July 27, 2009

July 27, 2009

CHAMPION—July 27, 2009


        Champions are admittedly a favored people.  Any one of them is pleased to lean upon the pillar sunk firmly in the ground of truth and elaborate elaborately on all the salient sanguine sublimity of their favorite place.  No need for subtlety here.  It is Champion!

        The Skyline Volunteer Fire Department Picnic is just around the corner.  Grounds are being manicured, Auxiliary members are meeting and planning and everybody is getting excited!  August 14 and 15 will be full of music, food, fun, old friends and new ones.  This is one not to miss!

        A former resident of Denlow, Wally Hopper, will receive the Korea Defense Service Medal for his service there from 1953 to 1955.  He said that the Korean Conflict was always referred to as the ‘Forgotten War,’ but he did not forget.  He is one of six children of Jim Hopper who lived in Denlow for a long time.  Wally’s brother, James Hopper, lives near Kansas City.  Sisters Rickie and Marilyn are in Mountain Grove.  Mikey (Michelle) lives over in Marshfield and Sherrill is out in Arizona.  They will all be pleased that their brother has been acknowledged for his service…not forgotten.  Members of the Armed Forces of the United States are serving in Korea still, as well as in many other dangerous parts of the world.  Champions hope they will be remembered with the Love and Gratitude due them and that they will be met at home with the understanding they will need to resume happy and productive lives.

        According to one of Wally Hopper’s second cousins, the Thursday night jam session at Plumbers Junction Café was started about two years ago.  The General reports that Russell Upshaw instigated the recurring event by securing Brenda Plumber’s permission to use the place.  “It was slow going at first,” said General Fastpitch, “but in recent months regular attendance of talent and audience has been very good.”  “It is different every time, but always nice,” reports a regular, Frances Banks.  She is from a beautiful place called Lake Providence, Louisiana.  When she was in high school a boy moved there from California.  She did not take much of a shine to him, but their histories became entwined anyway and now they are a Champion couple, living just over in Champion East.  Their high school principal was a man named Paul A. Geiser.  He devised a four-way test to determine whether a person should speak:  “ #1. Is it the truth?  #2. Is it fair to all concerned?  #3. Will it build goodwill and better friendships?  #4. Will it be beneficial to all concerned?”  Elmer thinks that if this test were applied to all conversations, it would be a quieter world.  The pleasant conversation among friends, however, is part of the charm of those Thursday nights.

        One of Morton Upshaw’s sons wrote in to say, “I would like to know what Hovie Henson has to say about Dad (Morton).  I can guess one thing.  It could be the signs that were nailed to trees at local intersections with an arrow pointed towards our house.  The sign with big letters said “MORTON’S”.  I don’t know were they got them from, but they were originally an advertisement for MORTON’S SALT.  Dad enjoyed the gag as much as anyone.”  A Champion Upshaw daughter also recalled the incident and said that the signs just appeared suddenly and that they were everywhere.  “It was funny,” she said.  This lovely Champion has had Tennessee travelers in and out in recent days and that always makes things jolly.

        A note from Hovie says, “The boys of Denlow were a mischievous bunch always up to something.  One of Dad’s cousins, who was called Goose, and Morton Upshaw thought it would be fun to go through Denlow in a horseless carriage.  They took a horse drawn buggy, without the owner’s permission, out of a barn, removing the shafts and tying wires to the steering mechanism.  The wires were run up to the seat with a loop in them, through [which] sticks were run.  Holding the sticks they were going to steer the buggy as they rolled through Denlow.  The buggy was taken to the top of the hill, west of Denlow.  The old road was steeper with more curves than highway 76 is today.  As the buggy was picking up speed and approaching a curve, Goose Cox stood up, pulling on the stick, crying out, “sercal!” (I don’t think you will find that word in the dictionary, but Shakespeare invented words as he wrote, so why not Goose?)  The stick broke.  Loosing control of the buggy, it went into the ditch, almost killing Morton.  The buggy stayed in the ditch for a long time with the owner inquiring about the community of who had taken his buggy.  If he ever found out, it was never revealed in the story, meaning the Denlow boys were a very tight lipped group.  Years later, as a boy, I heard this story told and retold many times.”  Hovey went on to say he had enjoyed his trip back home and that he was looking for the book on Moses Locke Alsup written by one of his kin folks.  That would be Catherine Alsup Reilly of Fulton, Kentucky, a member of the Daughters of the Union Veterans of the Civil War.  A picture of Kathy can be seen in the Denlow Events Category which is on the right side of the screen at the www.championnews.us website.  Denlow Events comes right after Thornless Blackberries in the Champions with Dirty Hands Category.  It is a pretty interesting site.

