May 27, 2016

May 27, 2016

CHAMPION—May 27, 2016

        The wet weather pattern in Champion is good for the aquifer and good for the garden.  Some remember the overabundant rain of last year to which they attributed the tomato blight.  Others had good luck in the garden all around.  Things have started out nicely this year and while Champions are grateful for their own good fortune, they do not forget the suffering of those elsewhere who have been experiencing destructive hail, high winds and tornadoes.  The anniversary of the Joplin tornado brought pictures of the devastation and of the recovery five years on.  It is a tribute to resilience.

        The Missouri Department of Conservation says that the American black bear is one of the largest and heaviest wild mammals in Missouri.  “Black bears are an exciting part of Missouri’s history and they are making a comeback in the southern part of the state.”  There is a lot of good information on the Department of Conservation website http://on.mo.gov/1VefbDI.  They suggest that if you encounter a bear up close to be sure the bear has an escape route—never corner a bear.  Back away slowly with your arms raised.  Speak in a calm, loud voice.  Do not turn your back to the bear.  Walk away slowly.  They emphasize not to run.  Dairy farmers in Near Champion West have sighted bears off and on over the years, as have folks up off of C Highway.  Last week Brushyknob neighbors reported that their bear was back.  “He tore down the empty bird feeder and opened our metal trash can and tore out the empty folded bird seed bags and strung them out.”  Three days later, ”Just a little way in front of the house in the woods there stood this big black bear!  He just kept looking and didn’t leave.  He didn’t even care that the dog was barking.”  Finally the neighbor fired a couple of gunshots over its head and it took off.  “Hopefully he’ll be afraid to come back.  There is no food for him.  The conservation guy said to be really careful next couple of weeks because they’re out of hibernation and hungry and there is not much food in the wild.”  Some selected logging has been down on their road by the creek, so the territory is getting smaller.  Send your bear stories to The Champion News, Rt. 72 Box 367, Norwood, MO 65717 or to champion@championnews.us.

        In other wildlife news, it turns out that the opossum attracts ticks, as do any number of other mammals, but the opossum will kill more than 95% of those that find him.  They say that an opossum will vacuum up and kill as many as 4,000 ticks a week.  Some hillbilly entrepreneur could surely find a way to capitalize on this attribute.  Ticks are out already in legion.  When music lovers see that stuffed ‘possum below the bridge on Sherry Bennet’s big stand-up bass fiddle, they will think more kindly of it.  Sherry sings, “Five Pounds of Possum in My Headlights Tonight” to bring a lot of fun to the bluegrass jams around the area.  She has been absent from them lately and her friends are looking forward to seeing her out and about soon.  She has a beautiful voice and one of those smiles that light up the day.

        The internet has been full of pictures of the East Fairview School students, grades 1-8, from the 1950-1951 school year.  Some of those fresh looking, adorable faces are identified as Ken and Wayne Coats, Pete Proctor, David Coonts, and Jerry Wagner.  Sherri Tate Unger said that she had spotted Baxter and Sharon in the picture.  Olin Parks said, “I don’t see any halos on these youngsters.”  The posting of these pictures and others are designed to bring attention to the Denlow/Fairview School Reunion which takes place on Saturday of the Memorial Day week-end.  The blow by blow description of this year’s fine affair will appear in next week’s edition of The Champion News.  Meanwhile look in the May archives at www.championnews.us going back for the last nine years for highlights of reunions past.  There are pictures that will make you smile.  Some favorite folks will be absent this year, among them Pete and Bonnie Mullins and Cathie Alsup Reilly.  They have reasons that they cannot make it this time and have sights on next year for sure.  If history is any judge, this one will be just right.

        John Wayne’s birthday was May 26th.  He was The Ringo Kid in John Ford’s film “Stagecoach” in 1939.  He was a good looking young man.  Cinnamon Spence is a good looking young woman sharing a birthday with The Duke.  The 27th is the anniversary of Edgar Henson’s birth.  What a sterling fellow he was!  He was well known for his humor and friendly personality, but he was also a good businessman (with Anna’s help) and a good neighbor.  On a tour of The Historic Emporium in Downtown Champion a person can see any number of photographs of him and other mementos of his time as the hub of the community.

