September 30, 2007

September 30, 2007

CHAMPION – September 30, 2007


        By all accounts the Champions who attended Farmers Day in Norwood were much impressed and pleased by the whole thing.  In the hustle and bustle of the music and the horses, the mechanical mule, pets in costumes, old cars, cute Shriners in cute red cars, and the Clowns, a prominent Champion was separated from her family.  They didn’t meet up just precisely as planned.  Younguns who fancy themselves these days as being somehow the more reliable family members might have jumped to conclusions and put themselves to a lot more trouble than was necessary.  Worry warts can take the fun out of almost anything and even after they’ve got things figured out, sometimes they just can’t let go so they have to talk and talk about how worried they were, and where all they had to drive and to what lengths they had to go and so that’s what the memory winds up being: not that there was a Great Farmers Day, but a day that So and So got ‘lost.’  Why, she wasn’t lost at all!  Somebody just jumped to conclusions and didn’t look around.  She did have a very good time, however, and she also had her heart filled up that her children love her so and are concerned.  A Champion said that the things that make people so special is that they are so strong and so fragile.

        Phoebe Ward was host to family and friends in a celebration of Madelyn Jean Ward’s first birthday on Friday, Sept .28th.  Madelyn’s birthday is actually October 10th. and others celebrating on that occasion were those girls Linda Kaye and Karen Fae, whose birthdays are the 4th of October.  Attending the soirée were Russell and Sue and Dean Upshaw, Robert and Sharon Upshaw, Michael Upshaw and Elva Upshaw.  Debora (Upshaw) Barker and Kyle Barker were also in attendance.  Linda Krider Watts and her sons Dillon and Dakota were there from Tennessee, together with Richard and Kaye (birthday girl) Johnston, as well as Josh Ward’s Grandparents and his brother Charlie.  Kenneth and Juanita Anderson also attended as did Staci Krider and Dustin Cline, Tanna Jo, Foster and Kalyssa Wiseman, and Fae and Lonnie Krider also enjoyed the fun. Family!  It’s a Champion Thing!

        It was a good thing Phoebe had the get-together for the families, because Kaye and Richard are off on their way to the Brixie Reunion this year being held in Lumberton, N.C.  They will have a wonderful time with folks who have frequently come to this part of the world for the Reunion.  While they are there, Richard and Kaye will wander over toward the Atlantic Ocean just to give it a gander.  It’s a beautiful sight, if kind of unsettling.

        The 26th of September was the Harvest Moon.  “The night was mighty dark, you could hardly see, because the Moon refused to shine.  There’s a couple sittin neath the willow tree for Love they pine.  The little gal’s kind of scared of the dark, so she says, ‘I think I’ll go.’  The boy began to sigh, he looked up in the sky, and told the Moon his little tale of woe.  Oh!  Shine on!  Shine on Harvest Moon up in the sky!  I ain’t had no Lovin’ since January, February, June or July.  Snow Time ain’t no time to stay outdoors and spoon, so Shine On, shine on Harvest Moon, for me and my gal!”

        Linda’s Almanac from over at the Plant Place in Norwood says that the 3rd through the 10th will be excellent days for harvesting.  So any of those Sweet Potatoes, green beans, peppers, tomatoes, squashes, and other things Clever Champions may have growing could be brought in with the expectation that they will store well.  Some are just getting some greens planted and hoping for some mild weather so they will ‘make.’  Some have seen solid black woolly worms and think that’s a bad omen for a hard winter.

        Some think a hard winter would be a good idea.  Champions are resigned to getting what they get.  They do not subscribe to the notion that the possibility of a bad outcome should necessarily stem the tide of Optimism.  Anything could happen!