        It was a very interesting and jolly night of Fortnight Bridge game Saturday.  The point spread was 2940 between winner and looser.  The Vera Cruz and Champion players each won four of the eight rubbers.  With three wins for Norwood and five for Brushy Knob, those two split the prize money as high and low and each gleaned thirty cents for their efforts.  It took five hours and one enormous, glorious home made strawberry shortcake provided by the Brushy Knob host.  Busy summer schedules will have Vera Cruz hosting the next game a week early.  No one is complaining.  (Once a Champion bridge novice fanned a hand that had nine spades with the top three, two singleton aces and a doubleton heart to the Queen.  It was a thrill!)

        Champions do not muzzle the ox that treads out their grain.  That is to say that the laborer is worth his reward.  Louise said she had one thornless blackberry that was as big as ……well, as big as her hand or something really big.  She was going to put it in a freezer bag all by itself.  That is her reward for planting and maintaining those beautiful bushes.  Some gardeners are bringing in squash and peppers, beans and corn, cucumbers, okra and some tomatoes.  Some are fighting blights, bugs and critters of every sort.  Sage advisors at Henson’s Store in Downtown Champion say “A person needs to be optimistic to garden.”  Linda’s Almanac from the Plant Place over in Norwood says that from the 28th through the 1st of August will be a beneficial time for planting.  Champion!

        “My cousin, June, bought some fancy perfume.  It had such a sweet smelling pew.  But to her surprise, when she had it analyzed it was nothing but Good Old Mountain Dew.”  Uncle Al, the Lonesome Plowboy, would have fit right in at the Thursday Night Jam.  Strains of “Chicken Reel” and “Listen to the Mockingbird” would have been French harping their way into sweet memories.  Sweet memories welcome at Champion Items, Rt. 2, Box 367, Norwood, MO 65717 or at Champion News.  Lean up against the pillar (porch post) of the Cultural Events Center and Emporium on the North Side of the Square and enjoy some Champion memories.  Step into the gift shop for a souvenir picture postcard of Champion.  One of them shows Charlie Lambert, Lonnie Krider, and Danny Dry standing out beside the Store watching a two wheeled buggy go by.  Right on the front of the card it says, “Champion!  Looking on the Bright Side!”


July 20, 2009

July 20, 2009

CHAMPION—July 20, 2009


        In Champion “welcome” is more than a word of kindly greeting.  A stranger is most often gladly received with the cordial consent of Champions if he wanders in by accident or design.  Old friends, long absent, feel that flush of joy in acceptance when they venture back into Champion territory.  Champions returning from bear hunting expeditions or tours of distant places for the pleasure of family ties and diversion find in their Champion home that haven of all domestic affections.  Welcome.

