EDITOR'S NOTE: The following was written in May 1989 by former Sikeston resident Carol Louise Oliver of Naylor. She is the daughter of Willis and Dorothy Oliver who still live in Sikeston and submitted this for publication.
"It stood, barely, but it stood. Sure, it was run down and ruining, but it was our home. For 13 years, I lived in that house.
It stood with the test of growing up the best it could. Slamming doors, cats in the attic porch having kittens and harsh words and even harder punishments, always there, ready to protect us the best it could.
Through fires, floods, teen-agers, it always welcomed us back with the old paneling and the poor sidewalk that had more cracks than the sheds that went all around the huge yard.
I remember the twins having their rabbits in that cage out by the twin trees; all the little things, good and bad, that made us a family made that house stronger. It held together for our love.
Now destroyed is the house flame, grown sad and feeling useless, but it must have gone down with a smile on its flame, proud of the family it held for so many years, better than it could hold itself.
Yes, the wood and nails no longer make a house. But step into it once more and feel the love that will never die."
Dear pet owners,
As children and those who are young at heart will be decking out in ghastly attire and going trick-or-treating, The Sikeston Area Humane Society urges you to keep in mind that Halloween can be a scary time for pets.
But by taking a few simple safety precautions, the holiday will end up a pleasant evening for them.
All but the most social dogs and cats should be kept in a separate room during peak trick-or-treat visiting hours. Too many strangers in unusual garb can be scary and stressful for pets.
When opening the door for trick-or-treaters, take care that Fifi and Fido don't dart outside. Make sure they're wearing current identifications, just in case.
No tricks or treats, please! Keep all Halloween candy out of your pet's reach. Chocolate can be poisonous to animals, and tin foil and cellophane candy wrappers can be hazardous if swallowed.
Don't leave your pet in the yard on Halloween. There have been stories of vicious pranksters who have teased, injured, stolen and even killed pets on this night.
Although the Association for the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals recommends that cats remain indoors at all times, it is especially important to keep your feline inside for several days before and after Halloween.
Black cats in particular may be at risk from children's pranks or other cruelty-related incidents. As a safety precaution, many shelters will not even adopt out black cats around Halloween.
Don't dress up your dog or cat unless you know he or she doesn't mind. If you decide to do so, make sure the costume isn't annoying or unsafe, and doesn't restrict his or her movement, vision, hearing or ability to breathe or bark or meow.
Avoid costumes with small or dangling accessories that your pet could chew off and possibly choke on.
We wish your pets a safe and happy Halloween,
Gloria Hopkins, president Sikeston Area Humane Society