October 29, 2012

October 29, 2012

EDINBURGH—October 29, 2012

               It would seem that many of the people in the Ozarks are related to people in Scotland.  They immigrated to America in the 1700s and settled in the beautiful Appalachian Mountains which eventually became the states of Kentucky, Tennessee and North Carolina where they carried on their time honored craft of whiskey making.  When the newly formed government needed money to pay for its very expensive War of Independence against old King George, it was decided to tax the whiskey made by these skilled craftsmen.  The tax was too high to be tolerable and so they upped and moved west again settling in the lovely Ozark Hills.  Of course, not every Scotsman’s descendant makes whiskey or even drinks it, though a few weeks ago somewhere up around Rogersville, a lady of sixty some odd years, had her lovely still confiscated by the revenuers together with 26 of her sparkling clear gallon jugs of pure distilled spirits. (Some call it honey-dew vine water.)  It is considered quite legal to produce four gallons per year for home consumption.  Perhaps the lady has a big family.   Tea totalers or not, many Scotts would be right at home in Champion with their native love of music and of a tranquil countryside, and blessed with the wonderful gift of gab.  

               Reports are that the Skyline School Carnival was a big success.  Wes and Pat Smith’s grandchildren Zoey and Zack said that there was a good haunted house–very scary.  The General Himself was holding court there trying to get the facts straight around his laughter as the husband of one of his many nieces was telling him a bow hunting story about his favorite sister-in-law’s husband.  His favorite sister-in-law’s husband was deer hunting and was able to get a deer without using and losing too many arrows.  When he started to skin the deer it had a rancid odor, so the carcass was discarded.  It was thought the deer may have been pulverized in recent weeks by a vehicle of some sort.  The General is speculating (and guffawing) that the deer may have been dead prior to being shot with the arrow(s).   Since the General has dozens of nieces, this is a story that could have been told about any number of young men lucky enough to have married into the family.  An interesting survey of this stalwart troop of young men might include the question, “Did you meet the General before or after you asked her to marry?”       

                 Good news from the Skyline School Foundation is that the Douglas County Community Foundation is providing a grant of $2000.00 to the Skyline School Foundation to continue the Dolly Parton Imagination Library program.  This is an excellent program for children from birth to five years of age who live in the Skyline School District.  Each month the mail will bring a brand new, age appropriate book addressed to the child and designed to cultivate a love of reading—the great key to success in school and much of the rest of life.  Champion!

                     A pleasant fellow named Graham, a man of about sixty years of age, was walking down Marchmont Road one day and, passing a bank building from within which he heard a great deal of hammering and sawing, and being a wood worker himself, stuck his head in the door.  What he saw was a pair of workmen removing the counter over which the bank’s business had long been conducted.  There was a renovation going on and a great huge slab of polished ancient American black walnut was being wrenched loose destined for the construction dumpster.  He convinced the fellows to hold up for ten minutes to take a coffee break (tea) while he rushed home for his tools.  In the end, for his willingness to help remove it, he was rewarded with the piece.  From this piece, which he reckons to be 75 to 100 years old, he has manufactured a fiddle, a mandolin, and a guitar.  It is a pity he can only play one instrument at a time.  His new friends hope one day to hear them all together in the Old Bank Bench Band.  Graham is an excellent musician as well as instrument maker.  Nothing would please him more than to sit out on the porch at the Recreation of the Historic Emporium in scenic Downtown Champion and play a tune on his black walnut fiddle in the very presence of some of the trees’ relatives.

                        Ones allegiance to a particular baseball team develops over time and according to no particular set of logical rules.  The Detroit Tigers has always been one Champions favorite team because of Norm Cash.   Known as “Punk” by his family, he was a farm boy from West Texas.  He grew up in Justiceburg, Texas, a Champion sized community, out between Snyder and Post.  His folks were Bandy and Mildred Cash and they were cotton farmers and family friends.  He played for the Tigers from 1960 to 1974, during which time he excelled in his sport and was a great source of pride for a high school girl who liked to tell her friends about playing the piano at Punk’s house and how they kept the windows painted shut to keep the dust out of the house even after the dust bowl years and how it did not seem to work.  Esther Wrinkles is also a Tiger’s fan and it will be interesting to hear the story of why it is her team.  She was up late Sunday night watching the game and was disappointed that her Tiger’s did not win.  She is reported to be making slow but steady progress in her recovery, however, and her Champion friends send her greetings and best wishes from far away.

