CHAMPION‚ÄĒMarch 30, 2015
¬†¬†¬† ¬†¬†¬† After a few warm days a little cold snap seems mighty cold.¬† In a couple of months people will be complaining about the heat and so it goes.¬† The only constant is change.¬† Walnuts are some of the last trees to leaf out, so the mystery of the colossal stump will linger.¬† It may be sprouted out before the brush is cleaned up.¬† Meanwhile, the bees seem to be doing well and everyone is pleased about that.¬† George Bailey would say something to the effect, ‚ÄúWhat service does the honey bee!¬† Wild or domestic, bees do most of the pollinating (living and dying) around here, Mr. Potter.¬† Well, is it too much to ask that they do their pollinating (living and dying) in a poison free environment?‚ÄĚ¬† That conversation did not occur, but the question is a valid one.¬† Honeybees, wild and domestic, are losing ground with various agricultural chemicals and insecticides across the nation.¬† Champions are grateful for the ‚Äėwild bunch‚Äô living in the enormous stump on the South side of the Square.¬† It is a gift to live in a part of the world that enjoys wild pollinators, bear, and eagles, as well as the annoying ticks and chiggers, without which this country would surely be overrun with tourists.
¬†¬†¬† ¬†¬†¬† Elmer‚Äôs little black hen toured Champion last week.¬† She had found a nice spot to lay her eggs in his Kubota RTV and happened to be engaged in that activity when Elmer made his trip over to Henson‚Äôs Downtown G & G.¬† When they arrived the hen got out and took a stroll around the Square.¬† Elmer gave the two eggs to the storekeeper.¬† The little chicken is not accustomed to being around people so as more joined in the round-up effort, she became more elusive.¬† After a while they gave up and the banty spent the day exploring and grazing, scratching around the periphery of the Square.¬† She found water and generally made herself at home until Elmer came back the next day.¬† She must have been ready to go because she resumed her place in the Kubota when Elmer went in the store.¬† Frances raised the hen and was likely glad to see her back in her own yard.¬† Frances and Elmer have been enjoying the Thursday night pot-luck bluegrass jam over at the Vanzant Community Building.¬† Supper is served at six and then the music starts.¬† Elmer said the previous week there had been about fifty people there in addition to the musicians.¬† He was most impressed by a couple from Canada who have joined the musician‚Äôs circle.¬† Now that the weather has moderated, perhaps the music lovers will come out for the fun.¬† Laine Sutherland has been doing a good job of keeping the internet full of references to the 32nd Annual Fiddlers Convention at the North Arkansas College in Harrison.¬† She posts some nice tunes featuring Alvie Dooms, Bill Conley, John White, James Ruth, JR Johnston, and Rachel Reynolds Luster.¬† There was a great piece by Tim Daniels on a 5 string fiddle, Kathleen Gustafson on mandolin and Dave Gustafson on guitar.¬† The song was Have You Met Miss Jones?¬† Without a single word being sung, the music makes a person very much want to meet Miss Jones.
¬†¬†¬† ¬†¬†¬† A Champion friend from over in Jordan, MO is spending a few days up in Old Jeff (Jefferson City) doing what he can to help expand Medicaid in Missouri.¬† As it is, the ‚Äėgap‚Äô insures that if a person of modest means (a family of 3 making over $3,600.00 per year) has a serious accident or illness, he can expect that his medical treatment will bring him to bankruptcy and possibly homelessness.¬† In this generally low income area with an aging population, it might be surprising who all would genuinely benefit by the expansion of Medicaid.¬† The benefits would not only improve the quality of life for folks in marginal financial circumstances but could help restore some of the small hospitals and provide jobs for people in the health care industry.¬† It will bring two billion tax dollars back into the State.¬† Folks down in Arkansas have had good luck with it, and while Missouri is not generally the first in line to follow Arkansas‚Äô lead, in this instance it might well be prudent.
¬†¬†¬† ¬†¬†¬† Fourth grade student Jhonn Rhodes has his birthday on April 1st.¬† That probably has made for some interesting birthday parties over the years and will for years to come.¬† Happy Birthday, Jhonn!¬† Lannie Hinote reported that the Skyline archers had a wonderful showing for their school at the State Archery Tournament that was held at the Tan-Tar-A Resort at the Lake of the Ozarks.¬† They competed with 86 other schools and 1,400 archers.¬† Morgan Whitacre, Levi Hicks, Gavin Sartor, and Dylan Ford competed for Skyline and local high school archers were Tristen Shearer and Lukas Brown.¬† This excellent archery program is a feather in the cap of this wonderful little rural school.¬† The Douglas County Health Department will be at Skyline on Tuesday, April 7th.¬† They do blood pressure checks and a variety of other health screenings free for the community from 8:00 to 10:00 a.m.¬† It is a good example of the school supporting the community and the community supporting the school.¬† Champion!
¬†¬†¬† ¬†¬†¬† It is a lucky individual who gets a chance to correct her mistakes.¬† Last week the favorite meteorologist of the Skyline Area Volunteer Fire Department was misnamed as Amy Dyer.¬† The lady‚Äôs name is Abby Dyer.¬† Apologies are extended to Ms. Dyer herself, to the whole Skyline VFD and to certain firefighters in particular.¬† If she reads The Champion News, she knows what a fan club she has in central Douglas County.¬† Esther Wrinkles used to write the items from Champion and later from Vanzant.¬† She wrote for the better part of fifty years and once in a conversation with her it was said that sometimes making a mistake is a way to revisit a subject in a future article.¬† Her friends miss Esther and wonder what she would have to say about the tallest stump in town.¬† Notes from Hunter Creek also had some corrections this week, but mostly it was full of good information about morel mushrooms and neighborhood snakes.¬† Everyone will soon be on the lookout for May apples and the bragging will begin.¬† The Cowboy will probably find the first and the most, but he only shares with certain people.¬† The whole idea of exclusivity is that some, by the very definition of the word, are excluded.¬† There is no use in having your feelings hurt about it.¬† Just go find your own mushrooms and figure that if you brag about it too much someone will dog your heels until they find your patch and then you will be sorry.¬† Bon appetite!
¬†¬†¬† ¬†¬†¬† Linda‚Äôs Almanac from over at The Plant Place says that the third will be a good day for planting above ground crops and the fourth through the seventh will be good for root crops.¬† These will also be good days to transplant.¬† Linda is open for business now with her pretty broccoli and other cole crops and lettuce.¬† It is the plan of a number of old folks to get a lot accomplished in the garden without wearing themselves out completely.¬† Send your garden plans and maps to your mushroom patches to email@example.com or to The Champion News, Rt. 72 Box 367, Norwood, MO 65717.¬† Find the almanac on the bulletin board in the meeting room at the Recreation of the Historic Emporium, up at The Plant Place in Norwood and at www.championnews.us.¬† The www stands for wide, wild and wooly in Champion‚ÄĒLooking on the Bright Side!