December 25, 2006

December 25, 2006

CHAMPION— December 25, 2006


        Having Christmas occur on Monday sets the tone for a lovely week in Champion.  Oh, the weather may be cold and damp and dreary, but the mood is festive and optimistic.  Holidays often bring somber moments fraught with memories of the past and of missing loved ones.  Those are what make the present such a precious commodity as we go on about the business of making new memories.

        For some children and some older people too Christmas is the ‘main day’ of the year.  It is the day that people imagine all year long as being the best day, the day when they will be happy, or get what they want.  When it is over and it is December 26th again, the whole thing starts all over. The daydreaming about how things will be in the future, and the building of expectations begins again.  Sometimes comparing real events as they happen with those expectations is a receipt for disappointment.  Older folks see the years flying by quickly, but to young ones the space between Christmases can be an unimaginably long time. Living in the present is a real challenge no matter what the age.

        There was a request for the rest of that song, “Y’all Come.”  The missing verse is the first one:  “When you’re livin’ in the country everybody is yer neighbor.  On that one thing you can rely.  They will all come to see you and they’ll never ever leave you saying ‘Y’all come to see us by and by.’”  Then it goes on to the chorus and the verse about the kinfolks coming by the dozens, and then to the one where Grandma’s wishing they would all come to the kitchen.  It’s one of those songs that is a lot of fun to sing in a big crowd of people who all know it and want to sing along.  Maybe someone will organize a Champion ‘Sing’ one of these days and pull out all those old fashioned tunes and get everyone to crooning.  Somebody probably knows all of “Is That You, Myrtle?” and “The Old Knot Hole.”

        Seed catalogs are starting to show up in the mail already.  Gardening work is at a minimum during this cold weather, so there is time to review successes and failures to start planning now for next year’s garden.  Newly planted trees should be secured with guy wires according to some and some pruning can be done as weather permits, but not of spring flowering shrubs.  This is a good time to put out bird feeders.  The robins have been busy this week up on Clever Creek.  There have been some very exciting eagle sightings in the area lately and some rumors of wild coyote hunts.

        Judy Boykin was back to work by the middle of the week.  Rolling around in her wheelchair with her hand bandaged, she is keeping Glen’s Propane running smoothly.  She is an inspiration to anybody who thinks things can get a little rough sometimes.

        Charlene Dupre is finally home again at The Plant Place and The Gift Corner.  She has spent the last few months out in Virginia taking care of her sweet granddaughter, Olivia, while her mother was out on sea duty with the Navy.  Norwood is glad to have Charlene back, certainly her sister Linda Hetherington is.  It’s a gift to the local communities all around to have creative enterprising people and some solid family owned businesses in operation.

        Old Grandfather Weltanschauung and Crazy Sue spent the day around their own little hearth on Monday. Nobody’s feeling sorry for them though, because they so regularly visit with their children and grandchildren.  Not a week goes by without some trips back and forth.

        Ms. Wrinkles was scheduled to have her two sons and their families home on Monday.  The Kriders have some visiting currently and more on the way.  This will be a beautiful week for them. The Hamilton’s over passed Brushy Knob have had their three children and two grandchildren visiting.  Ms. Powell’s grandsons Brian and Derek spent part of Sunday with her.  Champion has been a regular hot bed of family fun.  Everyone is full of Love and Gratitude for the chance to enjoy each others company.

        Two cannibals were eating a clown and one asked the other, “Does this taste funny to you?”  That did not happen in Champion.  So long as Harley Krider is visiting, he could spend a few minutes telling some stories or histories or yarns and it wouldn’t hurt him one bit.  He probably knows few things on a Champion resident here or there, past or present.  If Cletus Upshaw (or any one of the other Upshaws, for that matter) could be convinced to open up, the Herald would be having to add pages just to get it all in.  There is a lot of highly interesting information out there regarding the Champion community of today and long ago.  Anyone is welcome to share some at Champion Items, Rt. 2, Box 367, Norwood, MO 65717, at the Champion Store (There is a notebook there.  Just write it down.) or e-mail to Champion News.

        The New Year will start on a Monday too.  When asked about New Years resolutions, a wonderful man, good friend and great musician, Buff Manion, once said, “I’m just going to try to be a little nicer to people.”  So far 2978 U.S. Service People have lost their lives since the war began in Iraq in March of 2003.  There is always hope for a better year ahead, one full of Love and Gratitude.  Happy New Year, Champion!