                 Satellite images from space show the enormous storm headed to the East Coast of the United States.  Hopefully, the National Guard will be able to be out assisting those who need it.  All the emergency services people, police and firemen, will be out on the job looking after people.   Champions do not take them for granted. 

                       Friends gathered in Edinburgh on Sunday evening to celebrate an American Thanksgiving early.  Among them were two Old Champions, their fiddler son;  Graham the instrument maker and fiddler; and Morag (Moe) a lovely read haired fiddling lass from Portobello, Scotland;  Jhan a very tall and pleasant Dutch accordion player;  Jesus, an amazing guitarist from southern Spain; Miss Lake Montgomery, a siger/song-writer from Paris, Texas who has been living in Europe for about ten years; Thomas, an harmonica virtuoso from Poland, who hardly speaks any English, but can play unbelievably well;  and another Graham, a Scotsman, who plays guitar and harmonica and sings; and Grahams wife Ingrid, from England.  Ingrid is a talented painter and is very busy being mother to six-year-old Fae and 2 year old Lea.  Many traditional American Thanksgiving dishes and variations of traditional dishes completed the menu and satisfied guests settled in, at last, to an unforgettable evening of music.  Champions have many reasons to be appreciative!  Make your own list of Things for Which to Be Grateful and feel free to recite them out loud as you stand on the broad and elegant steps on the North Side on the Square and survey the many charms of one of the world’s loveliest places—Champion!  Looking on the Bright Side!


October 22, 2012

October 22, 2012

EDINBURGH—October 22, 2012

               Traveling Champions are pleased to see how excitingly different the world is elsewhere and are delighted to see how very similar it is to home.    An evening in an establishment called The Reverie over on Newington Street in Edinburgh was very reminiscent of any one of a number of places around Champion.  Rambling Heart, a trio of dobro, guitar and fiddle was joined by a banjo, another fiddle and a big, big dog-house bass.  The first song was the Wreck of the Old 97 and so one immediately had the feeling that it was to be an unforgettable evening.  Blackberry Blossom, White Freight Liner, All the Good Times Are Passed and Gone, were followed by Red Haired Boy and Soldiers Joy.  Of course, The Flowers of Edinburg came out and then The Old Home Place which ask, “Why did I leave the plow in the field to look for a job in the town?”  The list of familiar songs goes on and on.  Favorites standing out were Faded Love and I Traced Her Little Footprints in the Snow.  Wayne Anderson would have felt right at home and Champions can smile sweetly at the thought of Lonnie Krider’s wonderful high-lonesome voice in the mix.  Some of the best things about music are how it is draws dissimilar people together and helps to hold precious memories of dear ones close.  Champion! 

The bad weather that was predicted for Wednesday the 17th caused a light turn out for Bud Hutchison’s Fall Trail ride.   It is reported that the forecast was wrong and the bad weather did not materialize.  Those few intrepid riders who were willing to brave the elements were rewarded with an outstanding excursion.   It is good to see the General plodding about on face-book liking a link sent by D.J. Shumate concerning Del Reeves song, The Only Girl I can’t Forget.  (Backyard Bluegrass would be superstars over here.)  For future reference, ‘Himself’ will be telling a joke about a snowman picking his nose in a vegetable market.  His friends are thinking that since he is seeing so clearly now, perhaps it will be as Robert Burns said, “O would some power the gift to give us to see ourselves as others see us!” Certainly the internet is providing some magnificent views of the luscious fall foliage around Champion and Bugger County in general.  Breauna Krider has posted some outstanding photos on her website www.the-dairy-maid.com

               Pete Proctor, Archie Dailey and their VFW friends would appreciate the many monuments in the city dedicated to soldiers.  One such on the Old North Bridge says, “In memory of officers, non-commissioned officers and men who whilst serving the King’s own Scottish borders (The Edinburgh Regiment) gave their lives for their country during the following campaigns:  Afghanistan 1878-1880, Egypt 1888-1889, Chin Lushai 1889-1890, Chitral 1895, Thrah 1897-1898, South Africa 1900-1902.”  Some say the Scotts were just London’s cannon fodder.  There is currently a vote on the local ballot for Scottish independence.   It will be interesting to see how it goes, independence being such a Champion notion.  There is also quite a magnificent statue of the First Duke of Wellington, who noted that many cavalry soldiers sustained crippling wounds by having been shot in the knee—a very vulnerable and exposed part of the body when one is mounted on a horse.  The Duke caused the typical boot to be modified with a protection for the knee which may well have contributed considerably to the great victory over Napoleon at the battle of Waterloo.  Later on in 1852, a well-known boot maker, Hiram Hutchison, met Charles Goodyear and the modern Wellington began to evolve.   In World War I production of the wonderful dry boot was boosted with the requirement for footwear suitable for the conditions in Europe’s flooded trenches.   Today, pink lady Wellingtons are available with polka dots and fuzzy linings.  Taegan (Peanut) has a lovely pair of pink and purple ‘barn-boots’ thanks to the First Duke of Wellington and some guy named Hutchinson who could well be an ancestor.  Champion!

