September 28, 2015

September 28, 2015

CHAMPION—September 28, 2015

Super Moon over Sister City, Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland
Totally Eclipsed Harvest Moon

        Moon watching parties were all the rage in Champion and around the world on Sunday night.  Images from Great Britain, from the Mount Washington Observatory in New Hampshire, from the Rabbit Ears formation near Sedona, Arizona and from Lannie Hinote up in Mountain Village, Alaska filled the internet and revealed the big luminous orb in its fullness, disappearing a bite at a time only to reemerge in bloody garb which was then sluffed off altogether as the moon moved on its regular course through the dark night sky.  No light pollution interfered with a clear viewing in Champion and the clouds that had lingered over the area for the previous two days seemed to dissipate on cue.  “Wow,” was a standard comment in Champion together with the questions wondering how ancient peoples might have responded to such dramatic celestial events if they had no forewarning.

The Bee Tree

        A bee keeper from Texas has been in town for a few days enjoying the quiet country life and examining the magnificent Champion Bee Tree on the South side of the Square.  His studies have told him that before bees move into a hollow tree they first clean it free of all debris, sawdust, insects and the like.  They then line the entire space with glue or varnish called propolis (named from the Greek pro—before and polis-city) which they manufacture from sap collected from the growing buds of trees and other plants.  As they set up housekeeping they build exactly 4.83 hexagonal wax cells per square inch (maximizing available space) to use for storing honey and raising their family.  There is local speculation about the age of our tree (probably more than 200 years) but no exact date for when the bees took up residence.  They are such good neighbors; they may have been there for a long time before they were noticed 30 or more years ago.  Hopes are that the new growth which sprouted atop the colossal walnut stump (First Base to Champion School alumni) will continue to grow to provide some shade for the colony next summer.  The relatively cool and wet summer this year may have contributed to its survival after the so called ‘pruning.’  Look for regular updates on the Champion Bee Colony at

        Helen Batten at the Skyline R2 School reminds readers that the Douglas County Health Department will be at the school from 8:00 to 10:00 a.m. on the first Tuesday of the month to do blood pressure checks.  It was a grant from the DCHD that is responsible for the lovely quarter mile walking trail just south and a little to the west side of the school.  It is a paved trail skirting the edge of the woods, going down toward the fire department picnic grounds and back up around the new greenhouse.  School Superintendent Jeanie Curtis says that all residents in the area are welcome to use the trail.  It is a nice regular surface suitable for older folks to navigate safely.  Four times around will make a mile and enough walking will keep a person healthy.  Ms. Batten also provides The Champion News with birthdays of students and staff at Skyline.  October starts off with Ms. Brixey, prekindergarten teacher and second grade student Lydia Harden celebrating on the 1st.  Malachi Fulk is in the third grade and has his birthday on the 4th.  Former Skyline students, Fae and Kaye, share that day with Malachi and then the 7th is the birthday of Skyline Auxiliary President Betty Dye.  Wishes are for happy days to all of them and to those shy people born on September 30th and October 1st who decline to be recognized.  To them we say, “Remember, if you act like you are having a good time, soon you will forget that you are acting and you will really be having a good time.”  Cathie Alsup Reilly had her birthday on September 27th.  She lives over in Tennessee but is a regular visitor to Denlow where she had a good time exhibiting her hula hoop prowess last Memorial Day.  She indicated in an email that someone had made off with her hula hoop recently, so she might have to borrow one from Ms. Quiet Timber when she is next in town.

        Dale and Betty Thomas will host the Pioneer Descendants’ Gathering on the week end down at Yates on the Edge of the World.  There will be a church service there from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. on Sunday.  The event starts at 10:00 on Saturday and both days will be full of music, all kinds of demonstrations, good food and the chance to see old friends who will come smiling at you across the meadow.  The Champion News is asking Sami McCleary, Tanna Wiseman, Sherry Bennett and everyone who will to post many pictures and observations on Facebook for the benefit of unfortunates who will not be able to attend this year.