        A note has come to the Champion News mailbox from Chimaria Escondida of Piedras Negras, MX.  She says, among other things, “It’s good that you people in Champion write to that boy soldier SSGT. Raul Moreno.  How is he?  I hope he is ok.  It is my understanding that you people in the US spend about a Billion Dollars a week on the war in Iraq.  Where do you people get that much money?  How many of your soldiers have died over there now?”  Ms. Escondida goes on with more and more questions.  The Champion response has been:  “Dear Ms. Escondida,  Thanks for your letter.  Perhaps you would like to drop a line to Champion’s soldier at raul.morenojr(at)  He will appreciate it.  We will too.  We haven’t heard from him in a while.  The other part of your question was put to a knowledgeable Champion who says that the United States government is borrowing those billions of dollars a week from the governments of China, Japan and South Korea.  It will be repaid with interest on the installment plan by US taxpayers over the next one hundred years.  That is to say, Ms. Escondida, if your grandchildren are US Taxpayers, their grandchildren will be the parents of the people who are getting close to paying off the debt.  (Meanwhile it is hoped that they do not need health care, education or infrastructure).”  It is to be noted that this Informed Champion is sort of a cynical grouch.  Champion has All Kinds!  The answer to another of her questions:  As of September 29th, three thousand eight hundred and three US service personnel have died in the conflict in Iraq.  Ms. Escondida seems sort of fractious, but she has indicated that she joins Champions in sending Love and Gratitude to those serving everywhere.

        “The Headless Cobbler of Smallett Cave” is turning out to be an entertaining read!  This part of the world is rich in history and lore.  It doesn’t have to happen in some exotic far away place to be interesting.  Actually, a Champion reported that whole area over there around Springcreek is kind of ‘spooky!’  It has also been learned that L.L. Broadfoot’s book, “Ozark Pioneer” is about to be republished!  The J.P. Harlan Memorial Museum in West Plains has an extensive collection of the works of this artist/historian, whose goal was to illuminate and emphasize the contributions of the Pioneers of the Ozarks to the overall success of the Nation.  The Pioneer Descendents Gathering down at Yates this week end promises to be an illuminating affair.  Few citizens, even Champions!, could ‘hack it’ if put to the tasks of surviving and thriving in the relative hardship of conditions prevalent in this area just a hundred years ago.  History is thought to be the Key to the Future.  It is a gift to have a chance to look into the past.

        Someone asked about the Tea Party at the Little Green Bean House.  It was reported to have been just delightful.  The sandwiches were very fancy, there were many flowers and green beans growing on the Little Green Bean House and there were many Frogs in attendance.  It turns out that Frogs Eat Flies and that is just the best possible thing for an out-door Tea Party!

        Excellent tea party, birthday party, or other kind of party news is welcome at Champion Items, Rt. 2, Box 367, Norwood, MO 65717.  Rhetorical or any kinds of answerable questions (consider the source) are welcome at Champion News.  Henson’s Store in downtown Champion is a good place to spill beans about anything.  Nothing gets reported from the Store without Authorization!  Rest easy in Champion—Looking on the Bright Side!


September 23, 2007

September 23, 2007

CHAMPION –September 23, 2007


        It is suddenly Autumn and the good news in Champion in recent days has to do with sister city Skyline and the Celebration of Grandparent’s Day on Friday, September 21st.  What a lovely day!  The school was crowded with visiting Grandparents and there were games outside and a great number of good things going on inside.  Some local Grandmothers with Grandchildren much too far away will go to this celebration in the future to stand in for some Grandparent who can’t make it because they live too far away or for some other reason cannot attend.  Young Olivia from Virginia is visiting with her Grandma Charlene Dupre, a great Champion Friend.  Olivia will be four in October.  This week they plan to visit in Champion at a certain Little Green Bean House.  They will be having a tea party with fancy sandwiches.  They will write a story and take pictures and it promises to be a delightful day!  Some Krider Grandmothers just can’t turn a corner without a grandchild underfoot!  Happy Feet!  Dillon and Dakota will be in from Tennessee for a couple of days and Foster and Eli and Kalyssa will surely be nearby.  Good for all of them!

        Friday, September 21st, was POW/MIA Awareness Day.  An Awareness Day Color Ceremony was presented by VFW Post 3770 at the Skyline School.  Post 3770 Quartermaster, Joe Kelly, of Norwood,  presented the school principal, Ms. Jeannie Curtis, with a US Flag and a POW/MIA Flag to fly on the appropriate days.  Post 3770’s website, has some excellent photographs taken then at Skyline and at a similar ceremony held later that day in Norwood. The Missing Man Table Speech given at Skyline is also detailed there.  Notes on the website say, “It was Grandparents Day at Skyline School so the ceremony was well attended by all students, staff, and visitors.”  Good for all of them!

