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!

October 30, 2013

Ms. McCallie’s Letter of October 21, 2013

Dear Wilda,

This is a poem my Father, (Blake Haden) wrote when we were in Reedley, California in January, 1930.

We’d left Ava, MO in October, 1929, after selling our farm at the insistence of my Aunt Allie Huffman.  She was Dad’s only sister.  She had six other brothers, but my Dad was her favorite.

He,(my Dad) was a carpenter and a good one too and Aunt Allie said her other brothers were working my Dad to death, he was working for them daily from sun up to sun down for $.75 a day and it made Aunt Allie very angry at them for treating Daddy like that and she told them so.  And on this occasion, she’d just returned from California and came to see my Dad and says, “Blake, I want you to sell this ‘torn down’ farm and go to California with me.  You can make more there in one day than you can here in a month doing what you’re doing now.  So Daddy sold our farm, and bought a new 1929 Model A Ford Coach, paid $628.00 for it–full price then.  Can you imagine that?

But the car salesman (Harry Martin) at that time, says to my Dad, “Now Blake you tell me you have four young children at home and you’re going to where you’ve never been and you aren’t sure whether you’ll get work soon after you arrive there, so I suggest that you pay me $400.00 and keep the $228.00 for food, etc. in case you don’t get a job right away.  But in case that does or doesn’t happen, I’m going to give you the title to the car anyway, so’s you’ll not have any trouble as you cross the state lines of Missouri and Kansas, and etc.”  (Because) At that time it was a Federal Crime to cross a state line in a mortgaged car.  So Daddy did as the salesman asked him to and after arriving in California, Daddy didn’t find a job, as he looked and hunted everywhere, so he had to use the $228.00 for food, rent, and gas for the car.  And after a few weeks, ad detective came and took the car and put Daddy in jail, till my Grandpa and uncles, raised enough money to pay the $228.99 which took ten days.  And it just literally broke my heart to see my Daddy in jail.  So that’s when he wrote this poem that I’m sending you.  I’m telling you all of this sos’s you’ll know why Daddy was in jail.  I was so thrilled and happy when he got out.

Tell Mrs. Henson, Hello for me and Thank you so much again. 

Please write again,

Sincerely, Ethel

The following poem was written in January 1930 by Blake Haden when we were in Reedley, California, to his parents, Rezin and Frances Haden.


Dearest Parents,

This is my lamentation.  Oh how I’ve lived my life
By following willful Satan, trying not to do the right.
My past life was so wasted, my road, oh how entwined
With briars, thorns and brambles, with sunlite it was not lined.
 
I walked through prayers of Christians, I heard them pray for me.
That I would be the Christian, that I had ought to be.
But yet I walked with Satan, in the road that is so wide
Heeding not the voice of Jesus as he walked so close beside.
 
Still I heeded not the voice, till it was most too late
And now a California prison holds me behind it’s gate.
So in the Reedley jail house, and the iron door is on me closed
My sins loomed up like mountains, I could not sleep in sweet repose.
 
Still I heard My Savior calling, in that sweet low tone
And about the hour of midnight, I heard Him Bid me come.
As on my knees I bended, my burdens how hard to bear
I prayed to Him for Mercy, religion seemed so near.
 
And my children, Oh! God bless them, how I long to teach them true.
Train them how to serve their master, Jesus Christ their Savior too!
May they never, oh no never walk the pathway that I’ve trod.
For it is a road of trouble, and is not the way of God.
 
Pray that I will walk the pathway, in the strait and narrow way.
Shunning all the snares, and pitfalls scattered all along the way.
Oh! My soul now feels so happy, All my sins are washed away.
Pray that I will do His bidding, till my body turns to clay.

This poem was recopied by his daughter
Ethel Haden McCallie, April 30th, 2001

March 25, 2010

2010 Skyline VFD Chili Supper

March 6th – Skyline Volunteer Fire Department Chili Supper

(click the flyer to enlarge)
Esther’s “Queen Star” quilt:
Skyline Ladies’ Auxiliary President Betty Dye presents the Queen Star Quilt
to winning ticket holder Terry Chastain of Ava. Terry is a New Member
of the Skyline VFD Fire Department and a welcome one.

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September 21, 2009

West Plains Wagon Club – 2009

        Champion is a bright spot in the world.  There is no denying it.  The West Plains Wagon Club got wet every day of their trip until Thursday.  On Thursday as they came to Champion, the sun came out.  Eleven wagons’ worth of teamsters and passengers and 21 horseback riders will be pleased to say that Champion was the Bright Spot of their week long ride from West Plains to Mansfield.  Clifton Luna has headed up this ride since the late 1980’s.  He is 84 and shows no signs of slowing down.  There were quite a few children on this trip.  The youngest was Breanna Webster, two years old, traveling with her Grandparents Nancy and Marvin Webster of Bloomfield, MO.  Granddad, Don Breauchy of Vanzant enjoyed the company of his 10-year-old grandson, Jeffrey Bingham.  Gary Carter’s grandsons, Trent and Trevor, were also out of school for a couple of days getting life experience and education in the saddle.  There were several new to this ride this year and sadly, some missing who have made it every year.  Don Crawford of Salem, Arkansas, passed away this year.  He had made this ride every time.  He also headed up a ‘no-shuttle’ ride in the spring and the fall every year.  That ride was generally about 100 miles and participants had to bring all their own food, feed, and gear for the trip as they had no support on the trail.  Several different folks remarked on his absence on Thursday.  A number of Champions were on hand to enjoy the spectacle of the wagon train.  Upshaws came from as far away as Mountain Grove and Vanzant, and Wisemans came from Marshfield.  Foster and Kalyssa enjoyed some time in the saddle though their feet are still a long way from the stirrups.  One of the muleskinners was heard to say how much they all appreciate having the spectators come out to see them when they come to Champion.  “It is a real highlight for us,” he said.

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August 29, 2009

General Upshaw — The Stalwart


Introduction


Getting Settled


Tuning Up


Playing Along


Receiving Calls


Waving to the Crowd


Looking Natural