July 27, 2015

July 27, 2015

CHAMPION—July 27, 2015


A mysterious mist rises above Clever Creek north of Champion.

        Champions remember the extreme cold from last January when the polar vortex of the previous January was still all the talk.  Frozen pipes and slick roads were topics of conversation.  Now it is the heat and humidity.  The unusual weather, heat or cold gets attention and comment, but moderate days when no one is particularly uncomfortable can go by weeks in a row without anyone saying a word.  It is the extremes that define the ordinary.  Ordinarily things in Champion are just fine.

        Skyline teacher, Terri Ryan writes, “Paint Day!  If you are available Saturday, August 1, we could use your help.  We’d like to use the remainder of the paint received through the True Value Hardware Grant.  Painting will begin at 9:00am and go until it’s finished.  Your help is greatly appreciated!”  The last time they did this the whole gym got painted and the next time you have occasion to be there, you will be impressed.  It is very bright—red and white.  Feel free to bring your brushes or other favorite painting tools; though there will likely be plenty available.  Sami McCleary is planning to be there for a little while Saturday.  She will be at the Skyline Fire Station on Friday mornings so that anyone in the area may drop off a donation for the silent auction that will be held at the Skyline Picnic on August 7th & 8th.  Any good thing that someone might like to buy is welcome.  If you have something that you would like to donate and would like to make arrangements to have it picked up, contact Sami at 417-543-4947.  There is a lot of hard work going on already to make this another one of those special summer events.  Bakers will be getting their recipes ready and shopping for ingredients to share their pies with the concession stand and their cakes and cookies with the cake walk.  It is a great community that comes out to support its little school and its little volunteer fire department.  Skyline/Champions.

        The duo of Wayne and Jerry made a big splash at the Vanzant Musical on Thursday according to Cyber General Upshaw.  He was surely speaking of Wayne Anderson and Jerry Wagner.  Music lovers who missed this performance are sorry they did, but are glad to know that Wayne and Jerry are making it out to the Bluegrass Jam from time to time.  (This takes place every Thursday with a pot-luck dinner starting at 6:00 over at the Vanzant Community Building.)  More was said about a derailed train and a cow on the track, but the references were so obscure and truncated that it would be hard for someone who was not there to make heads or tails of it.  The lesson here is to get up and get out and go.  You are liable to run into Elmer Banks there and that spells fun.  It is a real gift to the neighborhood that the musicians are willing to share their talents in this friendly, neighborly way.

        How big do copperheads get?  Various life sciences sources say that the adult is a medium size snake between two and three feet in length.  Some fellows over at the Recreation of the Historic Emporium were talking about copperheads the other day.  One had a loose board on a porch step for some while and was suddenly in the mood to fix it when he discovered a good sized copperhead living under it.  Another talked about having stretched a recently killed copperhead out almost the length of a pick-up tail gate.  It was speculated that a person could kill a couple of different snakes to give the illusion of one enormous one by discarding the tail of one and the head of the other.  Mr. Dooms told of once having spread one across the desk of the school superintendent who was adamant that they never exceeded two feet in length.  The generous rainfall this summer may be causing snakes to get bigger due to plentiful food.  Information has been published in medical journals for almost a decade, about the cancer-fighting properties on the Southern Copperheads venom.  A protein in the venom called contortrostatin (CN) causes a disruption in the tumor cell’s ability to adhere to and invade neighbor cells while also inhibiting the development of new blood vessels required to sustain the tumor.  Although good things can come from unlikely sources, Champions and visitors to the area are cautioned to be alert.  Though not considered to be fatal, a bite of one of these pit vipers can be serious and recovery can take a long time.

