May 21, 2018

CHAMPION—May 21, 2018


Not our Champion landscape…

Wilma Hutchison said that when she pulled into the Champion Square on Wednesday morning she was amazed at the number of trucks and horse trailers there.  The Square was full and it made her glad to know that Bud’s Spring Trail Ride would continue.  Andrew Hardin said that he and all the other riders were made glad when she pulled into the square.  She took pictures and made notes.  Wilma’s Champion friends look forward to her account of the day and her wonderful pictures.  Go to to the May 22, 2017 posting to see a great picture of the trail riders posed on the broad steps at the Historic Emporium—a more pleasant looking bunch of folks you are not likely to see.

A trove of Champion children swarmed Elmer’s pond on Saturday.  It was a fishing expedition, one they will all remember.  Lux, Chase, Taegan, Kalyssa, and Foster pulled fish in one after another and that very evening enjoyed them fried for super.  It is a joy to see young people outside doing summertime things.  They will grow up saying they have been fishing since they were knee high to fish bait (grasshoppers.)  Someone will teach them how to take a picture of a little fish to make it look like a big one, a trick shared by Champion friend, Jack Ryan, forty years ago with a trio of young fellows whose company he enjoyed.  Journalist Doug Larson said, “If people concentrated on the really important things in life, there’d be a shortage of fishing poles.”  An old friend, now passed, liked to quote John Buchanan, “The charm of fishing is that it is the pursuit of what is elusive but attainable, a perpetual series of occasions for hope.”  Fishing stories run deep and wide on a warm afternoon out on the wide veranda.  Unless your important chores at home can wait, you are cautioned not to bring the subject up in the presence of a certain loafer.  No amount of looking at your watch or furtive steps as if to escape will do you any good.  Be careful or he will try to hold you with eye contact, whereupon you feel obligated to at least feign interest, hoping that he will not require some response from you.  While he talks to hear his head rattle, you can ponder lofty thoughts or mentally organize your list of chores to do when you finally get home.  Polite behavior is a Champion attribute.

Audrey Hepburn said, “To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.”  The good rains we are experiencing now may serve us well, though many would prefer they came regularly on Wednesday and Sunday nights all through the summer in half inch episodes.  Certainly these kinds of rains make it possible for the weeds to just jump up into your hands if you will bend down to greet them.  There is plenty of growing season ahead to enjoy all that zucchini.  Frances Banks shared some gourd seeds around at the Vanzant Bluegrass Jam a while back and if the fruit is anything like the plant, there will be some enormous squash in the neighborhood.  Cucumbers—what a wonderful thought!  Some garden by the signs and some do it when they can.  Work as hard as you want to at it.  Your results will reflect your effort.  Other parts of the country are dealing with drought conditions while places nearby are in flash flood mode.  It was just this time last year when the bridge east of town was closed, having been undermined by the early spring rains.  It was an interesting process to watch the new bridge being built.  Some call it the New East Champion Fox Creek Dam, as the single tin horn cannot handle the volume of the creek, particularly with the debris as it washes down in the heavy rains.  “You can’t go home by the way of the mill, there’s a bridge washed out at the bottom of the hill.  The big creek’s up and the little creek’s level.  Plow my corn with a double-shovel.”

Go away for a few days in the middle of May and see what happens.  Those tender greens that graced our hills the week before are now deep, lush, vibrant greens and the velvet fields are now deep grass-haying has started.  Go away for a few days to experience the exhilaration of coming home.  So long as you are going places, try getting out of your comfort zone.  Get together with dear family and loved ones who believe exactly the opposite things that you believe.  They are internally shaking their heads in disbelief, even as you are.  They know they love you and they cannot help it, but they cannot fathom how you can possibly think the way you do.  After a week or so, get back to your own space and realize gratitude.  Be grateful for home and familiar comforts and like minds.

The Denlow/Fairview School Reunion, the 32nd one, will be Saturday.  Even folks who never went to school there, but have friends and family who did are already getting excited about it.  The General will forgo his Wednesday picking session in Champion to do some sprucing up at Denlow.  He is much in demand in the whole tri-community area—Champion/Vanzant/Denlow.  Pete and Bonnie Mullens will not make it to the reunion this year.  They will look forward to pictures and reports.  Bonnie says they are finally getting rain and flowers are blooming.  Lightening bugs are out already.  What grandparent would not be happy to go find a fruit jar for a grandchild to use for collecting fire flies?  Those of us without grandchildren or grandchildren nearby will just enjoy the fire flies.  Our most beloved insect is actually a beetle and the world’s most efficient light producer.  They sing at night with light signals, bioluminescent love songs, “Blink, blink, blink” in Champion—Looking on the Bright Side!