        There was good attendance in the meeting room of the Historic Emporium on the North Side of the Square in Downtown Champion on Wednesday.  The General had just blown into town from Wyoming and spent some time avoiding questions.  Someone said, “I know who robbed the Rockbridge Bank!”  Groucho Marx said, “Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.”  In the 1932 comedy, ‘Horse Feathers,’ he sang, “I don’t know what they have to say/ It makes no difference anyway/ Whatever it is, I’m against it/ No matter what it is or who commenced it/ I’m against it/  Your proposition may be good/ But let’s have one thing understood/ Whatever it is, I’m against it/  And even when you’ve changed it or condensed it/ I’m against it….”  It sounds very appropriate for today’s political situation.  There was a movie with James Stewart called “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” that also is reminiscent of today’s circumstances.  Circumstances with current Mr. Smiths are ambiguous amid federal investigations as to use of tax money for political junkets and lavish vacations.  Come down to the wide, wild, wooly, welcoming banks of Old Fox Creek to express your opinion, speculation, doubts or amazement.  Share those things, your stories, poetry and songs at or at The Champion News, Rt. 72 Box 367, Norwood, MO 65717.  Get a look at the Behemoth Bee Tree down on the Square or on line at where the complete and unedited version of these remarks can be found…almost like a visit to Champion—Looking on the Bright Side!


September 22, 2015

2015 Wagon Train

Wagon-Master Coy Stone strolls across the Champion Square with purpose—ice cream.

Resting on the shady banks of Old Fox Creek: Earl Duke’s wagon on the left, the Websters in blue; Jim and Judy Cantrell, and Jerry Sanders wagon with the hay on the back.

Marvin and Nancy Webster have downsized. Here they are in their new rig with Coco and Pete.

Ken Felts trails a spare mule, Champ, another that he has raised.

Judy Cantrell standing, will be leaving the train in Mansfield while the others go on to complete 387 miles in 18 days. Also pictured Ken Felts, Ms. Sanders and Jim Cantrell.

Locals visiting the wagon train are Royce Henson talking with Vernon Crow under the Champion Bee Tree. Joyce Coonts is taking Cowboy Jack’s picture with wagon-master Coy Stone.

Randall Barnet belongs to four other wagon and riding clubs in addition to the West Plains Wagon Club and the Gee Haw Club of Viola, Arkansas.

Chief, Lady and Amos pulling us up the hill. Up ahead is Vernon Crow, Randall Barnet and Coy Stone in the lead.

Earl Duke waves good bye. He has this wagon borrowed from Coy Stone who built it. Earl is using this one until Coy gets one built for him. This is his third year on this ride.

The Websters bring up the drag. Good bye for another year. Happy trails!


September 21, 2015

September 21, 2015

CHAMPION—September 21, 2015

The West Plains Wagon Club and the Gee Haw Wagon Club pause the wagon train in Champion for lunch and for
admirers to get a closer look. Locals visiting the wagon train are Royce Henson talking with Vernon Crow under
the Champion Bee Tree. Joyce Coonts is taking Cowboy Jack’s picture with wagon-master Coy Stone.

        The West Plains Wagon Club and the Gee Haw bunch from Viola, Arkansas pulled into town a little earlier in the day than it has in years past.  The eight wagons had set out from West Plains on Monday and made it to Champion about eleven o’clock Thursday morning.  Drivers and passengers all reported beautiful weather and a pleasant uneventful trip.  Clifton Luna has sold his wagons and mules but is still active with the club and enjoyed riding with them for a day on this trip.  At somewhere around the age of 90, Mr. Luna says this is the first time in his life that he has not owned a horse or a mule.  By the time they are home again, this train will have traveled 387 miles in 18 days.  They camped up north of Champion on Thursday and from there were headed to Mansfield, Marshfield, and Diggins, then over to the Glade Top Trail for a couple of days and on to Gainesville and beyond.  The 21st century part of their outfit is a GPS device that gives them their travel speed, elevation, temperature, a map and other things pertinent to the trip.  Cowboy Jack and Joyce Coonts and a few others came out to see the train and visit with the wagon folks.  Royce and Jody Henson traveled from Springfield for the occasion.  Royce rode with Coy Stone in the lead wagon from Champion to Cold Springs—the ‘walk of ages’ in reverse.  Maybe that is the secret to being young at heart.  These travelers are certainly a pleasant, optimistic group of people.  It is a bright spot on Champion’s calendar to have them stop through every year.