        “Old man, take a look at my life.  I’m a lot like you were.”  Neil Young is getting to be an old man.  He looks like someone from around these parts, kind of rangy and maybe getting a little frail, but he has always looked like that.  He still has a lot of spunk about him.  He has recently produced a short documentary called “Seeding Fear” having to do with Monsanto which is now controlling over 90% of the soybean and corn growth in America.  Family farms are being replaced by giant agri corp farms across the whole country.  The documentary was also timed to bring attention to a House of Representatives bill dubbed the Deny Americans the Right to Know, or DARK Act.  “The dark act takes away the rights of those people to vote for or against things like GMO labeling in their states.  It does seem ironic.  If the act is passed, it will truly be a dark day for America.”  He goes on to say that farms and our food sources are in jeopardy and “This has happened on our watch while the country slept, distracted by advertising and false information from the corporations.  Monsanto and others simply pay the politicians for voting their way.  This is because of ‘Citizens United’, a legislation that has made it possible for corporations to have the same rights as people, while remaining immune to people’s laws.”  Being an informed citizen takes some effort and it is probably an impossible task to get it all figured out.  Molly Ivins said it right when she said that there is a real connection between our lives and what those ‘bozos’ do in Washington and in our state capitols.  Our votes do count.


        Sweet corn is coming in by the bushel and potatoes are ready to jump out of the ground.  Every good garden thing is thriving for some gardeners and some gardens are a total bust this year.  It may depend on how much clay is in the soil, or how well it drains, or how many weeds are competing with the vegetables for food and water.  Linda’s Almanac from over at The Plant Place in Norwood says the 2nd and 3rd of August will be favorable for planting root crops, and fine for vine crops.  They will also be good days for transplanting.  Linda’s Almanac is available on line at www.championnews.us as well as on the bulletin board at Henson’s Downtown G & G.  There is plenty of growing season left for folks willing to get up early enough in the morning to have the hard work done before the heat sets in.  This kind of heat is dangerous for older folks.  It is easy to become dehydrated.  Come inside and watch the grass grow through the windows.  Or come down to the wide, wild and wooly banks of Old Fox Creek and enjoy the shade up on the spacious veranda.  From there you can see new growth high atop the Behemoth Bee Tree on the South Side of the Square.  You will be in good company in Champion—Looking on the Bright Side!

July 20, 2015

July 20, 2015

CHAMPION—July 20, 2015

 

left      ~ enlarge ~      right

        Summer is for children.  The creeks are full of them.  Grandparents are overrun with them.  Their precious days of freedom are slipping away and there is a frantic feeling that the fun must be had before time is up.  Old people remember childhood summers as having been almost endless, lazy and languid.  Now it is fast passing.

Jacob Coon

        There has been a positive update posted on the condition of young Champion Jacob Coon.  “He is at home now with his parents but still has a long tough road ahead of him with IV antibiotics 4 times a day for 6 weeks.  So please everyone still keep up the Prayers for him and his family through this tough time of healing.  Thank you everyone and God Bless all.”  His Aunt Eva said that he was having visitors and that his teacher had been up to Springfield to see him in the hospital.  She says he has an excellent support team.  Notes of encouragement can be sent to Jacob Coon, HCR 73 Box 198, Drury, MO 65738.

Avery Rodin

        A note from Hoovie Henson made a good report of his high school reunion and said that on the way home “we stopped in Little Rock to watch our granddaughter compete for a world title in Taekwondo.  She placed fourth in sparing (in the world).  She didn’t get a title, but we are very proud of her.  Maybe next year.  Avery is our only grandchild.  She was born in Kazakhstan and became part of our family at one year and one month.  I like to tell people she is competitive in martial arts because she is a descendant of Genghis Kahn (my idea of a joke.)  I am totally intoxicated with her.  Dawn tells me I am obnoxious and I should stop shoving her in people’s faces.  I can’t help it.  It’s one of my many sins.  Dawn said I should put the word ‘many’ in all caps (her idea of a joke.)”

