CHAMPION—November 14, 2011

          Hunting season is always exciting in Champion.  Stories around the stove in the mercantile include descriptions of just how the buck came over the rise and just how he quartered just so and then turned to present a perfect target and then fell in his tracks.  Hunters have been telling hunting stories around the fire for as long as there has been fire.  Champions are glad to be part of the big continuum which these days has hunters exchanging text messages out in the field.  “Was that you?” One hunter said, “It was so windy on Saturday that the birds were walking!”  Kalyssa’s Mother took a fine eight-point buck and will have a trophy for her wall in what is called a ‘European mount.’  Freezers will soon be full and the generosity of Champion hunters is no small thing.  It is Champion!

           Friday the landline telephones in and around Champion went haywire.  By Saturday things had improved quite a little bit and parties were able to connect on the old fashioned phones again.  Monday telephone trucks were patrolling the area and though the lines are buried out here, it could be that all the high wind has caused some trouble somewhere.  Those folks do a good job of keeping Champion in the loop.  While Champions embrace change and technology, there are still a few rotary dialed telephones and a few typewriters in regular use in the area.  Louise’s eagle watching neighbor across the hill still uses the typewriter to a pleasant effect.  Louise was busy out on her computer Friday night looking at the pictures and movies of the Grand Opening Celebration at Champion that are posted on the Neighborhood Events page at  She saw quite a few people she knows and would have heard the music, except that her speakers are not hooked up to her computer at this time.  She watches the cooking shows on TV when she is not busy with various therapies.  Wilburn said that he and Fleming were mowing hay when the dirigible came over and it scared the little mare they were working.  He said it came over real low, just above the tree tops, and they could hear people talking.  Probably Wilburn could tell several interesting stories if he were in the mood to do so. 

          A Champion friend writes in from Elsemore, MO to say, “It is a surprise to read [Champion News—October 31, 2011] that our city police forces here in America are better equipped than our own soldiers going to war in foreign countries.   We need our police to protect and serve us, and we want them to be protected themselves, safe and careful in their work, but when you get to looking at their equipment, what do you suppose they are protecting us from?  It looks like they are protecting us from us.  It scares me to think that police could be turned against the very population they are hired to protect.  Does that ever happen?  Does it really only happen to people who deserve it—to those who not believe the right things and who says exactly what those things are?  To me the scariest thing that could happen would be for people to think there is nothing they can do or that it is too late to have a say in how the country behaves.  Maybe even worse would be if they just didn’t care and thought it’s not all that bad.  ‘Don’t make trouble.  Mind your own business and everything will be ok.’  Consider that as long as you stay on the good side of your own police force, you’ll probably be ok.  You don’t need to bother to pay attention, to study or to vote.  Just be quiet and stay in line.”  This reader makes a good point, if a little hysterical, but Champions are here to say that cynicism and apathy are not the way of things in these beautiful parts. 

          The one hundredth anniversary of the Great Blue Norther of 1911 occurred on November 11th.  On that day in Springfield the high temperature early in the day was 80⁰ and had dropped to 13⁰ before the day was over.  There were enormously destructive tornadoes and many weather related deaths all across the country that day.  Champions keep a weather eye out as there have been tornadoes in Douglas County every month of the year—not every month in every year, of course, but, well, you know.   Armistice Day and Veteran’s Day received a lot of good attention this year.  Armistice Day marked the end of the Big War—The War to End All Wars—It was a hard won peace that has not been very long lasting.  For whatever meaningful reasons people are pitted against each other, a saying one can apply is, ‘Hate the War—Love the Warrior.’  Champions understand that and applaud the willingness of individuals to serve the Nation.  When the Veterans come home, they could use some help, just like a lot of people who have served at home could use some help—Veterans, police, teachers, fire fighters, nurses, farmers, ad. inf.  Let the trickling down commence!  Love and Gratitude is what Champions have to offer.

           Harold March, writes, “When you are looking on the bright side, the day is bright and gay.  When you are looking on the dull side, everything is gray.  The word Champion is a Winner so the book does say. I would rather be a winner any old day.  I have been to Champion when I was a lad, riding Old Dolly with my brother at my side.  I would like to go back but now it is too late.  I still remember some stories Ed did relate.  How Deward’s old hounds ran that fox right through Johnnie’s front gate.  There was chickens in the yard and clothes on the line and Johnnie came out just a jumping up and down.  Oh!  He was mad at any rate.  He was not thinking about all of the chickens that Old red fox had already ate.  Cold Springs was not so very far away.  I went to school there in my early days.  I like to put to Poetry the things we did, so now you know I’m the Clever Creek Kid.” Thanks, Kid.  Even Champions can use some comfort and encouragement during troubled times and times of great loss and sorrow.  Young Dane Solomon had just started his life and friends and family will continue to hold him close in their hearts.

          Send poetry, reminiscences, songs, speculation, suggestions, requests, and rants to Champion Items, Rt. 2, Box 367 Norwood, MO 65717 or to Champion at  Sing when you are by yourself or with somebody and go for a happy tune if you can–on key if you can, but don’t let that stop you.  Sing loud!  “Look on the Brighter Side—Sorrows will pass away!”  Champion!