Kissee Mills, MO. 1979
This is a story I tell over and over to my kids and grandkids. It's the story of a young man we met while camping in Missouri a long time ago. Kissee Mills is in Taney County and part of the Branson community.
It was summer and we were looking for a new camp site. We stopped at a fork in the road that had a little shack that sold bait. A young boy probably about 12 or so asked us if we wanted a busy camp or a not busy camp. We said we wanted the not busy camp. He said to go down the road to the left. So we did. We set up camp and were sitting around the concrete picnic table just enjoying the day. I was facing west, the sun was going down and I saw something. Then I realized it was someone on horseback. After a minute I lost sight of him. Pretty soon a rider and his horse were in our camp. It was the young boy! What a surprise! He told us he just wanted to check on us and make sure we got settled in ok. I know I was grinning ear to ear. What a thoughtful young man. I noticed he had saddle bags on his horse so I asked him what he kept in the saddle bags. He turned and looked at them and said that's where he keeps his chickens. I didn't expect that answer. I thought he was yanking my leg, ok, I will play along so I asked, well why do you keep your chickens in there? He said, " I throw them chickens in the creek and the craw dads jump on". All of sudden I could visualize that and it made sense. Guess you had to be country to know that. Before long the boy said he had to go, that the 'corpse' of engineer men didn't like it when I bring ma mule in the park. I thought it was a horse. I also knew what he meant when he said corpse. My grandpa was a Corps of Engineer in Iowa.