        While Hoovie was in town, he stopped in at Champion just to throw his weight around.  It was noted that this year he did not buy quilt tickets for the Skyline VFD fund raiser.  This was most likely an oversight, as Dawn would be thrilled to win this colorful quilt, and it would be just perfect for a Texas winter.  “Broken Dishes” is the name of the pattern and it is beautifully made.  Hoovie can send his money to:  Quilt Tickets, Henson’s G&G, Rt. 72 Box 254, Norwood, MO 65717, and his tickets will be filled out for him (name and phone number) by one of the Skyline Auxiliary members.  Those folks are hard at it in the heat already getting ready for the picnic which is coming up in short order.  It will be August 7th and 8th this year.  John Thomason from the Howell Oregan Electric Cooperative has donated another weather radio to the fire department.  It is also on display at the store and will be featured in the silent auction.  Sami McCleary (417-543-4947) is gathering some interesting items for the auction and it promises to be another great success.  Certainly, it is a worthwhile cause.  In addition to protecting homes and property from fire, the Skyline Volunteer Fire Fighters are all first responders, trained to address health emergencies, auto accidents, and any sort of dangerous situation.  The members of the fire department are also able to acquire home owner’s insurance because of the proximity of fire protection.  If you are not yet a member, there will be a place to join the Skyline Area Volunteer Fire Department at the Picnic.  See you there!

Madison Kimrey

        Happy Birthday to Grace Crawford who will be in the fifth grade at Skyline this year.  Her birthday is on the 25th of July.  Jaci Borders will be in the first grade.  Her birthday is on the 27th.  Woody Guthrie’s birthday was on the anniversary of Bastille Day, July 14, 1789, when the people rose up against tyranny in France.  Woody Guthrie was born in 1912, and passed away in 1967.  He spoke to the difficulties of his times in his music, poetry and other writing.  The Great Depression was the subject of much of his work and he helped the Nation get through it.  It is as if his voice continued on through Molly Ivins (August 30, 1944-January 31, 2007), an American newspaper columnist, author, political commentator and humorist.  She said “What stuns me most about contemporary politics is not even that the system has been so badly corrupted by money.  It is that so few people get the connection between their lives and what the bozos do in Washington and our state capitols.  Politics is not a picture on a wall or a television sitcom that you can decide you don’t much care for.”  Madison Kimrey is a political activist from Burlington, North Carolina.  She was born in 2001.  Her main focus is youth involvement in politics and particularly voting rights.  She is intelligent, well informed, articulate, confident and now fourteen years old.  From the Bastille to Burlington people have been steadily sharing their talents and gifts of wisdom and insight to further the good condition of their fellow men.  Champions!

        The Wednesday confab included some exciting stories about the practice of snapping the heads off snakes.  There were numerous accounts of attempts to do it–some worse than others, but none actually declaring success.  There was a fairly lively discussion of Ezra Henson as a law man and how he would chase you to the city limits.  There are probably several gents around who could remember those days.  There was a light turn out for the weekly get together, some of the regulars and some seldom seen.  Haying, vacationing and what not have had people busy elsewhere, but they will be back.  The General was not there but had this to say anyway:  “It’s a superfluous fact that lunch, dinner and supper are different meals depending on the location.  At home the noon meal is dinner and the evening meal is supper.  When eating out, the noon meal is lunch and the evening meal is dinner.  I just don’t know why some people can’t understand my illogical thinking.  I hope the mayor of Dunn can back me up on this highly illusional situation.”  It makes sense, oddly enough.

        Linda’s Almanac from over at The Plant Place in Norwood says that the 22nd all the way through the 26th will be good days for above ground planting.  There are some fall crops that will have time to produce.  The creeks are crossable for now and business is brisk down at the Recreation of the Historic Emporium over on the North Side of the Square.  The bees are busy buzzing around the Monolithic Bee Tree and neighbors just to the west are experiencing extra bees.  They have arranged with other neighbors to have some bee boxes set up and reports are that there is much apiary activity.  The broad banks of Old Fox Creek are extra wooly, having just emerged from a prolonged drenching of fast moving muddy water.  The wide veranda is a good place to sit, above it all, and observe the beauty below.  It would be a wonder to have Woody Guthrie out on the wide veranda, making up songs about Champion.  His old guitar had scrawled across the front, “This machine kills fascists.”  Probably any Thursday night there will be someone at the Vanzant Bluegrass Jam singing one of his songs, “Gypsy Davie”, “Lonesome Valley”, “Danville Girl”, “Oklahoma Hills”, “Worried Man Blues”, “The Wreck of Old 97” or any one of a hundred others.  (Everyone is welcome—pot luck at six.)  Music is a great purveyor of optimism.  Butch Kara says, “Keep a good song in your head.”  It is easy in Champion—Looking on the Bright Side!