Sunset in the air…on the way home…

May 14, 2018

CHAMPION—May 14, 2018

It was an exciting Thursday for the talented students at Skyline R2 School as they gave a great performance at their end of the year musical program.  Parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, other family, and friends enjoyed seeing their precious little ones, and big ones (they grow up so fast) working together with such good results.  The last day of school is May 18th.  There will be summer school for some, but the session is short, so they will still get some much-deserved time off.  Teachers and school staff have plenty to do during the summer, but hopefully, they get some time to relax too.  The idea of summer vacation is one that everyone remembers as a special time.  Old folks at the Denlow/Fairview School Reunion will probably be able to tell stories about their long ago summer vacations.  The reunion will be May 26.  There will be music about 11:00 in the pavilion, a great pot luck lunch at noon, and an afternoon of fun for folks remembering when they were the age of our current young ones.  It may be that in 2050, these young ones will be attending their 32nd Skyline School Reunion.

Birthday observations last week did not include those of Kenneth Anderson and Candy Bartsch, but they were serenaded vigorously at the Thursday Vanzant Bluegrass Jam.  Kenneth’s day was May 8th. He and Barbara have given up being snowbirds.  They will miss their Florida friends, but are happy to be full time local yokels again.  Candi’s celebrates her birthday on the 14th.  One of her great fiddle tunes is “Bonaparte Crossing the Rhine.”  Heidi Strong is a sixth grade student at Skyline.  Her birthday is on May 22nd, the same day as Teresa Wrinkles.  Jerry sings, “I love you just the way you are. I wouldn’t change you if I could” to his fair Lena who enjoys her birthday on the 26th.  It may be that Thomas’s old Grandpa Webber celebrates that same day.  Ed Henson was born May 27, 1903.  Brylee Clark’s great- grandmother has her birthday on the 27th and Brylee’s is the next day, also the special day for Dale Thomas.  Kazie Perkins, of KZ88, celebrates on the 29th, and Champion granddaughter and aspiring fiddler, Alexandra Jean down in Austin, Texas will have her party on the 31st.  Happy birthday to you all!  The flowers and presents were meaningful to Mother on Sunday, but nothing is as good to her as a visit or of a phone call from her children.  Jimmy Rogers sang “Mother the Queen of My Heart.”

The horseshoe pitch at the Re-creation of the Historic Emporium is getting plenty of action on these warm days.  It is not infrequent that the ring of steel on steel, a ringer, can be heard all the way up on the wide veranda.  So far it would seem that everyone is exhibiting good sportsmanship, though it may be that one of the players sneaks around to practice.  It is all in good fun and the meeting room is often the place or friends to gather to exchange news and to reminisce.  Having conversations with neighbors about gardening in the heat of the afternoon is a good way to rest up from the morning’s hard work.  There is always plenty to do.  The season is just getting started—plenty of time to get some crops in the ground.  Down in the Magic Rio Grande Valley along the southern border, the corn is shoulder high and tasseling.  Cotton is up and looking good.  There are great fields of sunflowers and aloe vera.  Orchid trees, magnolias, red buds, wild olive trees and many tropical things are blooming wildly and local residents do not take the beauty for granted.  They too have tables where they sit together on warm afternoons to discuss family histories and current events.  What a delight it is to meet cousins for the first time in sixty years.  Far flung family gathering for the sake of getting acquainted is a joy—nice to not be at a funeral.  The laughter and exchanges of family stories are true gifts.  As to current events, one refers to that rock and roll song, “War, What Is It Good For?” and answers the musical question: “Lockheed Martin, Halliburton, Boeing, and Raytheon!  Support our brave CEOs and don’t question wars.”  Another shares a book, “Secret Empires” by Peter Schweizer who explains how the American political class hides corruption and enriches family and friends.  Apparently this is a practice common to every political party, liberal, conservative or centrist.  The Champion News will endeavor to find an honest politician, but cautions readers not to hold their breaths.