        It is wonderful to see Republicans and Democrats getting along.  In a move that completely shocked Republicans and Democrats alike, John McCain has come out publicly to sing the praises of Senator Bernie Sanders.  He was speaking on camera to the Veteran’s Affairs Committee when he made the shocking revelation and could not resist mentioning who else had a hand in making the new VA bill come to fruition.  “I want to thank you, and I would like to mention that it was the product of the negotiations with Senator Sanders who was then chairman of the committee, and I would allege that I’m one of the first to feel the Bern.”  Politico says, “The agreement struck between Sanders, an independent from Vermont who chairs the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, and McCain, a Republican from Arizona, could salvage VA reform in the Senate.  The two senators began negotiations after it looked as though VA reform might become another victim of the chamber’s gridlock with the competing Democratic and Republican bills—which would have been an embarrassing failure for both parties amid the national attention focused on the VA’s troubles.”  Come down to the wide, wild, wooly banks of Auld Fox Creek to witness Republicans and Democrats getting along in Champion!  Looking on the Bright Side!

May 23, 2016

May 23, 2016

CHAMPION—May 23, 2016

        What a great week in Champion!  Bud Hutchison’s trail ride was an unqualified success.  It was reported that Bud gave a short but brisk bronc-riding exhibition and managed to stay on top the whole time.  Otherwise, it was a pleasant and uneventful amble around the Shannon Ranch and back again.  Nine riders left the square mid-morning and came back together hours later to enjoy ice cream on the Veranda.  The consensus of opinion was that it was a great ride.  They missed the first of what will hopefully be a monthly musical interlude out on the wide veranda at the Historic Emporium.  The General led the band actually singing, “Around her neck she wore a yellow ribbon” and “Behind the door her pappy kept a shotgun…” apparently for the same fellow.  Candi and Jeff Bartsch added actual musical talent that made it a pleasant interval.  The fiddle player and her harmonica playing husband live on the outskirts of Vanzant and made their first trip to Champion that day.  They then were part of the Thursday night jam in their neighborhood.  Some infrequent but much appreciated musicians filled in for some notably absent ones last week.  Ruth Fish Collins’ version of “Beulah Land” is typically the last song of the evening and her friends have been missing her.  She is reported to be on the mend and will hopefully be back sharing her lovely velvety voice again soon.  Nancy and Don Mohrman were in town from Bridgeport, Nebraska ready to attend Nancy’s 55th high school reunion over in Dora.  They like to visit Jerry and Della Dennis when they come this way and they always like to make it to the jam when they are in the neighborhood.  “I just played enough wrong notes for a whole new piece,” some famous musician once said.  That has nothing to do with how much fun is had.

        Pete and Phyllis Proctor came out to the Wednesday gathering.  It’s always a treat to see them.  Pete came with gifts and good fellowship for his Veteran friends in Champion.  He will be presenting a program at the Denlow/Fairview School Reunion that will be held on May 28th at Denlow.  There will be a pot luck lunch at noon and later a fun fund raising auction at 2:00 out in the pavilion.  It is to be noted that The General has decreed that participation in the hula hoop contest is not mandatory.  Proceeds from the auction fund next year’s reunion.  It is always a great time and everyone is welcome.

        The musical evening at the Skyline School was not nearly so well attended as had been hoped.  The few who did attend were treated to some great performances.  The presentation was in support of music in public schools.  Many Missouri schools are suffering budget crunches and crises and Skyline is one of them.  The little $0.48 levy increase that will appear on the ballot in the August election is opportunity to really help our valuable little school.  This increase will bring the total school tax up to the minimum that is required in order to receive matching funding from the State.  This means that our school taxes are lower than most school districts right now and the little increase and all important resulting matching funds will make all the difference in the quality of school busses and any number of other important items that keep the little school going.  SOS!  Save our School!

        On the 4th of June, that is a Saturday, the Skyline VFD Auxiliary will hold a fish fry at the Skyline School.  It will take off at 4 in the afternoon and go until 8 in the evening–dine in or take out.  There will be fried catfish, baked beans, coleslaw, potatoes, and dessert.  The Auxiliary is happy to have some good cooking help in the fish frying department.  (Think about that great fish dinner you had at the Pioneer Descendant’s Gathering last year).  Find out more about it at 417-948-2440, 417-683-1816 or on Facebook at The Champion News….and ads in the Douglas County Herald and the News Journal next week.  Proceeds will go to the Skyline Volunteer Fire Department Maintenance and Building Fund.

