January 25, 2009

January 25, 2009




CHAMPION—January 25, 2009

Champion has had an emotional week.  On Tuesday evening Champion Lonnie Krider passed away.  He was in his home in Champion with much of his family near.  He had a gentle passing after a long and difficult illness.  Many, many people came to memorial services to express their appreciation for having had him in their lives.  They came to offer condolences for his loss to his dear family and to each other.  Over the years Lonnie influenced many in positive and constructive ways through the church, the schools, the farming community and the music community.  He was a kind and good fun loving person—a spreader of good cheer and wonderful music. 

          Bernice Morgan, of Marshfield, is the author of the poem she has dedicated to the Krider family. 

My Good-bye

Do not sorrow for me now, nor mourn me if you please.

I’m going home! To be with God where I’ll have rest and ease.

And though we now must part awhile, we have done so before,

And soon to never part again, we’ll meet on heaven’s shore.


So share my joy, I’m going home.  I’ve been away too long.

If you want to please me now, then sing a joyful song.

Then if you wish we’ll meet again when you too can come home.

We’ll spend eternity with God, where never more we’ll roam.


For I know as Paul of old, I have fought well the fight.

I have a mansion and a crown.  They shine forever bright.

And when you too have finished with your work down here below.

You’ll join me there to praise and share the love of God, I know.


Sing no sad songs then for me; no tears should flow this day,

But songs of joy and praise to waft my soul upon it’s way.

And if you’ve loved me in this life then you must love Him too.

And we shall share His promised joy where life begins anew.


          The congregating of so many people who love Lonnie and Fae Krider necessitated the telling of many old stories.  One such was that when Oscar Krider was in the first grade at Champion, lightening struck the chimney during a thunderstorm.  It came down the stovepipe and struck dead the teacher who was standing under a long horizontal length of it at the time.  His pocket watch melted.  The children all witnessed the event.  It would be interesting to hear accounts of the descendents of other witnesses.

Storyteller, Virginia Jacob, Champion cousin and Herald Correspondent, probably knows somebody who knew somebody who was there.  Perhaps she will shed some light on the incident.  Champions enjoy a visit with her on her rare trips over from Bryant Heights. 

With the new administration in office in Washington, some Champions are paying closer attention to what is going on and think they will participate a little more.  Mailing addresses for all local, state and federal elected officials are available through the phone book, the internet and local libraries.  A letter was recently written by a Champion from Champion-South and sent to all the appropriate addresses.  It includes the following:  “While this recession (depression actually) is hurting so many people, and we have sacrificed a lot already, I would ask all the branches of the federal government to vote themselves a substantial pay decrease.  They should not reap rewards while the citizens of the country suffer, especially since they are to blame for the depression in the first place.  Let’s have real change.  Amend the terms for the supreme court.  We made them lifelong but that is so outdated.  We will not achieve real change with the legislation that we have now because there is no penalty for outrageous actions.”  Feel free to send ‘blind copies’ of your e-mail letters to the government to Champion at getgoin.net.  Send them in the mail to Champion Items at Rt. 2, Box 367, Norwood, MO. 65717.

          Friday Evening on the way back to Champion from Mountain Grove, a Champion happened to stop in at Plumbers.  The band, Swift Kick, was just winding up the last set.  Ray Souder was getting ready to leave, but spent a moment visiting.  He has been in the American Legion for fifty-five years.  He is of the Korean Conflict era of Veterans.  His point of view regarding the Veterans Administration is that it could use some overhauling.  He voices concern that so many of the Veterans of the current conflicts in the Middle-East will not have their injuries manifested until long after their VA benefits have expired.  The climate of the military service is such that Veterans are frequently reluctant to ask for help relating to psychological distresses.  Much has been said about post traumatic stress syndrome.  It is to be hoped that it will be met with Love and Gratitude whenever it shows up.  Another Champion Veteran recently spoke to the damage done to the Geneva Convention in recent years.  There is a document!  It speaks to the humane treatment of prisoners of war among other things.  Champions will hope for its restoration.

