August 30, 2010

August 29, 2010

CHAMPION—August 29, 2010

           In Champion the dusty dry days, one right after another, were made endurable by the reduced temperature and by the promise of rain.  When it arrived, Champions were ready.  Champions are always delighted to see how quickly things recover and green up again after even a modest shower.  As dust on the back of the truck turned to rivulets of mud, Champions did not complain. 

          An email comes from someone on the General’s staff: “A stray goat has been terrorizing some of the Vanzant residents.  The lady that lives at the intersection of Highways 95 and W was extremely frightened when she came home from church one evening and the goat came running out of her garage.  Evidently, the goat has set up housekeeping there as it has been seen there numerous times.  There is talk by the local vigilante committee that a community cookout is being planned for the near future.”  The note arrives somewhat after a three-freezer ice cream social that made the General’s yard look like a used-car lot.  Esther (Wrinkles) is reported to have counted 48 head of socializers.  The event was held ‘the other night’ and was as spontaneous as it was exclusive.  Of course the very nature of exclusivity is that some are excluded.  The Vigilante Goat Roast will have to include additional goats or a smaller guest list.  Champions do not wait by the mailbox for an engraved invitation.  It is enough to know that their neighbors are having fun. 

          “Jenna Brixey had her 3rd Birthday party on Saturday.  Her guests were dad and mom James and Jana Brixey, Grandpa Dean Brixey and friend Venetta, Grandpa and Grandma Gary and Nyalin Barnes, and aunt and uncle Rick and Jodi Klingensmith and cousins Maddax and Tyler Klingensmith.”  This bit of news comes from an email sent by Nylan Barnes.  Kalyssa Wiseman celebrated her 4th birthday on Sunday.  She enjoyed the company of aunts and uncles from Tennessee and Seymour as well as her parents, brother Foster and her Champion Grammy.  Intervals between birthdays shorten in direct proportion to the number of birthdays one has had.  This observation by an old Champion is not new.

          Becky Heston writes to inform, “This is a great article, but since you are going to publish it I wanted to edit one item: S: (n) plumb line, perpendicular (a cord from which a metal weight is suspended pointing directly to the earth’s center of gravity; used to determine the vertical from a given point)  I know that you are clever enough to explain away the missing “b” – possibly just as a way to tie in the Granddaughter or just because one can grow and enjoy “plums” in Champion (can one?) and as such, there is no need to add the “b.”  But since “b” is the first initial of the abbreviation of my given name, I am compelled to lobby for its inclusion!  Hope all is well in Champion – and hope we get to personally experience it one of these days.”  It turns out that Ms. Heston was the winning bidder on the Skyline VFD Mascot Monkey of the Month.   Champions will be looking forward to seeing the two of them together in a photo soon together with some good biographical information.  Having recently returned from a sojourn to Italy, it will be interesting to hear how the cuisine compares to the great fare on Fortune Drive.  Most likely she will not get an invitation to the Vigilante Goat Roast either, but her sophisticated palate may well have evolved far past goat n’ groates.  Champion hosts will be on the spot for feeding fancy foodies, but will be glad to give it a whirl!

          August’s Skyline VFD Mascot Monkey of the Month has been on tour with the punk rock band “Fire!” and no word has come concerning its final disposition.  The group is opening for “Pyro-Pyro” at the Lightening Festival in Nebraska on the 31st, so it should be a cool gig.  “How You Like Me Now?” is the big feature tune for the Monkey.  The September Monkey will show up forthwith at Henson’s Store, currently located in the Temporary Annex on the West side of the Square in Downtown Champion.  Construction there is going ‘swimmingly’ as Monday morning found carpenters dodging drops of much needed moisture.  No complaints could be heard concerning the rain and only compliments concerning the wonderful west wall.  It must have taken several nice trees to make all those beautiful boards.  Champion trees, no doubt! 