December 18, 2006

December 18, 2006

CHAMPION—December 18, 2006


        Look out Champion!  The community is about to be overrun by grandchildren!  Scarcely have residents recovered from the onslaught of Hamilton and Powell grandchildren and great grandchildren, but here come Dakota and Dillon Watts accompanied by their parents from Tennessee and Foster Emmet and his cousin Eli are very likely to be around.  It will be noisy and busy with adventures on the farm.  There will be great feasts and plenty left overs and dishwashing.  When there is a big crowd, particularly if there enough women, those kinds of chores don’t seem to take up too much time.  There is an old song, however, that says:

“ Oh the kinfolks are a comin’,

yes, there comin’ by the dozens

and they’re eatin’ everything from soup to hay.

And right after dinner, they’re not lookin’ any thinner

and you can hear them say:

‘Ya’ll come!  Ya’ll come!

Ya’ll come to see us now and then.

Ya’ll come!  Ya’ll come!

Oh.  You all come to see us when you can.’ ”


“Now, Grandma’s a wishin’

that they’d all come to the kitchen

and help do the dishes right away,

But when they all start to leavin’,

even though she is a grievin’

you can still hear Grandma say,

‘Ya’ll come! Ya’ll come!

Ya’ll come to see us now and then.

Ya’ll come!  Ya’ll come!

Oh.  You all come to see us when you can.’ ”

        It goes on and on like that.  Fortunately the melody is pleasant.  Up on Clever Creek there will be a big influx of nieces and grandnieces who are doctors and students and musicians.  What can you do?  Some of those who are not expecting to have family visiting Champion for the holidays are going off elsewhere to find some.  The community is on the move.  Everybody seems to be full of Love and Gratitude at this time of year.

        A stranger to these parts happened along and noticed a long line of men filing slowly in through the gate of one of the local cemeteries.  A curious sort, he walked past the line of men until he finally came up to a new grave.  Beside it stood a man who was holding a small dog.  “Who is buried here?” inquired the stranger.  “It’s my mother-in-law” replied the man with the dog.”  “She died very suddenly after this little dog bit her.”  The stranger thought for a long moment and then asked, “Would you consider selling that little dog?”  The man with the dog said that he just couldn’t possibly sell it.  “Well, would you lease it?” pressed the stranger.  “Yes, I would lease it,” the man responded, “but you’ll have to go to the end of that line.”

        That is just a flat out yarn told the other day by a veteran yarn spinner.  Champion is a great part of the country for yarns, and songs, and sayings of all sorts.  Mrs. E. Powell said that if there was a couple having trouble in their marriage her aunt Frances Nettelton would say, “That’s their possum.  Let them wool it.”  By that she was saying to leave them alone to work out their problems.  This long time resident of Champion also noted that since World War II the country has really gone downhill.  Part of her point was that while technology has advanced, people are not so neighborly as they were back when everybody had to work together in the “war-effort.”  Neighbors over in Brixie had the opportunity to view the movie, An Inconvenient Truth on Saturday.  The message of the movie seems to be that the whole world has a possum to wool.  Here is part of an e-mail response to an inquiry made about the event:  “The movie was at the old Brixey church. ….  Steve Bennet, who moved back in the area after being gone for many years (and used to own the Gainesville paper), got up and made a passionate plea about how to stop the folks around here from clear cutting (he couldn’t believe how much more had been done in his absence).

        The movie made the rate of change expected in the next 20 to 50 years to seem overwhelming, and yet also showed how the most basic and simple conservation efforts do have quite an impact.  David Haenke made a plea that globalization and the huge amount of energy it takes to move products all around the world calls for de-centralization of goods and services to even begin to address the problem.

        On the local level it was discussed how the big pitch for ethanol was a diversion (too much petroleum input).  It was brought out that trees are our only proven method for taking large amounts of Co2 out of the atmosphere, and so how do we protect Ozark forests?  Goats (in a reasonable amount) were brought up as the better livestock alternative, and the use and production of more forest products, including the use of wood by-products as a source of fuel alternative (though the technology isn’t quite there yet).  Anyway, that’s some of the scoop.