        The Starvy Creek Bluegrass Festival in Conway, Missouri was well attended by Champions this year.  Sherry Bennet posted pictures on the internet which depicted a number of favorite area musicians having a good time.  The Upshaw-Krider/Johnston sisters celebrated an early birthday there and enjoyed the show for three nights in a row.  They are probably still patting their feet and grinning.  Their birthday is not until October 4th so they will be celebrating for some while.  Sandy (Grandfather of Atticus) Chapin has a birthday on the 24th of September.  Skyline first grade student, Tristian Jeffrey, celebrates on the 25th.  Sixth grader, Dustin Johnson, parties on the 26th, the same day that Edinburgh’s Graeme Laird will have had his 44th trip around the sun.  The 29th belongs to the lovely Texan, Rebecca Heston, a great supporter of The Champion News.  Someone will celebrate on the 30th, incognito by choice.  Another shy Champion, a prominent one, shares the first of October with preschool teacher, Jana Brixey, and second grader, Lydia Harden.  Third grade student, Malachi Fulk, will have his special day on the 4th with Fae and Kaye.  Penelope Zappler had her birthday on the 21st, but somehow did not get mentioned in The Champion News.  She is a reliable regular summer visitor to Champion and a much loved one.  Have a Champion happy day everyone.

        Beautiful weather looks like it is with us for a while.  Will anyone complain?  The next few weeks will be some of the loveliest of the year and Champions are braced to enjoy every bit of it.  The Pioneer Descendants Gathering will be right in the middle of it with all its excitement.  Molasses and apple-butter, Dutch-oven cooking, and ‘curly taters’ will be some of the fascinating smells and tastes of the gathering.  Dale and Betty Thomas host this event every year to remember ancestors Tom Brown and John Burden, early settlers to this part of the world.  Live music will be provided all day by talented local bands and you are encouraged to bring lawn chairs to sit out under the spacious pavilion to enjoy the show.  There will be much to see and do.  It is going to be fun.  Along about this time of the year Bud Hutchison has a trail ride heading up in Champion and that gang out of Crystal Lake are liable to come ambling through the country any time.  It is a pleasant place in the world when a person can look up to see a string of well mounted riders going by, tipping their hats and smiling.  Wilma says that Bud had a lot work to do getting the mess cleaned up from the storm damage to their barn, but it is all done.  A good carpenter and friend helped to get it all fixed back just right.  She or Bud will have the date of the fall ride posted in Champion before long.

        The parts of local gardens that are doing well are doing very well just now, though a little rain would be timely and beneficial.  Some have stopped picking beans altogether and will just let them dry on the vine.  If beans and potatoes make a complete protein, it is sure Champions will be eating well this winter.  Fall gardening is such a pleasure after the heat of the summer.  It is nice to be out there daydreaming about next year.  Linda will be having a half-price sale all during October as she is taking The Plant Place out of business.  There will be some great bargains.  It has been lovely to have Linda’s expertise all these years to help our thumbs be green.  She was the big winner at the Fortnight Bridge Club game on Saturday.  Perhaps in retirement she will have more time for bridge.

        Macy Loveless is a 12 year old girl in Mountain Grove who is battling leukemia for the second time.  Her friends at school, her family and many in the area are keeping her in their best thoughts with hopes that she will beat it again.  She has a good attitude, a good support system and the good wishes of Champions all over.  Find “Team Macy” on Facebook for a way to help, or just google Macy Loveless and that will get you to a spot where you can make a donation to help with the extraordinary financial costs.