        Champion’s own soldier, SST Raul Moreno is serving in Afghanistan.  His address is SSG Moreno, Raul/ 4-310th, TF SABER/ FOB NARAY/ APO AE 09354/ email:  raul.morenojr(at)  Just any kind of correspondence is welcome there.

        Serving soldiers and Veterans appreciate having their efforts acknowledged.  The survivors of those who don’t return also appreciate the recognition.  To all of them Champions extend their Love and their genuine Gratitude.

        The Pioneer Descendents Gathering is drawing nigh.  It will be an education to anyone who will venture down, down to the ‘edge of the world’ at Yates.  It’s not so far, but such a lovely trip!  There will be blacksmithing, music, good food, and an opportunity to meet good neighbors and learn about what it took to make a go of it in these parts years ago.  It is still not an easy place to get by but it has its good points.  Molasses making will be going on and Betty Thomas reported the molasses making on Saturday the 22nd at Tony and Linda Stilling’s place was an excellent experience though it took some time.  There will be soap making, rail splitting, demonstrations of all sorts including Native Americans, Mountain Men and Civil War re-enactors.  Very exciting!

        More interesting mail to Champion:  “You may already know that Tom and I ( Arlene) had friends from Georgia visit with us.  They were curious to know why we had left Georgia, skeptical that we had made a good choice?  Georgian’s are that way you know……..We gave them the choice of destinations on Friday between Branson and Champion.  Being interested in historical sights they chose Champion.  We went by the Henry and Minnie Cooley homeplace ( Rd 234?) and then on to Henson’s store.  It was the highlight of their vacation so far.  They enjoyed Rockbridge but were thrilled to have stepped into history, even for a brief visit.  Bob Chadwell stopped by Henson’s and we all had a nice chat, like old friends sitting on the porch on a warm day ……Marsha and Larry approve of our move!  Blessings, Arlene (Cooley).” 

        On Sunday afternoon the Ozark Video Magazine on Channel 21, had an excellent program on the reunion held twice a year by the old pros of the ‘Golden Age of Radio.’  Among others, Dr. Jim Baker interviewed Dock Martin and Carl Haden.  They talked about their live music radio shows during the 30s, 40s, and 50s.  The Haden Family was composed of the six kids and Mom and Dad, and adopted steel guitar player Doc Martin.  It was a very informative program that reinforced the notion that the Ozarks is a hot-bed of musical creativity.  Darrell Haden from over in Tennessee, also quite a music aficionado, has sent a copy of his book “The Headless Cobbler of Smallett Cave,”  published by The Kinfolk Press in 1967.  It’s an exciting read!  “The writer knows personally that the Smallett Cave Legend was often used as a bugaboo by parents to frighten children into better behavior and to keep them away from the cave itself.”

        Where is a good ‘bugaboo’ when one is needed?  Children may not be easily frightened these days, but this is a compelling story and it is just the right time of the year for such a tale.

        Jury Duty is a privilege, they say.  Some think that if they were to get railroaded or have a shenanigan pulled on them and wound up in court, they would like to have someone like themselves on the jury—a ‘Jury of Your Peers.’  One guy asked another guy in the presence of others, “So, are you still beating your wife?”  If the man were to answer, “No,” the implication is that he used to beat his wife but is no longer doing so.  If he were annoyed and said, “No!  I have never beat my wife!”  some might think that his flustered response indicated that he had something to hide.  ‘He protests too much.’  It’s a ‘loaded’ question.  The question comes to mind in a conversation concerning Champion’s Long Time Friend, Roger Wall, a Dedicated Friend to Douglas County and a Decorated Veteran.  Repeating something doesn’t make it so.  Rushing to judgment without all the facts is a receipt for injustice.  Innocent until proven guilty….is the rule.

        The 29th Brixey Reunion will be held in North Carolina this year!  Someone said that if all the family trees from this part of the country were all drawn out they would tangle up together like Briar Rabbit’s briar patch!  A conversation was overheard referring to the wife of the son of the sister of the girl that married the person in question’s brother.  There is an old song “I’m My Own Grandpa.”  It’s very complicated.

        Complicated things, good bugaboos, rules, things as slow as molasses are all welcome at Champion Items, Rt. 2, Box 367, Norwood, MO 65717.  Any kind of report about how Louise Hutchison or Zoey Louise spent their birthday can be e-mailed to Champion News.  For good feelings as of old friendships (“Fine as frog-hair split three ways!”) the key is a few minutes spent sitting in the sun on the porch at Henson’s Store in historic Champion–Looking on the Bright Side.


