October 30, 2013

Ms. McCallie’s Letter of October 21, 2013

Dear Wilda,

This is a poem my Father, (Blake Haden) wrote when we were in Reedley, California in January, 1930.

We’d left Ava, MO in October, 1929, after selling our farm at the insistence of my Aunt Allie Huffman.  She was Dad’s only sister.  She had six other brothers, but my Dad was her favorite.

He,(my Dad) was a carpenter and a good one too and Aunt Allie said her other brothers were working my Dad to death, he was working for them daily from sun up to sun down for $.75 a day and it made Aunt Allie very angry at them for treating Daddy like that and she told them so.  And on this occasion, she’d just returned from California and came to see my Dad and says, “Blake, I want you to sell this ‘torn down’ farm and go to California with me.  You can make more there in one day than you can here in a month doing what you’re doing now.  So Daddy sold our farm, and bought a new 1929 Model A Ford Coach, paid $628.00 for it–full price then.  Can you imagine that?

But the car salesman (Harry Martin) at that time, says to my Dad, “Now Blake you tell me you have four young children at home and you’re going to where you’ve never been and you aren’t sure whether you’ll get work soon after you arrive there, so I suggest that you pay me $400.00 and keep the $228.00 for food, etc. in case you don’t get a job right away.  But in case that does or doesn’t happen, I’m going to give you the title to the car anyway, so’s you’ll not have any trouble as you cross the state lines of Missouri and Kansas, and etc.”  (Because) At that time it was a Federal Crime to cross a state line in a mortgaged car.  So Daddy did as the salesman asked him to and after arriving in California, Daddy didn’t find a job, as he looked and hunted everywhere, so he had to use the $228.00 for food, rent, and gas for the car.  And after a few weeks, ad detective came and took the car and put Daddy in jail, till my Grandpa and uncles, raised enough money to pay the $228.99 which took ten days.  And it just literally broke my heart to see my Daddy in jail.  So that’s when he wrote this poem that I’m sending you.  I’m telling you all of this sos’s you’ll know why Daddy was in jail.  I was so thrilled and happy when he got out.

Tell Mrs. Henson, Hello for me and Thank you so much again. 

Please write again,

Sincerely, Ethel

The following poem was written in January 1930 by Blake Haden when we were in Reedley, California, to his parents, Rezin and Frances Haden.

Dearest Parents,

This is my lamentation.  Oh how I’ve lived my life
By following willful Satan, trying not to do the right.
My past life was so wasted, my road, oh how entwined
With briars, thorns and brambles, with sunlite it was not lined.
I walked through prayers of Christians, I heard them pray for me.
That I would be the Christian, that I had ought to be.
But yet I walked with Satan, in the road that is so wide
Heeding not the voice of Jesus as he walked so close beside.
Still I heeded not the voice, till it was most too late
And now a California prison holds me behind it’s gate.
So in the Reedley jail house, and the iron door is on me closed
My sins loomed up like mountains, I could not sleep in sweet repose.
Still I heard My Savior calling, in that sweet low tone
And about the hour of midnight, I heard Him Bid me come.
As on my knees I bended, my burdens how hard to bear
I prayed to Him for Mercy, religion seemed so near.
And my children, Oh! God bless them, how I long to teach them true.
Train them how to serve their master, Jesus Christ their Savior too!
May they never, oh no never walk the pathway that I’ve trod.
For it is a road of trouble, and is not the way of God.
Pray that I will walk the pathway, in the strait and narrow way.
Shunning all the snares, and pitfalls scattered all along the way.
Oh! My soul now feels so happy, All my sins are washed away.
Pray that I will do His bidding, till my body turns to clay.