        Bob Dylan will have his 75th birthday on Wednesday.  He will probably have a party with string beans and country pie.  Ed Henson’s birthday was May 27, 1903.  Champions still miss him.  He is featured with his dog Toby on a Champion Picture Postcard available at Henson’s Downtown G & G.  Brylee Clark’s birthday is May 28, 2010.  That makes her six years old.  Dale Thomas celebrates that day too, but nobody asks what year.  Kazie Perkins of KZ88 Community Radio celebrates on the 29th.  Her friend Harold Harnish celebrated on the 15th.  He had a surprise party thrown for him, but it is up in the air about whether it was a surprise.  Champion friends and neighbors wish him and all the birthday celebrators a happy day every day.  Harold’s radio program comes on Thursday morning and is called Roots and Branches.  He always has some great old tunes to play.  Joey Kennedy was in the 2nd grade at Skyline this year.  His birthday is on May 29th.  He will have the whole summer to think about how great it will be to be a third grader.  Alexandra Jean Moses will have her 10th birthday on May 31st.  She is a Champion granddaughter and Champion cookie maker.

        The full moon was a dazzling sight in a mostly clear sky on Saturday.  The Champion News Almanac says that Tuesday and Wednesday will be good planting days for root crops.  Saturday and Sunday will also be good days for planting below ground crops, for transplanting and for pruning to encourage growth.  There is always something to do out in the garden and wholesome fresh food is the reward.  Karen Ross, intrepid Rt. 72 mail carrier, is an avid gardener.  She has greens pouring out of her patch in abundance and she delivers a sweet smile with the mail.  Champion!

        A favorite quote this week comes from Audrey Hepburn.  She was a great screen actress, a fashion icon and she won the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1992 for her charitable work in some of the poorest communities of Africa, South America and Asia.  She died of cancer at the tender age of 63, just a month after receiving the award.  She said, “Nothing is more important than empathy for another human being’s suffering.  Not a career.  Not wealth.  Not intelligence.  Certainly not status.  We have to feel for one another if we’re going to survive with dignity.”  It brings to mind that no amount of rambling misinformation and bigoted fearmongering xenophobia will change the fact that this is a Nation of immigrants.  With 7.4 Billion people in the world and much of the world in extreme chaos as a result of oil wars, a little of that Christian ‘love thy neighbor’ stuff could be implemented with good effect.  Most of the terrorism that is our day to day experience in this country is perpetrated by fearful men who look just like the people you meet in Walmart every day.  Perspective is a precious commodity.  Another good quote comes from George Bernard Shaw, the great Irish playwright who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1925.  He said, “Now that we have learned to fly in the air like birds and dive in the sea like fish, only one thing remains—to learn to live on earth like humans.”  It is a Champion notion—Looking on the Bright Side!

May 16, 2016

May 16, 2016

CHAMPION—May 16, 2016


This could be YOU enjoying the beautiful road to Champion!

        Answers to the question, “What is it?” have come pouring in over face book, by e-mail, in person at the Historic Emporium and by phone.  The first was from Jerry Proctor, via Facebook.  He said “It is a hay needle.  The old timers used it to put hay in the loft.”  Local archeologist, Mark Parsons, emails, “I saw one of these many years ago and it was explained to me that when hay was stored loose in barns the harpoon was plunged into the hay (dropped from a pulley?) and the barbs opened to pick up and move a big wad of hay.”  He also included a link to a Farm Collector article called “Putting Hay Away the Old-Fashioned Way” with a picture captioned, “This beautifully preserved double-barb, single –harpoon hawmow fork has one of the most complicated mechanisms…when retracted, the barbs are fully enclosed in the device’s hollow body.”  He included another link where a similar item was offered for sale.  “This is the Nellis model #7-28 single hay harpoon.  This piece was made in the late 1890’s.  Early hay bales could weigh hundreds of pounds.”  In person at the Emporium, Deward’s Granddaughter brought a print out of an article about a hay harpoon with the phrase, “Not to be confused with a whaling tool.”  Then Elma Shortt called to identify it as a haymow and to say her uncle had one.  She is 88 now and moved from Ava to Nixa about a year ago.   She is close to her daughter there and very much enjoying the company at the Senior Citizens Center where she enjoys brusque games of double pinochle and reading The Champion News.  Distant southern Texas readers of TCN, unfamiliar with hay barns and mountaineering thought it might be some form of mountain climbing tool.  Mark Upshaw’s question seems to have been fully answered.