          Ms. Ethel Mccallie writes a lovely letter: “I envy you Champions and me over here in Oklahoma!”  She writes that the Haden Family Reunion is always the same day as the Champion School Reunion and this year that will be Saturday, September 4th.  She says that she will be attending the Haden gathering and hopes that she can get a ride over to Champion during her stay.  She sends fond regards to her contemporary friend, Esther Wrinkles, and hopes that Esther enjoyed her 93rd birthday as much as she did her own.  Ms. Mccallie is a fan of all the old songs and asks if anyone knows one called “Angels Climbing The Golden Stairs,” which was written about the dream that Joseph had.  Research has been futile so far, but some Champion probably knows it.  The Champion School Reunion will be an event to remember and the spirit of the place will be well represented with nostalgia and optimism.

          Linda’s Almanac for September is up on the website.  It is to be found in the Champion Connections category.  Saturday and Sunday will both be good days to plant root crops, but Labor Day will not be good for planting.  “Destroy weeds,” the almanac says.  It seems that someone is always suggesting that weeding be done.

           Not everyone has a computer in Champion, but for those who do, a visit to The Washington Post’s Faces of the Fallen is a worthwhile visit.  These are the photos of the U.S. service members who died in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.  It is a sobering experience to see so many young and ‘middle aged’ faces looking back.  They have the Love and Gratitude of the Nation.  Their survivors need that too as do all those living Veterans who have served through the years.   

           Wash the car or just leave the windows rolled down; take a roof off a building; hang some white laundry on the line.  Any of these things can cause a rain cloud to appear.  Champions are ready for more than a drizzle. Glen Yarbrough sang, “Baby, the rain must fall.  Baby, the wind must blow.  Wherever my heart leads me, Baby, I must go.”  Go on down to the Loafing Shed in Downtown Champion and sing your favorite rain song.  Send it in the mail to Champion Items, Rt. 2, Box 367, Norwood, MO 65717 or to Champion at  A new shipment of Champion Picture Postcards should be on the shelves in the Historic Emporium in time for the Champion School Reunion.  It just costs twenty-eight cents to mail a postcard, but for those out in the dreary parts of the world it is a true treasure to see Champion and a Look on the Bright Side!


August 23, 2010

August 23, 2010

CHAMPION—August 23, 2010

           Champions are as much subject to the laws of the universe as are any other people. “Plum” is the nickname of one favorite Champion granddaughter and also happens to be a carpentry term meaning a line, which is exactly vertical, or perpendicular to a level horizontal line.  “Level” is another nice Champion grandchild and the spirit of his name goes to the definition that there is no part higher than another; having an even surface; being in a plane parallel to the plane of the horizon.  It is said to be horizontal at a given point if it is locally perpendicular to the gradient of the gravity field.  Now considering the topography of the environs around Champion, being at the bottom of several different hills and the churchyard being the only flat place for miles, ‘level’ might be hard to find.  Fields in these parts are most generally kind of up and down, gravity notwithstanding.  There have been devices invented for just such a situation (sometime before February 2, 1661 by some guy named Thevenot) and Champion carpenters have them and have put them to excellent use.  To put the icing on the cake, that shiny slick galvanized roof went on just before the short hard rain on Friday and so all is well.  The even surface of Champion prevails and is highly decorated by its new structure. 

           An unhappy individual forced to live elsewhere and to eat sour grapes assailed the Champion mailbox a year or so ago.  His complaint was that Champion’s Bright Side is abbreviated as “BS” and his inquiry was whom did Champion think it was fooling pretending to be such a metropolis, since it is only a wide spot beside a road at the end of the pavement.  This note caused stir and offers to sell the malcontent a couple of dry acres over in Chigger Flats that had just been logged off—such a bargain.  While there has been no reply it does occur to some Champions that the Bright Side is not the only BS around.  There is a business in Mountain Grove called Mountain Grove BS and a patron there the other day overheard some discussion of the ‘specialness’ of Champion builders.  And so they are.

           “Did you hear about Alvin Barnhart’s watermelons?” one Champion asked another.  He gave a couple of them to the silent auction over at the Skyline VFD picnic last week.  One of them weighed 62 pounds and the other just 60 pounds!  A report from one of the purchasers was that it was delicious.  They are long watermelons about a foot in diameter and very sweet and luscious.  “The rind is kind of thick but it is tasty too.”  So Alvin and Beverly have once again given the Skyline Fire Department something quite wonderful.  Ruth Hamilton picked a big bunch of okra that sold well in the auction.  It was big, but tender.

