Ozark Saints

Honoring People of the Ozarks through Stories and Imagination

Retail Price: $21.95

Ozark Saints describes people, a dog, and values from real and imagined tales that influenced Howard Cavner as he lived in the limestone hills and valleys of the Ozarks. Cavner is proud of his Ozark roots and the moniker, Hillbilly. When he was in graduate school, a fellow student would introduce him to a new student, noting that a hillbilly’s legs were often not the same length due to standing all his life on the side of uneven hills in the Ozarks. Little did the new student realize that it was a rehearsed act with Howard already standing there leaning imperceptibly to one side with the opposite leg dangling loose in the air. The Ozark Saints described in these pages would enjoy the joke.

The hillbillies in Howard’s life were keen observers of life and generous in times of need. Meet these grand people in the stories of Ozark Saints. You may know them or want to be one of them. You will laugh, tear up, and be inspired.


Proceeds from the sale of this book will also help other communities and organizations preserve their history through Our American Heritage Project, a non-profit organization.
About The Author

Howard C. Cavner

Ozark Saints is Howard Cavner’s first book of short stories. He considers it a blessing to have lived his childhood and young adult years in Branson, Missouri. He attended school there from kindergarten through high school. His inquisitiveness would lead him to earn a Master of Science in Rural Sociology from the University of Missouri-Columbia and a Master of Divinity from Brite Divinity School at Texas Christian University. An ordained progressive Christian minister, he served as an ecumenical camp Learn More about Howard C. Cavner

“OZARK SAINTS. From the heart. That is what Howard Cavner’s refreshingly personal remembrances about family, friends, and his beloved Ozark homeland are all about. The cast of characters – from a pipe-smoking great aunt to French-speaking hillbilly neighbors, to a one-legged granny, to a bearded lady, and beyond – weaves a cocoon of safety and love that nurtured him and allowed him to thrive. To know Howard and his personal philosophies is to know the people in his stories as reflected on and in him. If one wants a taste of growing up in tiny Branson, Missouri, when Branson was really Branson, Howard’s anecdotes will take you there. The “Real Branson,” in the 1960s Ozarks of 1,200 souls, were generally supportive and protective of one another. Howard captures it all in Ozark Saints. I know because I grew up there and then as well.”

-—Todd Parnell Retired President, Drury University; Retired Banker; Author

“Who were the folks that helped shape your life? Cavner’s stories will tweak your memories and give you an enjoyable walk through the Ozarks. He illustrates life as a tangle of short stories rich with experience. As lifelong residents of the Ozarks, we have known people he reveals in the small town of Branson, Missouri. Chapter five will make you want one of Howard’s homemade biscuits!”

-—Betty and Jim Forrester True Ozark Natives

“These charming and affecting tales take us into the Branson, Missouri of the fifties and sixties. They are filled with unforgettable characters drawn from the author’s memory and imagination, along with the sensory details of an Ozark childhood. Hot cobbler, bumpy hayrides, and a speckled dog share the pages with news from the wider world. Tenderhearted but never maudlin, both parochial and cosmopolitan, these stories have a sense of place without being confined to that place. They are a welcome addition to the literature of the Ozarks.”

-—John Schmalzbauer Missouri State University, Department of Languages, Cultures and Religions


Book Details
Author: Howard C. Cavner
Pages: 172 pages
Product Dimensions: 6" x 9"
ISBN: 978-1-956027-70-9
Cover Type: Softcover
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