July 13, 2015

July 13, 2015

CHAMPION—July 13, 2015


Fox Creek on Sunday the 12th.  It is good that there is more than one way out of town in Champion.

        The rain stopped and the sizzle started.  Ninety degrees and 90% humidity is a summertime prescription for picnic fun.  The Vanzant Picnic filled the bill.  Attendance has been higher in the past, according to some who think raging high water may still have had some trapped behind creeks or that deferred chores at home kept some there, trying to get caught up.  On Sunday evening water was still flowing over the Bryant Creek Bridge on 95 Highway.  Those who did go to the picnic had a wonderful time.  The General said there were “more than one, less than 10,000, or maybe 700 plus (Strictly a guess), for sure not as many as last year.”  The Vanzant Picnic got started back in 1967.  They will soon be coming up on a 50th anniversary.  The General said, “These picnics have been going on for many years.  The first ones I remember going to were at Drury and Banner.  The one at Drury was near where the Champion Road starts at V Highway.  Banner was south of Skyline where a school house was once located.”  It may be that there are little gatherings like this all across the country keeping community spirit alive in America.  Proceeds from the picnic go to maintain the grounds and fine facilities in downtown Vanzant.  It is always joyful to see old friends and to get caught up with what has been happening in their lives.  There were many good reports on Joe Shannon’s fish and Steve Moody’s pulled pork as well as on all the other food and the great spirit of voluntarism.  Many of the regular Thursday Night Jam musicians were there and bands from all around the area provided non-stop entertainment.  Champion! (Vanzant, actually.)

        Upshaw nieces, Loni Upshaw from Alaska, and Darcy Cecil from Idaho, and Darcy’s husband all met up in Seattle and flew to London.  Uncle Robert says they were in Scotland on the week end.  They had been to Edinburgh and said it was “awesome.”  It is an old town, founded in the early 12th century.  When the Romans arrived at the end of the first century, there were people living there already.  No place on earth is significantly more old than any other, but written history makes it seem so.  This week it is in the mid-sixties in Edinburgh with 81% humidity.  Those cousins will be having a glorious time touring the countryside on the island which is about six hundred miles long north to south and about 300 miles at its widest point.  There is much to see.  While we, here in Champion, are finding our own surroundings glorious to look at thanks to all the wonderful rain and to the geological formations that make this area unique, it is pleasing to know that there are other magnificent places in the world where locals are as pleased with their home as are we.  Happy trails you distant wanderers.


Jacob Coon, a Champion kid!

        Champion great niece, Sophia Zappler, celebrates her birthday on July 13th.  She will soon be visiting with family in the Ozarks again.  She will get a chance to drive on the country roads again as she can now see well over the steering wheel.  She and Penelope will get cold at the Mill Pond again and go back to Texas with good country memories.  Zack’s big brother, Ethan Alexander, shares his birthday with his uncle Zee Heffern.  That is the 19th of July.  Have some fun, you guys.  Jacob Coon was 12 on his last birthday, which was January 3rd.  He will be in the 7th grade this year.  The fun has been taken out of his summer since he has become seriously ill and is currently in Mercy Hospital in Springfield.  Birthday cards are nice, but it is very nice to know people are thinking about you when you are ill.  Send Jacob a card at Mercy Hospital, 1235 East Cherokee, Springfield, MO 65804.  He is in ICU and they say he can have visitors, a few at a time.  He will be there for a while, but his friends and family hope he will be ready for school when it starts on August 12th.  He is a live-wire, enthusiastic, bright, happy kid and his Champion friends and neighbors wish him a speedy good recovery.

