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Williamsburg Villager May 2020

Williamsburg Villager May 2020

May The 4th Be With You

By David Crane

So as I write this we are finishing up our plans on re-opening both buildings after the COVID-19 crisis. Things will be different for a while. Let me update you on what we know now, and remember this could change as the month and weeks progress.

At the store, we are going to try to only allow 5 customers in at a time. Our building is packed so tight, it is hard to maintain a good social distance. By limiting it to 5, we hope that customers can use their best judgement to keep themselves spaced from one another for the safety of everyone. This will be difficult and I’m sure we will upset some people, but our biggest concern is to keep those that work here safe and to provide a safe environment for people to shop in.

We will be placing plexiglass in front of the counters and to block off access to our milk and meat cooler. Please do not enter that area. We will grab milk or other items for you. Again, this is for everyone’s safety.

We also ask that people wear masks into the store. We have surgical masks and gloves that we can sell customers for $1 to help them comply. Other large retailers, like Costco, are making it mandatory for their customers to wear them. Again, this may upset some people, but we are about safety. And of course, we ask that you wash your hands and cough into your elbow.

If you feel sick, just don’t come. Rest. Get better.

Lastly, we will still be offering curbside to those who might be nervous or have health conditions that might compromise their immune systems. Call us at 254-3311, and we’ll box it up and bring it out to your car.

At the museum, a major change is that we will be closed on Mondays. Our hours have returned to 8-4, Tuesday through Sunday. We have spaced the tables (took away chairs) to give at least 6 feet of distance. We will have disposable menus (that you can keep at home for to-go orders). The staff will have masks and gloves on. All surfaces will be cleaned after every customer. We will only allow a maximum of 30 people in the restaurant at any given time. That means on busy Sundays, please allow for this limit and try to space out your meals.

If we are at the limit, we will ask customers to wait outside or in their vehicles. We do have an online ordering system set up, and you can place these orders from your phone or computer to set the pick up time. Go to for the link. And you can still call us at 573-254-3356.

Thank you for your patience during this time and for all of you who called in and did orders to-go during quarantine.

Stay safe and hope to see you soon.

Paw Paw, a worthwhile fruit to try if raccoons don’t find them first!

by Nadia Navarrete-Tindall - Native Plants Specialist 

Paw paw is the largest native fruit in Missouri and continental United States. It is known as false banana because the flavor and soft texture are similar to bananas. It belongs to the custard family or Annonaceae with most of its members being from tropical regions. Paw paw fruits can be consumed fresh and prepared in bake goods or ice cream.

In Missouri, this tree is sold by various nurseries that include the MO Wildflowers Nursery in Brazito, the Missouri Department of Conservation Nursery- George White nursery and Forrest Keeling Nursery in Elsberry, in northeast Missouri. Paw paw is easy to propagate from seed or cuttings. Seed is highly viable but requires stratification which means that seeds need to be exposed to at least 6-weeks of low temperatures (40oF or less) in moist conditions.

The fruit has the shape of a kidney, the soft texture of the edible part of the fruit contains up to 6 seeds per fruit. This tree is easy to identify, it has very distinctive large opposite leaves that are food for the caterpillars of zebra swallowtail butterflies. The flowers are red-brown and hang from the tree as little bells and have the shape of upside down small tulips. Very beautiful. Flowers form in May and June and fruit matures in the fall. The fruit remains color green even when mature. The fruits can be harvested before they mature and ripened in cool conditions, similar to bananas.

At Prairie Fork Conservation Area, Pat Jones planted some trees in her yard under the shade of oak, Kentucky coffee trees and Osage orange. The fruit tree is enjoyed by resident raccoons, possums and other mammals as well as birds. We will be conducting a research project at a Lincoln University farm to study early fruit production.

This tree grows naturally in lower slopes, along streams and wooded bluffs, usually under shady conditions. It propagates from suckers so it is not uncommon to find small colonies in wooded areas. It requires cross-pollination so it is important to plant at least two trees. They thrive in gardens, farms and  open areas with rich soil and good drainage. In Missouri, they are found scattered across almost half of the state.

I usually eat it fresh but because its shelf storage is very limited, the fruits or the pulp can be frozen for consumption later. The pulp can be used to prepare sorbets, pies or pudding.

Ivan’s Insights: Escalation of the Situation

by Lance Corporal Ivan G. Roesner, 4th Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division

The number of COVID-19 cases in Okinawa is following the trend of growth. The number is staying around 130 cases, which is reasonable for a population of 1.4 million. What makes me uneasy is that is a large number of people on a relatively small island.

The word I hear from the married marines that live off-base is that Okinawa will start to close down like other countries to keep the people safe. In other parts of the world, social distancing was the first layer protection, then came wearing masks, and finally quarantine. The people of Okinawa started on a good foot, as they were using masks before social distancing was someone’s idea, so the spread of coronavirus has slowed. Also being on an island away from the major population of the world is helpful too.

As for military personnel, it will be business as usual. If things start to get serious off base, the base will allow no one in or out. If things start to get very serious, then the base goes on lockdown. I hope that day doesn’t come.

There is only so much to do in a twelve by twelve barracks room. I am just as ready as everyone else for this to end. All the fun things to do on the island are locked away from me.

I would love to hear some of the questions from the readers of the Williamsburg Villager. If you have a question about the weather, the people, food, culture, or overall experience of Okinawa, please get in touch with me via email. I will answer questions to the best of my knowledge and as soon as possible!


Brown Sugar Rolls

by Georgena Huhman

  • 1 package brown and serve rolls
  • 3 tspb melted butter
  • ½ cup brown sugar

Dip each roll into melted butter then in brown sugar. Place on cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.

The Williamsburg Villager is provided by Crane's Museum and Shoppes. Please submit any announcements to David Crane at Crane's Country Store located next door to the museum by the 15th of each month to ensure publication.

Annual subscriptions are available for a $12.00 donation to the museum.

Crane's Museum & Shoppes

10665 Old US Hwy 40

Williamsburg, MO 63388


Crane's Museum is a Regional History Museum located in Williamsburg, MO. We invite visitors of all ages to enjoy a step back in time. Enjoy breakfast or lunch in Marlene's Restaurant, shop for gifts at Town House Treasures, or get ready for any season at Crane's Country Store's Clearance and Closeout Shop.

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