        Disappointed Herald readers looking for the missing report on the Champion 4th of July, 2009, Independence Day Parade can find it in the archives of July 6th on the www.championnews.us site.  For those not computing, the parade was a doozie!  It was also reported at that time that Kenneth and Dawn Henson were back in Beautiful Historic Champion over the holiday.  They prowled around old stomping grounds and made impromptu visits to Pleasant Cousins.  They were on a lark spending the night in Mountain Grove to enjoy the Mountain Grove School reunion, the air show and alumni banquet.  He said that he had some stories to share one day about Morton Upshaw.  Some of the Upshaw descendants said they had some stories to share about Hoovie too!  Subsequent to their visit, Kenneth wrote to buy copies of all seven of the Champion Picture Postcards and a dozen tickets for the chance to win the beautiful quilt that the Ladies Auxiliary has provided for the Skyline VFD Picnic.  That drawing will be held the 15th of August.  Good luck, Hoovie!  The newest postcard was Hoovie’s idea–a portrait of Ed Henson leaning up against the porch post.  Someone said the post was leaning up against him.  A pretty dog sits beside Ed and the two of them are obviously Champions—Looking on the Bright Side!

        Favorite absentee Champions, Barbara and Harley Krider celebrated their 44th wedding anniversary on the 3rd of July.  It is not clear that either of them knew what they were getting into, but they have done a nice job of it and their Champion family and friends congratulate them heartily!

        For those readers who missed the protracted description of the General’s moon walking demonstrations in the July 8th issue, that too is included in those aforementioned archives.  It was reported to have been an otherwise dignified family gathering, so perhaps this is one of those occasions where less is more.

        Another note has come from Bill Pool who says that he had received a letter from TV’s #1 Gardener, Jim Baker, who said that his tomatoes have a form of blossom-end-rot.  He suggested crushing two TUMS tablets into power and to spread it around each plant and soak with water until the TUMS gets down to the roots.  “They should be OK,” he said.  Several are banking on that advice as it turns out the antacid is largely made of calcium.  Martin A. Draper, a senior plant pathologist at the Untied States Department of Agriculture, described as “explosive” the rate of infection of a highly contagious fungus that destroys tomato plants.  It has spread to nearly every state in the Northeast and the mid-Atlantic due to the cool wet weather in June and the aggressively infectious nature of the pathogen.  Hot, sunny weather, which can kill late blight, could dramatically slow or eliminate the fungus’s spread.  Weather will just do what it is going to do.  Linda’s Almanac from over at the Plant Place in Norwood says that the 22nd and the 23rd will be fine days for destroying weeds.  The 28th through the 31st will be excellent days for planting fall crops that bear their yield above the ground.  One old Champion Tomato was amazed to see some of her dangling beauties turning colors—red!  Amazing indeed!  Champion!

        Private Lucas M. Bregg, 19, of Wright City, MO died July 8th in Baghdad, Iraq, of injures suffered from a non com-bat related incident.  He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 5th Calvary Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Calvary Division, Fort Hood, Texas.  Wright City is located on Interstate 70, about 45 miles west of St. Louis.  His family asked that the Patriot Guard Riders escort him back home when his body arrived in St. Louis on the 16th of July.  This is a group of motorcycle riders from all over the country–all kinds of motorcycles, all kinds of political affiliations, all with the same philosophy, “Standing for those who stood for us.”  They express the Love and Gratitude that Champions feel for those serving their Nation in and out of uniform.

        Brushy Knob hosted Champion’s Fortnight Bridge game on account of the extraordinary heat of the 11th of July and the relative rusticity of the Champion accommodations.  Ms. Oyl, of Champion-East, sat in for the Norwood player.  The disparity between winner and looser was 2,010 points with the winner only gleaning 4,810 after five rubbers of bridge!  Penalties were paid at $.25 each for numerous un-bid slams and the number of un-made contracts gleaned the Champion looser a hand full of bright nickels while the Vera Cruz victor pocketed a weight in quarters.  Brushy Knob will host again the regular game on the 25th and players are honing their skills in preparation.

        Skyline Ladies Auxiliary held a solid planning meeting at Henson’s Store on the 14th.  A follow up meeting is scheduled for the 28th at the fire station.  A few short weeks from now will find those picnic grounds a flurry of activity.  Talk about excitement!  Meanwhile, White River Valley CoOp customers can vie for $100.00 in free power that the CoOp is donating for the benefit of the Skyline Fire Department.  That is one of those Champion neighborly one hand washes the other kind of things that goes on around this lovely neighborhood.