           Eli and Emmy Rose celebrated their Mother’s birthday on Sunday.  Eli is excited about starting school and Emmy has more to say these days.  There were many phone calls and reports of lots of new puppies and quail.  Their cousin, Kalyssa, will have her third birthday on August 31st.  She spent Sunday night with her Grammy all by herself for the first time.  Foster started to school on Monday and so all the little Krider grandchildren are growing up.  Teagan will be four months old on the 30th.  Cousin, Madelyn Ward, will start to kindergarten this year.  Those Brixie children up north of Champion are growing up and so it is with all the Champion children.  It represents the passage of time and seems more pronounced, as Champions get older, especially when the intervals between visits are long.  This is another of those universal laws.  Bonnie Parker’s beau wrote a note to Henry Ford to praise him on the quality of his V8 automobile saying that they were his favorites when he could get away with one.  He signed it “Clyde Champion Barrow.”  Perhaps someone will use Champion as a middle name soon to better exemplify the appellation.  “No, no, Hon. These is the Ozarks.  The Appellations is back east.” 

          A regular reader of the Champion column who lives in Iowa happened to be at the Skyline Picnic this year.  She said that as often as not she has a hard time following just what is going on in the Champion News, but she reads it anyway and sometimes figures it out.  Champion!  An email from a real Championista says, “I’ve heard that this year is the hottest on record since the 1880s.  I’ve given it some thought and decided a perfect outdoor environment for me is 67 in the daytime and 72 at night.  Know of any place on earth like that?”  Reply with an answer to that question to Champion News or to Champion Items, Rt. 2, Box 367, Norwood, MO 65717.

           It is to be noted that Pete Proctor is now officially retired.  He had a long career with Town and Country and is, these days, doing just what he pleases.  A lot of what pleases him is his work with the VFW Post 3770 over in Mountain Grove.  Pete is always pleased to remind us of the importance of supporting our Veterans of the Armed Services.  In addition to the Love and Gratitude of the Nation they have served, the Veterans returning from current conflicts will have requirements for understanding, opportunity and support from the community.  Champion.

          Gardeners will be glad that the Plant Place and Gift Corner over in Norwood will be opening up again soon.  Pop in there for an Almanac for September or copy one from the website.  The 26th and 27th will be good days to plant root crops as will the first of September.  Time flies!  One Champion writes, “Time’s fun when you’re having flies.”

          The Loafing Shed over on the west side of the square in Downtown Champion has been getting some good use as regular Champions, visitors and kibitizers all have the chance to see history in the making.  The Champion School Reunion will prove to be an eye opener to many who rarely get back.  “Nothing to do, Nelly darling?  Nothing to do you say?  Let’s take a trip on memory’s ship back to the bygone days.  Sail to the old village schoolhouse.  Anchor outside the school door.  Look in and see there’s you and there’s me—a couple of kids once more.”  Sing your favorite school days song those good old golden rule songs.  That’s Champion—Looking on the Bright Side!


August 16, 2010

August 16, 2010

CHAMPION—August 16, 2010

          There was a mighty rush of wind in Champion as Champions heaved a collective sigh at the breaking of the brutal heat wave that has held the country in its grip for what seems to have been a long, long time.  Uncomplaining Champions have gone on about their businesses with their regular good humor and enthusiasm, though some are moving a little more slowly.  It is important to be cautious in extreme weather.  Champions know that heat exhaustion is every bit as dangerous as hypothermia.  Hot or not Champion is a very cool place.

          The Skyline VFD Picnic for 2010 was one of the hottest on record.  Still the staunch supporters—long time loyal friends of the Skyline Volunteer Fire Department came out in numbers.  Those firefighters and auxiliary people who do all the hard work that makes the picnic happen were rewarded by a good turn out and the community seems grateful to have this wonderful tradition to count on year after year.  Not everyone can volunteer to fight fires—drive the big trucks and drag those big hoses—but the chance to participate in a meaningful way in such a solid community organization is one of the reasons people choose to live here.  Increasingly the population of the area is of retirement age.  Those pies that get baked for the Picnic kitchen, the cakes made for the cakewalk, and those quilt tickets purchased, and bingo games played all add up to some significant participation in the fire department.  It is a privilege to serve and it is clear to see that the Skyline VFD Association Membership takes pride in doing so.

