April 30, 2020

CHAMPION–April 29, 2020


Champion Honey Bee

Today is Willie Nelson’s 87th birthday. Champions hope he received piles of birthday cards and good wishes. The U.S. Postal Service is doing an excellent job of keeping us connected during these troubling times. Thank you. A lovely card came from Suzie and Wes Freeman living now down in North Texas, still hillbillies at heart and still doing okay even though they have challenges. The General and the Gipsy are doing well and report the same is true for Jeff Harper and Candi Mae Fiddle. Barbara and Kenneth are fine, or we would have heard. But would we? That is a question that sends us all to the telephone, to the computer and to the mail box. We hope all our dear ones are well and safe and finding ways to enjoy these unusual days. Old friends from decades gone by are dialing us up. It is sweet. A call list of friends and family is a good thing. Dial them up or write notes in your diminishing cursive. Stamps are worth the money and receiving a hand written letter is a delight on a dark day. Our elected representatives might benefit from hearing how much we appreciate the folks that handle our important mail. Desmond Tutu said, “Do your little bit of good where you are; it is those little bits of good put all together that overwhelm the world.” We isolate now so that when we gather again no one is missing. So thanks so much to the USPS, the phone company and the internet. If you can holler across the holler, yodel to your neighbor like you were Jimmy Rogers or Patsy Montana to tell them you are okay and hope they are too…yodel lady who! Brenda C. Massey says, “Thanks to my brother-in-law for cutting the trees out for me or I should have not got out to go to work…a big thank you.” Brenda runs a mail route and is single-handedly responsible for much of the fun that happens across three counties.

Discover Nature

Travis Hathaway said that at 8:05 on Wednesday morning he finally gave a gobbler some lead! It was a 20+ pounder “Finally,” he said, “A dead bird!” He and the fair Savanah had heard gobblers all around them. He sounded pleased about the whole thing. Travis sings “Jimmy Brown the Newsboy” among many other great songs and picks a mean guitar. He is often in the company of Jim Orchard, so there you go. Jimmy Brown had his struggles and so do our local newspapers these days. They are becoming fewer and smaller, some in width, and most in the number of pages, but that was happening before the Corona19 virus hit. One Old Champion gets some of her best newspaper reading done in the garden. She mulches with a layer of newsprint and a covering of straw. It was of some concern to her when the local papers began printing in color, thinking about the chemicals in the ink, but she let that concern go because the earthworms still seem numerous and vigorus. The Herald is still wide, sixteen inches, the perfect separation for pepper plants. The News Journal is narrow, about 11 inches, a good spacing for cabbage plants or ground cucumbers. Reading things you may have missed when the paper was new might be a good way to pace yourself. It is easy to overdo after a cold snap. Gardeners, overdoing it on the nice days and recuperating on dreary ones, hope we have had our last freeze. Honey bees like the fall-planted turnips bolted to bloom. It is a joy to see bees again. Last year they were scarce and some in North Champion were lamenting yet the dramatic pruning of the Ancient Bee Tree on the south side of the Square back in on Valentine’s Day in 2015. The bees held on for a couple of years. Then there were squirrels in what had been the two story hive. Bees are smart so they moved on when their habitat had become inhospitable. They have found a new home somewhere in the area and Champions are glad. As the world’s circumstances change, more of us may be growing our own food as we did in the old days. Bees are the reason we have much of our agricultural produce. And the honey is sweet.

Champion Orioles

Garden exertion reminds one Old Champion of the smell of Watkin’s Liniment. It was her grandmother’s signature scent. Ben Gay is the current equivalent, with perhaps less camphor. We could use a good tonic. Back in the 1940s Hadacol was a popular tonic for young and old. It was a mixture of B vitamins, iron, niacin, calcium, phosphorous, honey and diluted hydrochloric acid in 12% alcohol. It was particularly popular in ‘dry’ parts of the country. The story of the tonic and the company is an intriguing one that has inspired books and a number of boogies. (“The Hadacol boogie makes you boogie woogie all the time.”) The company was relatively short lived and had a hard end. It all had to do with a man Time magazine described as “a stem-winding salesman who knows every razzle-dazzle switch in the pitchman’s trade.” The enterprise collapsed under the weight of debtors, but the music lingers on.

