value of the huildini existing than non-existing. I might cost the city as much as $1 a sruiare foot, estimate Sharp. Adequate remodelling could probably ready it for use for tinder $10. What a bargain he says, as an administration office for the city. And what, a bargain In con venience. And what a fine cen Ira! attraction for downtown commercial development. On top of that, it has a gcnuin marble lined, terrazo - floorer 1 gentlemen's room. And how man ytowns today have that Those who have a concern fo in amelioration of Fayctte ville's contemporary lack ol taste for the relics of older jentler, more dignified time might do well to stop by th Smokehouse for a ham sam wich. and · **t w i t h Mr iharn. also has poisonous elements. The herb's name was derived from the Indian POCON, a dye yielding plant." Our technical interest in this locally well-known plant was stirred by a letter received last spring from some Yankee friends residing in '.he state of Oregon. They had asked for more enlightenment about' a letter we had written to them in which we had mentioned the enjoyment of eating this early vegetable, or herb. STRANGERS CONFUSED They wrote. "You w i l l have to come again on the "poke." -- The dictionary mentions only the poisonous variety of pokeberry -- and a pokeweed -also poisonous and used for staining. We kinda seem to gather that you have been referring to some type of spin- ach perhaps." Thus we suddenly realized that the virtues of poke may be widely misunderstood. We do not know which publisher edited the dictionary our friends read, but referring to our own Encyclopedia edition of the Winston Dictionary we found only: "Poke; a tall American herb with white flowers and purple berries; also called pokeweed." Under pokeweed we found nothing more than a reference back to POKE. Then we scurried to the library to refer to Webster's Unabridged Dictionary. Here we found under POKE: "Any of various plants used for staining and dyeing." - and under POKEWEED: "A coarse American perennial herb with racemose white flowers and dark purple juicy berries; poke. Both the berries and root arc emetic and purgative. The root is poisonous, but the young shoots are sometimes eaten like asparagus." O b v i o u s l y t h e writer for this portion of the dictionary was not an Ozarkian. However, in none of the references consulted did we find a statement to the effect that the poke plant itself is poisonous. CATHARTIC VALUE Any old-timer in the Ozarks knows the cathartic value of poke. Perhaps this quality was one of the reasons that pioneers valued the herb so highly. After a long winter on a diet consisting of too much meat and dried starchy foods the early poke and other wild greens made a welcome change. When fresh, canned or frozen vegetables were unavailable during the winter, the first signs of spring sent housewives searching for greens in the woodlands, pastures and unplowed fields. Our father used to tease our mother that in the springtime he had to put a bell on her in order to find her so avidly did she search every fence corner and woodland lot for these wild greens. How weli we remember tagging at her heels, gaining knowledge of inestimable value about wild plants and their habitat. In addition to poke, the most valued of all, we searched for narrow dock, wild buckwheat, lamb's quarter and deer's tongue along the creek bank. Even '.he leaves of wild strawberries made good filler when the poke was scarce. Turnip tops, mustard, or spinach may be added to change the flavor and reduce the slightly "bitey" taste of p o k e which some people find objectionable; others prefer '.he poke alone. REPELS INSECTS Apparently poke does contain some quality that is repellent to insects; the plants are generally free of these pests. Livestock will not eat the plants. Birds eat the berries and drop the seed, assisting in the spread of the plants. This probably accounts for the fact that new shoots spring up quickly in recently cleared pasture land, "new ground", or on the site where a brush pile was burned the year before. Hogs will eat portions of the roots, but not all the way through. What uncanny instinct tells these foraging animals not to eat all the root? For whatever reason they always leave part of it. Proof that the roots are very poisonous to humans Nutrition. Program. Hits Goal Of Serving 250 The Nutrition Program for he Elderly in Washington County has reached its goal of serving 250 persons. The program, which serves neals to elderly citizens, was nslituled March 27 at four sites n the county. On the first day '96 persons were served. The Washington County Economic Opportunity Agency administers the $92.000 federally funded program. In Fayetteville 40 meals are being served daily at Hillcrest Towers and 30 are being delivered to homes. The Rev. Stephen Cranford, RAZORSACK BAND LEADERS ... Grady Core, left, assistant drum major and drum major Ken Mclntosh Drutti Major, Majorettes Are Selected For UA Bano Drum