               It was a lovely sunny day when two old tourists walked about in the Prince’s Garden just below Edinburgh Castle.  The weather is cooler here, on Monday about 45 degrees, but there has yet to be a killing frost.  Roses are blooming still and little front gardens are full of beautiful plants from exotic places.  The gardens below the castle were once a moat and the big volcanic mountain upon which the castle stands has been a stronghold for three thousand years.   In those far off days it was known as the stronghold of Eidyn.  Then came the invading Angles from Germany, around AD 638, and ever since then the rock has been known by its English name– Edinburgh.   Now the city has about half a million people—just about the size of Kansas City, which also has some lovely gardens.   It looks like the growing season will be continuing throughout much of November for Champions and so Linda over at The Plant Place in Norwood will have all the Cole crops and other things that gardeners need to keep food on the table and their little cottage gardens beautiful. 

               Champions wandering far from home, even some just down to Arkansas, can find themselves quickly out of touch.  Any news that one would like to have known can travel back and forth across the Pond via Champion at getgoin.net.  It  has been a joy to share with new friends  the amazing beauty of a charming spot at the end of the pavement and the bottom of several colorful hills, where country lanes converge on the wide and wild banks of Old Fox Creek.  Old friends from St. Louis who use to make it down to the country often, but have not in a while, were strolling about the Square the other day.  They enjoyed the lovely view from the wide veranda on the Recreation of the Historic Emporium where they found themselves relaxed and happy.   It will always be a warm spot in the hearts of those at home and of the many who are far flung and yearning to return to their dear Champion!  Looking on the Bright Side!


October 15, 2012

October 15, 2012

EDINBURGH—October 15, 2012

               News has traveled all the way across the Atlantic Ocean to the effect that Saturday night brought another good inch of rain to Champion and that the weather is wonderful.   Sunday was the birthday of Peanut’s dad and his Tennessee sister and her tall sons were in for a week’s visit.  They joined together with Foster and Kalyssa and their folks and others to wish the Fox Creek Farmer a joyful birthday celebration.  Other birthdays had all the Old Tree-Huggers out at Woodpecker’s Paradise Hall for the benefit of Miller’s son, Davey.  Now that is a gathering one would rather not have missed!  Alas!

               Bud Hutchison’s Fall Trail Ride is an event of some significance to Champions.  It has been so for many years.   Riders rendezvous at Champion on Wednesday morning and form up in their ranks to explore the countryside.  Since most of these participants have been on this ride many times already, someone suggested that it is more like a patrol of the area rather than an exploration.  They take out of Champion at ten in the morning and cut a wide loop about the area.  To know just exactly where they go, one would have to go with them.  If you cannot go, just be hanging around the Emporium on the North side of the Square in Downtown Champion early in the afternoon when they come moseying back in and surely someone of them will tell you just where they went and who may have been thrown off in the water or bucked off into the brush.  The best hope is that it will have been exciting excursion but uneventful as far injury is concerned.  

“Rusticity’ Ungainly Form” is another of those interesting short works by Robert Burns.  In eight rimed lines he manages to say that it is easy even for an enlightened individual to misjudge a poor country person by his looks.  Now that his vision has improved so considerably, the venerated General might be more willing to spare poor Sensibility his “ungentle, harsh rebuke,” and may also be a little more grateful when he looks in the mirror.  Look back into the archives at www.championnews.us to find a picture of “Junior and The General” to illustrate the point.     

