CHAMPION‚ÄĒDecember 5, 2016
Bud Hutchison and his smiling trail riders.
¬†¬†¬† ¬†¬†¬† It does not happen everywhere in the world that a sashay down to the convenience store for a last minute cake mix involves passing a passel of equestrians.¬† Bud and four of his buddies mounted up at 8:30 in the morning on Saturday in Veracruz and by 11:30 were ambling into Champion‚Ä¶ready for a stand around the wood stove‚Ä¶.and a good hot lunch.¬† They are a nice looking bunch‚Ä¶.ranging in age from 20 something to 80 something‚ÄĒone more handsome than the next all with Champion smiles.
¬†¬†¬† ¬†¬†¬† As a birthday gift to her friend, a wise woman is making a weekly phone call to Congressman, Jason Smith, (202) 225-4404, asking him to consider the precariousness of our natural environment, to encourage him to support ‚Äėsingle payer‚Äô as an answer to the health care crisis, and to adopt a balanced approach to governance referencing our national symbol, the magnificent bald eagle.¬† It is an enormous bird that needs both its wings to be healthy and strong in order to fly.¬† One Old Champion sings, ‚Äú‚Ä¶.straighten up and fly right!¬† Cool down, papa, don‚Äôt you blow your top!‚ÄĚ¬† Other people sing, ‚ÄúHappy birthday to yoooou!‚ÄĚ to Chris Tharp on the 8th, to Richard Johnston, on the 9th and to Skyline nurse, Mrs. Karen, that day as well.¬† Several Ava attorneys share a birthday on the 10th or the 11th, but they may not party together.¬† Portland Champion, Kai Parsons, also parties on the 11th.¬† Skyline prekindergarten student, Kennedy Hinote, has the 13th for a birthday, as does Vietnam Veteran River Rat, Richard Green, down in the Valley.¬† Some favorite people have the 14th to share with Spike Jones.¬† They are a dearest friend, Judy Ing, a renowned photographer in Springfield, Shannon Alexander, and Champion Xue Lynn, on top of the hill.¬† Happy daze all!
¬†¬†¬† ¬†¬†¬† An early Christmas letter comes from the Freemans, Wesley ad Suzie.¬† Suzie said she was almost done with her Christmas sewing.¬† She made 8 pairs of pillow cases and a baby blanket.¬† She and Wes had their 51st wedding anniversary on November 23rd.¬† When they were here earlier this year, Wes brought several wooden truck replicas he has made.¬† They are very intricate and good representations of the actual trucks.¬† According to her any time he sees an interesting truck out on the highway or parked, he looks it over and then comes home and makes it.¬† He has made 74 now by her count.¬† She says they are still hillbillies in Texas and still get the local paper.¬† She sent along her lovely handmade Christmas card.¬† Karen Ross, Champion‚Äôs own intrepid mail carrier, and all her co-workers will have extra work over the holidays, as they do every year.¬† This year among the armloads of mail will be the new Champion Christmas postcard, now available at Henson‚Äôs Downtown G & G.¬† It features a photograph of the old store in the snow with an appropriate greeting, designed to arouse nostalgia.
¬†¬†¬† ¬†¬†¬† The holidays will be filling our attention‚Ä¶meals to prepare, cards to send, gifts to buy, old acquaintances to renew‚Ä¶.shopping and cooking and visiting‚Ä¶.all go a long way to alleviate the stresses of the recent political season.¬† Some are embarrassed.¬† Some are still in stunned disbelief.¬† Some are experiencing buyer‚Äôs remorse and others are certain it is all just wonderful.¬† Whatever the case may be, this is surely not the time to disengage.¬† Now, more than ever, vigilance is the responsibility of the citizen.¬† Over at Standing Rock, it took a lot of people a long time to effect a little change, but it happened.¬† That means it could happen again and perhaps the next time it will not take so long.¬† If enough people make enough noise, long enough, some change is possible.¬† It may have been the vision of 2,000 or so Veterans in body armor that caused the local constabulary to cease and desist its aggression toward peaceful protesters.¬† Perhaps the President had some sway over the Army Corps of Engineers that caused them to reconsider issuing the permit that would have allowed the pipeline to continue through sacred sites and under the only water source for the Standing Rock Reservation.¬† While this is seen as a real victory, it is certain that the Sioux will not relax their vigilance.¬† There will be a presence on the site until the pipeline is rerouted and the equipment removed and then there will still be a vigilant presence.¬† ‚ÄúWater is sacred,‚ÄĚ they say and we in the Ozarks, blessed with bountiful, clean, free flowing water, realize that others are not so blessed and do not take our good fortune for granted.
Musical father and son.
¬†¬†¬† ¬†¬†¬† J.R. and Janet Johnston‚Äôs fiddling son sat next to his Dad at the Vanzant Bluegrass Jam on Thursday and scrubbed off a fine rendition of ‚ÄúSally Goodin‚ÄĚ.¬† He knows all the old songs and probably the words to many of them–like, ‚ÄúWatermelon, cantaloupe, peach tree puddin‚Äô ain‚Äôt half as sweet as my little Sally Goddin.‚ÄĚ¬† Pot luck is at six and music until nine‚ÄĒunless school is closed for the day for bad weather.¬† If you cannot make it to a local live music jam or performance, make your own music in the car, or the shower, or over the kitchen sink.¬† Music is a great soother in rough times and good for the spirit any time.¬† ‚ÄúI want to be happy, but I can‚Äôt be happy till I know you‚Äôre happy too!‚ÄĚ
¬†¬†¬† ¬†¬†¬† Gary Hutchison called the other day to chat and chat and chat.¬† He says he is kin to most of the people in Douglas and Wright Counties.¬† He misses Champion and thinks he will make it to the next school reunion.¬† Young Fisher Bray, four year old grandson of Kirby Fossett, does not eat bugs–even when the big ugly thing proffered by a local jokester turned out not to be a bug at all but some strange fruit from Honduras.¬† The thing was about the size of a small plum, but kind of flat with a dark purple skin covered in black pointy things that looked like legs.¬† The gelatinous insides tasted like a grape, but Fisher was having no part of it.¬† He is steadfast and resolute about it.¬† He is one of a number of charming youngsters who frequent the Historic Emporium over on the North Side of the Square keeping it a lively and exciting place.¬† He might learn that great Arlo Guthrie song, ‚ÄúI don‚Äôt want a pickle, I just want to ride on my motorcycle‚ÄĚ in Champion‚ÄĒLooking on the Bright Side!