This poem was recopied by his daughter
Ethel Haden McCallie, April 30th, 2001


October 28, 2013

October 28, 2013

CHAMPION—October 28, 2013

        Champion is a truly enlightened place in a part of the world that paradoxically prides itself on being the least progressive area in the Nation.  Actually, the quote was, ‘the most willfully unprogressive.’  A person can get into trouble misquoting.  Phyllis Winn wrote to ask that John Buchan get the credit for his wonderful quote: “The charm of fishing is that it is the pursuit of what is elusive but attainable and a perpetual series of occasions for hope.” The charm of Champion is that there are very few outhouses to be turned over on Halloween.  Indoor plumbing is progressive.  It has been some while since any occupied outhouses were turned over or unoccupied ones moved backwards 3 feet, or blown up with dynamite.  Those kinds of Halloween pranks might have been more common back during the day when people had outhouses.&bnsp; Pranks are probably pulled on line now.  Boo!

        As to pranks, a Champion named Mr. Smith had an uncle who once put a cat in a mailbox.  When the mailman opened the box sometime later, the excited cat made a nasty tear through the car.   This uncle was frequently in trouble for being a trickster.  The mailman was Homer Akers.  He had a reputation himself of being a reckless driver.  If the chickens happened to be out in the road when Homer came by often as not they could just be dressed out and fried for supper.  There are many interesting stories about this mailman.  His son, Bill, married Myrtle Brixey.  She grew up in North Champion and her Dad was Alfred Brixey.  Champion’s current favorite mailperson (Hello, Karen!)  brought a nice letter from Myrtle Brixey Akers the other day.  She included an interesting article from The Ozark Headliner written by Paul Johns in his column Ozark Moments.  The article was about the history of that “Every time I go to town, the boys keep kickin’ my dawg around” song.  It is the one that says, “Makes no difference ifin he’s a hound, you gotta quit kicking my dawg around.”  She said that she could remember her Dad singing that song and playing it on the harmonica.  She said that she is 91 years old so “that was long ago.”  indeed.  Her Dad had moved to this part of the country from over by the Kansas line back in the early thirties.  One of his great grandsons says that he was what would be called a ‘truck farmer’ today.  He cut sprouts and planted his tomatoes in new ground every year.  He had a flatbed truck full of bee hives one time and the guy at the filling station said, “Take the gas and go!”  He kept the bees near the spring and had the first running water inside his house in this whole area.  He built a stone house near the spring and had a ram that brought the water up beyond the house and then down through the faucet!  Imagine!  He was a fiddle player up until the arthritis got bad.  He passed away in 1957.

        Karen brought a letter from Ethel McCallie from over in Nowata, Oklahoma.  It has the story of how her Dad, Blake Haden, wound up in jail in Reedley, California in 1930.  It was a misunderstanding and he was in there for ten days.  Out of it came a poem which concludes, “Pray that I will walk the pathway, in the strait and narrow way./Shunning all the snares, and pitfalls scattered all along the way./Oh! My soul now feels so happy, All my sins are washed away./Pray that I will do His bidding, till my body turns to clay.”  Read Ethel’s latest letter and get the full story and the poem in full at www.championnews.us.  Find Ethel McCalie in the Oklahoma Friends section of Champion Friends.  Look at the post of October 21st to see pictures of Bud Hutchison’s Fall Trail Ride.  Featured there are pictures of J.C. Owsley’s big horse, Baby, and Domino the appaloosa as well as a certain Champion cowboy.

        Birthday cards and notes came pouring into Champion this last week.  It turns out that there are a lot of people who are now 67 years old!  Champions called Harley Krider up in Elmwood, IL on Sunday to wish him a happy birthday.  He is older.  He and Barbara will be home for Thanksgiving and their neighbors will be glad to see them.  Connie Landsdown celebrates her birthday on October 30th.  Wilburn and Louise will enjoy seeing their charming daughter having a good time.  She has a gorgeous smile and a wonderful laugh.  Some of her friends are planning to ….‘oops!’ The thirtieth is also the birthday of Royce Henson.  He and his family have a big celebration planned for Saturday the 2nd of November.  The entourage will tour the old Champion School and then head down to Rockbridge for lunch.  It sounds like it is going to be a nice day.  They will certainly enjoy the glorious fall foliage as a backdrop for a stunning day.  Family celebrating is a Champion concept!  Cheyenne Hall has her birthday on Halloween.  She is in the fourth grade at Skyline School.  Sixth grader Keith Lamborn also celebrates that day as does superintendent Jeanne Curtis.  Maybe on Thursday 85 students and a dozen or so preschoolers will say, “Happy birthday, Ms. Curtis!”   Mr. Quick Draw Felipe Heston has his own Halloween-birthday traditions and his Champion friends wish him the very best!  It will be jack-o-lantern pie for birthday delight.  Somebody will surely take a jack-o-lantern pie to the Thursday Bluegrass Jam at the Vanzant community building.  If not Thursday, then perhaps on Saturday when the Eastern Douglas County Volunteer Fire Department will have its fifth annual chili supper and auction benefit dinner.  Dinner starts at 5:30 and at 6:30 the auction gets under way.  It all happens there at the community building in Vanzant. There are likely to be some interesting items on the block again this year.  Some creative friends of the Skyline VFD are looking forward to the chance to support their neighboring fire department.  It is called ‘mutual aid’ and it is a good thing.  Friends will be looking for Russell Upshaw at these events hoping to hear he is feeling better.