A pleasant posting from Teeter Creek Herbs reminds us of the many varied uses of the herb mullein. It grows in a beautiful rosette with thick soft leaves. In olden days it was submitted that smoking mullein and cedar was a good treatment for asthmatic children. A wild Swedish Indian up on Highway C says to put a leaf of mullein in your shoe to ease any foot trouble. Bob says, “Which brings us to its new-found (but long-known) fame as emergency wilderness toilet paper.” Uncle Al, the Lonesome Plowboy, sang of the virtues of sassafras…”that good old yeller tea. Sassafras, it’s good for you and me. If it put pep in my grandpap, it’ll put pep in you too. Sassafras–that good old southern brew!” That old song was being sung long before the potential risks were discovered back in the 1960s. Now we can research almost anything on the internet and make our best decisions. We used to buy a little bundle of sassafras roots in the produce section of the grocery store.

Bird watching is excellent entertainment for days like these. Angie Melton was excited to see her first blue grosbeak and Indigo buntings in Mountain Grove. Over at the farm house on WW, Wilburn and his bunch have been enjoying Orioles. Connie reported, “8 orange orioles eating cuties and grape jelly for their breakfast!” A Champion driveway was overrun with buntings. We live in a beautiful place in tumultuous times. Stay safe the way we do in Champion—Looking on the Bright Side!

Indigo Buntings

April 24, 2020

CHAMPION—April 22, 2020


Earth Day beauty…

It is Earth Day and we are glad to be living on it even in these peculiar times. Earth and heart are spelled with the same letters. So take heart! We will persevere. Meanwhile, goldfinches are in Champion in swarms and the poke is coming up. If you do not know how already, you can learn how to harvest and cook poke via the internet. It might be better if you could learn those things from your mother or your grandmother, but if that is not possible, it may be a comfort to them just to know you are interested. People seem to be doing a lot more cooking these days. The General himself made a big breakfast of biscuits, gravy, sausage, and coffee. He said it was enough to serve at least two people with big appetites. Three of his friends came to eat, but he guessed they were not too hungry because he had a lot of leftovers. He was hoping to share those leftovers with friends early (before daylight) the following morning. Sherry Bennet offered apologies for not being able to attend. She is a fan of possum gravy. Greg Thompson pledged to bring the Pepto Bismol in case something went haywire. Robert Mull does not like so much protein, thinking that the fast moving squid looking things in the gravy could be tad poles. Lonie Upshaw chided that his Mother surely had taught him better than burn-and-serve biscuits and squid gravy. Joy Ann Coonts Ferrell is just pleased that she does not have to clean the kitchen after he cooks. The good thing is that The General is keeping the community entertained. One’s Champion Mother might say, “Well, thanks for what little you did do.” But she would say it with a smile and maybe a wink. Little things mean a great deal these days. Asked for a comment, he said, “I’m not one to start rumors.” An Old Champion said, “If it weren’t for The General, you wouldn’t have much news at all.”

A musician from Texas quotes someone saying, “O, but to have the wisdom of an oyster, that I might take an irritation and make of it a pearl.” Musicians need to pull those old guitars out from under their beds and lift their voices and their spirits. While it may be a little irritating to those with whom they share tight spaces these days, there is relief that at least it is a guitar and not a banjo. Someone has suggested that ‘perfect pitch’ is when a person throws a banjo into an accordion. A local accordion player, who wishes to remain anonymous, has been channeling conjunto music and enticing frogs to unusual behavior. Dan Kintner, of the National Banjo Association asserts, “The banjo is kinda like the random onion ring you find mixed in with your fries. You don’t realize how much you love it till you find it.” He attributes the remark to Adam Lee Marcus. Banjo virtuoso, Noam Pikelny of the Punch Brothers, can explain three bluegrass banjo styles. That is very interesting, but can he make a frog dance? If you look up ‘Dave Medlock Banjo’ on the internet you will find a nice video of him at the Friday Night Jamboree with Dennis Shumate on the mandolin and Montana Howerton on guitar playing “Lost Indian”. You will also find that the Google people located him in The Champion News. From the archives, July 17, 2017 we read, “Music has health benefits in physical, mental, emotional and social ways. It reduces stress and anxiety and may help with pain relief. Studies show that it may improve immune functioning and may aid memory. It is also a big help with exercise, if it is only patting your foot. “Put your little foot, put your little foot, put your little foot right out…”

Big green field.