        It was reported that there was a good crowd at the Historic Emporium last Wednesday.  There were a few gaps in attendance, but a fine time happened anyway.  Next Wednesday the absentees will tell what they had to do instead.  Fairly often someone will bring an oddity to show, an interesting tool or device or sometimes an antique firearm.  One never knows.  From time to time politics figure into the conversations.  Politics (from the Greek, “of, for, or relating to citizens”) is the practice and theory of influencing other people and a study or practice of the distribution of power and resources.  That is lofty stuff, but well within the prevue of an informed citizenry.  Frank Zappa said that government is the entertainment arm of the military industrial complex.  Representative Jason Smith’s political image as a humble, salt-of-the-earth fiscal conservative might be up for a modification as the news that the many campaign and government trips and exotic vacations with his close friend, Aaron Schock, are being scrutinized by federal investigators looking into alleged spending abuses.  Meanwhile, some of the poorest people in the world, the Greeks, are being the most generous to the tide of refugees fleeing the tumult in the Middle East, which some may say is the result of meddling by the oil hungry western nations.  Come down to where country roads meet the pavement at the bottom of several hills on the wide, wild, wooly, welcoming banks of Old Fox Creek and share your views on local and planetary politics.  Or better yet, sing.  “Oh, it’s a long, long while/ From May to December/ But the days grow short/ When you reach September….Oh, the days dwindle down/ To a precious few/ …and these few precious days/ I’ll spend with you” in Champion—Looking on the Bright Side!


September 14, 2015

September 14, 2015

CHAMPION—September 14, 2015

Eddie Irby
This is the young man whose injury sparked all this wonderful response. He says he feels lucky for it not to have been worse, lucky that the medical profession is so advanced, and lucky to have so many friends in such a great community.

        Another Monday has arrived and the universal exclamation about the Swift Passage of Time is amplified by the realization that the Wagon Train is rolling into town again!  How boundless will be Champion joy to see old friends again with their squeaking leather and jangling harness and innovated rigs sporting 19th and 21st century technologies side by side.  Welcome!  Royce and Jody Henson will come over from Springfield and other friends will come from surrounding communities to enjoy the spectacle.  The wagons generally pull into the Square just shy of noon.  The travelers take a rest and have lunch before starting out again, during which time they welcome the public to come out and see the beautiful draft animals and the interesting outfits they pull.  There will be outriders too, running interference and enjoying the trail.  This will all happen Thursday the 17th.  Come out to Champion for the fun of it.

The Vanzant Community Building was filled to capacity…

        The Champion School Reunion is still on the minds of many who attended.  Eva Lois Henson Phillips dropped a note to say how much she had enjoyed seeing all the former students.  She said that Royce and Kenneth have involved all the family in their ‘walk of ages,’ and that she was impressed that they made it the whole four miles.  It was warm.  She said that she and Bobbie Heard used to walk from her house down to Cold Springs every day during the summer.  It made her sad to see the old store there history now.  She will have to retreat to her memory (and perhaps beyond) to have Clever Creek flowing year round with clear, cold spring water.  The springs are still flowing but subtle shifts in the geology have the creek mostly underground now except during wet seasons when it can be a raging torrent.

        It was about the time of the school reunion when a neighbor up Tar Button Road had another close encounter with the Brushy Knob Bear.  She had just come down stairs to make her morning coffee and was drawing the water when she raised the shade to look out on the day.  There, not forty feet away, was 250 pounds of ursine grandeur strolling through her yard.  She lives in an area that is sparsely populated and bear sightings in her yard and neighborhood in recent years have her watchful when she is out of doors.  Some of those ‘Walkers of Ages’ (Royce and Hovie) arrived in Champion talking about the Brushy Knob Bear.  They were wary on their way and may have retreated into their boyhoods again as they wandered the old familiar road so mysteriously overgrown this year with dark places so still and quiet in the oppressive heat.  Boo!  They did not see the bear but not for want of looking.

