August 13, 2008

August 13, 2008

CHAMPION—August 11, 2008


        Most often in Champion and neighboring like-minded communities the skeptics, pessimists, and harbingers of dreary outlooks are thwarted, disappointed and rebuffed.  On Saturday a local Grump said, “I been looking at the radar and it shows that it’s raining buckets from West Springfield all the way South of Branson.  It’s huge,” he said, “and it’s headed this away!”  People came in from Marshfield and said it was really coming down over there.  It was raining in Mountain Grove.  “Steady.”  But Wilburn said, “It’s gonna slide on West of us.” (Others said, “South.”)  Anyway, Wilburn was right.  He regularly proves himself to be somebody who makes a person want to listen.  He says he talks over all his troubles with Sissy.  So with all his ‘by-passes’ intact, he spent the week-end selling pop corn at the Skyline VFD Picnic.  Saturday was the weather day in question, but it turned out to be a fantastic evening.  The temperature was lovely and the crowd was immense. The event can be chalked up as another grand success and already plans are in the works for next year.

        Mrs. Ruby Proctor enjoyed the Skyline Picnic and was happy to meet up with old friends and family that she doesn’t get to see very often.  She reported that she had recently had a visit with Janet Housley Spellman and Sue Housley Arnall.  They are the daughters of Ruby’s old school chums, William Housley and Jeanette McClellan Housley.  She went to school with William at Mint Springs and with Jeanette at Champion.  Janet and Sue now live in Springfield and it is a real treat for Ruby when they come out to visit with her.

        The eighth day of the eighth month of two thousand eight was the fortieth birthday of Roger Wiseman!  Fosters old dad is reaching his age of majority.  He is aging nicely and following the good example of his own parents and that of his Champion in-laws.  It is a reassuring idea that people who are almost middle aged now are the same people who were paying attention to the old folks as they were growing up.  It’s a Champion notion!

        There is a guy out on 76 Highway who has recently sold his place to some folks from the Carolinas.  They will be moving and taking possession of the property in December.  It sounds like they are nice folks and they are optimistic about their move.  Someone said that they are part of the first wave of thirty thousand people who call themselves “Believers” who will be moving to this area from the Carolinas before the year 2012.  That is an auspicious date in the Mayan calendar when it is thought by these folks that there will be cataclysmic occurrences that will cause the Ozarks to be the New Eastern Seaboard.  They say that there will be many people from the current Eastern Seaboard who will migrate to this area in the next few years so now might be a good time to be in the real estate business.  The Lenape Indians that were displaced by white settlers in the East came here in the 1600’s.  (See Searching for Booger County by Sandy Ray Chapin.)  They fought with and then lived with the Osage who were already here and together they fought more settlers from the East.  Four hundred years later settlers are still coming, but these days they find the Ozarks more hospitable.

        In the five years since the war in Iraq began seventy US Service Personnel from Missouri have lost their lives there.  The latest is Specialist Kevin R. Dixon of Steelville, MO who died August 2nd.  4,138 is now the official death toll of US.  The number of wounded may never be known.  Including US service people and all the other members of the Coalition and the Iraqi people, the number must be phenomenal.  It is to be hoped that the living are being recognized by someone with Love and Gratitude.

        Semus Heffern, grandson of Sue and Bob, got into a yellow jacket nest recently when he was out with his folks on a camping trip.  It was no fun at all.  The weather was hot and they were far from home.  It is not likely to be something he will forget and certainly nothing he will want to repeat.  He is seven years old already!  Time is flying by!

        The General was reported to have been on best behavior at the Skyline Picnic.  Once again, happily, the bagpipes were locked in the trunk of the car and the keys were ‘temporarily’ lost so he was unable to take part musically in the Flag Raising ceremony presented by the America Legion.  The worst he was seen doing was influencing some innocent youngsters.  Their parents are well acquainted with the General, however, and will have some input to ameliorate any damage that he might do to their young psyches.

        Linda’s Almanac from over at the Plant Place in Norwood says that the 14th and 15th will be good days to plant above-ground crops.  There is one Old Champion Girl who is thrilled to know that what she thought was the same non-bearing, ornamental, dwarf okra that she grew last year has decided to take off and make a few pods!  She may get a crop yet.  There are mixed reports of garden successes around the area.  Some folks are having bumper crops and some are having bummers.  Verla Meers from up in Springfield says that they are having to mow their grass too often these days on account of all the rain.  Someone else was remarking that by this time of the year usually things are brown and crunchy underfoot.  Champion in August, 2008, is a lush, verdant wonderland and there are some very beautiful and tidy little gardens in the neighborhood.

        There are some great musicians and singers in the neighborhood too.  Bands playing at the Skyline Picnic Friday and Saturday nights dedicated songs to the memory of Benny Pool, who passed away August 4th.  He was very well regarded in the community and was an accomplished guitar and bass player who performed with Booger County Bluegrass for a number of years.

        There is a ‘link’ on the site to the Missouri Department of Conservation all about Missouri’s toads and frogs.  There are pictures, descriptions, information about habitat and recordings of their peeps, trills, whistles, grunts and snores.

        It is very interesting to see which frog makes which of the various sounds heard at night in these parts.  A healthy population of frogs is indicative of clean and healthy water.  It is fun, some say, to imitate the frog sounds at night to see if the frogs can be fooled.  The eastern gray treefrog has a birdlike, musical trill that can be approximated with a little practice.  The good health benefits of singing are also available to frog imitators.  So go sit on the porch at Henson’s Store in city-centre Champion and try to fool a frog while releasing some of those good endorphins.  Also while there admire the most tidy and beautiful little garden in Champion.  Mail music and lyrics to any good frog songs to Champion Items, Rt. 2, Box 367, Norwood, MO 65717.  E-mail them or any pertinences concerning singing frogs, stray dogs, garden produce and any prognostications of weather or cataclysmic occurrences to Champion News.  Don’t forget, if you’re a Champion, you’re Looking on the Bright Side!


A Tidy Little Garden