September 17, 2007

September 17, 2007

CHAMPION – September 17, 2007


        Kalyssa Wiseman has made her first trip to Champion to visit with her Grandparents and Aunt Staci.  She came with Foster and her folks.  Her great aunt Vivian Floyd was there as well as great aunt Barbara Krider and great uncle Harley.  Faye said Kalyssa has long pretty fingers that come from the Upshaw side of the family.  On Sunday everybody had a good visit with Esther and Raymond Howard down again from Marshfield.  There were some stories overheard about Raymond’s bee keeping days and bees flying out of his shirt when a hive went wild on him over at Richard Johnson’s house.  More will have to be learned about that.  Esther’s red hat and sweet smile had everyone in a cheery mood.

        The squeak of saddle leather and rattling of wagon harness broke Champion’s stillness on Thursday last.  When the wagon train rolled into the square it was greeted by a number of people curious about the wagons and the stories of the trail.  A couple of Champions exchanged glances and made a tacit agreement to politeness when Wagon Master Clifton Luna asked one if “the West Plains Wagon Club train isn’ about the biggest thing that happens in Champion?”  Being from over in Dora, he is not acquainted with the furious hubbub of activities around Champion.  The person he addressed told him, “Yes,” that the wagon train following right on top of the Champion School Reunion did represent some of the busiest times of the year.  That person didn’t mention the regular parades, ceremonies and celebrations that hardly let the dust get settled from one to the next.  One of the wagons had a sign that said, “This wagon runs on oats, don’t step in the exhaust.”

        A conversation with Esther Wrinkles revealed the passing of her friend, Charmain Young from Mountain Grove.  Ms. Young had been ill the last few months.  For many years she had cared for her mother and for her invalid husband.  Her mother passed away about a year ago and then her husband about six months ago.  Esther used to make pies for her and they had been friends for many years.  They had met back in the 40’s.  The young people used to go to all the pie suppers and picnics around.  At one of those pie suppers at Champion, Blaine Dobbs got drunk and kicked the back door in at the school.  This was the old school building before it burned.  They had him arrested and it was a good thing for people to know that they didn’t put up with too much foolishness in Champion.  Still there was mischief anywhere there was a bunch of young people.  Esther said that around Halloween there were some that would always tip Ed’s (Henson) toilet over.  One time he waited in there with a shotgun.  She didn’t say how that turned out.  She did say that some of them put Clifford’s plow up in a big tree. At a picnic in the area now where V highway meets the county dirt road, Blaine Dobbs hit Fait Upshaw in the head with a rock about as big as a fist.  Esther said a lot of the old picnics that used to be held at Brown’s Cave and other places had to be stopped because of the drinking.  She had been visiting with some friends who told her a story about some old time backwoods people who didn’t get to town too often.  One of these fellows took a notion to go to town and while he was walking down the sidewalk he saw a mirror in a store window.  He looked at it and thought, “Why, that’s a picture of my old Dad!” so he bought it.  On his way home he got to thinking that his wife didn’t ever care for his old Dad that much so he decided to hang the picture in the barn.  Every day he would go down there and look at the picture.  His wife got suspicious and when he was off in the field one day, she went down to the barn.  “Huh,” she said, looking at the mirror, “so that’s the old critter he’s been hanging around with!”