…with an overflow crowd outside.

        Diana Windsor said, “Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you.”  Brenda Coffman Massey said, “…we live in a very loving community.  I would not want to live anywhere else.  I thank you all with all my heart.”  She was talking about the benefit that she orchestrated Saturday night for Eddie Irby.  Tom Hicks and Debbie Stone prepared the superb dinner and the auction was conducted by J.D. Shannon with help by Billy Emory, Steve Moody and Dennis Lynch.  It was a ‘hoot’ or maybe a ‘cluck.’  One of the first items up for bid was a pretty Plymouth Rock hen in a little cage.  Somewhere between J.D.’s skill and the generosity of the bidders it was, “Sold! $450.00!”  The crowd went wild.  Cinnamon rolls, pocket knives, peppers to pickle and turkey calls, pies and cakes, and much more went on the block.  It was a capacity house at the Vanzant Community Building with onlookers bunched around the doorways.  Eddie sat out on the porch and visited with many of the folks who had come to wish him well.  He said that he was lucky that the injury was not worse (though it was pretty bad), and lucky that the medical profession is so advanced to have repaired him in this remarkable way (still ongoing), and lucky to have the support of such a great community—or words to that effect.  He says that he reads The Champion News when he gets a paper.  His mailing address is HC 73 Box 177, Drury, MO 65638 if someone wants to send him a paper, a book, or a note.  Brenda said, “Just say thanks to everyone from Eddie and his family.”  Diana Windsor was known the world over as Princess Diana and was admired for her compassion and philanthropy.  Brenda Massey Coffman is known here and admired for her good heart and good energy…our own Princess B!

        Dale and Betty Thomas were at Eddie’s benefit.  They show up in all the good places and soon their place will be the one where everyone is showing up.  The 14th annual Pioneer Descendant’s Gathering will be October 3rd and 4th.  It is a very family friendly event with exhibits and demonstrations of the 1860 to 1960 era.  There will be music, good food and plenty to see and do.  From Mt. Grove take 95 south to Gentryville and go right on Highway 14 to County Road 341.  Go south on the county road 4 miles, following signs to the Edge of the World.  From Ava go 18 miles East on Highway 14 to County Road 341.  However you get there it will be well worth the experience.

This is the hen that brought $475.00 for the cause!

        Zoey Louise & Louise Hutchison will have their birthdays next Monday on the 21st of September.  “Every little breeze seems to whisper Louise.  Birds in the trees twitter Louise.  Each little rose tells me it knows I love you.”  Dean Martin croons it so sweetly.  Both these charming ladies are much loved, but probably only one knows about Dean Martin.

        Grandparent’s Day was a big success at Skyline.  Teacher Terri Ryan made a post on the internet thanking everyone for participating and for helping Mrs. Vivod and Mrs. Casper make the day so enjoyable.  Margaret Mead, the great American cultural anthropologist said, “Children must be taught how to think, not what to think.”  That is the aim of this wonderful little rural school.  Good citizens are being fashioned there who will be running the world before long.  Robespierre said, “The secret of freedom lies in educating the people, whereas the secret of tyranny is in keeping them ignorant.”

        The cool weather this week has had people thinking about putting the garden to bed for the winter.  Some manure and mulch will have things ready for Spring again.  Linda has The Plant Place open now every Tuesday through Saturday.  She has some terrific perennial plants for sale—mums, hostas, day lilies, and the like.  She will soon have her last big sale as she will be closing the business this fall.  Good for her to get to retire at last, but sad for the area to lose another family owned business.  Linda’s Almanac is on the bulletin board at Henson’s Grocery and Gas in Downtown Champion, on the counter at The Plant Place in Norwood and on line at  It looks like leafy vegetables can be planted all week.

