Purslane–edible heirloom.

By the time this gets into ink and then makes its way via the wonderful United States Postal Service all the way to Champion, the wagon train will have come and gone.¬† If you missed it, you can go to www.championnews.us and look for the West Plains Wagon Club in the ‚ÄėChampion Neighbors‚Äô category on the right hand side of the page and there you will find pictures and reports of the wagon train going back to 2008.¬† The wagon train has a much longer history than that.¬† Back in the 1970s when a young couple had just purchased what is still called the Ezra Henson place, they looked up from their chores that first fall to see a whole string of wagons going by, north up Cold Springs Road.¬† There were matched pairs of miniature mules in beautiful harness pulling all kinds of little wagons.¬† There were bigger outfits too, and one or two being pulled by a three-up.¬† It was a surprise and a delight for the newcomers who figured they had found the right place in the world to make a home.¬† As the years have gone by the wagon train has become shorter and shorter.¬† It is not an inexpensive hobby and not many young folks are taking it up.¬† With their rubber tires, spring seats, and CB radios, we know that these rigs do not compare to the Spartan pioneer wagons of the distant past, but it gives us an idea of how sturdy and resilient our ancestors were as they made their arduous journeys west.¬† See you next year.¬† Wagons Ho!

Terri Ryan says, ‚ÄúThank you, FCS Financial for providing all our kindergarten through 4th grade students with a free book each month through May.¬† Our students will love it!¬† We appreciate your investment in our Skyline community.‚Ä̬† It is great to see area businesses supporting our little rural school.¬† One of the ways we can help is by saving the bar-codes (UPC codes) from the store brands, Best Choice and Always Save.¬† Also find Box Tops for Education on many General Mills products and Ziploc brands.¬† You can drop them off at the school or mail them to Skyline R2 School, Rt. 72 Box 486, Norwood, MO 65717.¬† These are the young people who will soon be running the farms, businesses and the government.¬† We better give them all the support and encouragement we can.¬† The Beach Boys sang, “Be True to Your School.”

The 28th Annual Starvy Creek Fall Bluegrass Festival is going on this week.  Many of our local musicians will be up in Conway camping and jamming until way in the night.  They will be back at their regular jams next week happy for their experiences and ready for more music.


The Pioneer Heritage Festival of the Ozarks will happen on the first weekend in October, the 5th and 6th.¬† In addition to all the great music from local bands, there will be opportunities for young people to show off their musical talents and their art work.¬† There will be demonstrations of traditional skills and crafts, as well as lots of good food, games and contests.¬† This will be the third year for this family-friendly festival and it looks like it will be another great success.¬† Among the exhibitors this year will be Jeffrey Goss of Gainesville, who will demonstrate foraging for native foods.¬† Incidentally, the mailbox at champion@championnews.us has received a New York Times article extolling the virtues of purslane.¬† It is a succulent, considered a weed by many and a delicacy by others.¬† Purslane has many beneficial nutrients and there are as many as forty varieties of purslane cultivated for the tables of people across the world.¬† Gretchen Boisse wrote in to say that they had harvested 24 pounds of pawpaws in about an hour.¬† She is freezing some for pawpawsicles for next summer.¬† She says they are extremely nutritious, ‚ÄúIt even has an impressive amount of protein.¬† The pawpaw is fun to harvest, easy to process/preserve, nutritious, delicious and free for the taking for those of us fortunate enough to live out here in this unpolluted beautiful spot on the globe, so full of the resources that we need to not only survive, but to thrive.‚ÄĚ

Retired mail-carrier, Patricia Kim Smith, had a birthday on September 15.¬† Donald Krider, who used to live around here, celebrates on September 18th.¬† Louise Hutchison passed away in November of last year.¬† She is well remembered for her good humor, her beautiful singing voice and her service to the community.¬† Her birthday was September 21st.¬† That is also the special day for Champion granddaughter in Austin, TX, Zoey Louise.¬† She shares the day with her distant cousin, Penelope, who lives in the same town.¬† Adopted Champion granddaughter, Greta Thunberg, will be 17 in January.¬† She is still up in New York and will speak at the Climate Summit at the United Nations on the 21st.¬† Her biological grandparents back in Sweden must also be very proud of her.¬† Sandy Chapin, of ‚ÄúSearching for Booger County‚ÄĚ fame, celebrates on the 24th.¬† Wishing you all marvelous, joyful birthdays from Champion‚ÄĒLooking on the Bright Side!

Greta Thunberg