Terri Ryan posted, “I’m ecstatic from this morning’s Walmart visit! There was rubbing alcohol, Angel Soft toilet paper, AND ramen. Having one of each in my cart made me feel so happy. I hope that I remain thankful for these things I took for granted and the wonderful people who had any hand in providing them. “ Marjorie Carter says they are still hanging in and continuing to make cookies. “Our bluebirds didn’t make it. But there is another family in another box, see what happens.” She said they saw their first hummingbird and got their feeders out. Hovey, in Houston, said, “4/20/20 first hummingbird at 3731 Brookfield today, hope he informs his friends. Peace and tranquility, Hovey” For some peace and tranquility a couple of Old Champions took a slow ride through the countryside and found the Race Track Memorial up north of Denlow. There are still plenty of Alsup descendants in these parts and lots of other parts of the country who can tell you all about how that quarter mile race track drew more attendance than the state fair back in the day. The monument sits next to an incredibly green field that one can imagine full of revelers. It is amazing to see how much beauty is all around us as we meander down new/old roads right here in Booger County. We live in an interesting part of the world and, now, in an interesting time in the word. Harmony and Chaos have always been around. Find a way to enjoy it. Get out in the garden and sing real loud while you are working up your rows and beds. Beets and radishes are coming up and potatoes are beginning to peep through the mulch. Last fall’s cover crop of turnip greens will provide one more good dish before they get plowed under. Put some bacon and onions in those greens, make a pan of cornbread and enjoy a nice glass of buttermilk.

Finally the heavy coats are taking their place in the back of the coat closet. The pockets have been emptied of cough drops, loose change, tissues, and gloves. They have had zippers zipped, buttons buttoned, and then a through brushing before finding their places on good wooden hangers. They will be ready next fall. Next fall seems a long way away here in the middle of sweet Spring. We will wait for the time when we can all be together again and in the meantime we reach out to those we are missing. Graeme Laird sings his plaintiff song, “Rosina.” Sometimes even a sweet sad song can make us feel better in Champion. Looking on the Bright Side!

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April 16, 2020

CHAMPION—April 13, 2020


Apple blossom time.

A ride along some seldom traveled country lanes is a good way to break the monotony if a person begins to feel stifled or stymied.  Dogwoods are out up on the ridges and soon will be so in the hollows.  They join the lilacs, the flowering quince, the apple blossoms, peach and pear trees, the honeysuckle, and phlox, creeping and wild, and myriad other blooming things.  Some of that beauty may be short lived as the temperatures drop and the wind picks up.  Our native things are resilient.  In Champion we have been acknowledging every beautiful thing we see, sometimes as if we are seeing it for the first time and, at other brief moments, with the sinking sense that it is fast fleeting and may never appear again.  Our Easter parade may have been canceled, but we joyfully don our bonnet with all the frills upon it.  We dress up to feel good, and feeling good helps us to cheer on our loved ones who may be anxious and dreary.  The internet and the phone lines are humming as people reach out to connect with one another during this isolation.  Sometimes the internet seems overloaded.  It must be that it is being used more than ever.  The whole situation is unsettling, but we are reminded that Albert Camus, said “What we learn in time of pestilence:  that there are more things to admire in men than to despise.”

School kids are being required to make serious modifications in their lives.  Certainly these will be days they remember when they are adults running the world.  Meanwhile, the school is remembering students with a sign on the fence, “WE MISS YOU.”  Skyline food service is providing a grab-and-go meal program on Tuesdays for any person 18 years or younger.  The drive-up service is open from 10:00 to 12:00.  For more information call 417-683-4874.  On April 7th they served 86 people, giving out 10 meals each.  That is 860 meals, a valuable amenity to the community.  When the opportunity to help the school shows up on the ballot again, hopes are that this kindness will be remembered.

Since The Douglas County Herald has not been interested in Champion for the last month, a number of important Skyline birthdays have been neglected.  For example, fifth grade student JP Rhodes has April first for his special celebration.  He will have special attention because of that date for the rest of his life, no doubt.  Skyline staff member, Mrs. Kristi, celebrates on the 4th.  Prekindergarten student, Hunter Harris shares his birthday on the 9th with Mr. Luna.  Mr. Luna is the grandson of long time West Pains Wagon Club wagon-master, Clifton Luna.  He is also the Skyline R2 School Superintendent and is receiving great reviews for his work to preserve, protect and promote our great little rural school, one of only two left in Douglas County.  Thank you, Mr. Luna!  Seventh grader, Coby Wallace, enjoys the 14th.  Wyatt Lakey, of the 5th grade, and Destiny Brown, kindergarten student, both have the 15th for their birthday. Happy birthday, you Tigers!

