April 30, 2012

April 30, 2012

          The remarkable beauty of the Champion countryside this time of year fairly takes the breath away.  Turn suddenly around any corner to be dazzled by a scene that could well be painted in oil and mounted in a gilded frame on an expansive wall in a great hall to be admired by the unfortunate throngs shambling drearily past in the great elsewhere.  Champion!  Picturesque.

          Many pictures were taken at the family celebration of the second birthday of Miss Taegan Krider.  Cousins, aunts and uncles, grandmothers, and distant kinfolks and relations of all kinds did some big time ‘birthday song’ singing together with the young lady’s parents who both happen to be very fine singers.  Taegan, a.k.a. Peanut, has lots of good reasons to celebrate and Champions are pleased to have such a charming resident.   http://the-dairy-maid.com/ is an excellent place to look for Peanut pictures and progress on her new home as well as all the pretty cows.  It is a happy life.

          Happy birthday to Megan Whitacre, Skyline eighth grader.   She will be 14 on the fifth of May.  Most likely she and her friends are getting pretty excited about the end of school.  Since it has been her birthday every year since she was born, Megan probably knows all about the special significance of the Fifth of May–El Cinco de Mayo.  It is the day in 1862, when the Mexican Army was able to defeat a large French invasion near the city of Puebla.  It was a significant victory for the Mexican forces.   They were ultimately defeated, however, and the French set up Maximilian as emperor.   His reign only lasted three years, because the United States was by that time through the Civil War and able to be of financial assistance to their neighbors.  They were pleased to do so in light of the fact that the victory at Puebla had caused Napoleon such trouble that he had been unable to resupply the Confederate Army thus hastening the end of the Civil War.  Champions can see that a good neighbor policy can pay off in the long run.  Be one to have one—a good neighbor that is.  Good news is that the Dolly Parton Imagination Library is getting some good use through the Skyline School Foundation.   The last applications were given out at Henson’s Store the other day, but they will soon be restocked.  Reading is Champion cool. 

          Champion Pete Proctor writes that Bryan’s family has been with him since February.  His good news is that his son has just a few days left in Qatar, and then he will be home.  Bryan and Jamie are planning to take Pete on a trip to Virginia and Washington DC to see the Viet Nam Wall.  Pete is pretty excited and his Champion friends are glad for him to get to go.  They will be looking forward to the pictures and stories.  Veterans are some of the best story tellers.  They have the Love and Gratitude of the Nation due them and an appreciative audience, as well.  Another stellar local, a real live Veteran and jokester, El Generalissimo P’Shaw, has been ramrodding the Vanzant Community Musical.  David Richardson posted one of his wonderful movies on line and it can be seen by going to www.youtube.com and typing Vanzant Community Center Vanzant Mo(.)   It is 38 minutes long and well worth the time to watch.  It is like being there yourself, and you will recognize everyone.  Very cool.   One would be thanking the General for having such thoughtful and clever friends but he is off playing cowboy.  His pseudonym is “Liberty Valence” and he claims to be so tough that when he steps out in the street the sewers back up.

          Cowhand Jack would have landed flat of his back if the horse had thrown him off on the ground.  Instead of ‘thud’ and ‘grunt,’ it was ‘slosh’ and ‘snort’ and a true wonder the Cowboy didn’t drowned.  They had a nice plunge but forgot the sponge and left the barber astounded. There will be stories to tell of how he rose and fell, but this one in truth is well-grounded.

          A cult is growing up concerning the Near Drowning of Cowboy Jack.   Dramatic readings are being presented on the subject in the Conservatory on a regular basis by the elegant and well-spoken wife of the across the road neighbor of Zip Line Steve and Daring Darleen.  Among the four of them they comprise the stylish set of local Café Society, Café notwithstanding, but rather the Banquet Room at Henson’s Grocery and Gas in Historic Downtown Champion.  They and the Emporium’s proprietor, the Barber, the Cowboy, the Farmer and casual stoppers-in can be found in any number enjoying the impassioned reading of the Champion News and recounting of the events of that fateful, near fatal, day. 