        Bring your garden savvy down to the Historic Emporium where you can sit out on the wide veranda and brag about your harvest.  Discuss political views there with the maximum amount of courtesy and tolerance.  Consider that the cost of everything that can be sold is dependent on political decisions and that political ignorance makes the bad politician possible…the corrupted flunky of big corporations.  The office of Karry Davis, Douglas County Clerk, is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 to 4:30.  Go there to register to vote.  Participate.  The broad banks of Old Fox Creek will always be open for Champions—Looking on the Bright Side!


September 10, 2015

2015 Champion School Reunion


Champion School Reunion 2015
Seated left to right: Wayne Sutherland, Vivian Krider Floyd, Irene Keller Dooms, Royce Henson, Ethel Luellen Anderson, Elsie Hick Curtis.  Standing left to right: Jerry Smith, Benton Hutchison, Frances Cooley Sutherland, Kenneth Henson, J.R. Johnston, Doug Hutchison, Eva Lois Henson Phillips, Wes Lambert, Modeen Dooms McGowan, Alvie Dooms, Elvie Hancock Ragland and Darrell Hutchison.

The Behemoth Bee Tree did not provide much shade,
but it is still thought of as first base to Champion alumni.

Vaughn Henson takes a moment and his lunch to a quiet place for reflection.

From high atop Mt. Champion the reunion spread out over the banks of Old Fox Creek.

Robert Upshaw, Tom Cooley and Dale Thomas all have their hands on their hips talking things over.

Ethel Luellen and Irene Keller walked to school together and have memories to share.


September 7, 2015

September 7, 2015

CHAMPION—September 7, 2015

Champion School Reunion 2015
Seated left to right: Wayne Sutherland, Vivian Krider Floyd, Irene Keller Dooms, Royce Henson, Ethel Luellen Anderson, Elsie Hick Curtis.  Standing left to right: Jerry Smith, Benton Hutchison, Frances Cooley Sutherland, Kenneth Henson, J.R. Johnston, Doug Hutchison, Eva Lois Henson Phillips, Wes Lambert, Modeen Dooms McGowan, Alvie Dooms, Elvie Hancock Ragland and Darrell Hutchison.

        Grover Cleveland established Labor Day in 1887, to honor the American labor movement for its contributions to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of the country.  The eight hour day, forty hour work-week, over-time, and other benefits that are easy to take for granted were hard won by organized labor.  The family gatherings, friendly get-togethers, feasts and fun of the holiday come with some acknowledgement of the struggles of the past and recognition that there are still struggles going on.  Champions find Gratitude easy to come by.

        It may not have been the official hottest day of the year, but Saturday just before Labor Day was an absolute scorcher.  The Champion School Reunion might have benefited from a little more shade, but the chance to get together far outweighed the discomfort.  The Henson clan made their walk of ages in stages and a couple of them accepted short rides from friends and passersby just up over the steep hills and dips that make up some of the chosen path.  Pete Proctor made the whole Cold Springs to Champion trek along with Valley Mills, Vaughn Henson, and others of the clan.  Hovie and Royce strolled into the Square together, arriving in time for dinner on the grounds.  They were met there by fellow alumni, friends and family—all told, somewhere in the neighborhood of fifty warm, friendly people.  Eighteen of them actually attended the Champion School.  They posed for pictures and smiled on cue, talking about the swift passage of time and sweet mutual memories.

        The Veracruz’s bridge doyenne, Carol Tharp celebrates her birthday on September 8th along with Bernie Sanders, who has been married to Jane O’Meara Sanders for 35 years.  Skyler Perryman is a prekindergarten student at Skyline School with a birthday on September 9.  Lexus Ledbetter is in the second grade there and has a birthday on September 10th.  Tanna Krider Wiseman went to Skyline School a while back.  She is Foster and Kalyssa’s Mother and they will be celebrating her on the 13th.  Breann Davis is an 8th grader and enjoys her birthday on September 14th.  The 14th is also the birthday of Konrad Zappler (Sophia and Penelope’s Dad) and Frances Sutherland (Laine’s Mother) who will have her 83rd birthday that day.  Elmer Banks will be partying on the 15th.  That will be a Tuesday.  If the bunch at the Historic Emporium find out about it on Wednesday, they will still wish Elmer a Happy Birthday—late or early.  He is a guy who knows how to have fun.

