CHAMPION‚ÄĒAugust 29, 2016
A tidy little Champion garden on a tranquil summer Sunday.
¬†¬†¬† ¬†¬†¬† Many long years ago Sylvia Henson, who lived up on Cold Springs Road, wrote the ‚ÄúChampion Items.‚ÄĚ¬† Later on, Ruth Hicks, who lived in the next place to the south, wrote them.¬† Then, Esther Wrinkles, who at that time lived just across the road from the Champion Store, wrote them.¬† Esther moved over to Vanzant and wrote for those folks for a while.¬† This permutation of the Items, ‚ÄúThe Champion News ‚Äú (TCN), is being written in the same room where Sylvia Henson began her correspondence.¬† It is complete with its own website where every article from the past ten years is posted together with pictures and special features.¬† www.championnews.us can now be read on your smart phone.¬† Times are changing.¬† From the first edition, August 28, 2006:¬† ‚ÄúNews has reached the Champion community that its former longtime resident, Mrs. Clifford Wrinkles, has suffered a mishap that has resulted in a plaster cast on her foot together with admonitions to stay off the foot for two weeks.¬† This will work a hardship on Mrs. Wrinkles who is routinely more active than most.‚ÄĚ¬† Over the years Esther‚Äôs name has come up frequently.¬† Look up the July 29, 2007 posting to read a good conversation with the lady.¬† She wrote for The Douglas County Herald for more than 50 years and was a founding member of the Skyline Volunteer Fire Department.¬† Her enthusiasm for the vital little organization never waned.¬† She would say to every volunteer on the fire line or behind the scenes today, that your efforts are genuinely appreciated.¬† She would acknowledge, as we do, that not everyone can participate as fully as she did, that we are all just doing the best we can to carry on her good work.
¬†¬†¬† ¬†¬†¬† Several of Sylvia‚Äôs children and grandchildren are expected to be at the 33rd Champion School Reunion on Saturday, September 3rd.¬† They will come from Springfield, Texas, and Arkansas to meet up with old school chums and friends for a day of visiting and reminiscing.¬† There will be a pot luck luncheon ‚Äėon the grounds‚Äô and perhaps some music this year.¬† A plan has been hatched to get Charlie Lambert to come with Zelda and his mandolin, hoping to entice other local musicians to show up for the fun.¬† Perhaps Charlie‚Äôs granddaughter, Hannah Janson, who likes to go with him everywhere, will come.¬† She and her friend, Chloe Hart, had a good time at the Skyline Picnic and were kind enough to provide a song for the cake walk when the last cake was up for grabs.¬† There were 18 alumni present at the last reunion.¬† See their picture at www.championnews.us where there are also pictures from previous reunions and samplings of the music.¬† These reunions tie the past to the present for the community and illustrate the importance of the friendships forged in childhood.¬† A Prominent Champion wrote in the preface to his book ‚ÄúChampion School Memories‚ÄĚ published in 1985, that in the previous year several people had commented that their school days were ‚Äúsome of the happiest times of their lives.‚ÄĚ¬† He went on to say that they probably did not realize it at the time because times were rough.¬† Champions today are recognizing good times as they happen.
¬†¬†¬† ¬†¬†¬† The hummingbirds are getting ready for their trip to the south.¬† They have kept some old Champions busy all summer making ‚Äėhummer-goo‚Äô and the sugar bill is approaching $20.00 for the year, still fairly economical entertainment.¬† The year is going by quickly, as they all seem to for people of a certain age.¬† Seneca Parsons may have been surprised that he is already 37 years old as of the 26th, the same day that Rita Krider might have been amazed that 81 years have passed since she arrived on the scene.¬† Laine Sutherland will have celebrated her birthday on the 30th with music at McClurg the night before.¬† Kalyssa Wiseman, Jenna Brixey and Ray Hurt all have birthdays on August 31st.¬† Kalyssa lives up in Marshfield, but is often in Champion visiting with her Grandmother.¬† She and Jenna are the same age.¬† Jenna and Ray go to Skyline School, where Jenna is in the 3rd grade and Ray is entering kindergarten.¬† Bonnie Brixey Mullens wrote, ‚ÄúSixty years ago today (August 29th) at 6:05 p.m. I gave birth to my 1st child and only son, 6 lb. 2 oz. Gregory Russell Mullens.¬† Happy Birthday Greg!¬† Love you.‚ÄĚ¬† Champions say, ‚ÄúHappy birthday, Young and Old!¬† Enjoy every day.‚ÄĚ
¬†¬†¬† ¬†¬†¬† Brenda Coffman Massey was busy at the Skyline Picnic grilling burgers and helping her neighbors the way she always does.¬† She is very active in the Vanzant/Drury community and can be seen out supporting every good cause in the area.¬† Debbie Stone (679-3845) and Debbie Shannon (948-2116) are putting together a benefit for Brenda‚Äôs sister, Sharon (Coffman) Driskell, sister also of Beverly Emory, at the Vanzant Community Building on Saturday the 10th of September.¬† Watch for ads in the local newspapers.¬† The purpose of the benefit is to help with travel expenses for cancer treatment in Texas.¬† If you cannot make it to the benefit but would like to help out with a donation use this address:¬† Brenda Coffman Massey, Hc 73 box 185b Drury, Mo 65638.¬† Neighbors helping neighbors is some of the best part of living in this part of the world.
¬†¬†¬† ¬†¬†¬† Ask any writer what he thinks of any editor and the answer might vary from article to article.¬† It has always been pleasant dealing with Mindy Johnson at the Douglas County Herald.¬† Friends in Champion learn she has been ill lately and send her best wishes for a good recovery.¬† She did not edit the very first article by this writer that had the quote by Matthew Henry removed.¬† That quote was, ‚ÄúIf truth is once deserted, unity and peace will not last long.‚ÄĚ¬† It was a surprise to be edited.¬† The most recent edit (last week by The Herald–probably just for space) concerned reporting of the Dakota Access Oil Pipeline protest going on up at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota.¬† There is no national news organization bringing the situation to the attention of the general public.¬† Thousands of people from across the United States and Canada have gathered to stop a 1,170 mile pipeline from being pushed through tribal lands, ancient burial sites and sacred ground, through fragile watersheds, crossing under the Missouri River, over four states.¬† This is an example of eminent domain for private gain.¬† A few months ago when the Bundy family had occupied some park land out west, the media coverage was everywhere.¬† They are now aggressively ignoring an event that is being compared to the most recent Wounded Knee incident.¬† That one lasted from February 27, 1973 to May 8, 1973.¬† The current protest has been going on for more than a year and is gaining strength.¬† Perhaps the news blindness is because the mass media in general, broadcast and print, is owned by a very few corporations which (not ‚Äėwho‚Äô) have vested interest in oil one way or another.¬† There is also the consideration that we, as a Nation, are so accustomed to ignoring the Government‚Äôs historic abuse of the Native People (as it has broken every single treaty) that we are deaf to the reality of their current suffering.¬† We are accustomed to seeing Indians chased across our movie screens and we get to somehow pretend that all of those bad things happened long ago.¬† The Wounded Knee Massacre happened on December 29, 1890.¬† Many of us are proud that we can trace our families back long before that time‚ÄĒsome right here in Champion‚ÄĒLooking on the Bright Side!