          John McEuen and the String Wizards did the incredible version of Stars and Stripes Forever that made such a delightful bluegrass Inaugural celebration.  It is a very complex and beautiful song.  To hear the banjo and mandolin and fiddle doing the parts that have previously been the brass section and piccolo is just splendid!  It is an excellent song to keep in mind when contemplating the challenges ahead for The Nation.

          “Great grandpap when the west was young, bared his door with a wagon tongue.  Times were rough and the ‘indigents’ mocked, and he said his prayers with his shotgun cocked.  Now, twenty-one children came to bless the old man’s home in the wilderness. Doubt this statement if you can, Great grandpap was a busy man.”  This song celebrates Wilburn Hutchison again!  Great granddaughter Lauryn Kate Snodgrass was born on the 22nd of January up in Moberly.  She weighed 7 ½ pounds and has a big sister named Bailey.  She joins a growing group of great grand children!  She has a great great grandmother over in Ava who will soon be 100 years old!  They are Champions every one!

          The deep cold of recent days is doing good work out in the garden. One of the good things the deep cold does is give the gardener time to study and research and to plan.  Seedlings will soon be showing up on window sills.  Linda has some good things going already and so it is just a matter of being patient. 

          Share some good stories of old Champion times at the Champion mailbox.  Send blind copies of letters to the Government there.  Go online to www.championnews.us to find archives of all the Champion news.  Go stand around the stove at Henson’s Store on the North side of the Square in Downtown Champion to get the news first hand.  Feel free to warble an old ditty there that might lift a spirit.   The new picture postcards of Champion are going like hotcakes because unfortunates living out in the dull and dreary parts of the world are hungry for that fine Champion view…Looking on the Bright Side! 





January 18, 2009

January 18, 2009

CHAMPION—January 18, 2009


        Champion is one of the beautiful locations in the world and it is populated with good neighbors.  Good neighbors Wes and Pat Smith came down to the Krider’s house while they were gone and cleaned and restocked their refrigerator.  The power had gone out for an extended time during their absence.  That’s a neighborly thing to do.  The Kriders are home again.  On Saturday Wayne and Joanne Anderson came to visit and later came back with their son-in-law, Luke, to play a little music for Lonnie.  His spirits were lifted and those of the Andersons as well.  They have had their own family sorrows recently and it is much to be hoped that they were comforted in the process of comforting dear friends.  Loved ones, family and friends all yearn to lessen the burden of sadness connected with illness.

        The Skyline Area Volunteer Fire Department Ladies’ Auxiliary met at Henson’s Store for its regular meeting on January 13th.  They hammered out all the details for another successful Chili Supper, which will be held on February 28th at the Skyline School.  The meeting was well attended.  The serious business was punctuated with much good humor and laughter.  To top it off Betty Henson had made the Southern Praline Pecan Cake the receipt for which appeared in The Herald on the 8th of January.  The cake was very tasty and it was agreed that this receipt feature to the Herald is a good addition.

        The 13th was one of those unusually cold evenings and so Esther Wrinkles did not make it out to the meeting.  Several of the other members called her to keep her in the loop about the goings on.  On another very cold day one stopped in to deliver some tickets for the quilt that will be part of the big Chili Supper fund-raiser.  The one the Auxiliary has chosen is one of the last quilted by the late Fay Chaney.  It is a queen sized quilt with printed blocks on an off white background.  It is very striking.  Esther has used a deep burgundy lining and the workmanship is excellent.  The quilt always produces some good revenue for the Fire Department.  Every one of them is a keepsake and nobody feels like it is gambling to donate a dollar for the chance to win what will become a family heirloom.  Esther had just finished another hand-pieced top and had it ready to show her visitor, but they became distracted by the conversation and before long the visitor left without getting to see it.  Next time—soon.  The next meeting will be at Esther’s house on February 10th.