1946 Studebaker….”Bob has one of these!”

What would a person give Studebaker Bob for his birthday?  Lovely Mary says, “Car parts.”  The 14th is his big day.  Banjo Dillon Watts enjoyed his birthday on Easter Sunday.  Dustin Kline has his day on Income Tax Day, along with Champion Vivian Krider Floyd and George G. Jones, currently of Stockton.  Income Tax Day has been extended to July 15th, but these charming folks can have their birthdays in April the way they always have.  Susanna wrote on April 9th, “Happy Birthday to the sweetest man on Earth.”  She had lots of good things to say characterizing him as a sensational all-around nice guy.  His cousin, The General, had reported last week that the recent earth quake, the epicenter of which was about 150 miles from him, had not shaken him from his recliner.  That was a relief for Kenneth (Hovey) Henson to read in The Champion News.  “I’m happy to hear that Wesley, our football manager at Mountain Grove High School, came through the earth quake with no damage.”  He said, “As of 4/14/20 no humming birds at 3731 Brookfield.  Being quarantined I am rereading all my James Michener books.  Love the way he can make you part of his historical novels.  Granddaughter, Avery, is doing her school work over the internet.  She is in the 8th grade taking all advance classes–2 of them are freshmen high school algebra and Spanish, very proud.  Dawn says that I’m obnoxious sticking that child in every ones face, can’t help it.”  Our response to Hovey is that having an obnoxious old man proud of her will be a gift his granddaughter will treasure always.

Judie, up on Tar Button Road, has only had a couple of skillets of morrelas so far.  Maybe warmer weather will bring more out.  Meanwhile she is out in the woods, keeping her eye out for bears and appreciating life in general.  She now has three teenage grandchildren, as the twins have now had their 13th birthday.  Other folks strolling about in the serenity of the woods are those fine folks at Teeter Creek Herbs.  Look them up at www.tettercreekherbs.com just to see what good they can do for you.  One Old Champion swears by the anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric.

Musicians are suffering for want of a jam.  Some are practicing at home getting better and better.  Lena said Jerry has not been playing very much since they stopped having the Wednesday morning jam at the barber shop.  He has new strings on his fiddle and they will need some breaking in.  He probably has an old guitar lying around somewhere.  Many people do.  Pull them out from under the bed, even if they have been there for decades.  Dust them off, tune them up and make your heart merry with song.  Jerry sings, “I wouldn’t change a single thing about you if I could.  The way you are just suits me to a T.”  Then he gives Lena that look and she smiles.  Music is good for us.  In response to last week’s question a distant Champion responds, “After listening again, the devil and his band of demons definitely beat Johnny, in my opinion.”  Another said, “I’m opposed to the devil outright and care not how good he might play.  Johnny was mortal, after all.”

As we struggle with the uncertainty connected with the virus and the disruptions to our daily lives, we also acknowledge that all across the south the violent weather of Easter Sunday has thrown many into additional turmoil.  A great number of lives were lost and the damage to property may never be recouped.  Even as we face our own challenges these days, there are others in more dire circumstances.  Robert Frost says, “The best way out is always through.”  And we hear that the comeback is always stronger than the setback.

The first hummingbird scout showed up in Champion North on Good Friday.  It is a comfort to know that nature is behaving as it routinely has.  Now it is just up to us to continue behaving, as Mother would say, ‘…like you have good sense,” and exhibiting patience and kindness whenever we can.  Love and Gratitude are the watchwords and we rest well with a lullaby in Champion—Looking on the Bright Side!

Somewhere along a seldom traveled lane…

April 8, 2020

CHAMPION—April 6, 2020


Plenty of space to isolate.