        Some old Champions are putting their garden to bed for the winter and are thinking about what a sorry squash crop they had this year with the squash bugs killing the plants before they had made very much at all.  One answer to their question about how to prepare for next year’s squash patch is to clean the future patch down to the bare ground and keep it that way through the winter with no mulch on it, nothing under which a squash bug could hide.  Then there are some ideas about killing all the first ones you see early in the spring as a way to control all the summer’s generations of them.  Any ideas about preparing a good squash patch for next year would be welcome at Champion Items, Rt. 72 Box 367, Norwood, MO 65717 or at champion @ championnews.us.  A consultation with Linda over at The Plant Place in Norwood will likely yield some good information.  A person would like to talk with Alfred Brixey about it, but there is only so much ‘new ground’ to be had.

        Join Lee Ray from Almartha on almost any morning (Wednesdays mostly) down at the Recreation of the Historic Emporium over on the North Side of the Square.  He’ll be sitting around the stove with Elmer Banks and Butch Linder talking about resurrecting dead flies and any number of other things.  It is a storyteller’s paradise.  Sometimes the fun spills out on to the veranda where if a person knew just where to look he could see the spot where Geoff Metroplos built an outhouse for the convenience of visitors to the community.  It washed away in the flood of 2002.  Alas!  Progress in Champion!  Looking on the Bright Side.


October 21, 2013

October 21, 2013

CHAMPION—October 21, 2013

        Bud Hutchison had a wonderful day for his fall trail ride out of Champion on Wednesday the 16th.  Those accompanying him on the trail were Ronnie, Heather and Travis Thompson, Dale Lawson, Gene Dunn, Frances Fowler, Roy and Donna Brown, Randy Emory, Charlie Curtis, Don Hamby, Larry Cain, J.C. Owsley, and James Thompson.  Jack Coonts joined the group at Drury and rode to Champion with them.  Wilma Hutchison was there to meet the bunch at Drury and it is reported that she orchestrated some good photographs.  She is good at this kind of organization and her many Fox Trotter friends are looking forward to her pictures in the local newspapers.  A number of the regulars on this ride were off on a big national ride this time but they will be traveling with Bud on other roads.  The country is full of people on horses enjoying the glorious autumn in an up close and personal way.  Locals are ever vigilant to the possibility of horseback riders around any bend in the road.  The broad veranda at the Recreation of the Historic Emporium was the site of much good post ride visiting.  Anecdotes of panthers, mountain lions, turtles, foxes, hares, eagles and bears abounded together with the regular horse tales.  It is wonderful to live in a part of the country where wildlife is abundant and people are observant.  Those readers enjoying the Champion News on-line (www.championnews.us) can see some good photos of J.C. Owsley and his big black and white horse and the beautiful Appaloosa Domino owned by Don Hamby.  Of course there is also a great picture of Cowboy Jack and of the bunch of them up on the porch.

