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 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!”