News from back home indicates that it is summer already, spring having been at and short lived.  Mother’s Day wishes flew through the air and over the phone lines and via the United States Postal Service.  Karen Ross is our local heroine at the mailbox and hopes are that she had a great Mother’s Day.  Beverly Barnhart has had a surgery from which she is recovering and her friends all wish her well.  Bud Hutchison’s Spring Trail Ride will start in Champion on Wednesday the 16th.  Andrew Hardin lead last fall’s ride when Bud was unable to come and he will do it again this time, though it will still be known as Bud’s Champion Trail Ride.  It will be a nostalgic time for the riders as they travel familiar trails remembering happy times with their dear old friend.  It is not a cowboy song but one that fits sweetly:  “We’ll meet again.  Don’t know where.  Don’t know when, but I know we’ll meet again some sunny day.  Keep smiling through, just like you always do ‘till the blue skies chase the dark clouds far away” in Champion—Looking on the Bright Side!


May 7, 2018

CHAMPION—May 7, 2018


The hill was alive with the sound of laughter, visiting, and picking on Saturday.  Old friends and new ones gathered in the shade of the big oak tree and strolled about the grounds visiting and enjoying an excellent fish fry and a beautiful spring day.  It was the Second Annual Champion Spring Fling.  People came from all over—from Ava, Mountain Grove, Norwood, Dora, Vanzant, Almartha, Drury, Forsythe, Springfield, Idaho and France, as well as a number of other places.  David Richardson made his eloquent formal congratulatory presentation of a buttercream iced cupcake (with sprinkles) to the Champion Birthday Celebrant, who graciously accepted it, remarking that it having been flipped upside down and the frosting a mess made it all the more special.  She is a special person who brings a lot of fun to Champion.  Her many friends appreciate her having organized this wonderful event.  Elizabeth Heffern’s grandparents were at the Fling.  Elizabeth’s birthday is the 15th of May, the same as Linda Cooley who lives just across Auld Fox Creek from Champion.  A couple of the Dooms brothers were there.  Alvie will have his birthday on the 16th, maybe his 88th or so.  (Dovie had her day on the second.)  One of an Old Champion’s favorite sons, father of Zoey and Alex, also celebrates on the 16th.  Waylon’s Mom, up in Chicago, has the 18th for her birth anniversary, the day also for remembering Exer Hector Masters, gone from us now these 42 years, and still missed every day.  With Mother’s Day approaching, Champions say, “Love her while you have her with you.”  Phone lines will be busy all over the country Sunday, but you can call the old girl any day.  Kay Scrivner enjoyed the afternoon in Champion with her son, David.  Thanks to Laine Sutherland, Champions get to see David on Tuesdays when she publishes posts of the McClurg Jam on the internet.  Thank you, Laine!  It was a treat to have him playing his wonderful fiddle live in Champion along with Sherry Bennett, David Richardson, Alvie Dooms, J.R. Johnston, David Medlock, Candy Bartsch, The General, and others.  Good food, good music, good friends and good weather all made it a perfect day.

Orioles lingered longer in the neighborhood on their way north this year and in greater numbers than Champions can remember.  Rose-breasted grosbeaks and Indigo buntings add color and hummingbirds swarm the feeders.  Hovey Henson wrote to The Champion News to say that the Champion hummingbird flew past 3731 Brookfield and did not stop.  He has never seen a hummingbird at his feeder there in Houston, Texas, though his daughter, Melanie, lives forty miles west and she has them.  Hovey will be back in the neighborhood for his 60th high school reunion in July and can enjoy all the beauty of his old home place then.  Just now little cabins and spacious country homes have disappeared into the forests again.  In ten days the hillsides have gone from gray and brown to every tender shade of green and the woods have closed in with just enough open to dazzle gawkers with the dogwoods.  Do-gooders picking up a piece of litter here and there along a country lane get to enjoy a quiet moment to soak in the calmness and to feel good about themselves as they help to keep our neighborhoods clean. A couple of conservative Republican law-makers from up around St. Joseph have put together the Clean Missouri Initiative.  It is still in the petition stage but could be on the ballot in November.  Among other things, it would to eliminate almost all lobbyist gifts, lower campaign contributions and require legislative records be open to the public.  State Rep. Galen Higdon said that state government is ‘pay to play’ and that he has been asked in the past to pay in order to get a seat on a committee.  He also said that his constituents were 60% against the “Right to Work” initiative, “So, I had to vote ‘no’.  Then I got a phone call telling me that ‘for $35,000, you (should) change your vote,’ and that’s just wrong.”  Higdon said he is still researching the Clean Missouri Initiative but believes it would be good for the state.  Just imagine a government as clean as Champion, free of unbridled selfishness and contempt for the common good!  Some Old Geezers discuss philosophy out on the wide veranda at the Recreation of the Historic Emporium, sitting in the shade, gazing out over the Square at the wide, wild, wooly banks of Auld Fox Creek.  Others just gripe about having to mow already.  Some of them are talking about fishing these days and gardeners just go on and on as if talking about it would get the weeds pulled out of the bean rows.  Address your philosophical comments, observations on any subject, or questions to  Go to if you would like to peruse the archives and the many photographs of the Bright Side or if you would like to catch content that does not make it into the newspaper.  An avid on-line reader with a slow internet says he is willing to watch “the spinning blue doughnut of patience” as long as it takes.  Champion!

