Sonic Drive-In has a new sign by PRO-LAWN & Landscaping. Large white sign with black letters installed Dec. 28 at the entrance reads (WELCOME TO BAXTER SPRINGS, SONIC.) Roman Pena', supervisor with the company told me the crew had been landscaping for about a month off-and-on, planting trees and laying rock in the new mulch gardens. Roman was painting the screw heads on the sign finishing up as your media representative arrived for this exclusive report.

Roman is a resident of Baxter and has been with the Joplin-based company three years. Mr. Dave Hunt is the owner. After completing the job the crew parked briefly for some good hamburgers at your hometown Sonic. One of the crews' sweethearts delivered there order curbside. Try Sonics Double feature only $3.99. Two favorites at one low price, 100 percent pure beef Sonic cheeseburger and any small real ice cream shake. I'm getting hungry and don't want to blow my new year's resolution.

I really love the spruce trees they planted and noticed the Christmas lights Sonic had decorated them with during the holiday season. Lights are now removed as the new tree's need time to settle in.

Sonic I award you with my hometown hero salute for your upgrade on your landscaping and the welcome sign. I'm sure the chamber will thank you with a nice letter of recognition for renovation and new signage. I'm using big real estate words now showing off my learning. Hey Jan Shafer and Joyce Keith with Charles Burt Realtors I have my phone with me if I'm needed. My salutes will be issued as I recognize a business going above and beyond on curb appeal and as best I remember.

I started writing some years ago for newspapers and my yearbook in college. Starting with golden youth and three wits. Now writing with just under one wit left, just enough to keep myself under roof and out of the rain. Hence all is written as best I remember and mostly true to cover what I unwittingly forget. Thank you William Shakespeare for your inspiration and words I borrowed a bit in this paragraph. I'm currently reading the complete works of William and my column on facts has been independently rated 99.9 percent error free as I'm surrounded by fact checkers, Dona K., Dawn, Mary B. and Jessica to drop a few names. If you're a weekly reader you know I'm anything but a name dropper and I detest writing about myself.

I went to 1601 Military Ave. with three questions. Kelly St. Clair-Barnes R.Ph. provided the answers.

Why Monarch as a name for the pharmacy? Her business cards held a clue as it has two butterflies in color on them. Ask and you shall receive and I received the deeper meaning I was searching for.

Mrs. Kelly in her on words as follows: Traditionally, drug stores are named after the proprietor, which has worked well over the decades, but I like and prefer to be different. I wanted a name that paints a word picture and has meaning as well. I couldn't come up with anything, so I did what I should have done first, pray! I asked for guidance and the word Monarch was given. And you know what, it makes perfect sense to me in so many ways. The Monarch butterfly is the perfect example of transformation. The process involved as the caterpillar changes stages and emerges as the butterfly can correlate to my career. As a newly graduated pharmacist, I went to work for a large chain and learned a lot of things. Using what I learned, I moved to take on new challenges with another company, then continued my transformation by moving back to Baxter Springs and building the Monarch Pharmacy and Soda Fountain.

I will share more later but Mrs. Kelly is obviously a passionate business owner and pharmacist. She really cares about people and has made a tremendous financial, emotional and whole heart investment in this community, she is all in. Thank you Kelly St. Clair-Barnes and the friendly staff you have assembled for your service to us. I encourage the community to check out Monarch Pharmacy and enjoy a old-fashioned soda on your visit. Always shop local when you can!

Words to ponder, Whenever you find your self on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect-Mark Twain.

I couldn't come up with anything, so I did what I should have done first...pray-Kelly St. Clair-Barnes R.Ph

Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not. Jeremiah 33:3-Holy Bible.

"If we ever forget that we are one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under." - Ronald Wilson Reagan, 40th President of the United States from 1981-1989.

"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - John Fitzgerald Kennedy, 35th President of the United States from 1961-1963.

"The greatest lost art in the world today, is the art of thinking." - Duane H.H. Lyon-Thinker 2018.

"Words are easy like the wind, Faithful friends are hard to find" - William Shakespeare.