        Alexander the Great Bull has arrived on Barbara and Harley’s farm.  ( A Prominent Champion says, “Things happen when Harley’s home!”)  The bull is an 18 month old black angus bull raised by Jack Williams from over at Mountain Grove.  He wasted no time in exiting the trailer and making himself at home in the pasture.  It is yet to be seen if he is indeed a Great bull.  That is an auspicious name.  Barbara said that there had been a lot of shooting of the bull prior to the purchasing of the bull.  Meanwhile down at Henson’s store, Elmer Banks was talking about an old neighbor of his who had published in the paper a notice that a certain cow was molesting his homestead.  He didn’t like the cow, nor did his wife, nor his dog.  He said it was a pretty heifer with a tag in her ear and he gave the tag number.  He said that within a certain time the cow needed to be claimed or it would be enjoyed by the entire community in a barbeque.  Well, he knew the whole time whose cow it was and as a matter of fact it belonged to Elmer Banks and Elmer had been running cattle on the man’s place.  All he had to do was call Elmer on the phone!  Instead he published the thing in the paper for people all around the county to read.  Elmer put up with no small amount of hoorawing about it.  There was another Champion in the store who had a sad bull tale.  A neighbor of his had a no-account bull and when his bull crossed the fence to help the no account bull tend to his business the good bull took a bullet.  It was a sorry affair all around, a sad one too.  Someone remarked to Foster’s old Dad when he came into the store dressed in his camouflage, that they had seen turkey gobblers big as emus over yonder.  It is to be hoped that that very someone hadn’t spooked his chances of shooting one of them!  Maybe of an evening he’ll get another chance if folks will just stay home.

        Faye and Kaye, raised as good girls to respect their elders, are being respectful of their sister-in-law who had her birthday on August 25th.  Tanna’s birthday got overshadowed by the birth of her daughter Kalyssa, but she isn’t complaining.  September 21st   Louise Hutchison will have a big celebration of some sort to celebrate her seventy second birthday (Who would believe it?) and she shares her birthday with Little Zoey Louise down in Austin who will be four years old.  That’s the wedding anniversary of Tanna and Roger.  Sharon and Farel will be celebrating one of those soon.  Everybody’s getting excited about the Pioneer Descendents Day down at Yates in a couple of weeks.  So as far as the eye can see Celebration is the Watch Word in Champion.

        On the 21st, the VFW Post 3770 out of Mountain Grove will have a flag presentation including a POW-MIA flag at the Skyline School.  Pete Proctor will officiate and the ceremony will be at 11 o’clock.  Champions will be thinking about their soldier, Raul, and the families of the now three thousand, seven hundred eighty two of his fallen comrades.  Love and Gratitude are the other Champion Watch Words.

        Watch words, gobbler and bull stories, examples of friendly hoorawing are welcome at Champion Items, Rt. 2, Box 367 Norwood, MO 65717.  Squeaks, rattles and stories of the trail are welcome at Champion News.  To observe the frenetic festive activities at Champion, just take a seat on the porch at Henson’s Store in beautiful downtown Champion—Looking on the Bright Side!


September 10, 2007

September 10, 2007

CHAMPION – September 10, 2007


        The good news in Champion this week is that things are finally settling down over the hubbub the reunion.  Stragglers are showing up a week late to hear tales of all the good times they missed.  While they were missing the Champion’s Reunion Good Times they were busy living their own good times, however, and they look no worse for the wear.  Even Champions can’t be everywhere at once!  Many are planning for next year already.  Mrs. Ruby Proctor remarked that she had very much enjoyed the whole affair and that she was pleased to see Barbara Pippin (…..) there for the first time and enjoying herself so much.  Ms. Proctor said that she had planned to bring her Bible with her to the reunion.  It is one that she bought out in Oregon (probably in the 1940’s) that survived the tornado that about blew her away on Christmas Eve 1982.  She said that the back was torn off of the Bible but not a page was missing or torn, that it was found laying open and not one of the clippings that she had kept in it was missing.  It was one of the very few things that survived that awful storm.  Of course, Ruby and her son Gary survived and that was just a an extraordinary piece of luck!  Anyway, she forgot to bring the Bible with her this time, but there will be a number interested in seeing it Next Year.

        Champion’s friend Ethel McCallie stopped in to Champion on Labor Day.  She was in the neighborhood, having attended the Haden-Kay-Sellers reunion in Ava.  She said that the music at their reunion was just wonderful.  (It should be with all those Hadens!)  She was touring around the country side with her young cousin and his wife who live just over between Seymour and Ava.  They had recently returned from a trip to Guatemala to visit their daughter.  It was a very enlightening trip and they had good pictures to share.  Ms. McCallie lives fifty miles north of Tulsa and says that while they have had some nice rain up there they have not experienced the flooding that some parts of Oklahoma have seen.  She says her house is on a hill.  She had her 90th birthday on August 11th and had hoped to run into Mrs. Esther Wrinkles while she was in the neighborhood, since she had read about her celebration back in June. Darrell Haden sent a note saying how much he had enjoyed his sojourn to Champion.  He also said how happy he was to have received the news of Woody Van Eaton.  He said, “I hope Mrs. Stoner in Springfield knows I appreciate my friend’s address.  I haven’t seen him since 1953.  We served in the U.S. Army at Ft. Leonard Wood.  He used to give me a ride to the Mansfield-Ava exit on some week ends.”  Old Friendships…friendships from long ago and lasting friendships forged long ago are some of the very best part of life.  Some Champions are getting older and they seem to be keenly aware of the importance of the special people in their circles.