On a stroll about the city in the late evening an old Champion couple happened into a little restaurant called My Big Fat Greek Kitchen just for a small bite to eat.  The waitress was a Greek girl who had only arrived in the city three days earlier.  Her English was beautiful and she said that her friends note that her accent is very American.  She loves the United States and hope to go there one day.  Just now, however, she was already missing her home and her family.  She plans to stay in Edinburgh for only one year, but she says that people often come to the city and get caught.  She is looking for a second job so that she can earn more money and get home sooner.  She is young and attractive and away from her home for the first time.  She said that she just hopes that she does not fall in love because she might never get home.   Her new friends hope that when she does fall in love it will be with someone who will love her enough to take her home and perhaps to America and to Champion where she can see the Bright Side.

               Linda’s Almanac from over at The Plant Place in Norwood shows the 16th & 17th  to be good days for planting above-ground crops and leafy vegetables. The 18th through the 20th are considered to be barren days—good for clearing and plowing, but not planting.  The 21st and 22nd are good for above the ground crops again according to the conditions of weather and circumstances that may allow for protected fall planting.  The 18th to the 20th and the 23rd to the 25th will all be good days to prune to discourage growth.   Weather in Auld Reekie (Edinburgh) is currently much as it is in Champion with no hard frost in the city yet.  There are many roses, bleeding hearts, passion flowers, hydrangeas and many unfamiliar blooming things.   Travelers will take pictures of the flowers and get Linda to identify them when they get home.  There is being an unseasonable amount of sunshine, but the overall temperatures are a little chill.  The city is called Auld Reekie (reek) because it used to be a very smoky city due to the smoke from the chimneys as people heated with coal.  It might also be connected with the fact that in the old, old days people just emptied their chamber pots out the windows!  There is a song about that called “The Flowers of Edinburgh” and it is a marvelously beautiful fiddle tune.  The hardware stores are full of gardening tools and snow shovels.  They say that one can experience all four seasons in a day.  

A nice chat with Esther has her about the same, still making progress toward her recovery, but still experiencing some discomfort in her back.  She said that Leon and Peggy Harris had come over for supper on Friday night and they had had a good visit.  She was surprised to get a call from the other side of the big pond and says she will be interested in looking at the pictures.  Meanwhile, new friends are enjoying pictures of another wonderfully beautiful place in the world—Champion—Looking on the Bright Side!


October 8, 2012

October 8, 2012

CHAMPION—October 8, 2012

                Champions are pleased for their neighbors, those Pioneers, that they endured the inclement weather as pioneers have surely done always.  Betty Thomas said that it was a little slow Saturday due to the disagreeable weather, but that quite a few people came out anyway.  Sunday morning the sun was right in their eyes as they were having their church service.  They could have turned around, but they just enjoyed the feel of it on their faces.  T.J. Stout held their church meeting for them and Betty said it was a good service.  The KY3 News people were out on Saturday and said that this is the biggest event that happens in Douglas County.  The Gathering was featured on the 10 o’clock news Saturday night.  They will most likely have some pictures from this year on their website or their face-book page.  The wonderful Buffalo Bill Quilt went to a guy named Cloine Smith from Lee Summit.  He won the quilt in 2005 too.  It must be that he buys a lot of tickets.  Anyway, he was very pleased with it and Betty already has the top together for next year’s quilt.  It is called Morning Run and has horses running across it and a fence for the border.  It will be another of her hand-quilted masterpieces.  Kalyssa and Foster Wiseman and cousin, Taegan Krider (Peanut), had a great time on the wagon rides Sunday afternoon.  They had to go around a second time just because it was so much fun.   The Southwest Missouri Equine Driving Association once again provided the wagon rides down along the creek for the visitors.  They do this every year and Betty says they are a faithful bunch.  She and Dale belong to the association and the group meets the second Friday of every month at Shoney’s in Springfield.  By all accounts the music was just wonderful.  That pavilion really makes a great place to enjoy the music.  Someone will have to go down past the Edge of the World to see how the Thomases use the pavilion the other 363 days of the year.  This year there were visitors from Washington, South Carolina, Tennessee, California, Maryland, Indiana, Florida and who knows from where else?  There were some new demonstrators this year, as well as the Stillings with their molasses, and the apple butter and lye soap people.  All in all, it was another successful event that really demonstrates the way people in this area overcame the challenges of their day and progressed.  Hard work and imagination—those are Champion qualities!

                A pleasant chat with Esther Wrinkles finds her in good spirits.  Her fall was on the22nd of July and the doctors say that she is making very good progress in her recovery considering the length of time since her injury.  Her Champion friends wish her the best.   Pete Proctor writes about the 88,232 soldiers still missing—the Prisoners of War and those Missing in Action—POW/MIA.   Pete’s son, Bryan, will end his career in the service at the end of October and will then be home on the first of November.  Pete will be glad to have his son home, and the Nation will be glad for the return of any of its lost soldiers at any time.  79,000 of those missing are from World War II.  7,500 are still missing in Korea, and 1,600 in Vietnam.  The Cold War still claims 126 Americans and there are 6 missing in Iraq and 1 in Afghanistan.  Champions all.