majors, majorettes, featured twirlers and the flag captain for this fall's Marching Razorback Band have been selected, according to Eldon Janzen, director of University bands. Heading the band as drum major will be Ken Melntosh of Prodocers Exchange Schedules Meeting T h e R u r a l Mountain Producers Exchange will hold its monthly meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Farm Service Coop office building on Hwy. 71 south. Members and interested persons are asked to attend the meeting at which an opening date will be set for the Farmers Market. Also on the agenda is it discussion on funding requests for next year. The Economic Opportunity Agency, which has provided the exchange with ' ' s e e d ' 1 money to get established, is now planning allocation of next year's funds. Requests for additional money from the EGA will have to be made by early summer. Jack L. Robinson, son of Mr. and Mrs. Harvey L. Robinson of Route 2, Springdale, was promoted to the rank of Marine Gunnery Sergeant while serving with force troops at the Marine Base at Camp LeJeone, N.C, He is married to the former Marilyn Sutton of Springdale. Tulsa, OkJa., who served this past fall as assistant drum major. The assistant drum major in the fall will be Grady Core of Fort Smith. Mclntosh a senior education major, is a graduate of E d i s o n High School in T u l s a - Core is a sophomore pre-med major and graduated from Northside High School in Fort Smith. Featured twirlers for the band will be Jim Freher of Vir ginia, 111., and Barbara Gilley of Prairie Village, Kan., both of whom were featured twirlers !so for last year's band. Head majorette will be Sherr Pierce of Rison. Other major ettes will be Ann Teaford of Osceola. Terry Ward of Spring dale, Janie West brook of Hazen Linda Hitchcock of Jonesboro and Ginny Hustabte of Wes Memphis, all of whom are returning from last fall's band and Libby Willman of Lonoke and Dorothy Patton of Jones boro, who will be enterinf freshmen. Steve Long of Pine' Bluff wil serve as captain of the Flag Squad. Janzen said that the position: were filled from competitive auditions. hairman of the city's Advisory xmmittee said this exceeds the uidelines for the program, rtiich set a 10 per cent limit n meals delivered to homes. "We have to cut back on the umber of meals delivered and p the number served at the ite," Mr. Cranford said. Generally satisfied with the otal program, Mr. Cranford xpressed concern that it has Men misunderstood. "The meal is free and, while here are provisions for persons a contribute, t h e r e is no harge. Any money collected emains at the individual site, t has been used to purchase ablecloths and equipment at some of the sites but we hope o be able to turn it into more ree meals," Mr. Cranford said. RUMOR DISPELLED "I certainly want to dispel he rumor that money is taken ut of Social Security checks o pay for the meal," he em- Dhasized and reiterated there is 10 charge. The only requirement is that ndividuals make out an application form which may be btained at the Fayetteville ite, or any of :the other sites, ocated at Lincoln, Prairie "rove, or Springdale. Mr. Cranford is concerned hat the program cannot meet he needs of persons who aren't able to come to the sites. "We re investigating the possibility f getting a Meals on Wheel's irogram started, but this won't lappen next week, or even the text," he said. The N u t r i t i o n Program las a two - fold p u r p o s e , irst to improve nutrition and secondly, but equally important, o provide a social situation. "Some of these people need o break an isolation pattern and we are seeing this happen. Many have gotten together to come to the Center and those who drive pick up others. "After the meal they sit around and talk, and many remain for the programs sponsored by the Council on Aging at Hillcrest Towers These programs take place at 1:30 p.m. Monday. Wednesday nd Friday and feature guest ecturers and musicians." he explained. VOLUNTEER PROGRAM The whole program is a massive volunteer effort. "Without these volunteers i just wouldn't be possible. Area clubs and organizations provide volunteers for one day a month There are only five paid em ployes -- the director, Mrs Peggy Ford; a director o volunteers, and three cooks,' Mr. Cranford said. The meal are prepared at the Newman Center. Community support has mad the program possible. A notable contribution was $800 from th Sequoyah Kiwanis Club used k purchase a commercial dish washer at the Fayetteville site Mr. Cranford noted. The participants have enjoyet and benefited from the progra and Mr. Cranford said the comments have been good, ". few even better than I though possible. We are making adjust ments as the program goe along and expect to adc participants to the Advisor Committee in order to get thei impressions." he said. The Advisory Committee f composed of nine persons an 10 participants will be electee to serve. 