Lucile Gayman surrounded by her family.

Granddaughters rock!  One Old Champion Grannie says, “They rule!”  That being said, Lucile Gayman hit the jackpot.  Her three granddaughters, Debra, Loretta and Elva, hosted a lovely party to celebrate her 90th birthday on Saturday.  The Vanzant Community Building was full of floral decorations, friends and family—forty four strong.  It is a beautiful thing to see a big family being close and enjoying each other’s company.  Everyone is not so lucky.  Lucile has two daughters, three granddaughters, a grandson, and four great grandsons.  There were spouses, cousins, sisters and brothers-in-law and a number of the many friends that Lucile has gathered in the few short years she has lived in this part of the world.  This part of the world is improved by Lucile as our friendliness quotient is way up and our appreciation of granddaughters could not be overstated.

Once again, the Prominent Champion received the Champion post card with the missive, “Remember, if you act like you are having a good time, pretty soon you will forget you are acting and you will really be having a good time.”  It is an ever-relevant message and sent to the fine man on the completion of his annual trip around the sun on October 1st.  Former President Jimmy Carter turned 94 on the first.  That happens to be the 6th birthday of Melanie Hall and the 91st birthday of Bonnie Brixey Mullen’s sweetheart, Pete, over there in Kansas.  Jana Brixey also celebrates on the first.  William Tucker Clark was born October 2, 2015.  Mahatma Gandhi was born October 2, 1869.  Tucker’s grandpa has the 3rd as his birthday and those charming Upshaw sisters, Fae and Kaye, celebrate on the 4th as does Evan Homer who is now 5 years old.  Skyline VFD Auxiliary President, Betty Dye, shares her birthday on the 7th with a Liberal Champion up in Springfield, Vicki Trippe.

On Saturday, down in Austin, Willie Nelson sang a new song.  He said to take it home and spread it around, so, with his permission, here are the words and here is a link to the video if you want to sing along:  “If you don’t like who’s in there, vote ‘em out / that’s what Election Day is all about / and the biggest gun we got is called the ballot box / if you don’t like who’s in there, vote ‘em out / vote ‘em out / and when they’re gone we’ll sing and dance and shout / and we’ll bring some new ones in and start the show again / but if you don’t like who’s in there, vote ‘em out / vote ‘em out / and if it’s a bunch of clowns you’ve voted in, Election Day is coming round again / and if you don’t like who’s in there, vote ‘em out.”  These are tumultuous political times and this song sounds suitable for every political persuasion in the glorious participatory democracy we all cherish.  Thanks, Willie.  Meanwhile, down in Austin, Alexandra called her Champion grandparents with a brilliant report on her first fiddle gig.  She is 12 with a fine fiddling future ahead.  One day she may fiddle with Cousin Corinne and Uncle Sam!  Brava!

1940 Chevy Coupe

In 1973, everything that one Old Champion couple had, including two fine sons, fit into or on a 1940 Chevy coupe.  It is amazing what they have collected since that time.  Now days the accumulation is staggering and the need to reduce the mass has become apparent.  Give away, throw away, put way—the mantra of the overly encumbered.  Young people, it is said, have very little interest in our old stuff—even if those two pieces of amber colored stemware are genuine depression glass given to a couple who were married in 1937.  That set of nesting mixing bowls, the yellow one, green one, red one, blue one—you see them in good flea markets, but these came from a Grandmother and are more precious.  Granddaddy used the blue one for his cornbread and sweet milk.  Then there is all the art, the family photos, the nicknacks, the books, the records, 30 years of National Geographic.  Where does it all go?  That is a Champion question.  Answer that question or ask any at

Those handsome, mysterious cowboys were back in Champion on Wednesday.  They missed the wagon train last week (see the pictures on last week’s post at but they will surely be back on Wednesday the 17th when Bud Hutchison’s Fall Trail Ride will head-up on the Square about 10:00 a.m.  If Wilma comes to take pictures, she will find out their names and the names of their horses and likely any number of other things about them while she gets them lined up and lined out.  It will be worth their while if they make the trip out to Chapel Grove this Saturday and Sunday for the second annual Pioneer Heritage Festival of the Ozarks—10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. each day.  There is a great music line up for both days.  There will be lots of good food, many exhibitors demonstrating pioneer skills and interesting, educational activities for the whole family.  Sherry Bennett is the person to contact if you are a young person (16 or younger) who would like to participate in the acoustic instrument talent show.  She will get you on the roster.  Her number is 417-683-4414.  This is going to be another fine event.  Butch Stone has provided an incredible handcrafted bow for the raffle and the Douglas County Flint Nappers will be showing you how it is done.  The courageous folks who settled this part of the country back before the turn of the last century had to know what they were doing.  They were Champions—Looking on the Bright Side!