These Ozarks Hills KSMU's monthly series These Ozarks Hills features stories about people and places in the Ozarks collected and presented by long-time journalist and Ozarks native Marideth Sisco.
These Ozarks Hills

These Ozarks Hills


KSMU's monthly series These Ozarks Hills features stories about people and places in the Ozarks collected and presented by long-time journalist and Ozarks native Marideth Sisco.More from These Ozarks Hills »

Most Recent Episodes

Milestones and Memories

This is Marideth Sisco for These Ozarks Hills. Milestones, that's what I'm thinking of on this fine morning. June is full of them for me, beginning with this broadcast. Believe it or not you're listening to the first segment of year 12 for this little show. You're probably not as amazed as I am, but isn't that something? I wish I could say it's been aired in an unbroken line but it hasn't. I had to take time off to be human a couple times. I wish I could say I've never repeated myself, but I'm

If We Knew Better, Would We Do Better?

This is Marideth Sisco for These Ozarks Hills. I have a fact that I didn't know until a minute ago and I thought I'd share it with you. Did you know that this is the last episode of the 11th year of this series? How did that happen? Don't misunderstand. Barring acts of god or congress, I'll keep popping up on the first Fridays of the month for a good long time to come, unless I'm evicted or until I run out of things to say, which as near as I recall, has never happened. Still, I'm getting to the

"Time is Nature's way of keeping everything from happening at once"

This is Marideth Sisco for These Ozark Hills. There's a certain comfort in being able to predict reliably and in advance just when that tree is going to fall, that rock face is going to collapse, the other shoe will drop. But I don't know that that would be a good thing. I think that for me if the warning came, I wouldn't be paying attention –or rather I'd be too rapt in attention to something else. Like that saying that "Life is the thing that happens while you're otherwise engaged." Ah yes. So

"Pillars, We Are Not; But We Are All Of Us Vital"

This is Marideth Sisco for These Ozarks Hills. No matter where we live or in what circumstances, and no matter what life throws at us or how determinedly we walk our own path, it takes a while to determine which kinds of destinations at which we arrive are something that was optional, something we might or might not have come to, or whether it has turned out to be somehow inevitable. Relationships, for instance, for the most part are optional. We can end up in them or out of them mostly as a

A Few Stories From The Ozarks

TOH 2-18 This is Marideth Sisco for These Ozark Hills. Doesn't it seem like just yesterday we were welcoming in the New Year, and now February has come up and the weather has been a roller coaster with its 60-degree temps one day and down into the teens the next. It's enough to make a person start crying Uncle, except that's not what we say down here. I don't know if you know this, but for some reason the only way in the Ozarks to signify that you're giving up a fight is to call out "Calf Rope."

We Have Not Seen The Last Of The Garden

This is Marideth Sisco for These Ozark Hills. Sad to say, but I guess we've seen the last of the gardens for this year. And as this post falls a little too late for Halloween and way too early for snarky remarks about Black Friday and the Christmas decorations already on sale , I'm left to dream up my own topics. That's seldom a good idea because I'm old and I tend to wander off. So far, though, I've been able to find my way back. And that's just what I've done. Because even as I said the words

Native Notions

This is Marideth Sisco for These Ozarks Hills. This spate of dry Autumn days has gotten me thinking about the whimsical Ozarks climate and remembering other seasons and what folks said about them. Natives, mostly. And by that I don't mean those born here. I mean the original natives. Now, I don't know that I look all that much Native American, even though I am about a quarter's worth. But sooner or later someone, usually someone with some Native American ancestry and often someone I don't know,

Weather In General These Days

TOH 9-17 This is Marideth Sisco for TOH. The much-diminished winds from the remains of Harvey are throwing the branches of a redbud tree against the windows in my studio, and I can't make them stop. Pretty much a metaphor for weather in general these days. Watching the coverage of the worst storm in human memory has been sobering. It's all too real. All too wind and water beaten, too muddy, too tragic, too deadly for far too many. When reality strikes, it's not pretty. And we're more used to

Water: Something We Can All Relate To

TOH 8-17 This is Marideth Sisco for These Ozark Hills. Water. Seems like there's always too much or too little. In the Ozarks that can be true from one patch of grass to the next. Somewhere back in the long ago I remember a Disney cartoon in which Donald Duck was flying an old open cockpit biplane, hiring out to farmers to "seed" the clouds to make it rain. I have no recollection of the overall plot, if there was one. The part I remember is how he managed to make it rain exactly in the right place. The image in my mind is of a wooden perimeter fence around a pasture, and he was able to make the raindrops that landed on the fence, near the middle of the board, have one flat side, so that the rain only went where it was intended. It's not quite that bad, but the folks over on 63 got a nice little shower yesterday, and I got a couple of small round muddy spots in the dust on my windshield. In the Ozarks, when they say scattered showers, they mean scattered. A look on the radar this

"Change never comes without loss"

Come sit by my side, come as close as the air And share in a memory of time And wander in my words Dream about the pictures that I play of changes – Phil Ochs, from Changes This is Marideth Sisco for These Ozarks Hills. And today, in these turbulent times, I am thinking about Changes. They may come suddenly or slip in over time, so quiet, and stealthy we may not even notice until it's done. The snippet of the song I just sang was written in the middle 1960s by Phil Ochs, who was in his early 20s, as was I when I first heard it. As a generation, we had had the dubious opportunity to reflect deeply on changes, as we had been brand new adults, so new we sparkled, when our government discovered that Mr. Khrushchev had put nuclear missiles in our back yard, close enough to easily reach any part of our yard. And more were coming. And Mr. Kennedy had ordered Khrushchev to remove them, and said out Navy would destroy their ships if they attempted to land with their lethal cargo. We were on the

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