        A bluegrass version of “Stars and Stripes Forever” was on the radio the other day.  Listeners didn’t catch the name of the performers but the consensus of opinion was that it must have been Flat and Scruggs backed up with some fiddles in the hands of some tremendous musicians.  When the determination is made about who the artists are, arrangements will be made to include it on the website: www.championnews.us.  With the eagles flying through Champion at will and patriotism coursing through the Nation in an unprecedented fashion, the spirit of the place seems to be seeping out to the whole Country.  Everybody is Looking on the Bright Side!  Those who did not support the candidate who has now become the 44th President of the United States still support the Office and still carry an abiding love for the Noblest of Nations—the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave!  On the evening of the Inauguration a number of people gathered in Champion to celebrate a new era of hope.  There were orations describing optimism and ideas for repairing the economy, the infrastructure, and the reputation of the Country.  There were patriotic songs written especially for the occasion and old acquaintances renewed.

        The Inaugural Parade and other ceremonies gave Champions everywhere a chance to see many of the Nation’s Soldiers as they presented themselves in this formal review.  Each of them brings to mind the many who are serving in dangerous places in the world.  They have the Love and Gratitude of all Champions.  When their tours of duty are over and they are at last home, it will be time for the Nation to protect them and to acknowledge their service with decent treatment.

        “Cuostralee” is a French heirloom tomato.  It is an indeterminate variety, which means that it fruits continuously through its maturity.  The seed catalogue says, “This is the one if you want to grow your tomatoes like your pumpkins, as in BIG.  Fruits grow to three pounds and in large numbers on plants that are unusually large in size, probably dwarfing all the other tomatoes in the garden.  The flavor is very good, it strikes a nice balance between the sweet and the tart.”  For some old tomato loving Champions, a new variety on a regular basis keeps the tomato juices flowing.  There is always a chance that a new discovery will become one of the old standbys.  Linda is busy over at the Plant Place in Norwood.  Soon she’ll get the Cole crops started and the season will be in full swing again.

        Send favorite versions of “Stars and Stripes Forever” to Champion Items, Rt. 2, Box 367, Norwood, MO 65717.  “Be kind to your web footed friends, for a duck may be somebody’s Mother.  Be kind to your friends in the swamp, where the weather is very warm and damp.”  Those are not the words to the song.  Send the real words to the song to Champion News.  Hum it or any other upbeat, optimistic, sunny side song while standing around the stove at Henson’s Store on the North side of the Square in downtown Champion.  The first printing of Champion picture post cards sold out in record time so the second in the series, now available, was stocked in larger numbers.  Displaced Champions in dreary and dull parts of the world will benefit significantly by a Champion view…Looking on the Bright Side!


January 12, 2009

January 12, 2009

CHAMPION—January 12, 2009


        The good news in Champion is that Louise and Wilburn Hutchison are great grandparents Again!  Hanna Rose McGuire was born at Logan Regional Medical Center (Logan, West Virginia) on January 1, 2009!  She weighed 8 pounds 9½ ounces and is doing just fine.  Hanna Rose is the eighth great-grandchild of these Champions and just one of the many reasons that Champions are looking on the bright side.  As the first baby of the New Year there in Logan, she was given a number of excellent gifts including gift certificates, savings bonds, newspaper subscriptions and a new car seat.  She is a lucky girl and that good fortune spills over to Champion with every smile she has caused.  Photographs of her with her lovely mother, Amy, are circulating through the internet spreading smiles wherever they go.

        Wilburn was grinning like a possum on Sunday when 40 or 50 people got together to celebrate his 75th birthday.  It was a joint celebration with Bobby Page of Ava whose birthday is coming up very soon.  Wilburn lives about 200 yards from the exact spot where he was born.  Highway WW was a gravel road about like a goat trail back then.  When he was a youngster he said that he and his Uncle Hubert used horses to pull many a car out of the clay bank in the curve of the road just up hill from his house.  He went to the Banner School and could probably be persuaded to spin some yarns about those days.  Ask him about his Grandma Margie’s little dog, Peggy, the next time you see him.  Wilburn is a Champion not just because he was born there as a descendant of original settlers, but because he has that Bright Side attitude.  A conversation with him concerning the economy and current events reveals optimism that comes from experience.  “Times like these bring out the best in people.”  He went on to say that in the old days people drew close together in troubled times and extended themselves to help each other and it will have to get back to that because “We’re all in the same boat!”  As to his newest great granddaughter, he says, “That third crop is fine!”