Those of us lucky enough to have plenty of space in which to isolate ourselves think about our city-dwelling friends and family and hope they can find a comfortable way to stay apart from one another.  We can still have lunch together, but in different places.  Telephones and the internet are real blessings.  Imagine what it was like 100 years ago when a similar thing happened to the whole world.  Of course there are many more people now.  During the 20th century world population grew from 1.65 billion to 6 billion.  In 1970, there were roughly half as many people in the world as there are now.  Look at https://www.worldometers.info/world-population/ for an eyeful of up to the minute information that will surprise and amaze you.  Up until this current pandemic it was estimated the 150 people die worldwide every minute.  Who knows how this virus will affect the numbers?  Champions just focus on the here and now, being grateful for the ones we love in the world with us now.  Call them up and say, “Hidy! High’s ya mamanem?” (i.e. Howdy, How is your mama and them?)  Jerry Wagner sings, “I Wonder How the Old Folks Are at Home.”

Champion Hummer

We called Bob and Ethel Leach the other day.  They are doing fine.  Ethel misses restaurants.  Perhaps she is acquainted with Alice’s Restaurant.  A phone visit with Kenneth and Barbara Anderson lets us know that they are safe and doing well.  So is Corrine Rodgers, who is happy about spring, but like Kenneth and Barbara, she misses the Vanzant Jam. Bertie misses the jam too.  She is still making pies down in Dora and thinking that these might be some good days for learning new songs.  Wyoming snowbird, Marge Carter, hopes they will get back home at the end of April, but says she does not know what will happen.  None of us do, but there are baby bluebirds that have hatched in one of her boxes and her kitchen is full of good smells as Doug has to have his cookies.  She says Tammy is okay out there on the west coast and looks forward to getting back this way someday.  Marge will have to get her hummingbird feeder out soon.  A look back at The Champion News from a year ago reveals that the first hummingbird appeared on April 6th so those hummingbird feeders are coming out of the pantry and sugar stores are being assessed.  Those little birds lift spirits.

The 7th is auspicious because of the full moon.  It is called the Pink Moon and it is the closest super moon of the year.  How often has it happened that a big super full moon occurred on your birthday?  That is what has happened for Beverly Coffman Emery!  It is such a special occurrence that she had people calling her the day before to sing that song just to get her excited and happy about accumulating another candle on her cake.  Butch Linder had a birthday the other day, April 3rd.  A number of years ago, at a Skyline Area Volunteer Fire Department Chili Supper, he said, “I’m surprised ain’t nobody shot you yet.”  He was responding to what he perceived as a liberal leaning of The Champion News at that time.  He turns out to be a descent sort of a fellow, does a lot of good work for the Veterans and has children and even in-laws who like him.  These days he will till your garden.  Give him a call at 948-2744 or 543-9154. His motto:  Butch Linder–Garden Tiller.

We miss Bud Hutchison on his birthday, the 8th.  He was as nice a fellow as you would ever want to meet.  His trail riding buddies still tell stories about him.  Bud probably enjoyed hearing The Strawberry Roan.

Meanwhile, The General sent a thank-you note to Darcy Upshaw Cecil, a cousin, thanking her for the “Brief” case that she gave him last summer.  He had put it to good use, dumping the contents and using it as a face mask.  He said people at the grocery store had given him some disgusting looks, but the social distancing rule of six feet increased to 25 plus feet.  It is to be noted that this “Brief” case was made from a pair of sparkling white jockey shorts. Cute.  He declined to be photographed in his mask, lest he lose the patent rights or get arrested by the Facebook police.  He did report that last week’s earthquake up in Idaho had shaken Wesley Hancock, another cousin, slightly in his recliner.  Nothing fell from shelves so there is another piece of good luck.

Champion Tulips

One of the interesting things that has been repeated on Facebook lately has been a note, “Today the devil whispered in my ear, ‘You aren’t strong enough to withstand the storm.’  I whispered, ‘Get back six feet, you idiot!'”  Another answer was, “Well, at least I wasn’t whipped in a fiddle contest by some hillbilly from Georgia!”  That, of course, is a reference to the recently departed Charlie Daniels.  Some say that Johnny fiddled faster while the devil was more melodic.  Listen to it for yourself.  See where it leads you and get back with us at champion@championnews.us with your assessment.

What a joy is a hand written letter!  One recently came to The Champion News from Micah Foulke up in Portland, Oregon.  The letter was written in a small neat hand, saying some kind and lovely things including how much Micah and family enjoy reading about Champion online and how happy they are to see their names pop up.  Spread some joy around with letters to people who will appreciate them and in the process thank our intrepid letter carriers who keep us in the loop.