        New Friendships are being forged all the time.  Granddaughter day brought young people together from far flung places.  Little Kalyssa and Jenna will know each other as they grow up and may become friends.  Ruby Proctor and Esther Wrinkles have been friends for more than sixty years!  Raul Moreno, Jr., Champion’s young US Soldier Friend in Afghanistan, is forging new friendships as he is in that hard and dangerous place.  It is hoped that he and his Brother and Sister Soldiers will spend long hours off in the future reminiscing about their time there and finding the good in the circumstances that brought them together.  It is to be hoped that the Love and Gratitude expressed to them by the Whole Nation will have played a part in helping them move on to happy, safe, productive lives.  Wounded over there so far in Afghanistan and Iraq are well over twenty seven THOUSAND U.S. Soldiers.  “Isn’t that 2,700?”  No.  The number has three zeros making it twenty seven thousand.  That is just a current ‘reported’ figure.  Sad lessons from wars past are reminders that each of those numbers represents someone’s precious person and there are many more precious persons wounded than are ever acknowledge.  Champions are full of Love and Gratitude.

        Good Champion news is that Kalyssa Wiseman is home from the hospital with her family.  She is almost two weeks old now and big brother Foster really likes her.  There are already some very sweet photos circulating of the two of them and of them with Mom and Dad, Tanna and Roger.  Jenna Kaitland Brixey is home too!  She came home to the farm on Sunday and seems to have things under control there.  Janna and James have already found that a trip to town is a new experience with a baby.  They say that Grandpa Dean is taking to his new role pretty well.

        The Pioneer Descendents Gathering is just around the corner!  It will be held on the 6th and 7th of October and if it is anything like last year’s event it will be fantastic!  The gathering is promoted by many of the descendents of Tom Brown and John Burden.  There will be a host of exhibits and demonstrations of old time crafts and skills and admittance is free.  There will be some advertising in the next few weeks that will describe the expected fun of this much anticipated shindig.  The sesquicentennial is also just around the corner!  (Champion is reported to have four corners since the ‘square’ is so frequently mentioned, although their precise location is a matter of conjecture.)  It has been a treat to see the Herald’s photos of the Centennial Fashions.  Imagination and Modesty played a fine part in the design and execution of those lovely clothes.  Someone remarked that with the ease of doing laundry these days it would seem that people would be interested in wearing ‘more clothes.’  This week’s Music Appreciation:  “A-round the corner.  Be-neat the berry tree / A-long the foot path Be-hind the bush / Looking for Emily!/ I told my Emily to go away / But now I’m sad she didn’t stay. / And tomorrow night if she / Comes a-looking round for me / I’ll be sittin’ ‘neat the bitter berry tree!  A-round the corner.  Be-neat the berry tree / A-long the foot path Be-hind the bush / Looking for Emily.”   The First Champion who sings that song down at the Pioneer Descendents Gathering will get a free souvenir photograph to commemorate the occasion!

        Charlene is home from Virginia for a while!  She’s got Olivia with her and there is all manner of Grandmother and  Granddaughter fun going on.  Linda’s Almanac from over at The Plant Place says that the 13th to the 17th of the month will be excellent for planting any crops that yield above ground.

        “Just think of the ink!” someone remarked about the length of two weeks worth of Champion items stacked up on one page in the September 6th issue of the Herald.  This particular batch of Champion Items saw its first ink back on August 31st, 2006.  The column had been dormant for a while and previously had been written by Esther Wrinkles.  After she had moved over to Vanzant she kept it going as Vanzant/Champion for a while, but Champions were just laying low news wise and it’s hard to get the straight skinny on things from a distance, so Champion went unsung for a little while.  With the exception of about two years Esther has written about Champion and Vanzant for the Herald since she was twenty years old.  That’s close to seventy years!  It has been suggested that the current columnist might try to be more sparing with the ink.  Perhaps it will last longer.  One year down and sixty seven to go!  Things are getting pretty exciting around the Herald anyway with Ms. Fish’es impending nuptials!  Look for things to be wonderful and out of the ordinary.

