CHAMPION—October 16, 2006


        Some of the very best news in Champion this week is the birth of Madelynn Jean Ward.  She arrived at 5:41 p.m. at Cox Hospital in Springfield.  Her parents are Phoebe and Jason Ward.  Everyone is well and happy.  Toney and Lorene Johnson of Gentryville are Madelynn Jean’s great-grandparents.  The biggest news is that Richard Johnson is now married to a Grandmother and, as it turns out, is a Grandfather himself!  Pictures are circulating on the internet that show Kaye with her first grandchild.  The tenderness of that smile is lovely.  This little girl joins a large close family and can expect a lifetime of love and support.

        There were 45 to 50 people attending the Shannon Reunion which was held at the Hayloft Restaurant in Mountain Grove on October 15th.  The reunion celebrates the descendants of Henry Wayne Shannon.  His sons, Joe and Harry, lived at Drury.  Joe was the eldest of 10 children.  The oldest in attendance at the reunion were Ruby Shannon Anderson, 95, now of Republic, MO., and Vivian Shannon, 94, of Mtn. Grove, who was married to Harry Shannon.  The youngest attending was Ruby’s great granddaughter who is 17 months old and resides in St. Louis.  Entertainment for the day was well provided by Robert Upshaw and young J. D. Shannon, son of Joe Shannon of Denlow.  J.D., it is reported, will make a fine auctioneer when he learns not to laugh so much, according to Robert Upshaw.  Robert Upshaw and Fae Krider are the grand children of Joe Shannon and Madelynn Jean Ward is the great great great granddaughter of Henry Wayne Shannon.  It’s a small world.

        The papaw parfait, the receipt for which appeared in last week’s column, was received by Champion residents with mixed reviews.  It was easy enough to double the receipt and to foist it off on unsuspecting persons.  Some polite people around the store who had an opportunity to sample the parfait said, “Well, it’s different.”  Those same persons should be alert to the fact that the frost is pinking up the persimmons and the harvest looks prodigious.  Wanda Sloan’s Persimmon Cookies receipt appears in the Tastes for All Seasons, the most recent cook book offered by the Ladies Auxiliary of the Skyline Volunteer Fire Department.  Anyone with a special persimmon receipt to share is welcome to do so.

        Eighteen degrees was the low temperature reported from a local Champion dairy barn early one morning this week.  It was good to have sufficient warning of the frost this year.  Wilda Moses brought in a sweet potato weighing 4lbs 4oz.  That may not be the biggest one around, but it’s the biggest one she has ever grown.  She is also older than she’s ever been and will have her SIXTIETH birthday on Saturday the 21st.  She shares her birthday with the late Anna Henson.  Mrs. Henson was a large part of the business sense of  store at Champion for many years.  She had an extraordinary memory and a sense of humor that rivaled that of her husband, Ed, though it was somewhat more subtle and less often exhibited.

        Corrections to recent columns include the information that Edgar Henson and Ezra Henson were not related.  This information comes from the niece of Ezra, daughter of Deward Henson, who said that they have traced the family back to the 1700’s and found no connection between the two Henson families.  She also reported that Jess Henson had purchased the old store at Evans from the Viles family back in the 1930’s or 40’s.  She had heard that at one time that store had been on the other side of the road.

        Recently several new families have moved to the Champion area.  They have come from various parts of Florida and from areas near Chicago, from Minnesota and Wisconsin.  The families who’s roots have long been here still remember that their forbearers also came here from elsewhere.  It is to be hoped that the newcomers will feel welcome and will join in to keep Champion the most pleasant place in Douglas County.

        Anyone with good news or old stories of Champion and it’s people are welcome to leave them at the store, or mail them to Rt. 2, Box 367, Norwood, 65717, or e-mail to Champion News. Persimmon receipts are welcome.