          Marilee Richards was the lucky winner of the quilt at the Skyline VFD Picnic this year.  Esther Wrinkles made the queen size quilt; a pattern called Stripes and Scraps, and sold the winning ticket as well.  Ms. Wrinkles said that she had stepped into the First Savings and Loan to get some copies of the tickets made, which they are pleased to do in support of the Skyline VFD.  Ms. Richards made the copies of the tickets and bought the very first ones that Esther sold this year.  She will receive the quilt later this week and will have plenty of reason to be happy.  Such a beautiful quilt will likely keep Ms. Richards participating in the Skyline Picnic for years to come.

          Brenda Paul was the winner of the $100.00’s worth of free electricity donated to the Skyline VFD by Jeff Pardeck of the White River Valley Electric Co-Op.  The annual gift by White River Electric is one of the mainstays of the Skyline Picnic.  Bernard and Brenda Paul moved to the area about a year ago from Oklahoma.  She said that this was certainly a good welcoming to the community and she is looking forward to becoming acquainted with the area and with the people.  She was pleased to hear about the Chili Supper that comes up toward the end of February every year.

          Buzz Woods won the drawing for the Nikon 3 x 9 x 40-rifle scope that was donated by Out Back Gun and Rod of Norwood.  The Out Back outfit has long been a big supporter of the Skyline Volunteer Fire Department.  So has Buzz Woods.  The 2010 Skyline Picnic was a win-win situation.

          Will Rogers said to get someone else to blow your horn and the sound will carry twice as far.  Standing in the center of the square in Downtown Champion looking up through the trusses and purlings at the bright Champion blue sky, it is easy to imagine being in a great shipyard long ago where the magnificent wooden sailing vessels were built from the ribs out. Light alternating with the long row of identical members plays intricate geometrical games on the eye.   If the builders of this elegant structure are shy about having their horn blown, they should have kept the thing under a bushel.  It’s just too pretty not to be admired profusely.  Moreover it is inspiring building in the most unlikely spots.  One old girl is thinking about building a building out of old pianos.  Newcomer, Joyce Donaldson, is having a little Victorian cottage built down by her pond. Linda and Charlene have been having extensive renovations done to the pavilion over at the Plant Place and Gift Corner in Norwood.  This was not so much a renovation as a continuation of a long-term plan.  It sometimes takes years to get things just right and it is lovely to see a good plan coming together.  They will be open for business again on the first of September and Linda’s Almanac will be available then.  It is nice to see local businesses thriving.  As things continue to cool down it will be timely to plant some lettuce for the fall and maybe some spinach. 

          Pete Proctor was at the Skyline Picnic standing in with Commander Donnie Bunch of American Legion Post 30 from Mountain Grove as they presented the Colors on both evenings.  Pete is a member of the America Legion and is a Commander of the VFW Post 3770.  Picnic master of ceremonies Ray Bradley does an excellent job of leading “The Star Spangled Banner” and has no trouble with the high notes in “the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave!”  During the ceremony Pete asked Veterans of the various conflicts past and present to stand to be recognized.  He wants local Veterans to know that they are welcome to attend the VFW meetings the second Saturday morning of each month.  Ed Hawley is the Service Officer for the 18th District and Pete will have Veterans know that there are benefits available and Ed Hawley is the man to see to get things moving if they need help.  The Love and Gratitude of the Nation they have served is the least they are due.