        Time is too slow for those that wait, too swift for those that fear, too long for those that grieve, too short for those that rejoice, but to those that love, time is eternity.  Of all the songs written about time, a current favorite is the Rolling Stones’ version of “Time is on My Side” from 1964.  The gist of it is the common theme.  One is given leave to experience all that the world has to offer with the reassurance that he has but to return to find the waiting steadfastness of an enduring true love.  “Time is on my side, yes it is.”  Send any song about time to Champion Items, Rt. 2, Box 367 Norwood, MO 65717.  If the song is uplifting or somehow soothing for a sorrowful soul, e-mail it right away to Champion News.  Stand out on the porch at Henson’s Store and gaze up the inviting lane known as Lonnie Krider Memorial Drive.  Just think of all the music that that true Champion made and how many glad hearts.  One of Foster’s favorite songs from his Granddad is “Sadie’s Got Her New Dress On.”  Hum that one or another one and smile about a good memory.  Champion—Looking on the Bright Side.


July 13, 2009

July 13, 2009

CHAMPION—July 13, 2009


        Champions do not neglect their gift.  Every day the Bright Side is the right side in Champion.  Overworked and under appreciated venerable old timers with looming responsibilities and scant help are throwing their accumulated despair and pessimism aside and once again stepping up to do what has to be done.  The convenient philosophy applies that faced with the inevitability of an occurrence, one has but to surrender to the possibility of a positive experience and behave ‘as if’ for it to be rendered thus.  If you act like you’re having a good time, pretty soon, you will be.  Champion!

        Champion Sisters face to face with nine bears in the Great Smokey Mountains will soon be home to share the excitement of their adventure!

        Skyline Ladies Auxiliary met at the Firehouse to see the beautiful queen sized quilt that Esther Wrinkles has provided for the picnic fundraiser this year.  Color photos can be seen in the Neighborhood Events page at www.championnews.us.  Those photos can also be seen at Henson’s Store on the North Side of the Square in Downtown Champion.  Any Skyline Ladies Auxiliary member will have photos of the quilt and will have tickets for sale.  This one is another real beauty.  Jeff Pardeck from the White River Valley Electric Co Op has agreed to furnish $100.00 in free electric power for the fundraiser.  The Co Op does this every year and it is a great addition to the event as well as being good support for the fire department and the community.

        Bill Pool from over at Nashville sent some great tomato pictures in to the Champion at getgoin.net mailbox last week.  This week he called to say that he is having problems with some of those beauties.  They look ripe and wonderful, but when they are cut open, the core is green and hard like the stem, there are few seeds, and something like an internal blossom end rot is present.  It was suggested that he contact his extension agency or one of the Master Gardener programs in his area.  An old Champion tomato aficionada is struggling with the blossom end rot again.  Esther Howard, from Marshfield, in town on Sunday, said she had heard that sprinkling baby powder on the plant would help.  She also said to water in Epsom salts.  These may be old wives fables but they are worth the try from one of Champion’s favorite wives! Raymond’s too!  A certain gardener from Champion-North had ripe tomatoes before the contest was won, but she was not willing to share!  Others nearby said they had tomatoes but did not fit into the territory prescribed by the contest rules.  Perhaps there will be some changes next year.  Linda’s Almanac from over at the Plant Place in Norwood says that the 16th and 17th will be good days to plant root crops.  Her gift certificate was certainly a nice addition to the grand prize for the First Ripe Tomato this year.  Champion!

        The Grandmother-Granddaughter Day at the Creek was a Splashing affair!  It was an afternoon of popcorn and watermelon and lots of good moments among summertime friends. It was a Champion kind of day–most genteel and relaxing.

        The families of the U.S. Service Personnel who are deployed in the dangerous parts of the world live with the possibility of loosing their loved ones or of having them return with life altering disabilities.  Love and Gratitude from their Nation is their due, together with whatever help they need.  The conflicts are far away but very close to many.