'This will provide feedbac on the program. They will te us how we can better mce their needs," Cranford con eluded. Complete* Training Two members of the depart ment of public safety'at th University of Arkansas have completed a basic polic training course at the Law En forcement Training Academy in East Camden. They are Jerry D. Bailey o Winslow and John M. Stevens of Fayetteville. Both are visors. Pleod* Innocent Susan Adams, 21, Leveret Gardens apartments, pleadec innocent Friday afternoon i Washington Circuit Court to charge of conversion of publi funds. Her trial was set for Angus Miss Adams is accused o converting $17.809 in funds pai into the food stamp office ii Fayetleyille to her persona use, while the was supervise of the office. Miss Adams is free on J2,50C bond. A Mother Enforces Caution Restraining her venturesome kitten with one paw, a mother cat keeps a wary eye on (he photographer lest he at- tempt t« invade the cardboard box In which she makes her home. In the end she de- cided he was harmless and released the kitten. (T1MES- photo by Ken Good) City Cab Firm May Expand To Springdale SPRINGDALE -- The City Council Tuesday is expected to eceive a recommendation from iie Public Vehicle Commission n whether or not to grant a ranchise for taxi cab service o the Fayetteville Transpor- ation Service Company. This action follows M a y o r 'ark Phillips unexpected announcement 10 days ago that he Fayetteville Transportation Company temporarily would iperate two cabs in the city ecause the Springdale Cab Company had "forfeited" its ranchise. To date, the reasons why the ranchise was discontinued are unknown. Mayor Phillips said le would not comment on what clauses in the franchise the S p r i n g d a l e C a b Company specifically violated. He did say that the cab company owner -- Virgil Ellis -- w;is trying to sell his franchise to James Tincher without irsl getting City Council approval. He also said the company was not providing the city with cab service at the time the franchise was taken away. The .franchise was declared void during a meeting between city and Fayetteville cab company officials -- a session at which the news media was not present. NOT AVAILABLE The franchise agreement between the city and the Springdale Cab Company has not been available to the public this week. Asked to see a copy of the franchise which specifically outlines the regulations the city and cab company are to comply with, the city clerk said the mayor had the franchise. The mayor said he had given it to the attorney for the Fayetteville Transportation Service Company to use as a guideline in making application for the franchise. According to Phillips, no other copies of the franchise exist. Asked if the Ellises had sold their franchise to James Tincher, Mrs. Ellis told the TIMES that Tincher was making payments to her husband for he franchise. Tincher, who was using the /ranchise which provides for the operation of five cabs, stopped cab service without notifying the Ellises, Mrs. Ellis said. She estimated it was 24 to 36 hours after service had ceased before ,hev knew. She said citizens began calling the E l l i s residence to request cab service. NOT CONTACTED When the mayor declared void the city's franchise with :he Springdate Cab Company -whose officially recognized owner was Virgil Ellis -- the Ellises were never contacted by the mayor's or any c i t y of "iciat's office, they said. Phillips said he did try to contact Tincher -- who apparently was not the authorized franchise o w n e r if the City Council must approve franchise :ransfers and sales before such are legal -- but was not able -o locate him. Tincher's home and business telephones are no longer in service. According to Mrs. Ellis, when the Ellises heard Tincher hati stopped cab service, they called Ihe mayor and asked for time to "put the service hack on the road." The mayor answered no she said. In the municipal code, the ordinance says that if the company licensed to operate a cab service fails to operate any or all of the cabs covered by its certificate for a period o six consecutive days, certifi cation may be revoked or modified by the public vehicle commission so as to cover anc authorize only the number ol cabs actually operated. It is not known if Ellis con tacted the mayor within s i j days from the time Tincher ceased service. APPLICATION DRAWN Campaigning In Area State Rep. DM K Rr»dnn ef alonf a Fayettevilte **reet Utlle Rock, · caadtrfatc for Thmday white T*rr*'irBi Ike Democrat le Bomiaatioa hi N o r t h w e s t Arkana*. (or tteitenaat governor, walks (TIMESphoto hy Ray Gray) The Fayetteville Cab Com pany is now drawing up an application for franchise which first will be considered by the Public Vehicle Commission composed of three councilmen Jerry C. Clark, chairman James Irwin and Guy Wilson. The commission will meet a 8:30 p.m. Tuesday before the 7:30 p.m. council meeting to review the application. No other cab companies are expected to be considered fo the franchise. Mayor Phillip said the city is