The amount of rain that fell on Champion and the surrounding area on Friday night ranged from well under three inches to well over.   It was measured in peach cans, soup cans and buckets, both galvanized and plastic, and while totals varied widely over short distances, most agree it mostly came down all at once.  Those handsome gentlemen on the Douglas County road maintenance crews will have their work cut out for them for a while.  It will not hurt a thing if you give them a smile and a wave when you see them out working.  They probably would not mind having some cookies.  Guess how many miles of gravel roads wander through Bugger County.  Send those guesses to  or to The Champion News, Rt. 72 Box 367, Norwood, MO  65717.  The New East Champion Fox Creek Bridge survived its second serious seasonal submerging and was dry by Sunday afternoon.   By Monday morning several significant road wash outs had been repaired thanks to those gallant, good looking, hard working men from the Drury Shed–Champions!

Skyline R2 School teacher, Terri Ryan said, “Wow!  Our first Fun Run went well.  There were 39 runners.  We really send a heartfelt thank you to the Skyline Volunteer Fire Department, the Douglas County Sheriff’s Department and the Wright County Sheriff’s Department for your help and support!  The Skyline Wellness Committee, PPP and PTO did a great job with the event and (we) look forward to another next year.”  Levi Hicks won first place with a time of 23:39.  Andrew Harden was in second place with a time of 23:45 and Rowdy Woods had a time of 24:33 for third place.  Five kilometers might not seem so long if it were all flat land, but that stretch of C Highway going south from 76 Highway is quite up and down, steep and winding.  It took the last person to cross the finish line twice as long as the first person, but some Old Champions figure it would take three or four times as long for them to do it.  Congratulations to all you who gave it your best efforts—winners every one.  Jordon Ellingsworth is a winner because he is a first grade student at Skyline.  His birthday is on the23rd of April.  Shelby Wilson celebrates on the 24th.  She is a fourth grade student in our vibrant little country school.

Bud Hutchison’s Spring Trail Ride has been scheduled for May 16th.  That is a Wednesday.  The Champion Spring Fling is going to be Saturday, May 5th, Cinco de Mayo, and some were hoping the two events might coincide this year.  Andrew Harden said they might think about having an additional ride just to arrive in style at the Second Annual Champion Spring Fling!  He has a new horse he wants to take out and around and his daughter is riding as well, so it is a chance for an outing together.  There is a great picture of Bud and his bunch on the steps of the Historic Emporium.  Find it in the archives, May 22, 2017, at  Go to the May 8, 2017, posting to see a few pictures from the First Fling.  It was a birthday celebration for the then Prominent Champion Girlfriend who was born in January but likes to wear her flip-flops to her party.  The fun will get started about 11:00 a.m. (May 5th) and go on through the afternoon.  Bring your lawn chairs and, musicians, bring your instruments.  David Richardson is assigned the duty of bringing a cupcake to the birthday gal.  She made the assignment by proxy and he has accepted the challenge.   Maybe he will come on a motorcycle with a cupcake and his ukulele.  One never knows about him, but we do know this will be a sweet community gathering and everyone is welcome.

Friends have been missing Ruth Collins and her velvet voice over at the Vanzant Jam.  The word is she has been ailing but that she is improving.  It will be a sweet Thursday when she is back again sharing her wonderful ballads and “Beulah Land.”   Linda Collins took a fall the other day and will be spending time at West View in West Plains.  Candi Bartsch will be looking in on her for the rest of us and helping her to recover.  Linda’s smile is one of those that can light up a place like a sunny day. It will be good for everyone when they are back enjoying the music and the fellowship.  Frances Banks thoughtfully loaned a wonderful anthology of ”Folk Songs of North America” to The Champion News and in so doing has caused there to be a great deal of deferred housework and other maintenance.   Six hundred, twenty three pages of music education will take a while to process.  Alan Lomax told some good stories.

Optimists believe that this little bit of hard weather will be the end of dreary winter for the season.  The first Champion hummingbird was spotted on the13th.  Soon his whole family will be depleting the sugar stores of enablers and admirers across the country.  The birds have come from far away—welcome little Mexican immigrants, together with those Monarch Butterflies– no existential crisis with these lovely critters.  (An Old Champion had ‘existential crisis’ explained to her as when a person starts to question her entire existence –does being alive even have a point?  When the world seems upside down and the whole nature of truth routinely obscured and obfuscated, one might question, “Am I crazy or is it the world?”  What we know for sure is that everything living will die.  While here, it is worth the trouble to make the most of it.)    Mr. Too-Blessed-To-Be-Stressed and Kathy are looking for a home here about.  He wants a fishing hole and does not want to move away too far.   “The boll-weevil is just a little black bug, come from Mexico they say.  Come all the way to Texas just looking for a place to stay—just looking for a home, just looking for a home.”  Some people experienced severe storm damage up north of Norwood on Friday night.  There was news of a serious car accident out on 95 Highway over the week end and a report of an accident that may cost a young family man his mobility.  We will hope for the best for all of those suffering setbacks and difficulties, keeping in mind that we can rarely tell just by looking what someone may be enduring.  Come down to the broad banks of Auld Fox Creek and sit out on the wide veranda at the Historic Emporium over on the North Side of the Square to discuss compassion, existentialism or music or just to enjoy the view.  “I am a pilgrim and a stranger traveling through this wearisome land and I’ve got a home in that yonder city” and in Champion—Looking on the Bright Side!