          The Champion School Reunion is coming up the 4th of September.  There are some excellent photographs of  previous reunions on the website.  It is a nice place to go to reminisce.  Some will be surprised and pleased to see the changes that have taken place since last year.  Others will be saddend by what they see as a loss of history.  The history is still there and so is the place.  It is living yet—living history and Champions are proud to be part of it. Will Rogers said not to use up too much of today with yesterday, but Champions have a good sense of balance.  Share some Champion history that would otherwise be lost were it not for you.  Tell it out loud right there in the Loafing Shed next to the Temporary Emporium of Henson’s Store on the West Side of the Square in Historic Downtown Champion.  Send it in an anonymous note to Champion Items, Rt. 2, Box 367, Norwood, MO 65717 or to Champion News.  Published in 1912, this song was already old when Champion was young: “We were sailing along on Moonlight Bay.  We could hear the voices ringing.  They seemed to say, ‘You have stolen my heart now don’t go ‘way’ as we sang love’s old sweet song on Moonlight Bay.”  Sail on into the Square and stand in the sunshine to gaze through the fanciful framework of the town’s newest structure—Champion!  Looking on the Bright Side!


August 9, 2010

August 9, 2010

CHAMPION—August 9, 2010

          Champions are perforce tree lovers and the spectacle of a great intricate stack of new pine lumber is, in every Champion view, spectacular.  The afternoon sun gleams off the stately structure all golden and precise against a Champion blue sky as visual poetry. Now it has purlings and soon it will have the galvanized and will be what they call “dried in.”  Builders are special people and are given leeway to be ‘special’ because of the good work they do.  Their attentions may be required elsewhere this week as the Skyline Picnic is in the works and so if the roofing is a little slow getting on, it will just give the populace opportunity to admire the substructure all the more.  It is the very nature of tree lovers and Champions to be patient.

          Fishermen are patient people too.  Dillon Watts just returned to his home near the Cripple Creek in Tennessee from an Alaskan fishing trip.  He went with his cousin and his grandfather, Steve Watts, flying from Nashville to Atlanta, then eight hours to Anchorage, then five hours driving to the spot where they got on the boat.  There was some reported seasickness, but the catch was remarkable and great memories were made.

       There were half a dozen seven foot long fishing poles auctioned off the other night at the benefit for Sharon and Buzz Woods.  These were some very fancy rods and reels, new and donated by a local prominent professional fisherman.  Prominent Champion quilt maker, Esther Wrinkles, donated a lovely quilt to the benefit.  Tickets were sold and the winner was Mrs. Judy Hutchison.  She said that she had never won anything and was just delighted with the beautiful quilt.  J.D. Shannon did the auctioneering and made a fine job of it.  He has an excellent voice and has obviously been to a few auctions in his young life.  The first sale of the evening was a peach pie purchased by Robert Upshaw.  The basketball tournament, the good food, the quilt raffle, the music and the auction all went to making a great benefit.  Sharon and Buzz are life long residents of the area and are starting over after losing their home to a fire.  The pictures and precious personal mementoes cannot be replaced, but the friendships and support of the community are solidly in place.   Young Rowdy Woods is making a good recovery from his appendectomy so there is good news to report on many fronts.  The General was getting around pretty well accompanied by his guileless little grandchildren and saintly sweet wife. 

          The ‘Dog Days’ of summer are scheduled to end on August 11th.  The calendar says that they began on July 3rd.  If this means the dog gone hot weather is really gone, that will be good.  Gardeners in the area are experiencing bountiful harvests and are freely sharing with friends and neighbors.  There is still some good growing season left and Linda will have the fall Cole crops ready when she opens the Plant Place back up in September. 

          Champions are ever looking for the opportunity to improve themselves or their environs.  For example, one now says that one of the defining features of an inexpensive hose is that it frequently kinks.  Previously he had said things about the ‘dad blamed lousy cheap piece of junk hose’ and just what ought to be done with the no good miserable outfit.  Realizing that swearing at it does not keep it from kinking up at the critical moment, he now puts a little more effort in to handling it in such a delicate way to prevent the problem and is sure that when it is time to replace this hose he will do so with one that costs twice as much.  Surely someone makes a good quality garden hose.  Rich people probably do not have the problem.  They probably hire somebody to do their watering and let them do their swearing as well.  