        Betty and Dale Thomas always attend the Champion School Reunion.  They are busy getting ready for the Pioneer Descendants Gathering.  It is the 14th year for this great event.  It will be on October 3rd and 4th.  Betty had a picture of the hand quilted quilt for this year’s raffle.  It is called “The Elk Gathering” and is another example of her fine work.  Newcomers to this beautiful part of the world are in for a treat.  They will get to go back in local time to get a real feel for the place they now call home.  The West Plains Wagon Club and the Gee Haw bunch from Arkansas will be meandering through town on Thursday the 17th of September.  They are an intrepid bunch of travelers.  It is a hundred mile trip from West Plains to Mansfield.  They start out on Monday and generally arrive in Champion a little before noon on Thursday.  They hang around for a couple of hours to enjoy lunch, the sites and to give the community a chance to see their outfits and their beautiful mules and horses.  They will spend the night up north of Champion and will reach their destination on Friday.  Royce and Jody Henson will come down from Springfield and Foxtrotters from Ava and the area will come out for a good look see.  Go to for some pictures of the wagon train in previous years.  Champion School reunions are also well represented there.  Like the school reunion this year, the wagon train folks might be hard pressed for shade but a week from now the weather could be mild and lovely.  Rain or shine the wagons will once again roll through Champion—living history.

        An accident happens to everyone from time to time.  Eddie Irby had a bad one and his neighbors are getting together to hold a benefit auction for him.  It will be Saturday, September 12th at 5:30 at the Vanzant Community Center.  Brenda Coffman Massey (417-250-0255) and Debbie Stone (417-543-4928) are organizing it.  There will be a dinner of pulled pork, hamburgers, hotdogs, chicken, desserts and drinks and the auction will start at 7:00 p.m.  Music will be provided by Whetstone.  David Richardson and his bunch are to be seen at every worthwhile event in the area–what good citizens and fine musicians.  It looks like it is going to be another episode of good community—people stepping up to help their neighbors.  Bring a pie, something good for the auction and your compassion—it can happen to anyone–see you there!

        Last week a note came from Kenneth Henson (Hovie) with a story to share about when the Vice President of the United States came to Mountain Grove to dedicate the band stand on the square.  It was August 12, 1915, and Vice President and Mrs. Marshall were in Springfield on a sight-seeing tour.  While the Vice President was off buying rail tickets to come to Mountain Grove, his wife boarded the wrong train—one headed for St. Louis.  The train had not gone far when she realized her error and it was stopped to let her off.  She walked back three blocks to rejoin her husband on their mission.  Hovie found it notable that a hundred years ago the Vice President was buying his own train tickets and that his wife was walking unescorted by Secret Service in a strange city.  Much has changed in the hundred years.  Others find it most notable that a hundred years ago a person could go to Norwood and get on a train to go anywhere in the country.  Today public transportation in this huge nation is much less readily available than it was way back then.  If change is the only constant, maybe some things will eventually change back and be more accommodating.

        Aldous Huxley said, “There is only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that’s your own self.”  Thomas Jefferson warned about corporate rule:  “I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and to bid defiance to the laws of their country.”  With luck, Citizens United will be overturned soon.  It is another one of those things that sound good, like “The Right to Work,” the tenets of which are completely contrary to those that have provided us with Labor Day today.  “Citizens United” says that corporations are people and therefore are able to purchase any politician who puts himself up for sale.  Maximilien Robespierre said, “The secret of freedom lies in educating the people, whereas the secret of tyranny is keeping them ignorant.”  As far as west is from east, that is how far apart people’s notions are about how the country ought to be governed.  Somewhere in the middle is tolerance.  Register to vote at your County Court House and express your views on the wide veranda of the Historic Emporium on the North Side of the Square in downtown Champion—Looking on the Bright Side!