        Send any cures for rotting tomatoes to Champion Items at Rt. 2, Box 367, Norwood, MO 65717.  E-mail any examples of improved attitudes and resultant positive outcomes to Champion News. “The summer wind came blowin’ in from across the sea.  It lingered there, so warm and fair to walk with me.  All summer long, we sang a song and strolled on golden sand.  Two sweethearts, and the summer wind.”  Frank Sinatra sang that tune.  Sing your own sweet summer song out on the porch at Henson’s Store.  Check out the selection of Champion Picture Postcards there.  One has just to add a $.28 stamp and a mailing address to pick up the spirits of unfortunates living elsewhere out in the dull and dreary parts of the world.  Here Champions always Look on the Bright Side!


July 6, 2009

July 6, 2009

CHAMPION—July 6, 2009


        Champions will recall that the First Ever Secret 4th of July Parade was held in 2007.  The third annual event was executed with yet more stealth—so much so that no scintilla of evidence was left by rowdy revelers or respectful Patriots.  The spent shell casings and scrap bunting and balloon fragments of that first year were not to be found.  Last year’s inspiring Flag Raising ceremony, which was attended by so many local and visiting dignitaries, was moved up in the program this year as a signal to commence the Champion Independence Day Parade.  The processional terminated in free watermelon and consequently was transformed into rather more a race.  The watermelon went fast, but left no mess, and CPC (Champion Parade Committee) is taking the whole thing under advisement.  Champions are taking it in stride and striding in time to that favorite piccolo part in “The Stars and Stripes for Ever.”  Any Champion can summon those sweet strains to mind with a wistful smile and a little imagination.

        Kenneth and Dawn Henson were back in Beautiful Historic Champion over the holiday.  They prowled around old stomping grounds and made impromptu visits to Pleasant Cousins.  They were on a lark spending the night in Mountain Grove to enjoy the Mountain Grove School reunion, the air show and alumni banquet.  He said that he had some stories to share one day about Morton Upshaw.  Some of the Upshaw descendants said they had some stories to share about Hoovie too!

        The General’s Independence Day Bash went on from early to late.  Speculation was that the General would be suffering muscle soreness from his repeated bouts of moon walking during the daylong celebration.  In addition to the Good Natured (long suffering) and affable Sharon, Loretta and Elva Upshaw enjoyed the spectacle.  Deborah, Tom and Kyle Barker, who calls the General “GrandPa,” were witnesses to it again, as were Lucille Gayman and Richard and Kay Johnston.  Lucille Ketchum saw it and Wesley and Susie Hancock came all the way from Idaho to be spectators along with Peggy Ceraras.  More Upshaws—Russell, Sue, Dailey and Dean observed the demonstration.  Fae Krider has seen it all before, but was still willing to see it again with Leslee and Breauna Krider.  Kenneth and Barbara Anderson and Esther Wrinkles were able to ignore the whole moon walking exhibition in order to concentrate on the good music.  Wayne and JoAnn Anderson, attended together with Linda Clark, Luke Dartt.  It was a sweet gathering with good music, good family, good friends, and good memories.  Nobody mentioned Robert’s ice cream this year.  Maybe he didn’t serve any.  Maybe it wasn’t any good.  Maybe folks are just staying quiet about it because the guy just needs so little encouragement.  Still—What a Champion!