          The third and fourth of May will be an excellent time for planting corn, beans, peppers, and other above the ground crops, according to Linda’s Almanac from over at the Plant Place in Norwood.  The fifth through the seventh will be good days for, beets, carrots, radishes, turnips, peanuts and other root crops.  It says that this will also be a good time for planting cabbage, cauliflower, lettuce, kale, celery and other leafy vegetables.  Start seedbeds, it says.  Good days for transplanting.  Just reading the almanac makes some folks tired.  Others find that they cannot do as much physically as they used to do or as they still want to do.  They make sure that they enjoy what they do get done and do not fret overly.  Find the Almanac up at the Plant Place and for inspection down at Henson’s Grocery and Gas or at www.championnews.us

          When a stranger becomes a friend, there is that exciting period of time when the two are learning about each other.  While that is going on, sometimes a person gets a view of himself through the eyes of the other and that can be an enlightening experience.  It is a gift when friends share friends with each other.  The mutual friend now has a new facet according to the relationship with each of the previous strangers and each has the pleasure of growing a bond.  It is a Champion thing to acknowledge that friendship is a true blessing.  Making new friends is a good excuse to look at old friends with new appreciation.  What a gift!

          Count your many blessings out on the porch at the Recreation of the Historic Emporium in Downtown Champion.  Admire the flowers and sit a spell.  Send your versions of the Near Drowning or such as that to Champion Items, Rt. 2, Box 367, Norwood, MO 65717 or to Champion at getgoin.net.  Sing, “He’s an old cowhand, from the Rio Grande.  And he learned to ride, before he learned to stand.  He knows all the songs that the cowboys know, cause he heard ‘em singing on the radio, Woopie Ki Yo Ki Yea!”  Champion—Looking on the Bright Side!


April 23, 2012

April 23, 2012

           Champions do not fret about the unsettled weather.  Having no recourse, they just take what comes their way and make the very best of it.  As the hummingbirds straggle in and the bees occupy the big walnut tree in force, Champions acknowledge the changing of the seasons yet again and have hardly anything but praise for the whole of creation.   

           A nice note arrived from Kenneth (Hovey) Henson the other day.  “Your story of Homer Akers’ wild driving brought back memories.  When Homer came up from behind, people would pull over and let him go flying around.  Beings that the roads were extremely dusty, Dad decided one day that he was going to give Akers a good dusting.  Driving fast or faster he wouldn’t let him get around.  Dad liked to make people laugh.  My brother and I thought it was funny to look back and see frustrated Akers trying to go around us.  Harley Brixey and Ed Sutherland were very amused when we went flying past their house in a fog of dust.  Homer had married into the family, but we never heard anything from them about this incident.”  It is always good to hear from Hovey and his friends and kinfolks back home (here) hope he will make it back to the school reunion this fall.  There is an old cowboy saying that says “You’re either raising dust or you’re eating it.”  It is easy for Champions to imagine how ‘full of it’ the air must have been back in those days.