It is Teacher and Staff Appreciation Week at our Skyline R2 School.  The hard work and dedication that keeps this vital little rural school up and operating is considerable.  Students will present their music program at 7:00 P.M. on Thursday, May 10th.  The last day of school will be May 18th.  Even if you do not have children or grandchildren in school, the chance to see these youngsters working together in one of Ms. Casper’s great programs is a treat.  In addition to learning music and elocution, they are learning how to follow directions and to cooperate with their classmates to produce something enjoyable for everyone.  Soon enough they will be in charge of everything.  The swift passage of time is a recurring theme as we remember our own long ago school days.  The 32nd Annual Denlow/Fairgrove Reunion will be on May 26th this year.  The General says that there will be music in the pavilion about 11:00 and, “Anyone that would like to join in with the musical group will certainly be welcomed.  Several relatives from out of state are planning to attend, of which some have not been here in several years.”  Classes were last held in Denlow in November of 1955, but ask any of those at the reunion if it does not seem like just yesterday.  “As the life of a flower, as a breath or a sigh, so the years roll away…” Champion—Looking on the Bright Side!


April 30, 2018

CHAMPION—April 30, 2018


Willie Nelson celebrated his 85th birthday on the 29th of April.  He might have thought the town of Ava had turned out in force to appreciate him on Sunday.  It was the Old Fashioned Social that wound up the “2500 Miles of Arts and Culture,” a sterling event sponsored by the Ava Area Chamber of Commerce.  They already have a good start on planning the Pioneer Heritage Festival of the Ozarks.  That will take place October 6 and 7 this year.  Maybe Willie will come, just to hang out in a beautiful part of the world.  “Your adventure begins in Douglas County, Missouri.”  Willie would have loved the old Pioneer Descendants Gathering that Dale and Betty Thomas sponsored all those years, but he will love this one too.  [TCN’s editor says that ‘will’ implies that he will come and that ‘would’ is the better word…nah.]  This festival is just getting started and has a great future.  Perhaps a written invitation will alert him to the fun.  He is touring now so it is too late to get an invite to him for the Champion Spring Fling—perhaps next year.

Spring greens…

Skyline teacher, Mrs. Terri Ryan enjoys her birthday on May first.  Bus driver, Mrs. Beth enjoys that day as well.  A sweet cousin down in the Magic Rio Grande Valley in Texas has the same birthday as her husband on May Day.  He says, “We have the same wedding anniversary too.”  Leo’s grandmother in Springfield has her birthday on the second.  Linda Heffern, up in Waldo, revels on the sixth.  Skyline fourth grader Gracie Nava celebrates on the seventh and Bonnie Brixey Mullins, way out in Douglass, Kansas will make merry on the ninth of May.  She and Pete have been out there for a couple of years now, after leaving their home of 60 years in Wichita.  They seem settled-in and happy in their new spot.  A while back she wrote about the old family home place north of Champion and how well it is being maintained by the folks who live there now.  She said, “Mom and Dad built that house for $100.00, using mostly lumber out of an old house.  The rocks came out of Clever Creek over south of Cold Springs, labor by Dad’s father and brothers.  We had a lot of fun in that house.”  Bonnie does not think she and Pete will make it to the Denlow School Reunion this year, but she expects her ears to be burning as friends and family talk about her.  We will say that we miss the two of them and hope they are having good days.  They will be pleased to know that The General has been working out on the stationary bike at the Vanzant Spa and Recreation Center.  He says, “I’m getting pretty good on it too.  This evening I was able to pedal for five or six seconds without using my hands.”  He should be in good shape for the Denlow/Fairview Reunion on May 26th this year.

