CHAMPION—December 12, 2011

          Saturday morning broke cold and clear–a sparkling twelve degrees with the moon setting in Champion about six thirty, already gone from view when the last lunar eclipse of 2011 took place.  Perhaps the summertime eclipse coming in 2014 will give Champions a better view.   Meanwhile early birds traveling to and from town that morning had the chance to view a spectacular full moon sliding down behind the western hills.  It was all very lovely and the early risers were out in numbers for coffee and conversation in the Recreation of the Historic Emporium on the North Side of the Square in downtown Champion.  The conversations covered a wide range of subjects, as usual, and a great deal of what was said is reported to have been entirely believable!  Any Saturday is a good one to enjoy the excitement of Champion. 

          People who believe in astrology think there is a relationship between astronomical phenomena and events in the human world. Horoscopes claim to predict aspects of an individual’s personality or life history based on the positions of the sun, moon, and planetary objects at the time of birth.  The whole thing can get pretty complicated.  Three people sharing the same birthday may share some characteristics but may also be very different.  Spike Jones was born on December 14, 1911, Judy T. Ing on December 14, in the early 1940’s, Shannon Alexander on December 14, in the mid 1970’s.  They all like (liked) music—Spike his own and everybody else’s; Judy—Patsy Cline and everything with human emotion; Shannon—an eclectic mix of Springfield’s own Tuck and Abney, The Chemical Brothers and Gorillaz.  They all like (liked) Johnny Cash.  All three of them are (were) great appreciators of the arts.  Spike Jones was a gifted musician with a great flair for comic parody.  He employed a lot of bells and slide whistles, horns of the “a-uuga” type, gargling and hiccupping in his recordings and kept people lighthearted and laughing during the dark days of World War II.  Judy was a multifaceted artist.  She worked as a graphic artist and photographer for the MD Anderson Cancer Research Lab in Smithville, Texas for twenty years.  She was a prolific writer and had just completed her expansive novel about a young woman making the westward migration starting out from St. Louis via wagon train.  Shannon is a photographer.  It is how he makes his living.  He thinks that life is too short and precious to spend any of it regretting not having recorded special moments properly. He has a pleasant easygoing approach that lets people feel comfortable and forget about the camera.  ( All three of these Sagittarians love (loved) children.  Spike had four children, Linda, Leslie Anne, Gina and Spike Jr.  Leslie Anne is the Director of Music and Film Scoring at the George Lucas’ Skywalker Ranch and Spike Jr. Is a producer of live events and television broadcasts.  Judy had two children, Sarah Gale Ing, and Jesse David Ing.  Sarah earned a full university scholarship in math and studied math while being a drama major.  She died tragically young of primary pulmonary hypertension.   Jesse is in Hollywood, a movie writer, director, producer, working as Gale Force Entertainment ( with a current movie project called “Burning Away.” (It was always a concern that Jesse might have grownup to be an orthodontist.)  Shannon has two fine sons.  Ethan is a teenager who shares his father’s very good looks and probably does not want to read about himself in a newspaper.  Zack who is just now in grade school may be one of the most photographed children in the world.  He is beautiful and bears an amazing likeness to a Champion Grandmother who now goes by the code name Bozo. Sagittarians are described as able to juggle a variety of tasks and responsibilities.  They are good natured and friendly and are always supportive of the goals and ambitions of others.  They remain enthusiastic and full of optimism no matter what the circumstance.   What Champions!

          Mail carrier, Karen Goss, is a real Champion. She keeps Champions connected to the rest of the world, to family, friends, creditors, and the news regardless of the weather. She has recently received some new family pictures of her daughter and family up in North Dakota. She had them with her when she popped into Henson’s Grocery and Gas to deliver the mail.  No wonder she likes to show them off.  The pictures were made out on a broad grassy prairie with an old barn in some of the scenes.  The emptiness of the background and the big sky just brings focus to the sweet faces of the family.  They like to come down to visit in the spring of the year to help get the garden in. Granddaughter Toni is probably six years old now, grandson Gavin is nine or close to it and the baby, Noah, is about a year old. Time flies even in North Dakota!  Their last name is Owens and they are from Minot, where their Dad is stationed in the military. They had a nice visit for a couple of weeks last April and many good memories were made, also some very tasty plum jelly by mother, daughter and granddaughter which was shared out liberally in Champion.      

          Vivian Floyd was on the phone to Champion Sunday evening finding out about the Champion website.  It is at  She had company at her house in Rogersville and wanted to take them on a cyber-tour of her old home town.  While she was still on the phone she could already be heard laughing and talking about all the pictures of the Champion School Reunions and various other entries.  This is a busy time of the year.  Tuesday will find the Ladies Auxiliary of the Skyline VFD meeting at Henson’s Store in downtown Champion.  They will start the planning for the next big thing.  It is a pleasant time of the year to get together with friends.  Linda will be over in Mansfield on Thursday with the Old Biddies playing bridge.  Bridge is a welcome break for her as she operates a seasonal business that requires year round work.  Charlene has been busy with Christmas crafts there at the Gift Corner and substitute teaching.  In a hectic holiday season it is wonderful to have local family owned and operated business to take care of staples and gift giving needs.  Spike Jones had a big hit with “All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth” in 1942.  About fifty years ago a little girl named Janette wrote to Santa.  “Dear Santa,” she said, For Christmas I would like a jigsaw puzzle and for everyone to be happy.”  She signed her name and then wrote a post script, “Happy Christmas and Happy New Year to all the dwarves and reindeer.”  Janette still has good wishes for ‘everyone’ and it is pleasant to know her.  Champions join her in expressing Love and Gratitude to all those who have it coming.  That seems like everyone.  Send your holiday wish list to Santa or to Champion Items, Rt. 2 Box 367, Norwood, MO 65717 or to Champion at  Come on down to the sunny side of the street—to Champion, looking on the Bright Side!