October 15, 2019

CHAMPION—October 14, 2019



Today expectations are that Foxtrotters, equestrians, and cowboys all will enjoy the marvelous change in the weather for Bud Hutchison’s Fall Trail Ride that heads up in Champion on Wednesday the 16th! Mountain Grove cowboys already have it on their calendar. The Square will be full of trucks and horse trailers in the morning. Many of Bud’s friends from around the area will gather to go off on a wide ramble around the countryside. By the time they get back in the early afternoon, the Sometimes Wednesday Porch Band should be tuned up and jamming. A recently retired mail carrier has pledged to join the ensemble with her spoons. We miss Bud and these trail rides help his friends smile, remembering good times they had with him over the many years. It will make Wilma happy to know that his friends remember that he had a great smile and could spin a yarn with the best of them. When the Jimmy Brown the News Boy (John) brings the Douglas County Herald to Champion on Friday, we will already know the stories of this ride and plans will be underway for the next one.


Skyline R2 School students celebrating birthdays soon are first grader, Wyatt Shannon, on the 19th; fifth grader, Haylee Surface, on the 22nd; sixth grader, Emily Mayberry, on the 23rd and prekindergarten student, Grant Strong, on the 24th. Happy birthday all you Skyliners! They are getting ready for Halloween over there and it is going to be an exciting time on the spooky Tiger Trail. Vladimir Putin’s birthday is October 7, 1952. He is big in the news these days. Steve Connor’s birthday is October 11th. Janet Chapin celebrates on the 12th, and Cathy Baldwin does that on the 13th along with lovely banjo picker, Carol Green. Among the interesting people who have birthdays on October 14th are Dwight D. Eisenhower, Eva Clark, Jill Godshall, Dea Friloux, Leslee Krider and Bonnie Rogers. They do not know each other. Joe Moskaly has his big day on the 15th. Corinne Rogers, Darlene Connor, and Carson Cline all enjoy the 18th. Marty Watts will have his party on the 20th. Anna Henson’s birthday was on the 21st somewhere around 1903. She is well remembered in Champion yet. Another Old Champion says that on October 21, 2046, just 27 short years from now, she will be 100! Donna Moskaly enjoys the 22nd as her special day, and Esther Grace Oglesby will be two years old on the 23rd. Her aunt Breauna Krider celebrates on the 24th, but she was already celebrating with her sweetheart on the 14th. Endeavor to enjoy every day as much as you do your birth anniversary because time is whizzing by.

It will be sad to see Mountain Grove’s Downtown Pawn Shop close. Marjorie Carter and Linda Keys have been serving the community in that business for a long time. They will close their doors November 1st and Mountain Grove will have lost another business on the square. Their friends will miss the ladies and wish them well.

Persimmon spoons.

An old Champion friend once lamented that he had had to ask his son-in-law to help him with the firewood and that he felt bad about it. He was asked to recall a time when, as a young guy, he had the chance to help some old man do something. Did he recall how good it made him feel to be of genuine help? So the old guy was admonished to consider that he was doing the son-in-law a favor. It is hard to ask for help, but, at some time or the other, everyone needs it. Lem and Ned might walk up your driveway and ask if they could do a few chores in exchange for a few turnips. Let them. Whether you are getting help with your firewood or find yourself in the hands of capable, competent, caring health care professionals, your hope may be that your benefactors feel satisfaction in their efforts commensurate with your gratitude. Salute to the Step-Down Unit at Cox South! To lend a healing hand or any hand at all is Champion!

A much-loved grandmother, Sarah Emaline Hector, who was born in Haleyville, Alabama and lived in West Texas much of her life, would suggest that any new Yankee to arrive in the neighborhood should be treated to a Country Pie—a nice green persimmon pie. Here in Champion the persimmons seemed to have started ripening early, along with the pawpaws. Summer turned to fall overnight. Weather forecasting lore says to look at the shape of the kernel inside the persimmon seed: if the kernel is spoon-shaped, expect plenty of snow to shovel. If it is fork-shaped, plan on a mild winter with powdery, light snow. If the kernel is knife-shaped, expect frigid winds that will “cut” like a blade. The prognostications of persimmon seeds or of Punxsutawney Phil are not scientific in any kind of reliable way. Adopted Champion granddaughter, Greta Thunberg, is encouraging all of us to listen to the science. She has been traveling around the United States and Canada recently helping to raise awareness of the climate change happening to a planet near you. She gets a lot of negativity pointed at her for this activism, but she is not deterred. What a Champion! Looking on the Bright Side!