        The Skyline VFD Ladies’ Auxiliary will have met at Henson’s Store in Downtown Champion by the time this is in print.  They will have distributed quilt tickets among themselves for sale to family and friends and will have made commitments for the activities surrounding the annual chili supper.  Details of the quilt, the chili, the ham and beans, the cornbread, the chicken and noodles, the pies and cobblers, the music, the silent auction, and various surprises will all have been hashed out.  By the time February 28th gets here, cabin fever will the chief ailment of the area and folks will be ready for some fun.  That Auxiliary is a hardworking, well-organized, forward -looking group….on the Bright Side!

        Some Old Champions were very pleased to hear part of Charlie Haden’s new C.D. on the radio the other day.  He has had a sterling career as a jazz bassist and has won three Grammy awards and had many nominations.  Champion’s friend, Darrell Haden, from over in Tennessee has kept Champions informed about his cousin over the years.  This new ‘album’ is called “Rambling Boy.”  It finds him returning to songs made famous by the Carter Family, Hank Williams and other traditional country musicians.  Haden last performed these songs with his parents and siblings as the youngest member of the Haden Family band popular on the Midwest country circuit in the 1930s and 1940s.  Now he’s doing these songs with his wife, Ruth Cameron, son Josh, triplet daughters—Rachel, Petra and Tanya, and son-in-law actor Jack Black, as well as Elvis Costello, Vince Gill and Roseanne Cash.  Haden said, “I would consider it very authentic country music.  All the songs are extremely pure, and the arrangements are what I would consider very traditional.”  “Old Joe Clark” and “You Are My Sunshine” are a couple of tunes that deluged the Old Champions. Of course, Champions are generally music lovers.

        Many are also gardeners and are having to fight off the impulse to make too many purchases from the seed catalogues.  Those publications paint such a glorious picture of how things might be if the soil is right, the weather is right, and the right seeds are chosen.  Champions can just imagine themselves with such abundant produce that they have to give it away to keep it from going to waste.  They will have to make extra trips to town to get rid of it.

        More than 300,000 veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan are suffering traumatic brain injury (TBI), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), severe depression and other conditions that could require a lifetime of care.  Champions join all citizens of the Grateful Loving Nation in standing up for the wounded by urging elected officials to act for their benefit.  “Stand Up For Veterans.  They Stood Up For Us” is the motto of the Disabled American Veterans organization.  Go to www.dav.org on the internet for more good information about them.  They are Champions!

        Champion is the seat of much joy, community spirit, aesthetic diversity, agrarian lore and patriotic fervor.  It is also a place of deep reflection and appreciation of its dear natives.  Tragedy and illness are no respecters of Champions.  People who don’t regularly pray are saying prayers; extending heart felt desires for the best possible outcome in sad times.

        Express joy at Champion Items, Rt. 2, Box 367, Norwood, MO 65717.  Predict bountiful harvests at Champion News.  Look in on Louise and her Champion thornless blackberries at www.championnews.us.  Stand around the stove at Henson’s Store in Downtown Champion where it is now possible to buy a stamped picture post card of Champion!  Even in distant and dreary places now there can be a view from Champion where they are forever Looking on the Bright Side!


January 5, 2009

January 4, 2009

CHAMPION—January 4, 2009


        In Champion New Year’s Day was still and sunny if a little cold.  After the parade, the black eyed peas and cornbread, after the phone calls and family visits and good wishes for the year ahead some Champions did one of their favorite things.  They took a long walk in the woods.  They traveled the slopes among the remaining tall pines to find that a huge white oak that had perched on the edge of a rocky cliff had come down, perhaps because of erosion or the strange strong winds that had come with the storm Ike.  So there it is–roots uphill from the brown leafy boughs now down and tangled among the lower pines–tangled with them and mangling some of them.  It might make a month’s firewood for next year if it could be brought out.  Investigating that possibility had the old couple maneuvering their way down the hill.  A foot wedged between a tree and a stone with forward momentum acting as a factor, the old girl narrowly averted the disaster of having her own weight leverage her into a compound fracture of her leg.  What a catastrophe that could have been!  The truth is there is a catastrophe waiting for any distracted and inattentive person Champion or not.  Coming out of the underbrush, she said, “You know this is the first time in a long time that I have just enjoyed the beauty of the woods without concentrating on the storm damage and the logging horrors.”  He remarked that it was her circuitous route that had steered them away from those ravaged spots.  Concentrating on the beauty is a Champion way to start a new year.