        Ethel McCallie is a Champion friend living over in Nowata, Oklahoma.  A good conversation with her the other day revealed that she is hobbling around a bit after having suffered a broken hip back in September.  She says she is walking just not as well as before.  Ethel had her 96th birthday in August.  She and Esther Wrinkles were born the same year and were becoming acquainted in recent years.  The two had more than a birth year in common.  Their friendly personalities and years of life experience made them both good story tellers and continual gatherers of friends.  Esther grew up here in Champion and the place is full of memories of her.  Ethel was a Haden and grew up over around Smallett.  She married young and moved away, but her home is this part of the world and she comes back as often as she can.  Ethel says that no two of her children live in the same state though that does not seem to impact their closeness.  She is busy these days writing her biography and she has some real stories to tell.  Hopes are that she will share some with her distant friends together with a poem that her father wrote when she was a girl.  She said that it was read at one of the recent Haden family reunions and was well received.  She spoke of her cousin Darrell Haden over in Tennessee and of how fond the whole family is of him.  He retired a few years ago from the English Department at the University of Tennessee and was the first individual to write to this particular rendering of the Champion Items back in 2006.  He had positive constructive things to say and his encouragement is still encouraging.  It is great to hear a positive word now and again.  Ethel is very good at acknowledging the good in the present and that makes her a Champion!

        Royce Henson grew up in Champion.  He is a frequent visitor here though he lives in Springfield.  He is about to have his 80th birthday and as part of his celebration the family plans to make a ramble through the neighborhood on their way down to Rockbridge to have lunch on Saturday, November 2nd.  His Birthday is on October 30th.  t is lovely to see a family rally around for a birthday celebration.  There is a story that Lonnie Krider said that he should have shot Marty Watts the first time he came up the driveway.  It is too late now.  Marty is a big part of the family with in-laws and lots of nieces and nephews in the area.  His birthday is October 20th.  He shares the day with Skyline third grader Cyanna Davis.  The 21st is remembered as Anna Henson’s birthday.  She has been gone for a long time now, but old friends and family remember her for being friendly and having a very good memory for figures.  She had a great sense of humor to go along with her business acumen.  It is an honor to share her birthday.  Skyline bus driver Beth Caudill has her birthday on October 22nd.  She shares the day with sixth grader Talia Mancia and prekindergarten student Haylee Surface.  Donna Moskaly also shares that day with her son.  Donna is a wonderful artist.  See some of her prizewinning work at Henson’s Grocery and Gas.  Joe Moskaly just had his birthday back on the 15th.  He is a handy guy.  The other day he was over at Wilburn and Louise Hutchison’s house helping Connie put up some plastic on the windows as part of a winterizing scheme.  Louise might like to have a more transparent protection on her big picture window, but for the moment she will be happy for the warmth provided by the opaque covering.  Wilburn and Louise have settled back into their wonderful place again and it is good to have them home.  Connie has made it all possible and her family and friends will celebrate her and her birthday on the 30th.  What a beautiful daughter!  Breauna Krider, another real beauty, will have her birthday on the 24th.  Taegan will be singing that song to her Mommy.  Cousins and friends will be gifting her with coffee-cups that can be carried off to the barn and never returned!  On the 26th Harley Krider will be sharing his birthday with his nephew-in-law Brian Oglesby.  Eli and Emerson Rose will be singing to their Dad.  Harley will soon be the oldest one in his crowd again and there might be some satisfaction in that.  Hopes are that he and charming Barbara will make it back home for Thanksgiving.  It will be a good chance to spend some time with his sister Vivian Floyd.  She has had some health issues lately and her Champion friends and family are all wishing her the best!

        Billy Currington is a singer songwriter who sings, “A bad day of fishin’ beats a good day of anything else.”  Phyllis Winn shares a quote:  “The charm of fishing is that it is the pursuit of what is elusive but attainable and a perpetual series of occasions for hope.” Fishing is a quiet and personal activity.  Neuroscientists are saying that young people are so ‘plugged in’ to their smart phones and video games these days that they are not being taught how to be alone.  It is said that if a child does not learn how to be alone he will always be lonely.  Of course, a person can enjoy solitude while cutting firewood or working in the garden.  Drop a note to Champion Items, Rt. 72 Box 367, Norwood, MO 65717 or to champion @ championnews.us with your best ideas about being quiet or occasions for hope.  Come down to the warmth of the community hearth in the Recreation of the Historic Emporium on the North Side of the Square where you can engage in an old fashioned conversation.  Sing your favorite fishing song (out on the veranda, please) while observing one of the world’s truly beautiful places.  Champion—Looking on the Bright Side!


