Good news in Champion comes from Jim Cantrell of the West Plains Wagon Club.¬† He called Henson‚Äôs Downtown G & G to let the community know that the wagon train will be rolling through Champion on September 20th this year!¬† In the Champion Neighbors category on the website find ‚ÄúWest Plains Wagon Club‚ÄĚ and that will lead you to the posting of September 22, 2017.¬† From there you can scroll through pictures of the wagon trains visiting Champion all the way back to 2008.¬† It is an exciting adventure.¬† Come out and enjoy it live on the 20th.¬† The train generally rolls into town about mid-day.¬† They take their rest and enjoy their lunch on the Square before ambling on up the hill north to Cold Springs Road and beyond.¬† The travelers are always pleased to have folks come out to see the wagons and draft animals and to share their experiences along the trail.¬† It is also a good chance to run into some of your friends and neighbors for some good visiting and catching up.

Skyline Superintendent, Jeanie Curtis, informs us that the school is having a yard sale this Saturday, the 15th.¬† They are emptying out the old bus barn and there will be lots of interesting bargains‚ÄĒdesks, chairs, white boards, text books and some surprises.¬† Every chance we have to help our great little rural school is a good one.¬† The Best Choice and Always Save brands that are so popular in this area are distributed by the Associated Wholesale Grocers, Inc. people up in Kansas City.¬† They have a ‚Äėsave a label‚Äô program that redeems the ‚Äėuniversal bar code‚Äô (UPC) labels for cash for schools.¬† Most General Mills products have the Box Tops for Education coupons that are worth a dime each for the school.¬† Helen Batten will have her work cut out for her as she works on the pile of labels and box tops that school supporters have saved all summer.¬† It is her effort that converts the little pieces of plastic and paper into cash that the school can use for whatever it needs.¬† Thanks, Helen.

American Sign Language is a natural language that serves as the predominant sign language of deaf communities in the United States and many other places worldwide.¬† Here, at the Skyline R2 School Grandparents Day Celebration, the whole student body employed sign language together with their beautiful voices to sing, ‚ÄúThank you Grandma, Thank you Grandpa for being part of my life!‚Ä̬† Some old folks teared up remembering their own grandparents and the joy of being the old people for these extraordinary young people.¬† It is a precious thing to have grandchildren and to have grandparents.¬† Ms. Casper directed the heart-warming program.¬† The students have been preparing for this for some while.¬† The building was decorated with great colorful posters saying ‚ÄúGrandparents are Awesome‚Ä̬† ‚ÄúGrandparents Rock!‚ÄĚ etc.¬† There were decidedly more Grandmas there than Grandpas, but the old guys were every bit as touched and proud.

Bridget Hicks oversees the Archery program at Skyline.  She and her team are looking forward to the chance to participate in the Pioneer Heritage Festival of the Ozarks, which is coming up on the first week-end in October, the 6th and 7th.  It will especially be exciting to see the young archers getting acquainted with Butch Stone.  He may inspire some to knap flint.  The festival will provide many opportunities for young folks to learn about what it was like to be a kid 100 years ago and to take part in some of the activities popular back then like sack races, three legged races, and the egg toss.  There will be a youth stringed instrument talent show from 2:00 to 3:00 pm. Saturday and lots to do and see.  There is a great music line up that starts at 11:00 both days featuring a number of local groups.

The Wall That Heals, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Replica and Mobile Education Center, will be at the Missouri Fox Trotting Horse Breed Association Facility 1 mile North of Ava on Highway 5 on September 20-23.¬† There are 58,318 names on the wall.¬† The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund founded The Wall and states as their mission ‚Äúto honor and preserve the legacy of service in America.¬† We honor the service of all, preserve the memory of those who died during the war and since returning home, and educate all generations about the lasting impact of the war.‚Ä̬† The war and that era have been the subjects of conversations in the Historic Emporium recently.¬† Though it happened a long time ago, feelings are still fresh and old grievances linger with some, giving pause to ponder.

Birthdays are happy days for some.¬† For others birthdays are continual reminders of the swift passage of time.¬† Others decline to observe for various reasons.¬† For those who do, the acknowledgement of friends and family is meaningful.¬† The ever-pleasant, interesting, kind, bird watcher, Carol Tharp, celebrated on the 8th, along with ever-relevant Senator Bernard Sanders.¬† Native Champion, Tanna J. Krider Wiseman, has her day on the 13th.¬† Calendar notations reveal that Frances Sutherland was 82 years old on September 14th in 2014.¬† Texan, Konrad Zappler, enjoys the 14th as his birthday too, but is not telling his age.¬† Tigger will tell you she loves green beans and her beautiful daughters, Shelby and Zoey.¬† Her birthday is the 15th.¬† Happiness is one of the up sides of these annual observances.¬† Elmer Banks will be celebrated all week‚ÄĒWednesday at Champion, Thursday at the Vanzant Jam, a day off to recover on Friday, and then all the family hoop-la on Saturday, his official birthday, the 15th.¬† He will tell you he is a lucky man.¬† Of course, he can tell you all kinds of things‚ÄĒmostly true as far as we can tell.¬† He is from Louisiana over there by the river.¬† Mel McDaniel wrote a great country song describing life in the south, and enjoying the simpler things in life.¬† ‚ÄúHey you get down the fiddle and get down the bow.¬† Kick off your shoes and throw ‚Äėem on the floor.¬† Dance in the kitchen ‚Äėtil the morning light Louisiana Saturday Night‚Ä̂Ķ or in Champion‚ÄĒLooking on the Bright Side!