CHAMPION—May 3, 2010

        April ended with a flourish!  Champions celebrate the arrival of Taegan Rae Krider who made her appearance about 8:30 on Friday evening the 30th.  Her parents are Breauna and Leslee Krider and they are well and happy with this beautiful addition to the family.  Taegan weighed about seven and a half pounds and has a lot of beautiful dark hair.  She has had many admirers come from long distances to make her acquaintance and to congratulate her proud parents. Foster, Kalyssa, Eli, Emerson, Dillion and Dakota now have another little girl cousin.  What could be better?  Her Aunt Linda Watts made the trip over from Tennessee to welcome her.  Friday was also quite eventful due to an outbreak of severe weather.  Champions were spared and are Grateful.  As the weather moved east it caused great flooding in the Nashville area, which may have delayed Linda’s return.  No one here will complain if she has to stay an extra little while.

        Champions are ever amazed at the rapid passage of time.  A chance trip to the Farmer’s Market in Ava on Saturday morning found several old friends reacquainting themselves.  Everyone has had the experience of seeing a face and recognizing it but not being able to place a name to it.  In a few minutes of talking, clouds disperse and old memories flood in.  Time melts away–the twenty years–thirty years–more…and the old friends are young again reliving a pleasant afternoon at the swimming hole.  The intervening years have been full for each of them but the catching up reveals that the good people have stayed good.  Wizened by life experience and a broadened worldview, the conversation strays to the changes in the world.  One remarks that world leaders and people in charge of important things should take a lesson from mothers with infants.  When they leave the house, they have everything with them that they will need for any eventuality.  Whatever is required is in the diaper bag and it is there because a thoughtful, intelligent person considered all the possible contingencies and made proper preparations.

Well met!

        The Farmers Markets in the little towns bring to mind life in these parts fifty years ago.  Saturday mornings would find Champion’s Square full of people who had some business to attend and some socializing to do.  Oscar Krider would be on the square in Ava with a songbook in his hip pocket ready to meet up with Arthur Peterson or some other singer to share a new song right there on the street.  While “There’s No Place Like Home,” a trip to any of our towns on a Saturday morning is worth the time it might take from the chores.  Last Saturday was a particularly good day to be out among the throng.  It was May Day with all the regular hoopla associated with Anglo-Saxon pagan and neo pagan festivals, the International Workers Day celebrations with its American roots in The Haymarket Affair, and then there were the gatherings and ceremonies to acknowledge the Veterans of the U.S. Military.  The Vietnam era Vets have their big annual gathering in Branson.  Korean Vets recently marked the 60th anniversary of the beginning of that conflict in a remembrance of Sgt. Leo Wilson of Vera Cruz.  Like the words Love and Gratitude, the word Veteran always deserves a capital letter.  The Disabled American Veterans, (P.O. Box 14301, Cincinnati, OH 45250-0301) will be putting a lot of effort into the well-being of those who are serving now.  The same goes for local V.F.W. and American Legion organizations and one called Vets Helping Vets that advertises on KZ88.1, the new listener supported radio station in Cabool.

          Linda’s Almanac from over at the Plant Place in Norwood says that Mother’s Day the 9th of May and Monday, the 10th, will be good days to plant root crops, to prune to encourage growth, to apply organic fertilizer, to wean, to transplant and it says those are some of the best fishing days.  It is a busy life.  Look for the almanac in the Champion Connections section of the site.  Stop in the Gift Corner there at the Plant Place and pick up a printed copy.  In general, it is nice to have some help out in the garden—some expertise and encouragement.  Linda and Charlene have that to spare and some very nice thoughts on Mother’s Day.  Now, don’t go asking the General for help or for any reports of the May Day Affair of Denlow.  If you must ask him, get him off by himself before he starts telling you about it.  The first thing he’ll say is, “I just don’t have any idea what you are talking about!”  Yea, right.

        A conversation with Champion’s Esther Wrinkles informs that Bob Berry and Mary Goolsby were in the neighborhood of the Hillbilly Junction on Friday when the storm came through.  They are all right, but Esther said that the car was really damaged.  Champions are Grateful for their safety and are hoping that the 1946 Studebaker was not the car in question!  Esther said that her friend, Sue Needam, had been by to visit the other day.  She said that Sue’s was the first birthday card she received (June 29th) and that they used to have fun playing basketball during lulls at the polls when they worked the elections together.  Esther had picked a handful of gooseberries off her 90th birthday (a couple of years ago!) gooseberry bushes and she figures she’ll get enough for a pie this year.  She says the bushes are doing real well.  She also made a couple of lemon pies for the EE Fire Department Supper on Saturday.  She’ll make a cake for their cakewalk for their picnic this summer and the EE folks will make cakes and pies for the Skyline VFD picnic later on.  The Skyline VFD April’s Mascot Monkey Silent Auction closed on Friday with another happy child in possession of a new friend for life.  The May Monkey can be seen at Henson’s Store.  This one has unusually large ears and is quite charming.  The May Auction will end on Memorial Day.

        Champion friends and neighbors showed up to help transfer the merchandize from Henson’s Store over to the temporary emporium on the West Side of the Square late last week.  Sunday found tourists and others photographing the old building before the changes come about.  Some have their hearts broken already over the changes and they do not even know what those are going to be.  Champions are being reassured that every effort will be made to maintain the ambience, the character, the flavor, and that the heart of the old place will not change, though the sag may disappear from the roof line.  Champions are all for losing some sag if that were possible, and would be willing to pay big bucks, if they had them, for removal of certain sag, which they definitely have.

        Step into the Champion Loafing Shed to sing, “Wherever you wander, there’s no place like home.”  That is the way it is in Champion—Always Looking on the Bright Side!