In the serene countryside of McDowell, Barry County, there resides a home that transcends time. Nestled within its walls lies a collection of clocks, each with its own distinctive tick-tock, meticulously cared for by Mark Meadows. For nearly 60 years, Mark has lovingly tended to the inner workings of these timepieces. Despite his humble claim of not being a “clock collector,” his passion for these delicate instruments is evident. Among his treasures is an English dial clock, a remarkable piece that serves as a centerpiece in his collection of approximately 50 clocks.
Every Monday, the clocks in Mark’s home come alive, as if orchestrating a melodious symphony. Their synchronized chiming fills the air, momentarily transforming his home into both a harmonious sanctuary and a riotous uproar. Over time, however, the clocks gradually fall out of sync, requiring Mark’s skilled hands to reset them to their unified timekeeping.
But it is not the clocks that define the stories within Mark’s home; rather, it is the pages of a book titled “Echoes from the Ozarks: Memories of the Missouri Hills.” Within its covers lay a treasure trove of stories, 32 in total, representing just a fraction of the tales Mark has stored in his computer. These stories are a testament to Mark’s upbringing in the Ozarks, where life was lived in simple ways and the memories made lasted a lifetime.
In “Echoes from the Ozarks,” Mark recounts his experiences of growing up without the luxury of a house, revealing how his resourceful parents used a concoction of whiskey and sugar as a remedy for various ailments. There is also the tale of the “Great Denture Adventure,” where Mark unintentionally launched his upper teeth across the room, leaving witnesses in awe of the unexpected dental flight.
Mark’s storytelling prowess has earned him comparisons to the literary legend Mark Twain. He attributes his love for writing to his mother, who would write him six-page letters every week while he was away from home. This letter exchange continued until Mark’s return to the Ozarks 40 years ago. Even after his mother’s passing, her influence on his writing remained, inspiring him to channel his memories into written words.
Curiously, Mark didn’t consciously set out to write a book. However, once freed from the obligation of corresponding with his beloved mother, he discovered an undeniable compulsion to continue writing. And so, he began to spin yarns, finding humor in even the smallest of moments. These seemingly mundane stories that might be shrugged off by some are transformed by Mark’s wit into hilarious anecdotes that leave readers in stitches.
The ability to find laughter in life’s experiences held a special place in Mark’s upbringing, instilled in him by his parents. They saw humor in everything, even chuckling at their own follies. His mother, in particular, possessed an infectious laughter that added years to her life. Mark firmly believes that a good laugh can work wonders for one’s well-being, lowering blood pressure and nurturing a healthy heart.
For those captivated by Mark’s tales of the Missouri Hills, his book, “Echoes from the Ozarks,” is readily available on Amazon. Dive into the pages that encapsulate his cherished memories and take a journey through time to the simplicity and humor of an Ozark’s life. Discover the joys and tribulations, the triumphs and setbacks, and above all, the enduring spirit of a community that holds its stories close to heart.
In conclusion, “Echoes from the Ozarks” beautifully captures the essence of an Ozark’s life, as shared through the perspective of Barry County’s very own Mark Meadows. His timeless collection of clocks serves as a gentle reminder that, like the passing of minutes and hours, life too moves forward. And through the pages of his book, Mark ensures that the echoes of the Ozarks will forever resonate with readers, preserving the memories of a bygone era for generations to come.