CHAMPION—August 13,2007


        Whew!  What a Picnic!  Temperatures sizzled and still they came!  Attendance was down a little on Friday night for the Skyline VFD Picnic, but Saturday was a rip roaring event!  Volunteers needed a few days to recover from the preparations, the picnic itself, and then all the work of shutting it down and cleaning everything.  Sunday and Monday saw a lot of volunteers resting on their laurels and talking on the phone to each other about what fun it had been and how glad they are that it is over for the year and what changes and improvements will be made for next year.  A year passes quickly in these parts.  A young fellow said that that wasn’t ‘laurels’ that his Pap was resting on, but was his back-side!  “Laurels” is just a nice way of saying ‘back side’ around here.  It’s a euphemism.

        School busses are running again.  How quickly the summer has flown by!  Skyline students and teachers are back at it again and ready to have another great year.  There are some new children in the neighborhood and chances for some new friendships.  Ms. Curtis and all the excellent Skyline staff are helping the students make some wonderful memories for the future while they prepare them to succeed as they move on to higher education.  The Champion School Reunion will be held on the First of September.  Old friends will gather to reminisce and to catch up on the news of the past year.  The festivities get started fairly early in the day and folks bring a dish for a pot luck lunch, and lawn chairs for comfort under the big trees.  There is always music and good fellowship.  The yarn spinning is of epic proportions.  Mrs. Ruby Proctor and Mrs. Esther Wrinkles enjoyed each other’s company at the Picnic Saturday night.  They have been friends since the early 1930’s when they went to school at Champion.  Mrs. Proctor said that Champion used to have wonderful picnics long years ago.  They had a big wooden dance floor down by the creek and Johnny Hatfield used to come and wrestle his bear there.  She said he lived somewhere down on Fox Creek below Oscar Krider’s place and had a pet black bear.

        School is starting for others too.  Charlee Smith, daughter of Wes and Pat Smith of Champion will be starting at Crowder College in Neosho this year.  She will leave on Sunday the 18th and Pat and Wes will have to learn how to get along without her around the place.  They have had practice in having daughters move away.  Their first daughter is in Springfield with their 4 month old grandson their middle daughter is in Mountain Home with their 3 year old granddaughter and another grandchild on the way.  Charlee’s softball talent together with her excellent academic record have won her a full scholarship at Crowder.  She hit more home runs for Norwood High School than any other player there in history.  Her first college game will be in Springfield on September 28th.  Champions imagine that her parents will be in attendance.

        No news has come from Champion’s soldier this week.  He is Staff Sergeant Raul Moreno and he is stationed at a Forward Operating Base at Naray Afghanistan near the Pakistani border.  That part of the world is hot, not just temperature wise, but politically as well.  Champions don’t complain about the weather here and they keep Raul in their best thoughts.  His address is SSG Moreno, Raul / 4-319th, TF SABER / FOB NARAY / APO AE 09354  Email:  raul.morenoju(at)  The Plant Place in Norwood donated 200 bags of daffodils to be planted to show support and respect for the troops.  They were given away as free gifts at the Skyline VFD Picnic this year.  Raul and all his fellow soldiers serving in dangerous foreign places can benefit from the good thoughts of people here at home.  Champion found Raul through the Adopt A US Soldier program on line at  It is an easy thing to do and the opportunity to be of cheer and comfort to those who are doing their Country’s work is not to be missed.  Three thousand six hundred and ninety US service personnel have lost their lives in Iraq since that conflict began.  The number of wounded may never be known.  In May 2007, Staff Sergeant Russell K. Shoemaker of Sweet Spring, MO was killed there.  To his family and to the families of all the fallen and wounded ones, Champions express their Love and Gratitude.

        Mrs. Eva Powell’s grandsons were with her at the Skyline Picnic.  Derek had stories to tell about his travels to Africa and to Paris this summer.  He had pictures on his lap-top of himself in Timbuktu!  There were pictures of him with giraffes and camels.  He is quite and adventurer, but it sounds like he was glad to get home and he and Brian are always welcome and happy visitors to Champion.  There were some great pictures taken of them at the Picnic with their sweet Grandmother.  They are all Champions.

        Linda and Glenn Cooley of Champion celebrated their 35th wedding anniversary on August 12th.  J.T. and Betty Shelton celebrated their 47th anniversary on the 15th of August.  Champion is a place that likes to commemorate its excellent occurrences all year long.

        Betty and Dale Thomas enjoyed themselves at the Skyline Picnic.  They are getting ready for the Pioneer Descendents Gathering that they will host down at Yates on October 6th and 7th.  There will be a lot of exhibitions and demonstrations and it promises to be a lively affair.  Champions are looking forward to it.  It is such a gift to the Present to be reminded of the Heritage of this Lovely Place.  When somebody asked, “What is all the big deal with our Heritage anyway?  What difference does it make?”  Somebody else said that if you don’t know where you have been, you don’t know where you are going.  Abraham Lincoln once told a biographer that his worst fear for America was that the Revolutionary experience would dilute as the country grew older.  His parents remembered the Revolution as a part of their own experience.  He remembered it as a vivid part of his parents experience.  His fear seemed to be that the struggles of the Founding Fathers would become just so much boring history like the struggles of the ancient Romans and the Freedom they won with such difficulty would be taken for granted by future generations.  Champions do not take their Freedom for granted and they are happy to recognize the hard work and skill that it took to survive in this part of the world just a couple of generations back.  The Douglas County Sesquicentennial Celebration is coming up soon also, so there will be ample opportunity to wax nostalgic all the way through October.

        Examples of epics, what sizzles, what needs waxing, commemorating, celebrating, emphasizing or euphemizing may be sent to Champion Items at Rt. 2, Box 367 Norwood, MO 65717.  Those things or reasons to be glad that school has started can be e-mailed to Champion News.  As the Missouri Song List has been much neglected due to all the Picnic Folderol, anyone is Free to burst into spontaneous song on the porch at Henson’s Store where the “H” stands for Heritage.  CHAMPION—LOOKING ON THE BRIGHT SIDE!