           The Wednesday Night Waltz was a popular tune long years ago.  These days Wednesdays are given over pretty much to trail riding.  Those fox trotters and others that ride and those that just watch them go by or just hear about the rides down at the store days later seem equally entertained though some do not have so many horse related chores as others.    Last Wednesday a group of about ten seasoned riders got together over at the Rippee Access with the idea that they would ride over past Brown’s Cave and around–about a five hour ride.  There are established trails all around this part of the country and any nice Wednesday can find a half a dozen or twenty-five riders out enjoying the countryside and the pleasant company.  Bud Hutchison will have a ride start up at Champion on May 9th that will wander over to Drury and around.  This is an annual affair and the outfit always seems to have a good time.  Bud was not on the trail to Brown’s Cave the other day.  He and Wilma were busy working on the redbud trees and the dogwoods that they take care of as a beautification project for their community.   Anyway, these ten or so riders crossed the creek there at Rippee and the water was not too deep, but plenty cold.  It brings to mind that old saying that water and truth are freshest at their source and so straight from the horse’s mouth comes this account.  Now this cowboy will tell you two or three times in a row that he has ridden probably a million miles and has never had anything like this happen to him before.  He also has the reputation of one who would not mislead a person but would be most willing to haul him a load.    All of that aside, it seems that they had forded Rippee and crossed a big field to come up on Bryant Creek about two miles from where they started.  The rains had filled the creek and it was running deep and swift.  A couple named Kate and Steve had crossed already and Charlie Curtis had gone on too.  Then came Joe and Wilma Hamby and they were moving across the stream steadily but slowly when Cowboy Jack on Rowdy came to the water’s edge.  Rowdy is a young horse, not too experienced, but he has an extravagantly long name and the potential to serve as a reliable mount for years to come and he had already carried the cowboy a fair portion of that million miles.    A person would have had to be there to figure out just how it happened that young Rowdy entered the water the way he did.  Maybe the proximity of the Hamby’s horses out in the creek or unease about the riders behind caused him to get just a little crosswise with the current and to lose his footing.  Down he went and the relentless current pummeled the steed so that he could not get his feet under him.  Under him, however, was Cowboy Jack!  The thrashing and splashing went on ceaselessly as the cowboy, rib deep (he is not real tall) in the icy stream, struggled to keep the horse’s head above the water.  The horse flailed and fought to get purchase with his front feet and finally did just before they both went down.  Charlie Curtis went back in the water to retrieve Jack’s floating saddlebags and said that he was thinking that he was probably going to have to go in the drink himself just as Rowdy recovered.  Soaked clear through, the cowboy mounted up and rode the two long cold miles back to the trail head.   There was a young lady there at the access pulling ‘smart weed’ to make a tea for her arthritis.  She helped the cowboy get Rowdy in the trailer and he needed the help.  He was so cold that he did not think about the set of insulated coveralls that he had behind the seat of his truck or the old coats back there.  When he finally made it home and opened the truck door, water ran out on the ground.  It did not take him long to get in the house to dry off and change clothes.  It took him days to get his saddle and gear dried out and cleaned up.  Butch Linder had arrived at the creek just as the excitement was over (Jack says he is always slow), but he has been laughing about it non-stop.  He said that Jack had taken his spring bath without the soap.  They say never ask a barber if you need a haircut, but it is ok to ask Butch on any Wednesday, because he closes up shop to ride.  The cowboys all know “You can’t drown your sorrows, they know how to swim.”  This is probably one of those stories that will be told over and over.  Maybe the next time it will not take so long.    

           Silvana Sherrill is a preschooler at Skyline.  She will be 5 on May first.  Third grader Madison Shearer will be 9 on the second.  Janet White will be 7 on May third.  She is in kindergarten.  Family and friends will help these girls celebrate their birthdays—merry as the Month of May!   They will know that their birthstone is the emerald and the Lilly of the Valley is the official flower of the month.  The full moon is called The Corn Planting Moon and Linda’s Almanac says that the third and fourth will both be good days to plant those above the ground crops.   Esther says, “Thunder in February—frost in May.”   

           Write your horse tales and send them to Champion Items, Rt. 2 Box 367, Norwood, MO  65717 or tell them out on the porch at the Recreation of the Historic Emporium on the North Side of the Square in Downtown Champion.  There are some chairs out there were a person can just sit and talk and talk and talk.  Look for trail ride pictures at www.championnews.us.  Saddle up and hum the Wednesday Night Waltz on your way down to Champion—Looking on the Bright Side!


April 16, 2012

April 16, 2012

CHAMPION—April 16. 2012

           Again Champion is awash in gratitude for the much needed rain and more for the absence of the dangerous weather that has caused such destruction to communities to the North, South, East and West.   Champions agree that good fortune is a frequent circumstance in their charming berg and can muster no complaint while they express genuine compassion for those suffering elsewhere.

