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A long time ago, I was a child. (I started out as Cathy First from Colon, Mi.) For the past several years I’ve been an adult. A lot of things went on between those two stages of life; probably no more or no less than anyone elses. My husband and I moved to “da U .P” from southern Lower Michigan several years ago (yes we were trolls at one time). We owned and operated and operate Clementz’s Northcountry Campground and Cabins just north of Newberry, Michigan until May 2015. We have grown kids and grandkids (who all live downstate). My passion is life and all that Nature has to offer us and trying to photograph it in unique ways. Our intention in life is to see all that Nature has to offer us. We hope that you will be a part of our adventures as we cruise through our lives together. Come back often!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007


We've all heard that Missouri is the SHOW ME STATE. Have you ever wondered why?

There are a number of stories and legends behind Missouri's sobriquet "Show-Me" state.

The most widely known legend attributes the phrase to Missouri's U.S. Congressman Willard Duncan Vandiver, who served in the United States House of Representatives from 1897 to 1903. While a member of the U.S. House Committee on Naval Affairs, Vandiver attended an 1899 naval banquet in Philadelphia. In a speech there, he declared, "I come from a state that raises corn and cotton and cockleburs and Democrats, and frothy eloquence neither convinces nor satisfies me. I am from Missouri. You have got to show me." Regardless of whether Vandiver coined the phrase, it is certain that his speech helped to popularize the saying.

However the slogan originated, it has since passed into a different meaning entirely, and is now used to indicate the stalwart, conservative, noncredulous character of Missourians.

Dan and I can add our two cents worth to why Missouri is the SHOW ME STATE.

As you may recall, we were to have the fire crew from Missouri stay with us but due to the cold nights, camping in tents was making some of the crew ill so the local DNR was able to find warm rooms for them. (Ya can't be working on a fire line and worrying about what you need to do if you are sick.) We had the pleasure of having them here , even though it was only for only two nights.

The Missouri Crew has been working the lines to the North of us. Every morning and every evening, we’d see that big, old lumbering white bus headed to the fire line or back to the motel. They would honk on their way by. Even though they had to be darn tired, they remembered us in this way.

Today was their last day and they were to head home. Dan and I figured they had left EARLY this morning. About an hour ago, we heard honking and hollering and here comes that big old bus pulling in to the driveway. Just seeing it pull in put tears in my eyes.

Dan and I quickly went outside. We didn’t want to hold them up from their long trip home. Each and every one of the crew got off the bus and we all went through a “line” and hugged each other. THEY were expressing their thanks to US! By now, I am having a very hard time to keep from making a fool of myself and just not burst into tears!

Bob, one of the crew leaders, got everyone all “huddled up” for a photo and asked Dan and I to join the group. One of our local DNR officers took a couple of photos and I asked him to remember to email them to me. Obviously I’m gonna want to put them up on this website and several other places too!

I exchanged email addresses with a couple of the young adults and email addresses with a couple of the crew leaders. I hope that we are able to keep in touch, even if it is only once in a while.

I’m sure to most of you, this might not make any sense; how to get so “emotional” about a group of people that you really only spent a total of maybe 30 minutes with…and I truly don’t know how to explain it. It is just something that is in my heart (and I’m sure the hearts of others in Newberry that have been involved in what ever way; from doing laundry to packing lunches). I can say that these young adults from the U.S. Forest Service out of Puxico, Missouri are doing something quite valuable with their time. Even they might not truly realize the magnitude of what they are doing, if they stick with it, I know they eventually will.

Dan and I did not have the opportunity to see them “in action”, but we have seen enough to know that they respect their crew leaders and each other…and other people. I don’t know if this was their first fire fighting experience or not, but I believe that they worked together as a team. When you spend that much time living with the same people, away from home, for two weeks, I can’t help but think your co-crew members become your family…and that is who you will rely on.

I don’t know what training consists of. I don’t know if it is like a “boot camp” they attend. I just don’t know much about it. But, what I DO know is some place along the way, they have come together as a team and they were here to get the job done…and I feel that their crew leaders have an awful lot to do with that. Their parents, their family and the U.S. Forest Service of Missouri can be TOTALLY proud of this group.

We showed them a fire and they did what they are trained to do! The group played a HUGE part in the fire fighting effort of the Sleeper Lake Fire! THANK YOU!!!

(As a side note, that 26,000’ of hose that was taken up from the ground yesterday…we can thank this crew for doing that! Do you realize that is over 5 miles of hose?! That’s more than the length of the Mackinac Bridge!)


  1. Anonymous4:54 PM

    This sounds like a wonderful group of people. Thank you for sharing your touching experiences with all of us through this month. We know it has been a trying time for all of you.

    God Bless everyone in da U.P!

  2. And bless those who helped in ANY possible way!


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