        Creek gatherings were sparsely attended this year due to unseasonable cool weather and the oddity of the holiday falling on Saturday.  There were many options for fun and those who congregated near cold flowing steams to renew old acquaintances and share the year’s happenings were well met.  A year can bring a lot of change.  Infants become toddlers who become little kids, then big kids then teenagers, then adults.  It happens fast in old eyes.  Conversations covered the general wide range of subjects including the Declaration of Independence.  A recent e-mail from Kathy Riley in Tennessee was sited.  It informed that five signers of the Declaration of Independence were captured by the British as traitors, and were tortured before they died.  Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned.  Two lost their sons serving in the Revolutionary Army; another had two sons captured.  Nine of the 56 fought and died from wounds or hardships of the Revolutionary War.  Champions acknowledge the sacrifices made by forefathers as well as those serving their Nation in and out of uniform today.  Love and Gratitude is extended to the one percent of the population who shoulder the burden for all.  Lizzy and Semus were the chief appreciators of the good cold water and their Grandmother brought her ripe tomato to share and some tasty little cucumbers from her garden.  Life has its ups and downs, its twists and turns, tragedy, turmoil and trouble, but Grandparents with their little ones close can overlook a lot of the world’s craziness to be in the precious moment.  Champion! Dave and Sally Miller have accumulated 100 years of living between them!  They will be celebrating their duo-centenial for about six months.  Then they’ll be 102!  Go figure.

        The First Ripe Tomato in Champion Contest has been won.  The tomato was enjoyed with a sprinkle of salt and judged to be delicious.  Larry Casey from Champion—South was the Champion gardener this time.  His picture can be seen in the “Champions With Dirty Hands” category in the www.championnews.us website under “First Champion Tomato.”  The whole story is there about how he came home from a trip to Texas and found these two big tomatoes hiding in the weeds that had overtaken his garden.  Larry is a prodigious gardener and is more than willing to share his tips and experiences as well as those great purple-hulled peas!  He was proud of his Certificate of Champion Achievement, but was most appreciative of the $10.00 Gift Certificate from the Plant Place over in Norwood.  Linda has her July Almanac out.  It can be found on the website under the Links category:  Linda’s Almanac.  It says the 8th and 9th will be good days for planting root crops.  The 12th and 13th will also be good for root crops, as well as any vine crop like melons and cucumbers and for setting strawberry plants.  The strawberry crops were wonderful this year for some Champions, but the raccoons and possums are making messes of the strawberry beds now.  It seems like this is being a bad year for ‘critters.’  Skunks, possums, rabbits, armadillos, raccoons, deer, moles and groundhogs are all being troublesome.

        Favorite absentee Champions, Barbara and Harley Krider celebrated their 44th wedding anniversary on the 3rd of July.  It is not clear that either of them knew what they were getting into, but they have done a nice job of it and their Champion family and friends congratulate them heartily!

        The Skyline VFD Auxiliary has a meeting scheduled for the 7th of July and another on the 14th at Henson’s Store.  The particulars of the Auxiliary’s part in the Annual Skyline Picnic are being worked out to the last detail.  This is always such a sterling event.  This year it will be the 14th and 15th of August.  Skyliners and Champions will be out supporting the 4H Up and At ‘Em picnic over in Vanzant this week end.  It is a time for neighbors to throw their support around.

        Another big Granddaughter Day at the Creek get together is in the works and it will be an exciting affair even for Grandmothers with distant granddaughters.  There will be fun by proxy and only a little longing when the reminder that closeness is not about geography is trotted out again.

        Trot out a scintilla of sentimental drivel to cover up any kind of longing and send it to Champion Items, Rt. 2, Box 367, Norwood, MO 65717.  E-mail any kind of dirt on the General to Champion News.  Get over to Henson’s Store and see how fast you can sing, “In the summertime, when all the leaves and trees are green, and the red bird sings, I’ll be blue, ‘cause you don’t want my love.  You don’t seem to care a thing about me, would rather live without me, than to have my arms around you when the nights are cold and you’re so all alone.”  A person not in the mood to sing could just browse through the ever growing selection of Champion Picture Postcards.  The last two versions feature a three up of mules hitched to a covered wagon with Henson’s Store in the background.  The newest card is a portait of Ed Henson leaning up against the porch post.  Someone said the post was leaning up against him.  A pretty dog sits beside Ed and the two of them are obviously Champions—Looking on the Bright Side!