          ‘Rambunctious’ is a big word used by an outspoken young lady, four and a half years old, describing a cow that her family recently took to the sale barn.  This is a very descriptive word that communicates well the nature of the beast.    The little girl now sees that being too high spirited and boisterous can have disagreeable results.  She is beginning to see that ’cause and effect’ is a concept worth studying.  It is interesting that ‘study’ sounds like such a chore to some and to others it is a way to get out of work.  One prominent Champion says that he has to use his dictionary to read the Champion News sometimes.  A favorite daughter-in-law points out that one of the most important rules of journalism is that the reader should always be able to easily understand everything that is being written.  It was the cause of some relief to her when she understood that there is not even a flimsy pretense of journalism at play here.  

          As it happens Bob Berry had his birthday on the fourteenth of April!   He does not get over to Champion as often as people would like, but springtime will have him out cruising the countryside in a fine looking Studebaker and everyone will be glad to see his pleasant smile and that of Lovely Mary as well.   It will be like old times.  He bought the winning ticket for the quilt that Esther pieced for the Skyline VFD Chili Supper last month.  One can just imagine the smile that put on his face.  His birthday may seem to come around more often than Aaron Linder’s does.  His is on the twentieth.   It is hard to believe that just ten short years ago Aaron was only five!  Amazing!  He is an eighth grader at Skyline School and has done his part over the years to keep it a lively and exciting place to be.  Testing is going on there this week so everyone is arriving well rested and properly nutritioned for success.   Champion! 

          About this time of the year two years ago it was noted briefly that “Champion is a bustling place—full of commerce, community and fellowship.  As for commerce, Henson’s Store on the North Side of the Square is opening an Annex on the West Side of the Square to serve as temporary quarters while the Historic Emporium undergoes some rehabilitation.  It may be disruptive and as a consequence, a curiosity, but the end result will be that nothing of significance will have changed visibly while the substructure is vastly updated and stabilized.”  As things happened, the rehabilitation process was considerably more expansive than all but those in the know could have imagined.  Now even the infrequent visitor to Champion has become accustomed to the changes and most would agree that the ambient feel of the place has not been altered in any unpleasant way.  It is an ideal place for conservatives who seek to preserve things as they are, emphasizing stability and continuity, while still not being opposed to the advantages of some modern improvements.  The Pepsi Cola folks were pleased to install a nice new cooler in the Recreation of the Historic Emporium recently.  Long years ago, back during World War II, before there was much pavement at all in the area, the Coca Cola delivery drivers would gripe about all the flats they would get on the road.  Rubber was an expensive commodity and tires were frequently of fairly low quality.  The Pepsi Cola drivers did not gripe about it so much, so Mr. Henson let the Coca Cola fellows know that they did not need to bother coming down to Champion anymore.  For a long time Pepsi was the favorite there, and Orange Crush and Grape Nehi.    It is a nice cooler and the addition of it has allowed for an expansion of inventory in the refrigeration section.   Conservatives can celebrate making fewer trips to town.  How Champion! 

          A pleasant visit with Esther Wrinkles on the phone reveals that one of her little tomato plants suffered a little frostbite the other night.  She agrees that it is a difficult year to figure out for the garden.  She is beginning to feel a little better over her foot injury, which was five weeks ago, but has grown weary of just sitting around.  She has friends and neighbors stopping in on her, though so she will not get too lonesome.  She said she has not been over to the Vanzant music in a few weeks.  Maybe this will be the week she gets out.  Sometimes just acting like you feel better makes it happen.   Champions hope it is true and send their best wishes to their good friend.  Meanwhile, Linda’s Almanac says that root crops can be planted up until the 19th, and then starting the 22nd it will be a good time for above the ground crops.  The rain has really improved the looks of things, though some are already griping about having to mow again. 

