CHAMPION—November 19, 2007


        Champion is delighted that Charlee Smith came home from college for the Thanksgiving holiday.  She drives home every week end.  Wes says that they are treating her well over there and she is finding college to be a good experience.  She made it home Friday night and Saturday went deer hunting.  Champions know that she is a pretty remarkable person but when she killed two deer with one shot even some seasoned hunters are jealous.  The bullet went through the neck of one of the young deer and then trough the neck of the other killing them both.  So when a woman visiting Champion on Sunday said, “Hey!  Did you hear about that girl who killed two deer with one shot?”  Locals figured it must have been Charlee.

        For Champions and others interested in the Thanksgiving story from another perspective, a good place to start is with a very important book, “The Invasion of America,” by Francis Jennings.  It is reported to be an authoritative text on the settlement of New England and the evolution of Indian/White relations in the New England colonies. Today the town of Plymouth Rock has a Thanksgiving ceremony every year in remembrance of the first Thanksgiving.  There are still Wampanoag People living in Massachusetts.  In 1970, they asked one of them to speak at the ceremony to mark the 350th anniversary of the Pilgrim’s arrival.  Here is part of what he said:

        “Today is a time of celebrating for you—a time of looking back to the first days of white people in America.  But it is not a time of celebrating for me.  It is with a heavy heart that I look back upon what happened to my People.  When the Pilgrims arrived, we, the Wampanoag welcomed them with open arms, little knowing that it was the beginning of the end.  That before 50 years were to pass, the Wampanoag would no longer be a tribe.  That we and other Indians living near the settlers would be killed by their guns or dead from diseases that we caught from them.  Let us always remember, the Indian is and was just as human as the white people.

        “Although our way of life is almost gone, we, the Wampanoag, still walk the lands of Massachusetts.  What has happened cannot be changed.  But today we work toward a better America, a more Indian America where people and nature once again are important.”

        Now it is 387 years since the first Thanksgiving ceremony.  The Delaware, Kickapoo and Osage Indians were living around here when the pilgrims hit land.  Champion is one of those places in America where people respect each other and nature.  This is a wonderful place to live.  Having family and friends visit is something for which Champions are always truly Thankful.  They are building good memories.

        Young Foster is holding up well with the cast on his leg.  His singing voice is fine and he is still getting around like greased lightening.  He’ll join the family crowd at Vivian Floyd’s house in Rogersville for a big Thanksgiving dinner.  He has a new little cousin named Emerson Rose.  She is Eli’s new little sister and is sporting a beautiful head of hair.

        Cattle Barons Harley and Barbara Krider, down from Illinois for the holiday, will also attend the Rogersville banquet.  Barbara has not revealed what she will wear to the Champion Thanksgiving Parade nor whether she will attend as an observer or a participant.  The parade will form up on the east end of town and wind its way south down the lane, then following the creek it will loop around the big walnut tree beside the church before it turns northward then west to pass in front of the reviewing stand on the porch of Henson’s Store.  From there it will take the West Exit from Champion and turn right to return to its origins.  If it has not rained by that time, the Champion Parade Committee request that horsemen, shepards, all livestock wranglers including those of ducks, dogs and turkeys are asked to keep the animals calm so as not to generate too much dust.  If the swineherds from Spotted Hog expect to exhibit their mascot again they should be willing to leave it on the trailer which they may pull by whatever method they choose or to have it in adequate harness with sufficient manpower to keep the beast under control.  No one wants a repeat of the Horrible Halloween fiasco.  Enough said.

        Other Champions are on the quest for Revenge Ham up Norwood way.  With home grown sweet potatoes and some pumpkin pie, it will be a lovely day.

        Sweet Sue will celebrate her birthday on Friday.  She will have her usual houseful of family and friends for the holiday.  It is precious to make that annual contact with so many interesting and diverse friends.  It will be exciting to hear what she thinks of the great Bridge scandal in Shanghai last week at the International Bridge Federation Championships.  Another Champion, weary already of the dreariness of the political situation, made a plea for just a little good news, for something positive.  The response was that Shirley Temple was the by-product of the Great Depression.  Champions will be ever on the look out for a contemporary “little ray of sunshine.”

        The Veteran’s Day Celebrations in the area were well attended last week and well reported.  The current conflict in Iraq has claimed the lives of 3,871 US Military Personnel.  Among those is Sgt. Kenneth R. Booker, 25, of Vevay, Indiana, who died Nov. 14, in Mukhisa, Iraq, of wounds sustained when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle.  He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 23 Infantry Regiment.

        Champions send their Love and Gratitude to his survivors and to all those Americans serving in Iraq, Afghanistan and the other dangerous places of the world.

        Recently a Champion was contacted by a nice man in India whose job is to give away free cell phones to people who sign up for the service of the company Sprint or some similar outfit.  It took some convincing for the man to understand that there are places in Champion and the Ozarks in general where cell phones do not work..  “Oh! No,” said he, “in the United States, all topographical regions can receive cell phone signals.”  By exaggerating the height of the mountains and the depth of the valleys, the Champion was at last successful in having the man understand that some people have to travel ten miles to get a signal.  It was a difficult concept for the Indian to grasp.  The Champion noted that this technology is getting cheaper and cheaper.  Soon he thinks it will be Free and then it will be Mandatory.  The dreaded question might be, “Where is your phone, Citizen?”  This Champion says that people are “getting older younger and are staying younger longer.”  By that he means that young people are more worldly and informed than in previous years and more healthy.

        Buzz and Sharon Woods are in a tizzy with the unexpected visit of their daughter in from Hawaii for the holiday.  Sharon says she is running a week behind.  She is working on the benefit to be held for Lannie Hinote at the Skyline School on December First.  She says that there will be a silent auction and a pie auction and a raffle for a pony that Sharon and Buzz are donating.  The Kellies will perform and the PTO will serve chili.  Contact Helen at Skyline to donate items for an auction or for information 683-7874 or contact Sharon Woods at 683-9074.  An opportunity to be of help to someone who is so important to the community is not one to be missed.

        Esther Wrinkles will have a houseful for Thanksgiving.  There will be turkey and all the fixingings for Lonnie and Verla Dooms, Larry and Theresa Wrinkles, Greg and Deanna Harris and their son Gavin and Doug Reece.  It will be interesting to hear what kind of pies Esther makes.  She reports that her gooseberry bushes are doing well.

        Good reports are welcome at Champion Items, Rt. 2 Box 367, Norwood, MO 65717.  Parade photos can me e-mailed to Champion News.  Political discourse can be held in abeyance while visitors to Henson’s Store keep their eyes peeled for a little ray of sunshine.  In Champion the are always—looking on the bright side!