Butch Stone has three hens that provide him and Dawn with all the eggs they need.  He said that at one time he was aware that his chickens were suddenly laying significantly more than usual.  About that time he found his lost hatchet in the hen house.  The Skyline R2 School’s food service is offering a grab-and-go meal program on Tuesdays free to any child eighteen years or younger.  The drive-up service is open from 10:00-12:00.  For more information call Skyline at 417-683-4874.  On Tuesday, the 7th of April, they served 86 people, giving out 10 meals each.  That is 860 meals supporting the community in a substantial way.  Hopes are the community will respond in kind at the polls on June 2, 2020.  Perhaps these times will help the students, their parents, the school staff and the community at large to Accentuate the Positive.  That is what we try to do here in Champion—Looking on the Bright Side.

Connie Lansdown says, “God left a Light on at the Farmhouse.”

April 2, 2020

CHAMPION–April 1, 2020


Champion Flowering Quince

Some of the April Fools jokes played on the internet included announcements of unlikely persons expecting babies. Sarah may have been 90 when Isaac was born, but those were the different old days. These are the different new days and it is incumbent upon us to keep our sense of humor. It is funny to hear what people are willing to believe. A woman stepped up on the wide veranda at the Historic Emporium on April 1st, and allowed as how she did not know what to believe any more. She had seen pictures on the internet of empty hospitals and it made her think that the whole pandemic thing is a lie. It turns out that it is very difficult for people to believe anything that does not already fit into their preconceived notions about things. Johnny Cash sang, “The lonely voice of youth cries, ‘What is truth?‘” Matthew Henry said, “If truth is once deserted, unity and peace will not last long.” He was a Welshman. He passed away in 1714.

Spring mullein

The current requirement for limited personal community contact has sent people to the telephone and the internet for socialization. We may be more connected in our isolation than we were before, which is another oddity of these new days. Some are driving the back roads for nostalgia or adventure or curiosity or diversion. A local road trip is a good way to be out and isolated at the same time. It just requires a reliable vehicle and a willingness to run a risk.

Wilburn and morels

Wilburn Hutchison has been fishing and mushroom hunting with success on both scores. Over there at the farm they are getting their garden ready. Louise always liked the Parks Whopper tomato. She won the First Ripe Tomato in Champion contest one year. We miss Louise. Maybe they will be able to find some Parks Whopper plants again this year, though reports are from a fellow who went to town recently that gardening supplies are much in demand. The television weather folks are acting like our chances of a freeze are pretty much over for the spring. While we remember the old adage about thunder in February-frost in May, some may jump the gun. It is easy to do with time on our hands, sunshine and supply-chain uncertainty. As to that uncertainty, let us give some appreciation for the truck driving men and women out there. Thanks!

One of the Tres Hermanos (Three Brothers) reported having taken a four mile walk through town to help lower his blood sugar. We feel an obligation to stay informed in order to be responsible and, going on about our daily pursuits, we may look at the blessings of our lives with new appreciation. Singer and song writer, John Prine, is reported to be making a good recovery from the Covid-19 virus. He wrote that song, “Paradise,” which says, “Daddy, won’t you take me back to Muhlenberg County, down by the Green River where Paradise lay.” Most bluegrassers are familiar with that one, but he has written many great songs and you can find them here–on the internet! We are glad to hear he is doing well. Chances are, before this is over, we will all be effected in some way. If we have been remiss in acknowledging those we love and appreciate, we repent.

“Do you have a match?” someone asked Keegan Shannon as he left the Historic Emporium one day last week. He had two fifty pound sacks of something stacked on his left shoulder and two gallons of milk and a plastic shopping bag full of stuff in his right hand. He just laughed. Laughter is one of the best things we have going for us during this period of time when we all have to be so conscious, observant and prudent. We are reminded that there is no glory in defeating a weak opponent, an admonition to inspire courage. “A person just does what he has to do,” says a hard working individual providing a valuable service. We thank all those folks who are on the front lines keeping things going, like truck drivers and grocers, farmers, health care providers, fire fighters and musicians. Keep a happy heart. We are on the sunny side of the street in Champion—Looking on the Bright Side!

A Champion roadside attraction