CHAMPION—March 2, 2009


        Champion joins with Sister-City Skyline in celebrating another successful Skyline Ladies Auxiliary Chili Supper!  The snow kept coming and so did the people.  The wind howled and the music soared.  The hot wholesome food warmed the bodies and the hearts were warmed by fellowship with old friends and family—much loved but seldom seen.  And the pie—beautiful Pie!  M.C. Steve Moody opened the musical program with a tribute to Champion Lonnie Krider, saying that his absence was conspicuous.  In very few words he expressed the feeling of the community that he loved and that loved him.  He was a founding member and staunch supporter of the Skyline Volunteer Fire Department and an elegant musician with great appreciation for humor.

        The silent auction at the Skyline Chili Supper always has some interesting items that bring in good money for the Fire Department.  There was a certain hand made wooden car planter that received a lot of attention and a big basket of hand-picked Rio Grand Valley grapefruit and oranges are being enjoyed by a lucky bidder.  Somebody got a very fancy Vitamaster treadmill at an amazing price.  There were a great many wonderful things on the block and it says great things about the community that people are so generous with their donations and so generous in their bidding.  One of the items was listed as “Jesus Picture.”  It was a print of the well-known image in an 8”x 10” frame.  Teresa Blakely opened the bidding with $1.00.  Sharon Woods came along and bid $3.00 and Teresa later raised it to $4.00.  Sharon raised it to $6.00 and Teresa upped that bid to $8.00.  After fifteen bids Teresa won the bid at $35.00. Then she gave the picture to Sharon as a gift!  Fun and friendship are always well represented.

        Janet Taber, of Almartha, who writes for the Ozark County Times is a regular visitor to Champion.  An e-mail from her says, “…..A few weeks ago you mentioned a teacher struck by lightning:  the event was purported to have taken place near Champion.  Perhaps I can shed some light on that topic.  In the August 21, 1890 edition of the now-defunct Ozark County News, the following news item was published:  On last Wednesday, Martin Smith, son of W.A. Smith, was struck by lightning and killed while in a school room teaching, on Brixey, in the north part of the county.  The school was in session at the time and some fifty pupils were in the school house.  A thunder shower was passing over, and a tree near the school was struck by lightning and at the same time the electricity came down the flue and struck the teacher killing him instantly.  Many of the children were shocked by the stroke but none were seriously injured.  Mr. Smith was an exemplary young man, about 21 years old, just entering upon a life of usefulness.  His sudden death has caused sorrow among all his acquaintance, and we deeply sympathize with his parents in their untimely loss.  I am guessing that this is the incident which some thought took place in Douglas County.  The Smith family, of which this young man was a member, lived at Brixey, and in fact some of their descendants live there today.  The wording of the newspaper item says, ‘on Brixey,’ which probably refers to the fact that the schoolhouse sat very near Brixey Creek.  Brixey is in the northeast part of Ozark County.”  Ms. Taber goes on to have some very nice things to say about Champion.  They are all true.

        A change has been made in government policy that once again allows for the flag draped coffins of returning military personnel to be shown on television and pictured in newspapers.  Now the decision to show these images is made by the survivors of the deceased soldier.  Some want the procedure to be private.  Others want the world to see and recognize the sacrifice of their loved one.  Whatever the decision is, that it is a choice is a remarkable and good change.  The cost of foreign conflict is staggering financially and much of that cost has been hidden.  That the precious human cost is once again visible helps reflect the Love and Gratitude of the Nation.

        The music at the Skyline VFD Chili Supper was a delight!  Those Green Mountain Messengers continue to please.  They are young, enthusiastic and a very talented brother and sister.  They together with Spring creek and the Back Yard Bluegrass kept the place hopping all evening.  “Well, I love my gal.  She’s a little bitty booger.  Just as cute as a bug and sweet as sugar.  I’m agonna buy her a diamond ring and we’ll get married in the Spring!  Do you need any help?  No help wanted.  Could you use a little help?  No help wanted!  Just call on me if you need a little help!  I can handle this job all by my self!”  That tune was new to some…but a sweet old one to others.  Some time has passed since Champions have heard from Tennessee friend and great music lover, Darrell Haden.  Word arrived a while back that he has had some ill health.  Champions wish him well and look forward to more good correspondance with him soon.

        Linda’s almanac is available again over at the Plant Place in Norwood.  She is busy getting things together so that Champion gardeners will have what they need when they need it.  The little dab of snow fixed some nitrogen and gardeners are getting excited though they know the average date of last frost in this wonderful part of the world is May 10th!  People with dirty hands can also be impatient!

        Examples of patience, fun and friendship can be sent to Champion Items, Rt. 2, Box 367, Norwood, MO 65717.  E-mail any kind of offers for help to Champion News.  Look around in the archives at just to see what can be seen.  There is a lovely picture of a Texas Armadillo Expert who is pleased to inform the General about the true nature of a good armadillo.  His big event, coming up on the 32nd of the month, is already causing controversy.  Those folks from Spotted Hog are rumbling about it and will not let their jealousy rest.  What a sad and forlorn little community like that needs is a bunch of Champions!  Standing around the stove at Henson’s Store on the North Side of the Square, just off Lonnie Krider Memorial Drive, Champions can’t help but Look on the Bright Side!