        Some gardens are doing well and some are not doing well at all.  Some are having mixed results of their earlier hard work.  Some are getting ready for the fall garden and making vows to do a better job with the spring plantings next year, assuming that the weather will be more ‘normal’ then.  That may be a wild assumption.  It may be that the new normal is peculiar.  Songs of the day can be anything from “I’m singing in the rain, just singing in the rain.  What a wonderful feeling, I’m happy again” to “All day I faced the barren waste without a taste of water; cool, clear water.”  Linda’s Almanac from The Plant Place in Norwood says that the 14th through the 16th will be good planting days for above the ground crops.  The 22nd through the 26th will be especially good for above ground crops and for fall plantings of leafy vegetables.  Whatever stray cucumber or zucchini comes your way, enjoy it.  The First Ripe Tomato in Champion Contest was won back before the summer solstice, though the gardener was too amazed at her own luck to brag and then too hungry for fresh tomatoes to share.  Now she is watching her plants get more ugly by the day.  It seems the foliage does not like to stay wet for a long time and they want some sunshine to bloom.  There may be a crop yet.  Gardeners are optimistic.

        In Texas there is a concerted effort being made to keep people from voting.  Veterans particularly are having difficulties as courts say their government Veteran’s Administration identification is not sufficient to vote.  With national voter participation already at an alarmingly poor rate, to actively discourage voting is not understandable.  If the point is to keep people ignorant and afraid and to undersell the value of their participation in the process, then the Lone Star State is leading the way, followed closely by other states that rail against voter fraud, which the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law says is largely a myth.  “It is important to protect the integrity of our elections.  But we must be careful not to undermine free and fair access to the ballot in the name of preventing voter fraud.”  One, interested in the process and thinking about the election of 2000, thinks the ownership of the voting machines should be examined carefully as should their vulnerability to hacking.  George Orwell could not write it better.  He said something to the effect that in a time when everyone lies, the truth teller is the rebel.  These are interesting times.  It is extraordinarily difficult to set your own prejudices aside to examine the merit in the differing prejudices of people you like.  It is hard not to say, “My prejudices are better than your prejudices.“  Civility is fragile when emotions run high.  When this crisis is over, there will be another one and we will still have the same neighbors.  Get along.

        Come out to the very wide and very wooly banks of Old Fox Creek and have a local point out to you from the vantage point of the high, wide veranda just how high the water got this time and how far it reached the last time.  Sit out there to eat your ice cream or to admire the Colossus of Champion Bee Tree fairly buzzing with activity.  Get in out of the heat and enjoy the social whirl in the meeting room of the Historic Emporium, situated where country roads meet when you can get across the creek—Champion!—Looking on the Bright Side~

July 6, 2015

July 6, 2915

CHAMPION—July 6, 2915

Looking upstream and downstream from
the Fox Creek Bridge on Highway 76. All that water is headed to Champion.

        The theme of this year’s Fourth of July parade was “Sunrise on Freedom!”  The General was hale and hearty having ridden the rapids of Old Fox Creek to disembark at Champion where he hauled out one of his standard speeches, this one heavily drawing on the words of General George Washington:  “Champions are pleased to be Americans and to sit in safety under their own vines and fig trees where none make them afraid.  Here paths are scattered with light and in all their several vocations Champions are useful and accustomed to happiness.  It would be inconsistent with the frankness of their character if these Champions were not to avow that they are pleased with life in this lovely place and grateful.”  Attendance at the pre-dawn affair was scant due to creeks out of their banks, and by the time the paths were scattered with light, the whole thing was over and the tidy throng left not a shred of bunting behind.  Deep creeks also kept some away from the Old Tree Huggers Jamboree and more is the pity for lost chances to hob nob with old friends.  Those who missed this chance will look for other chances soon.  The creek bank was surely awash with deep filial feelings, but that can happen anywhere.  “Huzza!”

Emma Potter and her Grandmother Smith make memories together wading the sparkling creek.