Barbara and Kenneth Anderson were back in town and enjoying the Vanzant Bluegrass Jam on Thursday, but they have obligations that will keep them away from the Second Annual Champion Spring Fling on May 5th…this very next Saturday.  They will be missing some fun.  Kaye and Richard Johnston also made a rare appearance at Vanzant.  They celebrated having been married 41 years on Sunday and will be in Champion Saturday, celebrating still.  Every day is a good one when you are in good company.  Everyone is invited to come enjoy each other’s company and some good food and music.  Bring your lawn chairs, your instruments and your appetite.  It is a birthday party for a Special Champion!

Spring wildflowers…

Sojourners from Idaho will be enthusiastic attendees at the Fling.  Back home they frequent places called the Long Branch and The Grub Stake—not The Dry Gulch or the Bloated Goat of these parts.  While at Champion a couple of Wednesdays ago, Donny decided to shake the lint out of a unique musical instrument which he was examining.  He says most instruments with a sound box have lint in them.  (The owner of the instrument pocketed the little roll of lint and later replaced it from whence it came as it is original equipment.) Donald and Emma have been doing some serious traveling from here to there and back.  According to his brother, he was born in that field across Fox Creek from the store and went to the Champion School.  He comes back home to roost for a spell every now and again.

A friend of The Champion News writes in to ask how we manage to stay optimistic in the face of such extreme negativity these days with assaults on the truth, the environment, the poor, and on the security of families, the Nation and the World.  Of course, Spring helps, but generally speaking, for every lying, thieving, self-serving degenerate out there, there are many genuine good people, doing good works, unsung.  A focus on courage, compassion, sacrifice, and kindness is the key that opens the doors that are closed by continual grieving over the dark things.  If we see only the worst, it robs us of our capacity to do something.  Even the smallest thing like picking up litter, or clipping Box Tops for Education or just smiling at a stranger or at yourself in the mirror can lift your spirit.  The future is a continual succession of the present, so living positively now in defiance of all that is bad around us is a victory with far reaching possibilities.  Willie Nelson sees reason for hope singing, “It’s always now, and nothing ever goes away.  Everything is here to stay and it’s always now.”

It is a waste of ink and your time to try to describe the beauty of this country at this time of the year.  Go to for photos that illustrate this point.  Step out your door and drink in the splendor or come down to the wide, wild, wooly banks of Old Fox Creek and see for yourself:  Champion—Looking on the Bright Side!

“Lazybones, sleepin’ in the sun…”

April 23, 2018

CHAMPION—April 23, 2018


“Be like Bud.”  That is what Don Hamby said at Bud Hutchison’s send off on Friday at the Ava Highway Church of the Nazarene.  Hundreds gathered to pay tribute to a friend and neighbor and to comfort Wilma and their family.  Bud’s old saddle sat among the flowers as longtime friends spoke of the nature of true friendship that he exemplified.  To be like Bud is to have a smile on your face and a truly kind heart.  Way off in the future whenever the trail ride comes to Champion, it will still be called Bud Hutchison’s Spring (or Fall) Trail Ride.  He was called Champion’s greatest ambassador and he was.

Thunder in February means frost in May, they say.  We certainly had some thunder in February.  They also say that if it rains on Easter Sunday, it will rain the next seven Sundays.  So far that has proven out, though some of that rain came down as snow.  It rained all day on Earth Day, a pleasant beginning for Spring (1 ¾ inches in the Champion soup can).  J.C. Owsley says that by Tuesday we will be able to hear the grass growing.  We began celebrating Earth Day back in 1970.  Now 192 countries worldwide hold events to demonstrate support for environmental issues.  Here the EPA has supporters and detractors.  Scott Pruitt has spent the past year working to undo regulations that would have required farmers to restrict their fertilizer use, oil and gas firms to control global warming pollution from their wells, and Midwestern power plants to burn less coal.  Now he personally will make the final critical decisions about the preservation of streams, ponds and wetlands as he takes control of the Clean Water Act.  Missouri has 110,000 miles of streams and a reputation for bountiful, clean water that has drawn many to settle in this part of the country.  Mr. Pruitt’s reputation is up in the air.  Meanwhile the Missouri Department of Conservation reminds us to be “Bear Aware.”  Mushroom hunters need to be alert, particularly in unfamiliar territory where they might meet a bear or a landowner with questions.