          “Who controls the past controls the future.  Who controls the present controls the past.”  That is one of the most interesting quotes out of the novel, “1984.” Certainly everyone is partial to his own history.  Veterans like to remember what caused the wars they fought and those soldiers with whom they fought and those at home for whom they fought.    Champions like to remember the Veterans.   Practically any subject that can be thought of comes up for discussion down at the Conservatory that also serves as the Meeting Room at The Recreation of the Historic Mercantile on the North Side of the Square in Downtown Champion.  Enjoy some coffee or a pop with friends and neighbors there and dredge up the past liberally.  For a nice chunk of Champion past go to www.championnews.us.  Tell the old stories until all the young people are sick of them and then tell them again.  Sing, “Don’t forget me, Little Darling, when I’m growing old and gray, just a little talk before I’m going far away. “  No use going anywhere but Champion!  Looking on the Bright Side!


April 9, 2012

April 9, 2012

CHAMPION—April 9, 2012

           In Champion the gardener waits for the harvest and has patience for it and like James said, he is patient while waiting for the early and later rain. Some particular Champion husbandmen would like that later rain to come on early.  It seems dry, so some are watering and mulching and all are paying attention.   James is the same guy who said, “Sing if you are happy.” 

          Champions cannot sing enough the praises of the U.S. Postal Service.  There are stories about a mail carrier from the old days who drove like he was flying low.  Homer Akins was his name and people on Route Two made decisions about being out on the road based on whether it was time for the mail.    Cletus Upshaw took on the route when he got out of the Marine Corps and he was the mailman for many long and interesting years.  There are lots of good stories about him, but mostly it was Cletus who told the stories and he was a good storyteller.  He knew the history of every nook and cranny in these parts and of everybody who lived in them.  A guy with that kind of information could have been quite a gossip, but that is not something that anyone who knew him ever says about Cletus.  Bob Chadwell drove the route for a while, but now he has people out on Route One looking both ways before they enter the road way.   Karen Ross is the smiling face that brings the magazines, the bills, the letters from grandchildren and other family and friends and she does an excellent job.  Her boss, who had a pleasant and successful fishing trip recently, has plenty of good things to say about her too.  She brings all the fan mail to Champion Items, Rt. 2 Box 367, Norwood, MO 65717, one of which last week was a glowing piece from Darrell and Betty Haden over in Tennessee.  The kind Professor always offers such encouragement.  He is a Champion.   Ms. Ross also brings the newspapers about which Mark Twain said, “If you don’t read the newspaper you are uninformed, if you do read the newspaper you are misinformed.”  Champions know what they are getting!   A note in the Champion at getgoin.net mailbox refers to last week’s reference to the novel, “1984.”  She says that “the mutability of the past” is the most frightening aspect of the whole thing.   Her concern seems to be that by systematically ignoring the truth of the past and glorifying the fiction of the past, the population can be manipulated in the present.  She cited the appalling Iran/Contra Scandal that was going on in 1984, as an example and encourages some careful study before jumping on the bandwagon for another war.  Champions pay attention. 

          Harley and Barbara, Donald and Rita, all Kriders, all made it home safely after a too short but most pleasant visit to Champion.  They are a nice bunch to meet in the Club Room at the Historic Emporium where coffee and pleasant conversation flow freely.  Peanuts on the table aid yarn spinning and an enjoyable hour can pass quickly.  It cannot be too soon to reprise the holiday.  They had made a pilgrimage to a place over on McCraddock creek where Donald lived as a young boy.  The sound of the waterfall there was the same as in his youth and the memories came in a stream that left a contented smile on his face.   He told a joke about somebody dreaming they were a muffler and waking up exhausted.  That was the best of the lot of his jokes, though he seemed to think they were all funny.  Funny. 

          The Skyline School Board has two new members—Wes Woods and Brian Sherrill.  They will be interested to know that a seventh grader named Mark Blakely will be thirteen on the 12th of the month and Morgan Whitacre will have her twelfth birthday on the 14th.  Toby Marceaux will also be twelve on the 17th and Brice Atchison will be twelve on the 18th.  This wonderful little school always has some excitement going on.  It is great to see parents interested and active in the education of their children.  These children will be the people who will be running things in just a few years.  Hopefully they will be prepared to do a better job of it than their antecedents. 