July 3, 2009

First Ripe Champion Tomato – 2009

        The First Ripe Tomato in Champion Contest has been won!  Larry Casey of Rt. 2 brought his beautiful bright red, baseball size tomato into Henson’s Store on Tuesday afternoon, June 30, and shared with Judges Betty Henson and Wilda Moses.  Casey did not know the name of the variety but says he generally grows Rutgers.  This was just a pretty plant that he had picked up over in Cabool early in the season.  The tomato had a nice firm heart and a rich tangy taste, sweet and juicy.  It was firm enough to cut nicely, but definitely perfectly ripe.  A little salt and the judges were transported to tomato heaven.

        For his trouble, Casey was awarded a Certificate of Champion Achievement, a $10.00 gift certificate from the Plant Place in Norwood, 6 tickets (valued at $5.00) for the quilt drawing to be held August 15, at the Skyline Volunteer Fire Department Picnic, two dozen canning jar lids (1 each regular and wide mouth) and an old fruit jar.  The fruit jar was made in 1966 in Canada.  It is a brand called “Crown” and it has a crown embossed on the side.  It has a glass lid with a zinc rim.  He was pleased with his loot and Champions can probably look for him to try for the prize next year as well.

        Casey has been gardening he said for 70 years, though he is just 73 years old.  He is a retired welder and pipe fitter who moved to Champion ten years ago.  He grows a big garden and is a great promoter of purple-hulled peas and had some seed to share.  He said that he had just returned from a trip to Houston, Texas where the Local Pipe Fitters Union, to which he had belonged for 50 years, had honored him for his achievements.  He said that he came back to find his garden overgrown with weeds and two big tomatoes hiding in them, just about ready to eat.  He and his friend Debbie Newland had finished off the first one before they brought the prizewinner down to Henson’s Store.

        Last year the prize was awarded on July 12th to Champion Louise Hutchison.  She and her daughter, Debbie Maynard, granddaughter Amy McGuire and great granddaughter, Hanna Rose McGuire happened into the store just as the judging was over.  Louise and Larry had a few minutes to visit about gardening.  She says that her garden has been suffering from the drought.  Larry complained about deer eating his sweet potatoes.  Louise said that she had heard that if a person cut up a bar of Irish Spring Soap and sprinkled it around that it was a good deterrent for the deer.  Larry thinks he will try it.  It is a Champion thing that gardeners are willing to share their seeds, information and tomatoes!


The Old Straw Hat

By: Betty Dye
September 2007

Straw Hat        You can see it on a nail in Mom’s kitchen now.  The old straw hat my daddy wore is hanging there today. 

        He wore it when he mowed the grass, or when he plowed the fields.  When he cut hay, or fed the cows or hunted in the woods.  If he chopped wood or fixed the fence or any other chore, you would always find a straw hat sitting on his head. When to town he would go, with mom and all us kids.  To buy the food or pay the bills or whatever needed done, an old straw hat would be there to cover up his head.

Daddy        Down through the years the styles would change, the colors would change too, but you would always see a straw hat placed upon his head.  As children grew and grandkids came, and age began to show, a straw hat would be sitting there like a crown upon his head.  The years were long and many, the hard ships quite a few, but the joys he found in his family made the hardships fade from view.

        He taught his children that hard work would get them through this life.  If you gave your word you should always keep it and never take it back.  He believed the truth was always best, and a lie would never do, and a spanking every now and then, would teach children right from wrong.

        He loved our mom for fifty years, with a love so strong and true, and even when they disagreed that love would come shining through.

        The day finally came, and we always knew it would, when dad would not be with us for the Lord had called him home. We miss him in so many ways but the memories are so clear.  The love he gave to each of us, we feel it more and more.

        I know for me, my memories bring tears and even joy. And when I see his straw hat the stronger they become.  I know that in my heart, he’s here with me right now.  He’ll always be a part of me as I continue on, and his old straw hat will help remind me of all he had said and done, and forever have a part in my memories of time.