        Beauty indeed!  Emily and Megan, granddaughters of Vivian Floyd, were in Champion over the week-end.  They have grown and their advancing age (Emily now 13) is a reminder that time passes quickly up in the hills.

        Champion Sharon Sikes has sent out an email with some serious and valuable information.  It turns out that a person should never drive in the rain using cruise control.  The reason is that if the car begins to hydro-plane on wet roads and the tires loose contact with the pavement, the car will accelerate to a higher rate of speed making it take off like an airplane!  So in any wet or icy conditions the cruise control should not be used.  Some cars will not engage cruise control if the windshield wipers are on.  Some old Champions are just now getting cars and trucks with cruise control so this is important news to them.

        Fortnight Bridge was an interesting game on Saturday.  The four played for more than five hours and the winner and looser each walked off with $0.65.  New Year’s advice from the winner was gleaned from a bridge publication that suggests that even when a player is dealt a poor hand it is still important to be alert to what is going on with all the other players.  Bidding is a language all by itself and a great deal can be learned even while passing.  Bridge seems to be one of those things that translates to other parts of life.

        “Twas summer in the winter and the snowflakes fell like glass and the barefoot boy with his shoes on stood sitting in the grass.”  The Arkansas Barefoot Boys have an album called Echoes of the Ozarks and on it is a wonderful version of “The Eighth of January.”  Champions know this to be the tune to “The Battle of New Orleans.”  The 8th of January is also the birthday of Elvis Presley!  “Happy Birthday dear Elvis!”  Bob Liebert of Teeter creek will have his on the 11th.  He’s a rock and roll herbalist and Uncle Al’s favorite son, Buckshot, will have his birthday on the 14th.  Music promotes healing and enhances the quality of life.  Champions always keep a little song handy.

        January’s is the Wolf Moon.  It is the time to warm by the fire and plan the spring garden.  Elva Ragland likes the Henry Fields Seed Company and makes her order early enough in the year to earn a nice discount.  She is a long time Champion though she married a rail-road man and lived off in California for seventeen years!  She has been back on her old home place now for some while and is excited about her next garden.  Linda’s Almanac will be available at the Plant Place again soon and she is busy getting cuttings made and starting her perennial seeds.  The year 2009 stretches out before Champions with every promise of being a good one.

        A note has come from a distant Champion reader who says, “Thank you so much for always remembering our soldiers serving around the world.  Some join the service for adventure, some out of patriotism, and some are looking for a way to earn a living.  Many who have died in the current wars were Reservist and National Guard soldiers who joined to augment their income.  People who think that the National Guard is there to help out in natural disasters and bad circumstances at home just don’t know how it works.  Not only are the soldiers sent to the wars of the world, but their equipment is sent too.  The trucks and guns and planes and supplies that are property of the various states are going across oceans and not coming back either.  It is a hidden drain on the economy.  Sears is one of the few companies I’ve heard of that continues to support its employees who are deployed to the wars.  Sears maintains their insurance and benefits and pays the difference between their military pay and their income with the company and guarantees their jobs if they are fortunate enough to return home.  Everybody who can buy something from Sears this year will be supporting real patriotism.  Sincerely, E. Jasmin.”  Champions appreciate the astute observations of distant friends.

        Send favorite little Champion songs and examples of patriotism to Champion Items, Rt. 2, Box 367, Norwood, MO.  Describe narrowly averted disasters and thwarted catastrophes at Champion News.  Browse through the archives at www.championnews.us to see what’s gone before.  Go stand around the stove in Henson’s Store on the North side of the square in beautiful downtown Champion where warmth radiates from the heart and folks are always Looking on the Bright Side!