October 1, 2019

CHAMPION—September 30, 2019


Ken Felts leads on the trail back to Arkansas.

Ken Felts and Randall Burnette both drive wagons pulled by three mules—three ups. They picked up another wagon in Seymour which joined them on their return trip through Champion Wednesday. The new guy, a Texan turned Arkansawyer, Dave Somebody, drives a nice little reproduction Springfield wagon. They camped out in our favorite burgh Tuesday night and proceeded out early Wednesday on their way back to Arkansas. They all reported having had an exceptionally pleasant and untroubled trip. Harkening back to a simpler time is one of our favorite pastimes. Truth be told, though, those times were not all that simple. Their troubles were no less dire then than ours are today. Existential crises always seem to be unprecedented. Perhaps those pioneer creeds will carry us through these uncharted waters. Maybe that is the virtue of nostalgia.

The Pioneer Heritage Festival of the Ozarks will represent serious generational nostalgia. This event gives us a chance to experience some of what was real life for our forbears. The spinning and weaving, the blacksmithing, the flint knapping, the soap making and myriad other skills remind us of the strength of those that lived that austere life. That inherited strength we adapt to deal with today’s craziness. We thank our predecessors and entreat you to enjoy some great music, food and family fun Saturday and Sunday out at the New Haven Event Park, formerly Chapel Grove. Ray Bradley will be the emcee this year, so you know that there will be lively entertainment. There will be music all day starting off at 9:15 with the National Anthem led by Bradley. He has a great voice. There will be a chance to win a Mini Branson Vacation as well as a number of other things. It looks like the weather is going to be just right for it this year with a little hint of fall finally. Among the crowd you will surely meet up with many old friends you may not have seen in years. See you there.

Those good looking Mountain Grove cowboys were on the Champion Square early Friday morning. They planed an excursion up County Road 239. They will have had some great distant vistas to enjoy from one of Douglas County’s high spots. Actually, these guys are not necessarily cowboys just because they ride horses. Perhaps in the future we will call them equestrians if it turns out they do not have cattle. Jim, the tall one with the big hat was happy. The previous day he had been able to get the landscapers and the tree trimmers to do what needed to be done at his house so his television dish was no longer obstructed. We can observe that people are generally willing to tell you in dreary detail about all the things that are wrong or going badly, so when someone comes along willing to share happiness, no matter how inconsequential it is to us personally, it is still a real treat. If you are happy and you know it, clap your hands. A nice broad smile is good for everyone in its beam.

Champions are happy for Shirley Emerson. She has been with the Douglas County Health Department taking our blood pressure readings on the fourth Friday of the month for some while now. Friday was her last day with us. She is finishing up her last prerequisite course and will be enrolled in the Cox College of Nursing in Springfield this fall. Her aging friends out here in the country will miss her pleasant company, but congratulate her on a fine career choice. The more heath care professionals the better, says the aging population. Our new blood pressure monitor is a charming young lady from Mountain Grove. Shelby will be looking at our systolic and diastolic for us on our fourth Fridays in the future. We look forward to getting acquainted with her and hope that more people in the area will take advantage of this great amenity. She sets up in the Meeting Room at the Historic Emporium from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. ready to help us take care of our health.

Mrs. Brixey, prekindergarten teacher at our wonderful Skyline R2 School, Lydia Harden 6th grader, and Myson Loveless, first grader, all celebrate birthdays on the first of October. Pete Mullins, Bonnie May Brixey’s sweetheart, shares that day also with a Champion wood worker, producer of trinkets, whose motto is, “If you act like you are having a good time pretty soon you will forget that you are acting and you will really be having a good time.” Well, that may not be his motto, but there are those in Champion who try to remind him of that about this time every year. William Tucker Clark was born on October 2nd, 2015. He shares his birthday with Mahatma Gandhi, the political ethicist who taught us about nonviolent resistance, born in 1869. Grandpa Clark and Evan Homer, a kindergarten student, share October 3rd. Malachi Fulk, 7th grader, celebrates on the 4th. That happens to be the birthday of Champion/Denlow twins. One is a few minutes older than the other, but after a certain period of time, a few minutes do not matter much. After all, in 17 short years they will both be 90. Ms. Betty Dye and popular Democrat, Vicki Trippe, will have their special day on the 7th. Theresa Toast and Glen Masters will have their big day on the 8th. Madelyn Ward was born on October 10th, 2006. Time flies! Birthdays are big important days to some people. Others would like to forget them. However you feel about this kind of celebration, we are all here. We all matter. We are Champions!—Looking on the Bright Side!

Good looking cowboys in Champion.