October 14, 2013

October 14, 2013

CHAMPION—October 14, 2013

        Bud Hutchison’s Fall Trail Ride is slated to take out of Champion on Wednesday the 16th.  The weather sounds like it is going to be ideal for the ride.  The bunch will be made up of Foxtrotters and others equestrians who will rendezvous at Champion in the morning and then mosey over to Drury on the back roads.  They’ll make it back to Champion in the early afternoon and will be tired but satisfied for the adventure.  Happy trails!   They will have been dazzled by the autumn colors.  The sumac, poison ivy, and trumpet vines are all going to purples and reds; the persimmons are turning yellow; sassafras will be brilliant red and the beauty of the dogwood tree in every season is yet to be adequately described.  Fall elicits a special showing from the lovely State Tree.  The summer rains and recent mild temperatures are working together to make this a spectacular year for color.  Champions watch it happen and are jubilant!

        The Skyline VFD Auxiliary got together on Wednesday evening in the community room at Henson’s Grocery and Gas in Downtown Champion.  President Betty Dye oversaw the meeting with Betty Henson, Betty Elliot, Lisa Shepherd, Fae Krider, Sharon Sikes, and Wilda Moses in attendance.  Chris Daily was detained by other obligations and was missed. Karen Griswold was helping her firefighter husband, Bill, as he struggles with health issues that a have all their friends, family and firefighting fellows thinking about them with good thoughts.  Pat Moser, a Skyline VFD fan from over in Brushy Knob, who exhibited enthusiasm for the organization at the summer picnic, did not get the notice of the meeting in time to attend.  She will be on the regular mailing list henceforth. Louise Hutchison did not make the meeting this time either.  She and Wilburn have just returned home from a lengthy stay in town.  The internet is a-buzz with ‘welcome homes’ to them, happy birthday wishes, and general well wishes from friends, family, and their happy Champion neighbors.  Louise has put a lot of time and energy into the Auxiliary over the years.  It is good to have the neighborhood complete again.   Back to the meeting:  regular business was addressed and then the focus turned to the chili supper.  It is figured that March 8th will be a good day for it, March 15th as a bad weather day.  Details of the music, the quilt and the food were discussed and good progress made toward another event that will be the cure for cabin fever come March.  Planning ahead is a good thing.

        A nice note from Pete Proctor lets Ruby’s friends know that she is doing well in her new situation.  She is in the Country Living Assisted Living facility north of the Fruit Experiment Station on Highway 95 in Mountain Grove.  Her phone number there is 417-926-1955 extension 118.   Her mailing address is Ruby Proctor Room 18, P.O. Box 649, Mountain Grove, MO 65711 if her friends wish to send a note.  Look in the Champion Snapshots section of www.championnews.us to see a picture of Ruby and her family when they were on a ramble through Champion back in 2011.  The Mountain Grove lot was joined by contingents from Cincinnati, Davenport and Bluegrass, Iowa.  The steps of the Recreation of the Historic Emporium over on the North Side of the Square in Downtown Champion make an excellent stage for family photos.  This particular photo shows how Ruby’s sweet smile has been handed down and passed around to her whole family.  It’s a joy to see Ruby smile—a genuine Champion!