        Wonderful, extraordinary things, lovely songs, the straight skinny of any hubbubs, shindigs, gatherings, reunions, sojourns and nuptials are welcome at Champion Items, Rt. 2, Box 367 Norwood, MO 65717.  Examples of Champion Friendships are eagerly requested e-mailed to Champion News.  Editorial comments concerning length or content can be directed to someone who cares at the Herald.  Fashion Commentary or charming old Champion stories may be shared in person at Henson’s Store on the north side of the Square where Stragglers are Always Welcome Home.  Champion—Looking on the Bright Side!


September 2, 2007

September 2, 2007

Champion – September 2, 2007


        This week in Champion the Very Best and Most Lovely News is the birth of two new little Champion lasses!  They are not twins but quite distant cousins born within a few hours of each other on Friday, August 31st, 2007!  Their Mothers are fine and so are they!  Jenna Kaitland Brixey was born about one in the afternoon and is the daughter of Janna and James Brixey of Champion.  She is the first grandchild of Dean Brixey and will just have to get used to it.  Kalyssa Ariel Wiseman was born a little after six in the evening and is the daughter of Tanna and Roger Wiseman.  Kalyssa has a big brother named Foster Emit and Champion grandparents, Faye and Lonnie Krider.  She is the first granddaughter in the family.  The four grandsons were all around to welcome their new cousin including, Dakota and Dillon from Tennessee and Eli who may have the sweetest smile and the deepest dimples that ever come to Champion.  Dakota, who is now taller than his Mother, had great adventures to relate concerning his summer trip to Alaska.  He did a lot of fishing and learned a lot about bears and gold mining.  He’s a good storyteller and a nice brother and cousin to the younger fellows and now Kalyssa!

        The Champion School Reunion was a lovely gathering.  There were some notable absences for one reason or another and some unveiled remarks about ‘silver threads among the gold.’  The food was plentiful and tasty.  The music lifted spirits and the visiting and catching up was what the whole thing is about.  Those attending were: Mary Graham and Robert Graham and Elva Ragland of Drury; Elsie Curtis, Debbie Massey, Barbara Cooper, Linda and Daniel Kingston, Lonnie Krider, Betty Henson, Wilda Moses, Darrell Cooley and C.D. Upshaw of Norwood.  From Mountain Grove came Tom and Arlene Cooley, Ruby Proctor and Pete Proctor, Bertha Wood, Rita Coble, Frances and Wayne Sutherland (and daughters Greta of Hartville and Shirley of Nashville, TN), Sue and Russell Upshaw, Dean Upshaw and Juanita and Kenneth Anderson.  From Ava came Karen and Leavon Lambert, Irene Dooms, and Billy J. Lambert.  Rogersville sent Vivian Floyd and from Seymour came Jerry E. and Shawna Smith.  Tommy and Barbara Southerland came from Branson.  Esther Wrinkles came from Vanzant.  Peggy Hancock Carrera came from Twin Falls, Idaho.  Glenna and Wm. Robert Henson came from Springfield.  Gainesville was represented by Barbara Boam.  There were others in attendance as well and everyone had a good time.  The new signs had gone up just in time for everyone to find the way Home.  They will stay up for those who were not able to make it to the reunion this time but still want to come Home ….sometime….anytime.

        Friday was a big day for Champion marked by a visit from Betty and Darrell Haden.  They were on their way to the Haden-Kay-Sellers Reunion in Ava and stopped in Champion for some ice-cream and conversation.  They were expecting their reunion to be a good sized affair with Carl Haden Junior making an appearance from Springfield.  He was part of the Happy Haden Family that did a lot of entertaining around the country ‘back in the day.’  It is a matter of great delight that Mr. Haden left a copy of “Beyond the Missouri Sky” for Champion enjoyment.  It is an instrumental music compact disk with Charlie Haden on bass and Pat Metheny on acoustic guitars and other instruments.  Both the artists grew up in small towns in Missouri and Metheny said in his album notes “Missouri.  For me, as a kid growing up there, it was a place to dream.  A place to sit out in the backyard and consider the possibilities of life and music….”  He sounds like he was born and raised in Champion!  He also said, “But as much as I loved it there, I was also filled with a restlessness and curiosity about the whole world that I knew existed beyond that Missouri sky.”  Champions are an adventurous lot!  Among the tunes on the album is Roy Acuff’s “The Precious Jewel.”  It is a tragic, sweet love story that many may recall.  They chose the songs with beautiful melodies and chords that inspired them for this album.  They range from traditional old pieces to film themes and original compositions.  It is a most pleasant listen and Champions are welcome to enjoy it.  It will be good to hear about the music at the Haden-Kay-Sellers Reunion.

