October 12, 2015

October 12, 2015

THE NEW WORLD OF 1492—October 12, 2015

The New World

        “The Indians are so naive and so free with their possessions that no one who has not witnessed them would believe it. When you ask for something they have, they never say no.  To the contrary, they offer to share with anyone.  They would make fines servants…With fifty men we could subjugate them all and make them do whatever we want.”  Those are words written to Queen Isabella by Christopher Columbus way back when.  The holidays dedicated to Columbus all over the ‘new’ world are celebrated in a variety of ways—some with joyful fervor and some with a new appreciation for the actual history of events.  That kind of history is hard to come by, that is to say, it takes some effort to plow through the centuries of sanitizing and glossing over of the unpleasantness (atrocities and genocide) that allows us to feel good about our past.  In Champion people do not deny that bad things have happened before and they have no fear of working to make things better in the future.  It is the Champion way.

        Folks who happened to be around for Bud Hutchison’s Fall Trail Ride were treated to some unusual sights.  The photographs shared on the internet show about a dozen well mounted, good looking equestrians in front of the store together with a couple of two wheeled carts.  One of the carts was hitched to a nice looking horse.  It had big yellow wheels that looked like they could have been made by Dale Thomas over there on the Edge of the World.  It also looked like Cowboy Jack was on the Square checking out the rig.  (His profile is unique.)  The other cart seemed to have bicycle wheels with red fenders and was harnessed up to a little white pony—very cute.  Another photograph showed that little cart bringing up the rear as the bunch moved up the hill to commence the ride.  The pictures were posted by the Douglas County Foxtrotting Horse Breeders Association.  It is a fortunate spot in the world where sights like this can be seen—where technologies from the distant past merge so beautifully into the present day.  Champions are blessed.

Pictured from left to right are: Jack Coonts, standing, holding horse, and Steve Assenmacher, from McClurg, in large cart; Don Hamby, Dora; Ronnie Leroy, Dora; Mary Leroy, Dora; Sean Huffman, Seymour; Bob Wheeler, Ava; Andrew Harden, Ava; Carmen Watchinshe, Rogersville; Gene Dunn, Protem; Howard Price, Ava; Bud Hutchison, Ava; Raymond Johnson, Ava; Cindy Huffman, Seymour and Frank Williams, Smallett, with pony cart.
Bud Hutchison’s 2015 Fall Trail Ride

    Good news comes from the Skyline PTO (Parent Teacher Organization) that The Fall Festival will be held October 16th at the school from 6:00 to 9:00 in the evening.  This a great chance for the community to get to visit the wonderful little school that is serving the children of the area so well.  There will be lots of game booths.  The Brushy Knob Church will have a putt put golf booth and a wheel spin; CTA will have a pumpkin decorating contest and a ball bounce; YEP will have a bounce house and cotton candy; Archery/8th grade will have a cake walk and 50/50 drawing; Kindergarten will have a pumpkin pond and a guessing game of how many candy corns in a container; the first grade will have a lollipop tree and the 4-H will have a ‘make a candle jar’ for people to enjoy.  Additionally, local businesses are providing items for a silent auction and the PTO will have two one-day admission tickets to Silver Dollar City to put on the auction block.  This is one of the great events of the school year.  There will be a chili contest and a pie contest and more excitement than usual for a quiet country neighborhood.  New arrivals to the area and old folks who have grandchildren in distant places will enjoy the chance to be surrounded by all the youthful enthusiasm.  Organizers say that anyone with something good to share can donate it to the silent auction.

        The bees will be glad to know that the Federal appeals court ruled in favor of beekeepers striking down the EPA’s approval of neonicotinoid insecticide, sulfoxaflor, produced by Dow.  The court cited the “precariousness of bee populations: and “flawed and limited data” submitted by Dow on the pesticides’ effects on beleaguered pollinating insects.  The agrichemical industry, as a whole, seems flawed and hopes are that the EPA will start protecting people and the environment instead of the profits of Dow, Monsanto, Syrgenta, Dupont, Bayer and BASF.  A beekeepers visiting in Champion recently was much impressed by the Behemoth Bee Tree on the south side of the Square.  It is a rare occasion to see wild bees in their home environment.  He has asked to be kept informed about the colony and was as delighted by their resilience.  He speculated that the ‘trimming’ of the tree must have been a dicey affair and, like others, would have loved to have witnessed it.

        Bonnie Brixey Mullens and Pete are celebrating 60 years of marriage.  They are two very nice people.  The date was October 7th and Pete had his birthday on the first of October so chances are they have been in party mode for a while.  Friends and family have been steadily wishing them happiness and good luck in the future as do their friends at The Champion News.  Keedien Smith is a preschool student at Skyline with a birthday on the 15th of October—the same day as Joe Moskaly, who is quite a bit older.  Olivia Prock is a seventh grader there celebrating on the 16th.  Darlene Connor and Carson Cline share the 18th as their birthday, though this one is a first for Carson.  Facebook will have us to believe that Atticus’ grandmother celebrates her birthday on October 12th.  Was the year really 1949?  This is the spot where the swift passage of time might be remarked upon again, though it seems like that comes up more and more often.  John Prine had his birthday on the 10th.  He wrote many great songs including “Paradise”, “Dear Abby” and “Grandpa Was a Carpenter.”  “Grandpa was a carpenter.  He built houses, stores and banks.  (He) chain smoked Camel cigarettes and hammered nails in planks.  He was level on the level and shaved even every door and voted for Eisenhower ‘cause Lincoln won the war.”

        In 1938 President Roosevelt said, “Let us not be afraid to help each other—let us never forget that government is ourselves and not an alien power over us.  The ultimate rulers of our democracy are not a president and senators and congressmen and government officials, but the voters of this country.”  A French philosopher who was born in 1694 said, “To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize.”  It is easy to register to vote and easy to vote in Douglas County.

        J.C. Owsley has been on a big ramble around the country up through New England and Pennsylvania.  Maybe he visited Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell.  When last seen, he was at the World War II Memorial in Washington.  It will be interesting to read his observations.  Another old Champion has been strolling the beach on the Gulf of Mexico at sunset getting sand in her shoes and a sense of renewal with the tide.  Waves lap relentlessly on the shores of the world even when no one is there to see them come and go.  Homecoming will be the high point of the week, seeing loved ones and the beauty of autumn in the Ozarks.  They say the foliage will be magnificent this year because of the wet spring and summer.  Seasons change.  They come and go—one more beautiful than the last in Champion—Looking on the Bright Side!


September 30, 2014

2014 West Plains Wagon Club Trail Ride

On the Square


Wagon Master Clifton Luna leads the West Plains Wagon Club out of Champion.

Mr. Luna’s wagon is followed by Jerry and Diane Wilbanks with their extra mule trailing behind. Jerry and Diane have the only white mules on the train this year. One of the white mules had a severe accident last year, but with the help of their granddaughter, Candice, they were able to nurse the animal through its injury.

Jerry and Bonnie Arnold follow the Wilbanks out of the Champion Square. Their beautiful sorrel mules are well matched.

The Arnolds lead Jim and Judy Cantrell.

The Cantrells lead Ken Felts. Ken has a nicely matched three up pulling his vinyl covered wagon.

Randal Burnet has a three up pulling his big wagon.

Coy Stone’s is the last wagon out of the Champion Square.

With Candice Summer and Nate Williams riding drag, the train goes up and over the hill on the way to Cold Springs and then on to rest for the night. Good bye!