        I think the best image I took from the movie was that of the Earth as a big breathing organism, giving oxygen in the Spring/Summer, and releasing Co2 in the Fall/Winter, and in many other ways is self-regulating.  Take Care,  Bob”  This Bob has a new grandson, born December 12th, by the name of Braxton Liebert..  Grandparents make excellent world citizens as they are always looking out for the best interest of their most precious young ones.

        Neighbors in Norwood are distressed to learn that Judy Boykin of Glen’s Propane has had an accident Monday evening that resulted in a broken hip and broken hand.  She’ll be home from St. John’s in a few days with plenty on her plate.  She’s kind of a dynamo.  It’s hard to hold her down.

        The news this week has run a little long, with the warnings, songs, yarns, sayings, movie reviews, letters, observations, birth announcements and accident reports.  Any of those things or any other thing of interest to Champions is welcome from readers at Champion Items, Rt. 2, Box 367, Norwood, MO. 65717, at the Champion Store, or at Champion News.


December 5, 2006

December 5, 2006

CHAMPION—December 11, 2006


        News from Champion was late getting to the Herald last week.  Someone said if he had twenty thousand years to catch the bus, he would need twenty thousand years and five minutes.  Here is last weeks news with apologies for it’s tardiness.


CHAMPION—December 5, 2006


        Friends and neighbors of Wilburn and Louise Hutchison extend their sympathies at the loss of their dear son, Larry.

        December’s Full Moon is called the “Cold Moon.”  In Champion it shines ethereally on the bright white ice and snow and draws out the long blue moon shadows of houses and trees.  When it is so quiet and still at night thoughts of family and loved ones, those close and far away, come easily.  To experience those solemn moments with dear ones is a gift.  Beauty becomes Real when shared in Love and Gratitude.  One whispers, “Isn’t this lovely?”  The other sighs, “Indeed.” Or, perhaps no word is spoken and the silence says everything.

        Your observations, stories, and news are welcome at Champion Items, Rt. 2, Box 367, Norwood, MO 65717, at the Champion Store, or at Champion News.

        This week’s news also comes from last week.

        L.L. Krider had his birthday on the 4th of the month.  It was just three days before the attack on Pearl Harbor.  That didn’t damper his families’ enthusiasm for him, however, and they raised him up to be a good family man.  He has numerous children who love and admire him.  He is an accomplished musician of the ‘high lonesome’ and other varieties and is respected as quite a good citizen and good neighbor.  Still, he was heard to have said that what he would like most for his birthday was the end of some exasperating plumbing problems.  Alas!  He is fortunate to have such a comely young wife to comfort him in his trials.

        Spectators could have had an eyeful had they ventured down 95 Highway at W Highway one day last week.  A well regarded resident of that intersection backed her truck into her own garage where it became stuck due to unseasonable rains.  Realizing that not only was her truck stuck, but that she was locked out of her house on account of just having had her locks changed without having replced her secreted outside key.  She was doubly stuck.  Standing on her own porch she heard her phone ringing inside.  It was cold and getting dark.  Remembering the condition of a certain storm window, she plied her energies to prying it open.  After some time her efforts were rewarded and there lacked only the willingness to climb upon lawn chair in order to effect entry through the now open upper sash.  Of the two plastic lawn chairs available she chose the newer,  less fragile one and, without a thought for her recently sprained foot, took the challenge, stepped upon it, and was in short order comfortably ensconced in her own domicile with none the wiser until now.  Now the window has been repaired against any intruder and the new key secreted. At what age does one cease to be resourceful and self reliant?  Around here it must be well up past ninety somewhere.

        Mrs. E. Powell said that when she was a kid they said if your nose was itching somebody would be coming with holes in his britches.

        The last of last weeks news is that Dustin Cline said in front of eight witnesses that he was wrong (about something).  Staci asked that it be reported in the paper.  This week he was heard to say that Staci was right about something.  What is going on here?

        The last of this weeks news is that by the 11th of December, sixty-five U.S. service people have lost their lives this month.  To their families Love and Gratitude is sent from Champion.

        Your opinions, observations, reminiscences, and rebuttals are welcome at Champion Items, Rt. 2, Box 367, Norwood, MO 65717, at the Champion Store, and at Champion News.