          Some of Wally Hopper’s cousins were surprised to learn that their distant uncle John Sevier Upshaw was an Indian Agent appointed by Congress.  Wally’s letter brings up a number of historical issues and Denlowites will be most interested to learn more.  This part of the country is less populated now than it was when Wally was a boy and some think that it is less populated now than it was before Columbus made his trip.  How would current residents respond to being colonized by a foreign people with odd features and peculiar ways?  Champions are hospitable by nature but would most likely balk at being elbowed out of their hills and hollows.  History is a tool best used to understand the present and to shape the future. 

          The picnic grounds are shaping up nicely.  Firefighters and other volunteers have been out getting things ready for the big picnic.  The Skyline Picnic is the highpoint of the social year in these parts.  It looks like the weather will cooperate to make it the perfect occasion.  Friends who only see each other at this event will be out in force and the membership is getting ready to stick those pies in the oven.  The music is lined up and there are some great things coming in for the silent auction.  Local merchants are generous and there will be great prizes given away all through the evening on both nights.  It is an excellent opportunity for folks new to the area to get acquainted in a pleasant unconfined, informal environment.  Champion!  Leading up to the picnic is the Perseid meteor shower–the biggest, splashiest meteor shower of the year.  As the debris from the comet Swift-Tuttle scatters into the atmosphere, they say that as many as 60 shooting stars an hour can be seen on Thursday night into early Friday morning. Mars, Venus and Saturn will be lined up with the moon in the western sky so the whole week has promise to be celestially entertaining.

          School busses are practicing their routes, which reminds Champions that the school year is about to begin again.  The year certainly is rushing by.  For those waiting at home for their soldier to return, the time can drag out long.  Champions are reminded that the Nation’s soldiers belong to everyone. All citizens benefit from the willingness of the people in the Armed Services to put their lives at risk in the dangerous parts of the world.  Blood kin or not, all the Soldiers belong to all the Citizens and they have Love (with a capital L) and Gratitude (with a capital G) due them.  They are our soldiers now and will be our Veterans (with a capital V) when they get home.  They are Champions.

          Champions ‘of an age’ remember Shelley Fabares.  “On a picnic morning without a warning I looked at you and somehow I knew.  On a day for singing my heart went winging.  A picnic grove was our rendezvous. You and I in the sunshine, we strolled the fields and farms.  At the last light of evening, I held you in my arms. So when days grow stormy and lonely for me I just recall picnic time and you.”  Sing your favorite picnic song out in the Loafing Shed in the heart of Downtown Champion.  Send it or any good history to Champion Items, Rt. 2, Box 367, Norwood, MO 65717 or to Champion News.  Look for history at and get yourself a hand full of those Champion Picture Postcards so that those unfortunates out in the dreary world can get an eyeful of Champion—Looking on the Bright Side.


August 2, 2010

August 2, 2010

CHAMPION—August 2, 2010

          Champions are, by nature, students–curious keen observers with good eyes for detail and beauty.  Those are traits that come with the place.  The place has much to offer any time of any year, but these days particularly Champions have available to them an example of joinery suitable for serious study.  Anyone interested in seeing just what is under the skin of a solid building can benefit from a protracted gawk at the skeletal structure of the authentic and only Replica of the Historic Emporium on the North Side of the Square in Downtown Champion.  As seen from the vestibule of the Temporary Annex or from the portico of the Loafing Shed, the clean geometry of the structure is stunning.  One hears of an elegant solution to a math problem when doubt, uncertainty and difficulty present themselves.  The difficulty with the Historic Emporium had to do with the tenuous fragility of materials expected to be ageless when indeed they were quite old and depleted of their strength.  The Elegant Solution stands as an example.

          Examples of good neighbor fun were plentiful at the Holt Up and At It Picnic.  This event supports the 4 H Clubs, a very worthwhile program in a rural community.  Reports were that it was close to a record-breaking crowd and that everything was just lovely.  The food was good, the games were fun, the prizes were neat and the music quite pleasant.  Everybody was having a good time and that is the point of the whole thing—community involvement for the overall benefit of the community.  This is a great part of the world for just this sort of thing.