        Hoovey Henson was in town on Friday enjoying the sites of Champion.  (What did he think of the Bee Tree?)  He and Dawn were in the neighborhood for the 4th of July alumni program at Mountain Grove High School.  There will be some good reports, no doubt.  After the big event they planned to go up to Pilot Nob to walk three miles of the Trail of Tears.  Dawn posted a picture along their walk on the Hildebrand Route.  After their walk they planned to go through Springfield to see Royce and Jo and then down to Bella Vista to see Harold and Eva and then on to Little Rock to see their granddaughter Avery Rodin who is nine years old competing in a national martial arts tournament.  Avery is adding to her collection of trophies.  She must be a Champion.  There were good reports of the parade, the programs and the victuals at the alumni gathering as old friends and family assembled for the summer-time joy of it.

        Harley and Barbara Krider looked like they were having a good time at the 50th Anniversary party thrown for them by their children.  Pictures on the internet show them smiling and feeding each other cake.  Fifty years is a long time but it must seem to have passed by quickly for them.  The swift passage of time is a regular topic of conversation.  Miles Potter just arrived seventeen months ago and he is already a big boy.  He and his brother, Weston, and sister, Emma, spent the holiday visiting with maternal grandparents Smith.  They toured the local creeks on Sunday afternoon.  The Old Fox was too swift for swimming, but Clever Creek had subsided sufficiently for some splendid wading. Wes said the creek used to run more than it does now.  He grew up fishing in it.  He also said that there was a swinging bridge about 200 yards down the creek from the slab.  Those bridges were made by people in the community years ago who were anxious for their children to get to school safely when the creeks were up.  He also said that there were a couple of places along that part of the creek where deposits of lead had been found.  News articles from seventy-five and a hundred years ago mention discoveries of “jack” along Cold Springs Road, “jack” meaning lead.

Weston Potter makes a big splash in Clever Creek.

        The Dalai Lama had his birthday on July 6th.  His was eighty years old.  They say “To hear the Dalai Lama laugh, it is easy to forget the cascade of disasters endured by the Tibetan Buddhists’ movement over the course of his life.”  Fellow Nobel Peace Laureates got together with him in California to kick off a three day birthday celebration.  He is well regarded around the world for his good attitude.  He shares the day with another person with a good perspective, Virginia Canada, who resides in Cocoa, Florida.  She has blood ties to the Upshaws and has been privy to the on-line presence of The General as he recounts the saga of the great Vera Cruz flood of 1876.  It happened in late June of that year and thirteen persons perished.  Ava was already the county seat, but there was still a lot of activity around Vera Cruz.  A big sawmill operation washed away in the flood, many thousands of feet of sawed lumber and many logs ready to be sawed all washed away.  The General is a reliable source of local history.  Champion friend Walter Darrell Haden, native of Smallett, was also born on July 6th.  He passed away in October last year.  As politics get more hilarious nationwide, “All the Late News from the Courthouse” is more appropriate than ever.  Janet Burns has her birthday on the 6th.  She is in love again with an old beau from long ago—so sweet.  Kyra Curtis was in the 8th grade at Skyline last year.  She also has her birthday on July 6th.  Lyla Brown will be in the second grade.  Her birthday is July 7th and she will be 7.  It is a special day for her to be 7 on 7-7!  Kruz Kuntz, whose mother went to Skyline, was one year old on the 7th.  He is a tough little guy with some serious health problems and a big loving family on his side.  Tiffany Thornhill was also an 8th grader last year.  Her birthday is the 8th.  Acknowledgement is a nice birthday gift.  Share birthdays and anniversaries at champion@championnews.us or at The Champion News, Rt 72, Box 367, Norwood, MO 65717.

17 month old Miles Potter looks over his Dad’s shoulder, studying the creek.