          On the KY3 News at noon the other day, a Champion happened to see a photograph of a magnificent morel mushroom laying in the palm of a man’s hand and it reached from wrist to the end of the fingers and was perhaps half the breadth of the hand in width.  The announcer said that the picture was sent in by someone named Jones from Stockton.  Hearsay is that this is the same George G. Jones whose birthday falls on the fated fifteenth of April, Income Tax Day, and for that reason is always remembered.  He may be remembered for other things too, as is Dusty Mike who shares that same memorable birthday with his charming wife’s dear Aunt Vivian.  They all like mushrooms so that is another thing they have in common.   C.J. (Cowboy Jack) asked the other day if anyone had a chain available to lend out since he had found a mushroom down in the holler so big that he could not get it out by himself.    Remember, he is the guy who would not mislead you, though he certainly will haul you a load.  C.J. is the gardener’s friend.  Linda’s Almanac says that the 13th and 14th as well as the 18th and 19th will all be good days for planting below the ground crops like beets, carrots, turnips, radishes and onions.  No use speculating about the weather.  Every gardener must decide for himself how early he will get things in the ground.  The Almanac does offer some good guidelines and it can be perused at Hensons Grocery and Gas on the North Side of the Square in Downtown Champion or on line at www.championnews.us in the links section.  Find a copy to take home up at The Plant Place in Norwood and ask any garden questions you may have while you are there. 

           “It was sad.  It was sad.  It was sad when that great ship went down (to the bottom of the ocean).  Husbands and wives, little children lost their lives.  It was sad when that great ship went down.”  That is an old song about the sinking of the Titanic one hundred years ago.  There are so many books and personal accounts of the disaster that it will likely not be forgotten and the finding of the wreckage, though it is miles below the surface of the North Atlantic, will keep the truth of the occurrence safe.  Champions have those serving in the U.S. Military to thank for keeping the Nation safe and extend their Love and Gratitude to those serving now and to those who have served. 

          Send your sad song by the U.S. Postal Service, by e-mail or sing it in person out on the porch of the Recreation of the Historic Emporium located in the exact spot where Cletus Upshaw and Ed Henson wove their yarns and pulled their jokes and kept history straight.  Champion!  Looking on the Bright Side!


April 2, 2012

April 2, 2012


          The flush of spring’s arrival has eyes open in Champion.   The slow arrival of spring in the past seemed to have made it last longer.  No amount of pontificating on the subject can slow it down, so Champions just stay alert to the current beauty. 

          Back during the big rains recently some Champions noticed that their mail was coming from the other direction.  Karen Ross, Champion Rt. 2 mail carrier, says that when the creeks are impassable,  it adds twenty to thirty miles to her daily route.  There is danger involved in the job as well as a long history of good public service.  A recent article written by a venerable Texas politician, Jim Hightower, reveals that the U.S. Postal System functions nicely on its own.  The brouhaha has to do with congressionally imposed requirements that this private agency be required to pay health benefits and retirement benefits now for employees through the next seventy five years.  To have to pay in advance retirement benefits for future employees, who have not yet been born, seems a little unusual.  Some Champions are confused about the motivations for these requirements at the same time they are so appreciative of the efforts of Ms. Ross and her cohorts at the Norwood Post Office and the Service in general. 

          Talk about service!  Rick Allen and his nice bunch from MoDOT were quick to get the new Champion city limits sign back up.  They are an efficient outfit and the new installation looks very good.  Vandalism to road signs is a real problem in the area.  Many of the number signs that mark the county roads are damaged or missing.  It is such a frequent occurrence that the county road folks have a hard time keeping up.  Local people pretty much know where they are, but when a new ambulance driver is searching for an address where someone is having a heart attack, it can be a life or death situation.   Fun and mischievousness aside, it is a serious issue.  It is like litter.  One Champion was thinking to put up a sign that says, “Trash Litters,” but was cautioned against it as it could cause more trouble as in, “Who are you calling ‘Trash’?”