          Another chance to step up to be a good neighbor is coming up on Saturday, the 7th.  There is to be a “three on three shoot out” basketball tournament for Sharon and Buzz Woods at the Skyline School.  The tournament play will start at three in the afternoon and before it is all said and done, there will be juicy burgers, hotdogs, music, a quilt raffle, fun and games including a pie auction and an auction that will include lots of new fishing equipment and many surprises.  Sharon and Buzz lost their home to a fire recently and this benefit will help them get started again.  They have been good neighbors and steadfast supporters of all the local fire departments and community organizations as well benefits just like this one for people in the area who have found themselves in similar situations over the years. 

          Dr. Amanda Zappler, a well-known audiologist, researcher, and instructor at the University of Texas was visiting in the neighborhood recently.  She works extensively with Veterans in the Temple, Texas Veterans Administration Hospital.  She reports that hearing loss among returning Veterans is very common.  There is much hearing loss precipitated by constant exposure to loud noise and this loss is generally in the high range of sound.  There is also a great deal of hearing loss connected to percussive injuries.  In some cases the mechanisms for hearing sound are damaged and in other cases the person is still able to hear but the damage has been to that part of the brain that assigns meaning to the sounds.  So a person may be able to hear but not know what the sounds mean.  This same person is still able to read and to communicate in that way, but there is much work that needs to be done to assure that these Veterans get the opportunity to return to a normal and productive life.  They have the Love and Gratitude of the Nation, for which they have sacrificed so much, and of Champions everywhere.

          There is an old Champion woman who spends her time naming imaginary grandchildren.  Among the names she has chosen are Dreary, Impunity, Florid, Precipitous, Rationale, Ennui, and Hearken.  Recently she has been neglecting her own work in order to spend as much time at the building site in Downtown Champion as she can without drawing too much attention to herself.  She likes to observe from the sidelines and this exposure to has been an eye opener for the old girl.  She has become a great fan of the Greek inventor Archimedes.  She now thinks that is the ideal name for a grandchild, male or female.  She would not say just which of the famous innovator’s is her favorite invention is or how it relates to the building going in Champion.  Perhaps some study of Archimedes will reveal the answer.

          Linda’s Almanac from over at the plant Place in Norwood indicates that the 7th and 8th of the month will be the most beneficial days for planting beets, turnips and other root crops for a fall harvest.  Those will be good days to start seed beds.  Many are already bringing in considerable ‘sheaves’ and the bounty of a good healthy garden is the reward for all the planning and work that it takes.

         A note comes from Wally Hopper saying, “I wanted to let you know that I have been tracing my ancestry and discovered that the Denlow store has lots of history.  I have written a letter to State Rep. JoAnn Emerson to pursue the possibility of erecting an historical marker at that location.  You may remember seeing it on Hwy 76. It is in bad condition right now and I am going to see if there is a possibility of the state to restore it.  I found out through my research that it was built in 1899 by John Sevier Upshaw (my distant uncle) and was used as a trading post with the Osage Indians.  He was appointed an Indian Agent by Congress after the Osage Indian War.  Just thought you might like to know and I will keep you updated on the progress after my meeting with JoAnn Emerson.  Thanks, Wally Hopper.”  There is indeed much interesting history surrounding Denlow.  Cletis Upshaw was a real fount of information and he is still much missed by so many who wish for another chance to sit down with him again to hear his stories.  It will be good to hear that the General has resumed his business of keeping track of everything and keeping everyone informed.  He has the good wishes of the whole Denlow/Skyline/Champion population.  Those good wishes are extended to young Rowdy Woods too.  Little guys have their own troubles sometimes and need as many good thoughts as do Old Generals.

          “I’ll build a stairway to paradise with a new step every day.”  Sing your favorite George Gershwin song right out loud in the Loafing Shed next to the Temporary Emporium on the West Side of the Square in Downtown Champion.  Watch the good stuff happening and be glad to be a witness to history in the making.   Share your own accounts of history at Champion Items, Rt.2, Box 367, Norwood, MO or to Champion News.  Look in at for a clear view of the beauty of the place.  Take a little drive in your air conditioned car some afternoon…Get out to Champion and Look on the Bright Side!