        The news from Last Week was that a couple of weeks earlier Linda and Glenn Cooley’s wedding anniversary was reported here.  Their accomplishment was underreported by a decade!  They’ve had their knot tied since August of 1962!  That’s forty-five years—not the reported thirty five.  Congratulations to a fine pair of Champions!  This error is regrettable, but somehow it represents a balance of sorts since there have been random and unfounded accusations of ‘embellishment’ to the news in these columns.  Someone suggested that might be why they don’t always appear!

        Notes go out from Champion to it’s soldier SSG Moreno, Raul / 4-319th  /TRSABER / FOB NARAY / APO 09354.  No news has come from him for a while, but he stays in Champion thoughts and best wishes as do all those serving abroad in dangerous situations.  Love and Gratitude is due them from their whole Nation and it is due to the survivors of the Three thousand seven hundred and thirty nine American Service People who have given their all in Iraq.  It’s good news to hear that Pete Proctor and the fellows from VFW Post 3770 of Mountain Grove will be presenting a Patriotic program for the students at Skyline School sometime in September.

        It was reported last week that once again Louise Hutchison and Sharon Sikes are doing all the work!  When the Skyline VFD Firefighters hosted a class at the Fire House on Mobile Water Supply on Friday and Saturday(the 24th and 25th of August), they and a few others of the Ladies’ Auxiliary were busy preparing food for the students which included a big lunch on Saturday.  Betty Dye, Ruth Hamilton, Karen Griswold and others contributed food and assistance in getting the men fed.  The Firefighters always appreciate the contributions of the Auxiliary and it is generally acknowledged that the Skyline Fire Department enjoys solid community support.  Assistant Fire Chief Mark Arnold of the Thayer Fire Department instructed the Skyline Firefighters and members of other local fire departments in the most efficient use of the tanker and pumper trucks in order to maintain a continuous water supply for use in extinguishing fires where no local water is available.  The Skyline Fire Department covers an are of 125 square miles of its own territory and offers Mutual Aid to all surrounding fire departments.  Attendees remarked that having the opportunity to learn and practice the correct procedures in a non emergency situation greatly improves the efficiency and effectiveness of such tactics in the field.

        Exciting things, musical things, reports of hardworking people, and Brand New People are welcome at Champion Items, Rt. 2, Box 367, Norwood, MO 65717. Underreported things (accusations of embellishment notwithstanding) and requests to borrow the CD ‘Beyond the Missouri Sky’ can be e-mailed to Champion News.  As always, Henson’s Store is a good place to spin a yarn about the old days and the old ways to keep nostalgia humming along. As Champions have come home to roost they are…. LOOKING ON THE BRIGHT SIDE!


September 1, 2007

Tennessee Friends

Darrell and Betty Haden
Darrell and Betty Haden made a trip to Champion in September 2007.  They were in the neighborhood to attend the Haden Family Reunion which occurs the first week end in September every year.  Walter Darrell Haden grew up over by Smallett and has kept his enthusiasm for his home place with a subscription to the Douglas County Herald and frequent visits to the area.  He has been a regular Champion Correspondent since this version of the “Champion Items” first appeared.  Encouragement from a Folklore expert and accomplished author is encouragement indeed.  He is past President of the Tennessee Folklore Society and his prose has appeared in the Tennessee Philological Journal, the White River Valley Historical Journal, the Secret Place, and the Douglas County Herald; his poetry in the Denver Post, the Chicago Tribune, Springfield (Mo.) Daily News, Colorado Springs Free Press, and Towers Magazine; his songs recorded and published by major companies in Nashville, Tennessee.