Maien­scheins not typ­i­cal res­i­dents

The Weekly Vista - - Community - LYNN ATKINS

Linda and Terry Maien­schein were never typ­i­cal Bella Vista res­i­dents. When they moved here in 1969, they were a young mar­ried cou­ple with­out any chil­dren. They ac­tu­ally came to Bella Vista with her par­ents who were look­ing for prop­erty for re­tire­ment. They were also cel­e­brat­ing their sec­ond an­niver­sary.

“We just loved it,” she said. “We thought why should we wait un­til re­tire­ment age to live here?”

She was a school teacher and he found a job with Cooper Com­mu­ni­ties. They moved dur­ing the sum­mer of 1969.

The man­age­ment of Cooper pushed their em­ploy­ees to get in­volved with the young com­mu­nity. At the time there were only about 200 peo­ple in town and many of them were Cooper sales­peo­ple.

“I was pres­i­dent of the Women’s Club at age 25,” Linda Maien­schein re­mem­bers. “It was a won­der­ful at­mos­phere.”

“In 1969 ev­ery­one knew each other and it was a very close com­mu­nity. I don’t know if that’s pos­si­ble to­day.”

She didn’t go back to work full time, but she did a lot of sub­sti­tute teach­ing and then be­came a stay-at-home mom. She was also a busy vol­un­teer.

“It was fun to watch it grow,” she said about Bella Vista.

Shop­ping could be dif­fi­cult in those early years. Be­fore she moved, she made sure she had a year’s worth of makeup. They usu­ally shopped in Jo­plin. A trip to Fayet­teville took an hour and a half.

Terry Maien­schein left Cooper after five years to be­come a con­trac­tor, and he built a lot of homes in Bella Vista.

After their son was born, he was one of only

a few chil­dren in town. He learned early how to talk to older peo­ple and how to re­spect his elders.

When they first moved in there was no east side or west side. Met­field didn’t ex­ist and nei­ther did the High­lands. They watched as new roads were slowly put in and then paved.

“We had a wel­com­ing com­mit­tee and that was ex­cit­ing. Peo­ple were com­ing here and leav­ing their friends and com­ing here to make new friends. You didn’t feel by your­self when you moved here.”

There were reg­u­lar

dances at the Coun­try Club. They spent many week­ends there.

Even­tu­ally, Terry Maien­schein’s busi­ness moved to­wards Ben­tonville and traf­fic got to be a prob­lem. While the cou­ple still has many friends in Bella Vista, they now live in Ben­tonville.

The big­gest change she’s seen is pop­u­la­tion. Bella Vista is now a city, and the pop­u­la­tion is also get­ting younger.

“School buses have al­ways run in Bella Vista, there are just more of them now,” she said. “There’s al­ways been some

chil­dren here.”

But the ad­van­tage of hav­ing chil­dren in the com­mu­nity is that chil­dren keep older peo­ple feel­ing young.

“I love to see the new beach area — to see chil­dren hav­ing fun on the beach. I would have loved to have had that area when my son was small.”

While she un­der­stands that some re­tirees may pre­fer a child-free en­vi­ron­ment, younger re­tirees don’t seem to have a prob­lem with chil­dren in town.

“It’s a com­mu­nity and some­times that’s good,” she said.

Lynn Atkins/The Weekly Vista

Although they now live in Ben­tonville, Linda and Terry Maien­schein still own a lot in Bella Vista and par­tic­pated in the long-time res­i­dent re­cep­tion at the mu­seum last week.

Photo sub­mit­ted

Linda and Terry Maien­schein en­joyed the Coun­try Club after mov­ing to Bella Vista in 1969.

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