Seamus Heffern, Physics Fair Finalist
Picture shared by inordinately proud grandparents.

        The school year has ended.  Children are cut loose for the summer, which they think will last a long time.  Among the many brilliant scholars and gifted students finishing up the scholastic year is Champion grandson, Seamus Heffern, who was a finalist in Physics Fair in Springfield.  His grandparents are ecstatic over his accomplishments.  Congratulations to all you vigorous learners.  Have a good vacation while you continue learning things that school does not teach.  The Skyline R2 School is beginning a live concert series.  On May 21st there will be performances by Robert Wilson (folk rock), Curb Appeal (bluegrass) and Tavis Lawson (Blues Rock).  The admission charge is minimal and the funds will go toward replacing chairs in the school, which very much need replacing.  The little rural school that is turning out good citizens could use a little help.  The Fairview and Denlow School Reunion will be held Saturday, May 28th at Denlow.  These schools closed many years ago, but they are still dear in the hearts of their alumni.  The $0.48 tax levy increase for Skyline R2 will be on the ballot again in the August election.  It is said to have failed by 15 votes in April.  Passage of this small increase may be what allows us to keep our school going so that fifty years from now there will be nostalgic old folks gathering to reminisce, even as there will be for Fairview and Denlow on the Saturday of Memorial Day week-end.  Cathie Reilly Alsup will not be able to attend this year, so the hula hoop contest will be less exciting, but there is slated to be music and frivolity of various kinds in addition to the wonderful pot-luck luncheon, a Veterans presentation by Pete Proctor and the annual auction that funds the event.  The Spring and Summer Social Season for Champion and all its neighbors is off to a swinging start!

        Dear Champion friends, Esther and Raymond Howard have just celebrated seventy (70!) years of marriage.  Congratulations!  Champions Kenneth (Hovie) and Dawn Henson down in Houston, Texas are enjoying the birthday of their granddaughter, Avery.  Laine Sutherland posted on the internet, “I am so proud of Daddy (Wayne Sutherland).  He was presented the Distinguished Member Award by David Melton, President of the Ozark Older Iron Club at the Spring Tractor Show in Cabool.”  Teresa Wrinkles will have her birthday on May 22nd.  Heidi Strong celebrates that day as well.  She will be in the 5th grade when school starts up again in the fall.  There is plenty of reason for rejoicing in Champion, also for reflection.  This week marked the passage of Bernice Wiseman, a lovely lady, the paternal grandmother of Champion kids Foster and Kalyssa.  She was kind and good hearted and will be much missed but will always stay in the hearts of her family and friends.

        The Teeter Creek herb of the week is Goosegrass (a favorite weed in the township of Goose Nibble) which is also known as Cleavers (Galium aparine) and Bedstraw.  Herbalist Bob Liebert says, “The plant has weak stems with tiny hooks that help it to climb up other tall plants, often forming mats of the sticky plants.  Six leaflets form a ray from the stem, where the little white flowers emerge too.”  Get a good look at it at www.teetercreekherbs.com and connect to the Facebook page, where you will find out about its medicinal uses.  You will recognize it from your garden edges and from your walks in our rich open woodlands.  The Champion News Almanac for May says that the whole week up to and including the 20th will be excellent days for planting above ground crops.  Get out there and go to work, or just get out there to revel in Nature–Champion!

        “Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.”  “Success is not final, failure not fatal:  it is the courage to continue that counts.”  “A banker is a fellow who lends you his umbrella when the sun is shining, but wants it back the minute it begins to rain.”  “If you can be content right now, then you’ll always be content, because it’s always right now.”  “The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much, it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”  “We can effectively combat terrorism without sacrificing the civil liberties and constitutional protections which make us a free nation.”  “The cost of war is a battle that will continue until the very last veteran receives all of the care and all of the benefits they deserve.”  Quotes this week are, in no particular order, from Mark Twain, Willie Nelson, JFK, FDR, and others.