The Grower’s Market on the Ava Square is up and going strong again from 7 a.m. to noon every Saturday.  It is a great place to buy in-season fruits and vegetables, a variety of handcrafted items, baked goods and organic and naturally grown plants and starts, as well as poultry and small livestock.  There is something new every week.  On Sunday, the 29th, there will be an Old Fashioned Social On-The-Square.  The square will be full of Ozark music, gospel singing, food and an antique car show during the day as part of the wind up the 2500 Miles of Arts and Culture event sponsored by the Ava Area Chamber of Commerce.  Artisans from the Pioneer Heritage Festival of the Ozarks (October 6 and 7) will be at the Old Fashioned Social to visit with you as they demonstrate their skills and crafts that depict Ozark culture and history. is a good place to go for information about the Pioneer Heritage Festival.

Aficionados of The Champion News at are noticing that the last two editions are presented with no pictures.  It seems that lightening ran across a tin roof via the telephone line on Friday the 13th, frying the telephone, two computers, a fan and some of the lighting in the home of the TCN administrator.  A week later the Century-Link folks have still not sent repair people to address the damage.  Perseverance is the watchword.  When all is right again, the full color illustrations will be plugged into the articles.  There are many good photos there to be seen in the archives such as Bud Hutchison’s Spring Trail Ride in the May 22, 2017 post.

Even someone who loves driving can want to be a passenger on a Saturday trip to town.  Running along the ridges with great distant vistas on either hand is glorious this time of the year.  The far hills are blue in the clear air and the countless shades of green swell and fall in folds and rolls down to ponds and creeks in the bottoms.  The views are enough to distract even a cautious driver.  Dogwoods in high spots were already flowering and soon the deep woods will have splashes of white to contrast with redbuds.  Passersby in Near West Champion observed a large gathering of Kriders, Wisemans, Upshaws and Cauthrons enjoying a Saturday together.  It was reported that they had a weenie roast, s’mores, puppies, and rides in the side by side.  (The puppies were just for petting and frolicking—not part of the menu.)  Kalyssa’s Mom was credited for having planned the gathering.  Her cousin made an internet posting declaring “Fun Times!” She also put up a video of Foster on his Granddad’s mandolin and The General on guitar doing a solid rendition of “Wildwood Flower.”  The General says, “Another big celebration is planned at Fae’s house the next time she leaves town.”

Climb a tree to wish Jacob Moffett happy birthday on April 24th.  Sing, “Abilene, Abilene, sweetest gal I’ve ever seen” to Gay Masters out in West Texas.  Her husband used to refer to her as ‘The Old Fat Lady’ to his peers and friends who were always surprised when they met the tall, attractive woman.  The 26th is for sweet Ruby Proctor’s youngest son.  Skyline School’s second grade student, Eli Johnson, has his birthday on April 28th.  Eight grader, Isaam Creed, celebrates on the 29th and Taegan Krider, second grader, on April 30th.  Birthdays give us the opportunity to acknowledge the people we love and appreciate, to let them know we are glad to have them in our lives.  The Champion Spring Fling on May 5th will be a chance to say, “Happy Birthday” to the Prominent Champion Spouse and to say, “Howdy” to neighbors and wanderers who are ready for a party after a long quiet winter.  There will be music and yarns strung from here to yonder about the good old days and old friends who once strolled around these historic grounds.  There will be catfish, Cole slaw, baked beans, hush puppies, hamburgers, hot dogs and the famous curly potatoes available at a nominal cost provided by the Prominent Champion Couple.  If you like, bring a dessert to share.  The birthday person likes cupcakes.  Bring your lawn chairs, your musical instruments and while away a pleasant afternoon among old friends and new ones.  Join in to sing a song for Bud–“Happy trails to you, until we meet again,” if you are a Roy Rogers fan.  Gene Autry’s fans sing, “I’m back in the saddle again out where a friend is a friend….Woopi-ty-aye-oh Rockin’ to and fro Back in the saddle again.  Whoopi-ti-aye-yay I go my way Back in the saddle again”… in Champion—Looking on the Bright Side!

Blue hills in the distance.