        The Skyline VFD Auxiliary will meet again on Wednesday at 6:30 at Henson’s Grocery and Gas.  The subject of the meeting will be the upcoming Picnic.  Members will be delighted to see the extraordinary quilt that will be the centerpiece of the fund raiser this year.  Tickets are already on sale and Linda Keys of the Downtown Pawn Shop bought some of the first tickets sold.  She spent $6.00 for 7 tickets for her lucky sister, Marjorie Carter, who won the garden bench and fire pit at the chili supper in March.  Sami McCleary is in charge of the silent auction again this year and she does an amazing job with it.  Anyone with something good to share can contact her at (417) 543-4947.  The White River Valley Electric Cooperative has made a generous donation to the fire department.  Jeff Pardec of White River encourages all the fire department membership to participate in the “Round-Up” program.  If everyone will round the electric bill up to the next dollar, the overage will get used for any number of worthwhile community projects.  The Skyline VFD has benefited significantly from the program in the past.  The picnic will be August 7th and 8th.  That is just a month away!  Meanwhile the summer social season is well underway and Champions will say, “See you around.”

        Tom Petty says “You belong among the wildflowers.  You belong in a boat out at sea.  You belong with your love on your arm.  You belong somewhere you feel free.”  This time of the year one of the prominent wildflowers along the lovely Champion paths scattered with light is Queen Anne’s lace.  The flowers have a flat topped white umbrella shape, sometimes with a solitary purple flower in the center.  Each flower cluster is made up of numerous tiny white flowers.  The flower cluster starts out curled up and opens to allow pollination.  The cluster then rolls itself shut again, like a reverse umbrella when it goes to seed at the end of the season.  Then it changes its name from Queen Anne’s Lace to Beggar’s Lice.  The seeds stick to everything.  It is considered to be quite a nutritious food with first year roots cooked in soups and stews like sweet carrots and the flowers French fried in fritters.  There are many edible wild plants in the area and chances are that someone sitting out on the wide veranda at the Historic Emporium over on the North Side of the Square will know all about some of them.  Get your information from a reliable source.  Come down to the banks of Old Fox Creek and indulge your curiosity.  Champion– Looking on the Bright Side!

June 29, 2015

June 29, 2015

CHAMPION—June 29, 2015


A Champion Deer

        It is officially Summer in the glorious Ozarks.  A few mild days in a row keep natives happy that this is where their lucky stars allowed them to lite.  A second cutting of hay already graces some fields and others are lush with new growth.  Young deer are getting stronger and bigger on bountiful natural foodstuffs and wild hen turkeys strut across the roads like they own them.  They have reasons for crossing the roads which can remain their secret until that ‘season’ rolls around again.

Champions Harley and Barbara Krider getting ready
for their 50th Wedding Anniversary Party.

        Harley and Barbara Krider will be celebrating their Fiftieth Anniversary on Friday.  Their children are hosting a party at the Maple Lane Country Club in Elmwood, Illinois.  A large contingent of Champions will be attending and are expected to return with some good stories, and maybe with some of those fancy sliders and some cake.  The pictures on the internet are cute.  Barbara has a mischievous little smile on her face with her eyebrows up in long suffering resignation while Harley leans over with a big grin and that two fingered peace sign above her head to look like rabbit ears.  They are still having fun after all this time.  The fun will continue on for them with cook outs and fireworks the next day as the whole Nation observes Independence Day.  Those who will not be making the trip will still be wishing the two of them many more years of happiness together while they celebrate in their own back yards and on local creek banks.