        When Bud Hutchison’s trail ride ambles back into Champion on Wednesday it is likely to be met by any number of spectators and music.  With luck, The General will be there with his guitar playing both parts of Dueling Banjos the way he did at the Vanzant Bluegrass Jam last Thursday night.  It was spectacular!  Chances are pretty good that he will leave his accordion at home, as he does not wish to spook the horses.  One wonders what songs go through the heads of those trail riders as they mosey along.  Perhaps, “I’m an old cow hand, from the Rio Grande, and I learned to ride before I learned to stand.  I know all the songs that the cow boys know, cause I heard them singing on the radio.  Woopie ki yea ki yo!” in Champion—Looking on the Bright Side!

May 9, 2016

May 9, 2016

CHAMPION—May 9, 2016


Through the trees across the valley to the hills beyond…Champion greenery.

        Mother’s Day brought a deluge of emotion–gratitude, joy, sorrow, nostalgia and longing.  Champions lucky enough to still have their mother with them do not take the dear lady for granted.  The rest of us have our memories and the good example she set for us.

        Miss Elizabeth Heffern, Champion granddaughter, is celebrating her birthday on May 15th.  Linda Cooley celebrates that day as well.  The next day is for Karen Griswold Somebody who has been riding around in a car that had “Just Married” written on it.  The 16th is the 46th birthday of a red haired boy, an alumnus of Skyline School.  Meikel Klein, a first grade student there now has his birthday on the 17th.  The 18th is a special day for many reasons, but the current one is for Bud Hutchison’s trail ride.  It heads up in Champion in the morning and ends there as well later in the day.  Bud is a nice guy and will not mind spectators reviewing his outfit.  How inviting!  Perhaps there will be music.

        Pete Proctor made a guest appearance at the Champion Senior Center on Wednesday.  He met up with a number of fellow Vietnam Veterans there and they fell immediately into fellowship, though some had never met.  It is a phenomenon unique to that group.  Pete serves with the American Legion Post 30 and is an Adjutant officiating at the funerals of Veterans in the area.  He said there have been fourteen such funerals since the beginning of the year.  Love and Gratitude is due all our Veterans.

Champions are looking for information about this tool. It is about 3 1/2 feet long and weighs four or five pounds.  What is it?

        Mark Upshaw brought an item for the ‘show and tell’ part of the meeting that remains yet unidentified.  It was suggested that it might be a haying tool.  It is about the size of an average walking cane, but made of heavy steel with an open channel down the middle and a fairly sharp V point at the bottom.  A mechanism on the handle causes a pair of barbs about three inches long to fold out of the channel very near the end.  It is a curiosity.  Get a good look at it on the facebook page of The Champion News or at www.championnews.us.  If you know what it is, let us know at TCN, Rt.72 Box 367, Norwood, MO 65717, or drop in to the Historic Emporium on the North Side of the Square with your information.

        Poke is up and beautiful all over the place.  Deward’s Granddaughter mentioned on Wednesday that she had heard a story of some college students who had prepared it as they would have with any other greens like collards, kale or spinach—just wilting them into a frying pan of bacon grease and onions.  The report was that the students slept for several days and were fortunate to wake up.  Old timers know how it is supposed to be done, but if you do not have an old timer at your elbow to ask, the folks at Google can help you.  The folks at Teeter Creek Herbs are local and a good source of information about the countless number of medicinal and edible herbs in the Ozarks.  They have a great website at www.teetercreekherbs.com and they now have a facebook page where they will be making weekly posts featuring photos and information about the many local plants and a great variety of other things.  A person never knows when it might be imperative to be able to identify what plants are edible and which ones will stop bleeding or quell infection.  Good neighbors over on Teeter Creek will be our huckleberries.  Champion!

Young poke blowing in the breeze…

        The bond issue for the $.48 per hundred tax levy increase failed by 15 votes they say.  It will be on the ballot again in August and hopes are that enough information will get out between now and then for it to pass this time.  The increase will bring the total levy up to the minimum amount required in order to receive matching funding from the State.  These are taxes that will definitely stay home and be used for genuine good in our own neighborhood.  School busses are expensive to operate and to maintain.  This was one of the topics of conversation at the Skyline VFD meeting on Tuesday.  It was noted that when a community loses its school, the community often disappears.  Other things covered at the meeting were the need for a new bingo parlor on the picnic grounds.  Bingo is a major part of the fund raising efforts for the fire department at the annual picnic in August.  Membership dues do not cover the expenses of training and equipping volunteers and maintaining firetrucks and other vital equipment.  Both the wonderful little school that is turning out good citizens and the terrific little fire department that protects our lives and property could use more community support.