not required to file a public notice that (ranchise is open. Asked how the Fayetteville Transportation Service Com pany was chosen to make appii cation for the franchise, Phillips said the company learned tha the Springdale Cab Company was Dot operating when cit; residents began canine it lor cab service. was demonstrated some years ago when a family of "furriners" moved into the mountains near Winslow. They had heard of the food vain* and delicious taste of poke. While working in '.heir fields they dug and ate some of the raw roots. The result proved almost fatal. ' Usually the leaves and tender shoots are parboiled, then drained and fresh water added to complete the cooking. However, this precaution may not be absolutely necessary; think of those rich vitamins lost jn pouring off the first water. We prefer not to parboil the greens, but admit that the cathartic power is much greater in '.His case. . .;.'. 'POT-LIKKER' "" The "pot-likker" makes "a great tea, but should not . Be drunk at the same meal with the greens; the medicinal qP4J- ity becomes too potent. Like any other purgative the amount must be used with moderation. To any readers who think t h a t poke is poisonous, we must remind them that most, if not all, medicines prescribed by doctors must be taken in moderation. This certainly is true of digitalis, a member of the poisonous foxglove family, one species of which is the source of he valuable medioU nal heart stimulant. . ~:. White potatoes t h a t grow so near the top of the ground that they take on a green color are c o n s i d e r e d poisonous. The potato belongs to the deadly nightshade family of plants, as does the edible eggplant. Th« leaves of the rhubarb plant are poisonous - although the Winston dictionary does not mention this fact. Only the stalkj of this plant can be used safely;. Both the tender shoots arid leaves of poke are edible: Every native Ozark cook knows how *.o prepare this springtime delicacy. After the plant reaches further maturity it loses its desirability as food, but those young, tender plants, pre? pared properly by the experie"* ed O/ark cook are a gourmet's elight. Usually, after parboiling, the oke is seasoned with bacoh ;rease, with just a dribble;of 'inegar and a smidgen of sugar ind a pinch of salt, of course. Vny Ozark cook who does not know how to estimate a dribble or a smidgen or a pinch has 10 business in the kitchen. Vhile the poke is simmering, vhite potatoes are boiling and a pan of corn bread baking in a hot oven, and thick slices of home cured ham sizzling in a skillet. TEMPTING PLATE Could any plate be more empting than one with a generous serving of 'his well-sea- oned poke, a thick slice of lam, a boiled potato moistened 1 with a generous helping of 'red-eye" gravy, a piece of t h a t crunchy corn bread with melted lome churned butter? All this vashed do.wn with a cup of steaming sassafras tea - laced with a teaspoon of brandy - if vou choose - otherwise ordinary sweetening will do. We prefer loney. Food served in the most discriminating restaurant could not he m o r e tasty t h a n this simple Ozark meal. Oh. yes, we ilmost forgot - but don't you orgct to stop by the garden md bring in some green onions o munch with the poke and iam. After partaking of t h i s bounty you may have to wait awhile before indulging in that dish of red. sweet, fresh-picked strawberries and thick country cream. If some of the poke stalks are a little too big to leave with the greens, cut them into lieces after they have been wiled - but don't turn your back on the stove while they are boiling or they will be over- lone. Only a few minutes and hey will be tender enough to icnetrate with a fork. Don't boil hem any longer! They will Kcome a mushy mess and fall apart. But prepared right and dipped in a generous coating of cornmcal and f r i e d to..a crisp, golden brown they are delicious! If you don't want to roll them in meal, nor to cut them into pieces, then carefully drain the entire shoot and serve with -a. helping of holtandaise sauce~ or just plain mayonnaise will do nicely. = Don't throw away any of th» tender left-over poke that was served with that ham and corn bread. Drain off all the "pot- likker" and save that to -be drunk as a tea, then finely chop the left-over poke and scramble with the breakfast eggs. If you feel like being a little more "high fallu'.in" get out your favorite spinach souffle recipe and substitute the poke for the spinach. If any of our readers stfll think that poke is poisonous we can only say - Please pass the poison! Named To Post ;' Dr. John K. Day, director of the University of Arkansas Student Health Service, has been elected president of the Sout}western College Health Associ£. lion. This organization is comprised of health officers from colleges and universities in Arkansas, Oklahoma. Texas, Lour isiana and New Mexico. Dr. Day was elected !»st month and will serve until not May, '..:

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