Beaver Creek Elk & Cattle Ranch Bradleyville, Missouri

Books By Leon Combs

Bradleyville My Hometown Synopsis

Bradleyville Hometown

I grew up in a tiny village deep in the Ozarks, but never felt deprived of anything. My boyhood on Beaver Creek resembled the lives of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn on the Mississippi River. We didn't have Thomas Hart Benton, but Leslie Cunningham drew the best pictures I had ever seen. Missourian Harry Truman made a big name for himself, but we didn't consider him a bit better than Ruse Dixon, president of our school board, responsible for constructing our first high school gym.

We read about Jesse and Frank James from St. Joe, but I would bet my bottom dollar Bradleyville's Johnny and Forest Lynch could whip their tails in a no-holds-barred fight. General Black Jack Pershing, leader of American troops in World War I, came from Missouri, but my cousin Roy Combs earned metals for bravery in the World War II Pacific battles before a sniper shot and killed him; he was my military hero.

St. Louis and Kansas City were big cities with trains and busy airports, but nothing could be more exciting than watching Brother Floyd Hitchcock from Springfield land his Piper Cub in a nearby pasture to preach to a local crowd gathered there.

Many people in Bradleyville are related, but even if they aren't, they'll still tell your mom and dad if you do something wrong. Everybody hangs together, not always the best thing if you're trying to get away with something. I grew up in Bradleyville. I loved it when I was young, hated it as a teenager, and love it again now that I'm old. Bradleyville is my hometown.

James Leon Combs Summer, 2003