                    There is no more tender love song than “My luve’s like a red, red rose.”   The melody may not be familiar to all these days.  Someone wrote in as another fan of Scotland’s Robert Burns saying that since Burns died in 1796, it goes without saying that in his day songs without words would quite likely be easily forgotten.  It may be that more people read music in those days.   Certainly all music was live.  Poverty, hunger and never-ceasing toil was his lot in life, but Burns could laugh, and his good humor shows through to readers today who cannot imagine how difficult his life must have been.  He died a poor farmer at age 37 years, leaving an enormous legacy of poetry and music.   He is described as a multifaceted genius and is considered to be the first poet of common humanity. 

                   The Farmer’s Day Celebration in Norwood was great this year.  It is always one of Eva Powell’s favorite activities.  She particularly enjoys the children’s parade.  The frost will eventually get here to stay, but for the moment, it may be that some things will live on for a while in spite of Sunday night’s nip.    Linda’s mums over at the Plant Place in Norwood are just gorgeous!  For half the price of anything comparable in Springfield, Linda keeps the area beautiful.  She makes the cuttings from her mums herself every year and nurtures them until they are ready to brighten the sidewalks and front porches of flower lovers all around the region.  It is a joy to support local business owned and operated by real people who are good neighbors.  Champions have good neighbors.  Linda will continue to help them and avid gardeners will continue to plant and reap all year long whether just with catalogues by the fire or out in the very soil.  It is a healthy lifestyle to grow as much as one can eat.  That is to say, to grow as much of what one eats as one can.

               “You talk funny,” is the opinion of more than one person in Champion.  Regional speech, geographic dialects, and all forms of the English language are the main tools available to communicate with each other whether Champion or outlander.  None is particularly better than another—just different.    A person can hear any number of different styles of speech down at the Recreation Historic Emporium over on the North Side of the Square in Downtown Champion.  A seasoned listener out on the porch could probably tell the difference in speech between folks from over at Almartha and those from Drury.  Cowboy Jack might be spinning a yarn about almost anything.   Any of that bunch from Bud Hutchison’s Fall Trail Ride could be retelling the story of the Near Drowning or any other exciting event that happen out on the trail.  They will be leaving Champion about ten in the morning on Wednesday the 17th and will get back when they do, perhaps with new stories to tell.   The General’s many friends are glad to know that the veil is being lifted from his eyes.  He will be in fine fettle when next in Champion—Looking on the Bright Side!


October 1, 2012

October 1, 2012

CHAMPION—October 1, 2012

                 Champions are suddenly much taken by the poet, Robert Burns. He was also a gifted musician and he dedicated himself to rescuing from oblivion and neglect hundreds of songs without words—or with fragmentary or unsuitable words, “Auld Lang Syne” among them. He knew that song without words often dies. Among other things he says, “Then catch the moments as they fly, and use them as you ought, man. Believe me, happiness is shy, and comes not ay when sought, man!” Champions take the sentiment to heart and relish the view of some strutting crows in a rain of golden walnut leaves against a grassy background with the dogwoods beyond making the beginnings of their spectacular autumnal show.  Dogwoods seem to be beautiful at every time of the year. Ah! Champion!