          A pre- kindergartener by name of Miranda will celebrate her fifth birthday on the third of the month.  Five years old is a wonderful age and her family and friends will be sure she has a glorious day.  The next day will see a memorial balloon release at Skyline to commemorate the birthday of Dane Solomon who died tragically last fall.  His friends miss him.  Tristen Shearer, a seventh grader at Skyline will become thirteen on that day.   What an exciting time in a person’s life!  Who can remember being thirteen?  Probably Cowboy Jack was still in the New Dogwood School at that time in his life.  At this time in his life he is reported to be foundering on mushrooms and fish!  Champions all!

          “April 4, 1984” was the first entry made in the forbidden journal by fictitious character Winston Smith in the novel “1984.”  Walter Cronkrite said that the novel is an anguished lament and a warning that we may not be strong enough or wise enough or moral enough to cope with the kind of power we have learned to amass.  This novel was published in 1949, and concerned itself with events thirty five years in the future.  1984 is now twenty eight years in the past and Orwell’s warning about human freedom in a world where political organizations and technology can manufacture power in dimensions that would have stunned the imaginations of earlier ages is still stunning today.  The new Samsung televisions on the market have built in GPS, cameras and microphones and can interface with home computers, satellite systems, national emergency systems and the like.  The disclaimer that goes with the product says that no ‘unauthorized’ party can have access to the private information of the television owners.  They do not say who is authorized.  Perhaps it will just be “Big Brother. “

          Champion is flush with Kriders!  Harley and Barbara are home for their spring visit which always brightens up the place.   Donald and Rita are also in town and it is agreed that they come far too infrequently.   They say that they have had a few warm days up in Illinois too, but not to the extent that Champion is experiencing such an early and vigorous Spring.   They have been to the Emporium for coffee and socializing and have made a good tour of the progress on Leslee and Briaunna’s new house.  Take a tour yourself at “The Dairymaid” link on the website at www.championnews.us.  It is going to be a lovely home for this young family and in the very spot where generations of Kriders have lived before.   Sister, Vivian Floyd, rendezvoused with her brothers and sisters- in-law at the old home place.  Like all welcome visitors, their visits are too short and there is always competition for their attention.  The up side is that they all care so much for each other that they share willingly and sweetly.  A Champion family for sure!

          Operation Enduring Freedom reports 1,835 fatalities have occurred in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Uzbekistan going back November 25, 2001.  The total also includes service members who died later from wounds sustained in these faraway places.  Many are coming home with invisible wounds.  It is easier to sympathize with a wound that can be bandaged or that produces a visible scar.  Few actually serve, but all benefit.  Love and Gratitude are the least they have coming to them. 

          The other day a Champion heard someone say that the term ‘garden’ came from the words ‘guard in.’  That just makes all kinds of sense.  A young man walking by a garden and looking at the fence said, “That’s a nice pen.”   It is always curious to hear what a stranger might observe about one’s familiar environs.  Being guarded inside fences are garlic, kale, broccoli, potatoes, peas, onions, spinach, lettuce, radishes, asparagus and leafing berry bushes.  Linda’s Almanac is available at The Plant Place in Norwood and at Henson’s Grocery and Gas on the North Side of the Square in Downtown Champion.  Any good effort extended in the garden these days is a good investment.  Remember that song, “There’s just two things that money can’t buy, and that’s true love and home-grown tomatoes!”  Send your favorite garden song to Champion Items, Rt. 2, Box 367, Norwood, MO 65717 or to Champion at getgoin.net.   Come on down and lounge elegantly with the ladies on the broad inviting veranda that graces the front of the Recreation of the Historic Mercantile.   Ascend the flowing staircase and when you have reached the top, turn suddenly (and carefully) and behold– Champion!  Looking on the Bright Side!