        Mild weather threatens to interfere with swimming on the 4th.  Someone said that it hardly seems fair to have the 4th of July fall on a Saturday, as if America needs a special extra day to express its collective joy.  John Adams wrote to his wife, Abigail, saying that the signing of the Declaration of Independence ought to be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival.  “It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty.  It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.”  Champions will do their best.  Old Tree Huggers will have their annual Jubilee down on the creek and marvel at the swift passage of time.  It is unclear whether The General will be available to lead the parade.  He may be off partying at the Maple Lane Country Club with his Mishbucha (meaning ‘related, but not by blood,’ him being the brother of the wife of the brother of the groom).  If he is around to do so, it is fully expected that he will again lead the Sunrise on Freedom parade that heads up in pre-dawn hours at the east end of town.  The parade route is as follows:  From thence off County Road 234 up on to the pavement of WW then a sharp turn into the west entry of town, in a direct line south hugging the west side of the Square with a sharp left turn just at the old Champion School, then in an easterly direction to the Monolithic Bee Tree which will be circumvented three times in a clockwise direction, then north along the wide, wild and wooly banks of Old Fox Creek with a 90° turn to the west just shy of the garage bringing the procession directly in front of the reviewing stand that is the Veranda on the Recreation of the Historic Emporium, and from there straight up the steep hill of Lonnie Krider Memorial Drive where it will stop at regular intervals to give pageant participants the opportunity to catch their breaths and to look out in appreciation across the broad expanse of Champion—one of the world’s truly beautiful places.

        Skyline students will miss Mrs. Judy Sleep who was their librarian for 15 years.  She has recently passed away but will be well remembered for her love of books and her love of the children.  She requested that people remember her by helping others.  Her family has asked that if people would like, they can make a contribution for Scleroderma Research in her memory.  Contact Skyline R2 School for additional information.

        Foster Wiseman was helping his dad do some hard work on their place last Saturday.  They used old fashioned tools to set cedar posts in the ground as part of a cow-shed building project.  For their efforts with a post-hole digger and an iron bar for breaking rock, they were able to get three of the six necessary posts set.  They will keep after it until the job is done.  As they wound up their work for the day on Saturday, Foster said that he was getting in the trailer that his dad was pulling with the riding mower when his dad asked if he was ready.  He was almost ready, that is to say, sitting down in the trailer, but not quite, and when his dad asked he said he was ready even though he was not quite and the mower and trailer lurched forward as Foster lurched backwards and landed flat on his back with his heels up.  The wind was knocked all of the way out of the boy as his dad looked back only to see his feet up in the air.  It did not take him long to recover and it is a good natured young man who will tell a funny story on himself.

        Ms. Ayn Thrope writes in with her opinions.  “It has been a newsworthy week across the Nation with the aftermath of the tragic shooting in Charleston, with a boost for health care in some places, while the stars and bars float down and the rainbow rises.  The dangerous murderers have been killed and caught up in upstate New York.  Terrible and wonderful things happen everywhere and our attention is pulled from one to the next endlessly.  Hardly any mention is being made about this terrible Pacific Trade Agreement.  It will effectively protect corporations, foreign and domestic, from the people, meaning companies will be free from the constraint of National Law if it interferes with trade.  The implications are far reaching.”  Most information that comes over the internet should be prefaced, according to some, by a shirtless hillbilly in overalls and a ragged straw hat, chewing on a piece of grass leaning over your computer saying, “I heard tell of thus ‘n such..”  “Knowledge is power only if man knows what facts not to bother with” according to Robert Staughton Lynd who was an American sociologist born in 1892.  He also said “Friendship will not stand the strain of very much good advice for very long.”  Gardeners will look for advice from Linda’s Almanac that says the 6th and 7th will be good days for planting beets, carrots, radishes, turnips and other root crops.  Also those will be good days for transplanting.  Look for Linda’s Almanac for July up at The Plant Place in Norwood, on the bulletin board in Henson’s Downtown G&G and on-line at www.championnews.us

        “Be kind to your web-footed friends, for a duck may be somebody’s mother.  Be kind to your friends in the swamp, where the weather is very warm and damp.”  The parody lyrics to John Phillip Sousa’s “The Stars and Stripes Forever” help some old timers to remember the melody of the song.  Sousa wrote it in 1897 with much more serious words which include the phrases:  “Hurrah for the flag of the free.  May it wave as our standard forever.”  “Let eagle shriek from lofty peak The never-ending watchword of our land; Let summer breeze waft through the trees The echo of the chorus grand.  Sing out for liberty and light, Sing out for freedom and the right.  Sing out for Union and its might.”  Champion—Looking on the Bright Side!