                 To those celebrating a birthday on the first of October…one says, “Remember, in any situation, even a difficult one, if you act like you are having a good time, pretty soon you will forget that you are acting and you will really be having a good time. It is a trick.” Another good thing to remember around birthday time is, “If you do not get what you want, just think of all the other things that you did not get that you did not want.” Or “Just think of all the other things that you did not want that, happily, you did not get.” Jana Brixey, among others, celebrates her day on the first of October. Jenna and Jacob are just at the age when they begin to realize that everybody has a birthday—even their Mom! Lydia Harden also has her birthday on October 1st. She is in preschool and most likely likes it as much as Jennna. They are Champion girls! Skyline VFD Auxiliary President, Betty Dye, celebrates on the 7th of the month. She stays busy in doing good works, many of them for the Fire Department and has proven to be a good leader of the organization. Champion Steve Connor and his lovely wife, Darlene, both celebrate in October—he on the 11th and she on the 28th. Their neighbor over on the Fox Creek Farm will have a birthday on the 14th of October. He is Peanut’s father and she is a real country girl. She would like to have another Fox Creek Rodeo to celebrate. www.the-dairy-maid.com is a good place to look in on Peanut and her folks. Her mother, and the author of that wonderful blog, celebrates on the 24th of the month. Olivia Prock will be ten years old on the sixteenth of October. She is a fourth grader at Skyline. Local acclaimed artist, Donna Moscaly and Tennessee’s Marty Watts both celebrate on the 20th of the month. Marty will be 40! The 21st of October is remembered always as the birthday of Anna Henson. She and her husband, Edgar, ran the Champion Store for decades. It is still Henson’s Grocery and Gas and it is still very much in the spirit of the original. It is not called the “Recreation of the Historic Emporium” for nothing! There are some great stories about Anna. It is thought that she was the conservative of the pair and her sparing ways helped to keep the business a going concern. Her sense of humor was sharp and she on more than one occasion offered a good-natured ‘snicker’ and a smiling chuckle to a fellow birthday celebrant who would ask for one (snicker) out of the candy case. That Champion plans her birthday this year (her 66th) to be out in the Highlands of Scotland viewing the meteor shower that is the tail of Haley’s Comet. Such an adventure! On the 26th of October Harley Krider, once again, becomes the senior spokesman for non-resident out of state Champions. His friends and neighbors in these parts are disappointed to learn that he and the lovely Barbara will not, after all, be here for the Pioneer Descendants Gathering. They have a scheduling conflict. Skyline third grader Cheyenne Hall will be nine on Halloween! Everybody will be celebrating in the most fanciful and interesting ways. Felipe Heston, another Halloween birthday, hosts elegant dinner parties on his day. He used to like to go to a nice restaurant on 6th Street in Austin and take a table by the window. He made a sign to hold up to the Halloween revelers walking by: “It’s my birthday! Show me your (smile).”

               Champions, out on a lark to rendezvous with family, found themselves in the place called Fair Grove recently. There was a festival, market day celebration going on and among the many vendors was Champions’ favorite tinkerer and trinket maker. He is said to have some spectacular hand crafted merchandise for sale, the likes of which some Champion husbands wish their wives had not seen.

                A pleasant phone visit with Esther Wrinkles reveals that she is making some good progress. She says that it is easy enough to get in and out of the car and she very much enjoyed the beautiful weather Sunday for church services and for a pizza party in Mountain Grove for Teresa’s nephew. She is most conscientious about her exercises and, no doubt, her discipline together with her natural athleticism will help her to speed along her recovery. She was a basketball player in her youth—a forward—and loved those match games. She said she is sending thank-you notes for the many flowers and gifts she received and that she is still getting a card in the mail pretty often. She loves to go to the Pioneer Descendant’s Gathering over in Yates, but does not know if she will make it if the weather is unfavorable. Here is hoping for another beautiful week-end for this outstanding community event. Dale and Betty Thomas have been hosting this meeting for eleven years and it will be a splendid chance for young newcomers to the area to get acquainted with some of their neighbors and some of the history of the place. The music is fine out under a large pavilion and the food is good. The many interesting demonstrations and the period crafts and merchandise available make for a memorable occasion. Champion has some exciting neighbors!

               Recently a survey was sent out by the US Postal Service to postal customers in the 65717 zip code. There is still time to return the survey to let the Postal Service know that the chrural delivery is of paramount importance to people back in the remote hills and hollers. There will be a meeting at the Norwood Post Office at 4:00 PM on October 22nd to share the results of the survey, answer questions and to look for input from the patrons. Everyone who can attend is encouraged to do so.

                 The last day of September was designated as Gold Star Mother’s Day to acknowledge every American mother who has lost a son or daughter in service to the United States. It is a title no one wants. More than 2000 have now been killed in Afghanistan. Burns writes, “My soger laddie, I lang hae lo’ed weel. Now nearer my heart I tender thee still: To Country thou’rt loyal, to friendship thou‘rt steady. My blessin gae wi’ thee, my soger laddie.”

                 Come sing some lovely ditty out on the porch at Henson’s G & G over on the North Side of the Square in this picturesque and Historic Downtown sprawled comfortably out on the wide banks of Old Fox Creek. There is no requirement for it to be a sentimental song—just something heart-felt and appropriate to Champion—Looking on the Bright Side!