        Columbus Day came to be a celebrated in the 1930’s when the Knights of Columbus requested that President Roosevelt declare a National Holiday as a way to set forth a positive male role model for the Catholic Church.   Of course, Columbus was a religious guy.  He was also wildly curious as were all his stalwart companions on those early expeditions.  In a time when printing presses were a brand new technology, more than 20 books were published by the adventurers of those famed voyages in the immediate years after their return. There are surely some interesting reads to be had there, keeping in mind that circumstances were probably significantly more dreadful and dark than rosy history paints.  It was the 1490’s.  October 12th was the day designated for school children to remember.  Champions remember it and all kinds of important historical information and continue to be wildly curious. Janet Chapin has her birthday on the 12th of October.  She seemed to have a good time if one believes everything one reads on the internet!  “What a birthday! My Mizzou team beat Georgia. My Cardinals won their second game against the Dodgers. I beat Sandy in 10 straight games of Scrabble. We had a great hike and later, a challenging but beautiful bike ride on the Ouachita Vista Trail.”  Sandy’s birthday was back on September 24th.  It is reckoned that he had a good time too.  Certainly he did if he spent it with Janet.  They are accomplished gardeners and, like Linda up at The Plant Place in Norwood, they are happy to share the knowledge they have accumulated with their successful gardens in the Ozarks over many years.  They live way over yonder, but they are Champions!

        The bluegrass jam session at the Vanzant Community building is a lovely way to spend a Thursday evening.  The pot luck starts about six with an ample spread and before long the music gets started and goes on and on.  Sherry Bennett seemed surprised the other evening when a nice looking young fellow wearing a t-shirt that identified him as a sniper and as a 2013 Veteran of Afghanistan, picked and sang one out of her repertory: “Five Pounds of Possum in My Headlights.”  He did a good job of it and Sherry seemed to enjoy it as much as the rest of the crowd.  Sherry also enjoyed the Older Iron Club show over in Cabool over the weekend.  She posted some really excellent pictures of the tractor parade, the quilt show and many of the other exhibits.  It looked like the weather was perfect for the occasion and that there was good attendance.  Champions certainly have interesting neighbors!

        The evening news is where they begin with, “Good evening!” and then proceed to tell you why it is not.  It is difficult to evaluate the message if you do not know the bias of the messenger.  When the news from every source seems so ominous and worrisome, it does a body good to remember the good things about the Nation.  Some of those things are freedom, liberty, equality, respect for the individual, respect for the law and for an independent judiciary, admiration for ambition, innovation and expanded thinking.  Drop a note to Champion Items, Rt. 72, Box 367, Norwood, MO 65717 or to champion at championnews.us with your ideas about what is good about the Nation.  Come down to one of the worlds’ truly beautiful places and sing, “America! America! God shed His grace on thee!”  You will be in Champion—Looking on the Bright Side!


October 7, 2013

October 7, 2013

CHAMPION—October 7, 2013

        Folks touring around on the internet can wind up making mistakes.  For example, Pete was busy saying “Happy birthday!” to Cathie Alsup Reilly on Sept 27th and someone mistook it for Pete’s birthday, which is really in February the day before his Mother’s.  So happy birthday, Cathy!  Your name will go on the official Champion birthday list.  The good news about Ruby Proctor (Pete’s Mom) is that she has moved to the new Assisted Living place up north of walmart in Mountain Grove.  Reports are that she likes it fine and has help with her chores and plenty of good quality visiting.  Steve Connor of Champion West has his celebration a week before his lovely wife.  His is on the 11th and Darlene’s on the 18th.  Meanwhile, Taegan will get to sing that birthday song to her Dad on the 14th.  Taegan is a good singer and big time pre-kindergarten student at Skyline school.  She really likes it.  Skyline School third grader Draven Koepke has his birthday on the 9th of October and Olivia Prock has hers on the 16th.  She is in the 5th grade this year.  It looks like school has gotten off to a good start.  The children are busy with lots of homework and interesting activities that keep parents busy as well.  Remembering the old school days is a way to keep young.  There are many ways to keep young.  Play music, play cards, play the dickens just for the fun of it.

