From the October archives of the River Hills Traveler:

5 years ago

• Do you believe in ghosts? Do I? Maybe I do and maybe I don’t. My husband, Howard, believes — as is dad and grandpa before him. All were of English and American Indian ancestry and were of the opinion that deceased spirits roamed the earth.

Let me remind you how different families spent their evenings in that long, long ago. After supper, men and boys retired to their private world while women and girls cleaned up the table. Howard often recalled stories his elders told. (Verna Simms)

• It’s not your normal hunting club. The clients have far more stalking and marksmanship skills than most of the guides. Everyone shares a common bond of former military service. And, oh yeah, all who hunt, fish or simply enjoy wandering the property have experienced a traumatic, life-threatening injury to assure our freedom to enjoy such pastimes. (Doug Smith)

10 years ago

• On a lark, I turned right instead of left to take a different path to work. It was winter and sunny, and a nice day for a drive.

My mind was roaming from one thought to another as I looked up and down the street. Suddenly, I saw her. She looked like what I was wanting and she looked cheap, too.

She was standing in front of Three Amigos Cycle, Ski and Boat Shop. A 14-foot john boat; an older model with a nice trailer and an older 10-horse motor. I watched her in the mirror as I sped down the street to work. I couldn’t get my mind off her. I had been thinking of getting a boat for some time now.

As I paddled around in my canoe exile duck hunting, I would see other hunters, nice and cozy, sitting on their cushy seats with cam netting draped around them, sipping their coffee and warming their hands over small propane heaters. (Zenon Duda)

• The Friends of Marble Creek Campground have done an outstanding job in keeping this wonderful Forest Service campground open this past summer. This new group has a number of outstanding volunteers cleaning and maintaining the area.

The dry, hot summer did not keep the campers away. Although never close to capacity and without any potable water or electric, the campers were able to have a great time enjoying the park, the adjoining Ozark Trail and, of course, the cool water of Marble Creek for swimming, wading and small stream fishing. (Robert E. Sliger)

15 years ago

• I’m not a bad fisherman, but I didn’t hook a single bass on Saturday night of Labor Day Weekend. Larry Umfleet, fishing with me, caught about 20.

Larry has Piedmont Meat Processing and he works hard. Well, he fishes hard, too, for he gets out pretty regularly to challenge Clearwater Lake’s bass at night. (Bob Todd)

• Josh was brimming with confidence when he came to get me from my deer stand. Earlier that morning, he had borrowed my climber to bow hunt over a fresh scrape on a nearby ridge. A gimme shot at an eight-point buck was the source of his giddiness.

He was so sure of his shot, he elected to leave his bowhunting gear behind rather than carry it back out the ridge. The morning was warming quickly, and he said he didn’t want to be burdened with gear once we found his buck. (Charlie Slovensky)

20 years ago

• It is bad luck to say you really don’t need fish for a meal, or that you’ve cleaned all the fish you want to clean for awhile. The fish hear what you say and respond accordingly.

Bob Whitehead made just such a blunder as we were launching the canoe on Castor River, and though he caught a lot of fish that day, he failed to catch so mush as one keeper. (Bob Todd)

• Climbing over, under and between jumbo geological formations is an unforgettable hands-on history lesson. Worn granite bedrock in the Ozark heritage region of Missouri, now shaped into impressive boulders, affords a keyhole’s view to nature’s and man’s past. (Kathy-Jo Facteau)

25 years ago

• If, the next time you float down Current River, you look down and it appears that someone has pouched a bunch of holes in the bottom of the river, Pat may be responsible. Less likely, but still possible, it could be the fault of Wanda or Betty, Or me. (Bob Todd)

30 years ago

• Survey results weren’t final yet when we asked Paul Provow what he thought of prospects for fall turkey hunting.

Paul said he thinks that at least one element — plenty of birds — is present for a great season. Turkey season is Oct. 12-25 with a limit of one bird each week. Birds may be of either sex and hunters may hunt all day. (Bob Todd)

• A year ago, I publicly voiced skepticism that many hunters would apply themselves sufficiently to be able to take two turkeys during Missouri’s first two-bird fall season. I based my prediction on my own experiences in hunting fall turkeys.

My success rate hadn’t been much over fifty per cent during the two-week, one-bird seasons, so I didn’t figure I’d get two birds without a lot of hard hunting and some fabulous good fortune. (Bob Todd)

35 years ago

• We could write a book about what to do when it rains, following our experiences this season. We had planned a float on the St. Francois River but as we headed to our put-in, it was apparent we’d have to do something else.

Second-terrance fields are the high ones in a river valley that never flood. Deep water in them tells you there’s been another cloudburst and that water will soon be going down the river as another flood.

The river had finally gotten “just right” after another earlier cloudburst and that’s why we had planned the float. (Bod Todd)

40 years ago

• We started out on the hike with the objective of gathering some fine, scenic views and to report to you on the features of the new hiking trail at Crane Lake.

But frequent rains during September soon diverted our attention. For rains had produced a bloom of mushrooms, toadstools and other fungi that commanded our attention. (Bob Todd)

• By a treaty of questionable validity, the Osage sold nearly all of southern Missouri to the U.S. government in 1808. It was supposed to be a permanent settlement, and for a little while, it appeared to be just that.

It was working to the satisfaction of both the Osage and the new U.S. government. (Bob Todd)

(compiled by MyraGale Sexton)