        An accumulation of quotes by James Madison, Bill Murray, W.E.B. DuBois, Jimmy Carter, Anne Frank, Shannon Alexander, William Golding and anonymous others are presented here in no particular order:  “When the wealth of the nation will be in the hands of a few, then we must rely upon the wisdom of the best elements in the country to readjust the laws of the nation.”  “If you’re not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed and loving the people who are doing the oppressing.”  “So, if we lie to the government, it’s a felony.  But if they lie to us, it’s politics.”  “Either the United States will destroy ignorance, or ignorance will destroy the United States.”  “We can’t be both the world’s leading champion of peace and the world’s leading supplier of arms.”  “Go outside…amidst the simple beauty of nature…and know that as long as places like this exist, there will be comfort for every sorrow, whatever the circumstances may be.”  “If you can’t give the public a good reason to vote for you, scare them into believing something terrible will happen if they don’t.”  “The legitimate object of government is to do for the people what needs to be done, but which they cannot, by individual effort, do at all, or do so well, for themselves.  That American can-do spirit is sadly missing in this campaign of small ideas.”  “If you cut a hole in a net, there are fewer holes.”

        The Champion News Almanac says that the 16th all the way through the 20th (next Monday through Friday) will be excellent gardening days, particularly for crops that bear their yield above the ground.  Some gardeners whistle or hum or sing while they tend their crops.  Others listen to the KZ88 Community Radio or to their iPod.  A good song in a person’s head can make the work lighter and less monotonous, can replace pain and worries.  This part of the country has music all over it.  Find a local jam like the one at Vanzant on Thursday nights and get an infusion of live music to help carry you through your difficult tasks and hard times.  “There’s a song, a sigh of the weary: Hard times! Hard times, come again no more.  Many days you have lingered around my cabin door, oh! Hard times come again no more!” to Champion—looking on the Bright Side!

May 2, 2016

May 2, 2016

CHAMPION—May 2, 2016


Ancestral Texas farm land

        An eventful week in Champion included much needed rain, burgeoning foliage, music, and a pleasant get together at the Champion Senior Center, located in the Historic Emporium on the North Side of the Square in Downtown Champion.  People of all ages are welcome in Champion, it just turned out that most of the Wednesday group was over 60—some well over—and a generally pleasant gathering it was.  Age is not as important as young people used to think.  Maybe they still think it is important, but old people still feel young sometimes, so what is the difference?  Waldo Champion, Linda Heffern, has a birthday on May 6th.  Skyline second grade student, Gracie Nava, will celebrate on the 7th and Dixie Pierson, Skyline’s bookkeeper will have the 8th as her special day.  Bonnie Brixey Mullins will have a great birthday on the 9th.  She is having exciting times as she and Pete settle into their new home in Douglas, Kansas.  They lived in their last home together for sixty years.  Champions Richard and Kaye Johnston have just celebrated 39 years of marriage.  Construction on the second new house in Champion Heights in as many years will soon be completed.  The coming week promises to be as full and exciting.  There will be a meeting of the Skyline VFD Auxiliary; there will be music; gardens will be belching forth broccoli and kale, lettuce and radishes; and some old gardeners will get out there and get ‘it’ done.


Terraces casting shadows in the evening light.

        The memorial service for a dear brother way out in west Texas turned out to be lovely and imminently fitting.  It was just the way he wanted it to be.  In the old cemetery where rest parents, grandparents and great grandparents, the bluebonnets had mostly gone to seed though a great variety of other wild flowers covered every grave and pathway.  Enormous cedar trees swayed in the easy breeze when just at dusk the family circled his spot to sing “I’ll Fly Away.”  From the hillside there at Palava, the farmland stretching out for miles appeared kaleidoscopic.  Red plowed ground undulated in terraces with great smears of brilliant shades of green against blue mesas in the distance topped with their whirligigs of wind farms—all of it seemed ethereal in the mix of emotion.  Family reminiscences were full of his humor and the great role he had in all their lives.  He is resting in peace now and entirely unforgettable.


The Palava Cemetery in Nolan County Texas

        Days pass swiftly in Champion as do the years.  The admonition is, “Love ‘em while you’ve got ‘em.”  Make amends while it is still possible.  Come down to the wide wonderful banks of Auld Fox Creek to declare right out loud that it is a precious gift to be alive, to have loving family and friends, and especially to be in Champion—Looking on the Bright Side.