        Just for the fun of it lots of people came out for the Pioneer Descendants Gathering over at Yates.  It was reported in the White River Current Times that it was going to be on Friday and Saturday rather than Saturday and Sunday and the published phone number was wrong.  A guy came down from Lebanon on his motorcycle Friday looking for the event and some other folks came down from Fordland.  They were good natured about the mix up and hopefully made the trip back on Sunday.  Rain came down off and on all day Saturday and Betty Thomas said that the crowd came and went anyway, but about half the number of the regular event.  In the midst of it all a tree that the White River people had been asked to cut down a number of years ago decided to fall across the power line so the musicians were out of amplification for a couple of hours and the kitchen was slowed down a little as well.  Betty reported seeing a ‘spark’ when prompted by the phone mail menu and so the White River men were out within the hour.  They came with two trucks and three men and got things going again in fairly short order in spite of not having phone service to coordinate with each other.  Sunday was a better day—a little cool, but Betty said the crowd was huge.  Roy Byerly won the hand-made quilt.  It was called ‘Morning Run’ and had silhouettes of horses running across it.  Mr. and Mrs. Byerly live up in Rogersville, but have ‘Iron Mountain’ out on 14 Highway that was her family (the Walkers) home place.  They volunteer a lot of their time and energy to the Pioneer Gathering, so it was a special treat to see Roy win the quilt.

        The Older Iron Club will have its annual show in Cabool on Friday and Saturday, the 11th and 12th.  It is always an interesting exposition.  The group was well represented at the Pioneer Gathering and was instrumental in extricating several trucks with trailers and a big RV out of the mud.  Those big old tractors were put to work.  Nobody got stuck in the public parking area, but out in the exhibition area and the camping area for the horse and wagon people there was a considerable amount of mud.  Dale Thomas used his tractor too and it was another adventure to go down in the history books.  Dale might also remember this as the year of the yellow jacket.  A few weeks ago he disturbed a nest of them and in running away from them through the woods he got tangled up in some hundred year old barbed wire and cut his leg badly enough that he had to go to the doctor.  He wound up with a tetanus shot (a good thing) and is about over it now, though he may have some scars.  They will not last as long as the good memories made at this wonderful event.  Betty said that Sunday’s crowd was one of the biggest they have ever had with people from all over—Indiana, Arkansas, Texas, Illinois and many other places.  Mark and Gretchen who live in the straw bale house at the location of the New East Dogwood School were there this year demonstrating and playing children’s pioneer games.  That was a new feature this year that was very well received.

        Mistakes get made.  The Current Times people have been kind enough to advertise events for the Skyline VFD in the past and have mistakenly called it Skyline Urbana.  It probably did not cause any major loss of attendance, but people like their information to be correct.  Betty said that it was not the first time the information about their event was not accurate.  Not cutting the old tree down in time caused a significant impact on the Pioneer Gathering, but it did not last too long.  Jeffrey Goss called to say that their organization was a little slow in getting their advertising out and there was a scheduling conflict with one of the main speakers and so the Christian Agricultural Stewardship Conference had a low turnout this year.  Their event was on September 27th at the Vanzant Community Building.  Craig Wiles spoke on saving energy and alternative power sources.  He also warned of a scam where some people from Waynesville are selling a device that is supposed to make energy out of nothing for free.  Several people brought samples of corn.  Mary Kay Isaksson of Brush Knob brought blue popcorn and Lyle Miller who lives northwest of the Mount Zion area brought some very large ears of Greenfield 114 corn.  There was discussion of genetic engineering of grains and the concerns of some over Monsanto.  The literature concerning winter gardening was popular and there are slated to be some late winter events sponsored by the group.  Mr. Goss can be reached at 417-885-7787 for more information and he has said that he will get advanced notice out early for the next proceedings.

        Mistakes get made and Champions get over them.  A distant reader of www.championnews.us chimes in to say that it was not anyone by name of “Augustus McCall” from Lonesome Dove who said, “There’s no excuse for rude behavior.”  The reader informs that the two famous ex-Texas Rangers in the books and screen plays by Larry McMurtry were Captain Augustus “Gus” McCrae and Captain Woodrow F. Call.  The critic would have readers of the Champion News to know that the actual quote was delivered thusly by Captain Call, “I hate rude behavior in a man.  I won’t tolerate it.”  This was by way of an explanation for some rather violent behavior on his on part.  Another great Texan says that we never really grow up; we only learn how to act in public.  Phyllis is right.  Her favorite song is Deep Water by Bob Wills.  “Where will it lead me and where will it end.  I can’t help but wish I only knew.  I’m windin’ up in deep water, so deep in love with you.”  If she is lucky she will wind up in Champion—Looking on the Bright Side!