The longer we live, the more acquainted with loss we become. We people in our 70s know a great number of people who have passed out of this life. Some passings are expected, sweet, sad and gentle with loving family at the bedside. Some are tragic, sudden shocks. Some are cruel, brutal, senseless. Loss is an inevitable part of life, and grief is a natural part of the healing process. We commiserate with each other as we commemorate and memorialize our dear ones gone on. A recent memorial took the form of friends and family standing masked outside in a social distancing circle on a lovely fall afternoon. They shared, in turn, how they met their friend and what he meant to them. His kindness and generosity, his self-effacing good humor and his love of bridge, tennis, turkeys, tropical plants and his fellow man were all acknowledged, as was the loss of yet another good person from the lives of each of them. We are reminded to recognize and appreciate loved ones while they are with us. A rule to live by: “When it is good, say so.” With so much illness and strife in the world these days it takes effort to stay positive. Our thoughts are with the many here in Douglas County, perhaps even in Champion, and across the Country and the world who are suffering in the pandemic. We hope for a good recovery for all those ill, and comfort for all those bereft.

Bud’s Trail Ride will be just in time for the maximum beauty of a Champion autumn. The prolonged dry period made some think it would be a drab season, but each day brings out unexpected loveliness in our ever-changing color scheme. Bud’s Trail Ride will be about the same, taking out of Champion at 10:00, lunching somewhere on the Shannon Ranch, getting back to Champion for ice cream in the early afternoon—1:00 or 2:00, depending on adventures. Last spring there was a log across a creek. Some horses did not mind jumping over logs, but did not like jumping over logs into running water. Andrew Hardin will be leading the ride again in Bud’s stead. He recently had a nice visit with Wilma. She is doing well, smiling and happy to have a visitor. Kaitlyn McConnell is planning to be in Champion on the day of the trail ride to pick up the beautiful No-Skyline-Picnic Quilt that she won. There is always something interesting happening in Champion.

Glen Branstetter, an old family friend of Bud and Wilma, made a stop in Champion on Wednesday. Champion was not part of his route when he was the Kitty Clover man, but he was able to find it anyway. He admired some of the old fixtures in the Recreation of the Historic Emporium—the potato chip rack and the candy counter, and had a good conversation with the Proprietor. He sat around on the porch for a while listening to the music and to the prolonged unremitting blathering of a motorcicle hooligan, who, while not pontificating and prevaricating, was piteously pestering a young woman, a first time visitor, who on account of him, may make it a point never to return to the Bright Side. Alas!

If you have a photographer with you on a drive down a country lane on a perfect day this week, better give yourself plenty time to get there. Every twist in the road reveals a new combination of colors and a sudden far distant vista excites the shutter bug, “Stop, back up about six feet. Ah! Great!” Champion—Looking on the Bright Side!