Connie Freeman

The winning ticket.

London draws the winner.

Champion congratulations go out to Kaitlyn McConnell — the winner of the beautiful No-2020-Skyline Picnic Quilt. The drawing was held on October 1st at the Historic Emporium. Two year old (almost) London Coon was chosen, as the youngest person in the crowd, to pull the winning ticket out of the big box. (Alvin Barnhart said he thought there would be a big crowd.) London did an excellent job of it. Connie Freeman and her husband traveled all the way from Vera Cruz for the occasion. Connie, who made and donated the quilt, said that this one broke all previous records for earnings by one of her quilts–$1,212.00. The Skyline Area Volunteer Fire Department has a debt of gratitude to Connie and to everyone who supported the project
from Sheridan, Wyoming; Portland, Oregon; Hurricane, Utah; New Vienna, Ohio; Leavenworth and Wichita, Kansas; Houston, Austin, and Wharton, Texas, as well as from Springfield, Sparta, Ava, and Mountain Grove. It sounds like “I’ve been everywhere.” Kaitlyn McConnell has been closer to everywhere than most of us. She is a world traveler and an explorer of every back road and point of interest all over her native Ozarks. Her great blog, Ozarks Alive, is dedicated to Ozarks folklore and history and to sharing the natural beauty of the place—Ozarks Alive: Cool Photography. She shared a copy of her recent book “Passport to the Ozarks” with the Reading Room at the Historic Emporium and indicates that Champion will be included in the next edition. Her friends here are happy for her win and are pleased by her support and the generosity of so many for the Skyline VFD.

A few drops of rain fell in Champion a few days before the full Harvest Moon showed itself on the first of October. By the second day of the month temperatures were down in the thirties. “Chili today—hot tamale” is often the weather this time of the year. There may be a few hot days yet to get the work all done this fall. Soon enough old timers will have their long-handles on, hauling stove wood and ashes. There will be frost on the Champion pumpkin. There will not be as many sweet potato pies coming out of the oven on the cold days as had been hoped. It seems that the health and vigor of the vine is a pretty good indicator of the yield. Perhaps it was the rabbits or the deer, or Wilbur the Wonderful Woodchuck or his (or her) kin that kept the vines so assiduously pruned. The harvest was scant and full of fingerlings and odd shapes reminiscent of Archimedes. One can hardly blame the critters for liking the luscious leaves. We might find fault, however, with Jonnie the Friendly Dog, though, in her defense, she never promised to be anything other than loveable.

A person with a birthday on a full moon is a fortunate person. Of course, a birthday on any day celebrates another trip around the sun—a plus for people making the most of their lives. Champions observe their Prominent Citizen to be doing that very thing. Anyway, he does not need to be reminded that if a person acts like he is having a good time; pretty soon he will forget that he is acting and will really be having a good time. Hopes are that his anniversary was celebrated roundly. His cousin Bud’s Champion Trail Ride is scheduled for October 14th. That is another big event for Champion. The riders generally take out of the Square around ten in the morning and go off on their exciting adventure. By early afternoon they are back at the Historic Emporium sharing tales of the trail and enjoying ice cream and the tunes of the Sometimes Porch Band. They have been working on an instrumental version of Ghost Riders in the Sky (in A minor), hoping Roberta will come back to sing it for us again. Music is a good, free, spirit lifting medicine—highly recommended in whatever form you like the best.

Vote in whatever form suits you. A couple of Old Champions went into the Douglas County Clerk’s office to cast their ballot on Tuesday. It was easy as pie. All you need is your voter registration card and to sign the document that indicates why you are voting absentee. One of the reasons can be concern about Covid 19. They give you your ballot and escort you to a little room with voting tables. When you have completed your ballot, it goes in the locked box just like the one at the polls when you vote in person. The folks in the office are friendly and helpful and your vote is secure. Vote any way you can.

October is just the second of the ‘ber’ months. It is full of birthdays and holidays and somber occasions like all the months of the year are, but this one is special for having two full moons. The 31st is Halloween, also the full Hunter’s Moon and we will be singing, “When my Blue Moon turns to gold again and rainbows chase the clouds away” in Champion—Looking on the Bright Side!

The “fingerling” sweets.