October 29, 2021

CHAMPION—October 27, 2021


Wilbur noshes on compost.

Sometimes it is wonderful to be wrong. For example: We thought there would be few walnuts this year because we saw hardly any blooms in the spring, but the harvest was phenomenal! Then it was generally figured that our fall colors would not be particularly spectacular because the summer had been so dry, but the sassafras and dogwoods and mulberries and sumac are telling a different story. Then we thought we had seen the last of Wilbur, but he showed up Wednesday to glean tomatoes out of the compost. Another mistake had to do with the new typesetter at The Douglas County Herald, Tiffany. In a conversation welcoming her to the staff, she seemed to be suggesting that The Champion News was about twice as long as it needed to be. Rethinking the conversation, that was probably not what she implied, and we may have jumped to conclusions. An email arrived from regional manager, Kimberly Combs, saying “We do not have a limit on words for your column. You are welcome to write as much as you want. Normally, we are looking for copy to fill pages.” So, the good news is the words may flow freely, though, as to quality, perhaps less is more, which is advice often given by real writers. Tiffany is the sixth or seventh typesetter with whom we’ve become acquainted since 2008. It’s a difficult job and the changes to The Herald over the last couple of years have been unsettling. They say change is inevitable, but sometimes it takes a while to adjust. Good luck to Tiffany, from folks on the Bright Side.

The community turned out in a big way for the Skyline R2 School Fall Carnival Friday. Local merchants contributed interesting items for the silent auction. Imaginative games and contests kept the fun and laughter going all evening. Talented pumpkin carvers competed for the grand pumpkin prize. Mr. Luna said he had never seen so many baked goods as were covering the library tables for the cake walk. Had Mary taken the chance this time, she might well have won her first cake ever in all her many miles of cakewalking over the years for every good cause. Mary is a good sport. She and Bob made it all the way over from Studibakerville for chili, Frito pie, and hotdogs. Skyline VFD fire fighters, students, staff, parents, grandparents, alumni, and nice folks like Bob and Mary came together for the fun of it and to support our great little rural school. The PTO reported a profit of $1800.00, which they will doubtlessly put to good use for the benefit of our students.

A Champion football fan, new to the sport, surprised herself by shouting, “Get that so and so!” Realizing that she found herself almost happy when a player on the opposing team was hurt during the game gave her pause. The players are full of adrenaline, energy, and excitement, but they are not angry. Often players are seen helping an opponent up off the field they hit so hard. They are competitors, the opposition, but not the enemy. They have respect for each other, understanding that there is no game unless there are two teams. That is quite a lesson for a grown up old person to learn watching football for the first time. Anger serves no purpose. Too bad the Chiefs had a hard time in Tennessee, but they will live to play again. Hopefully they will be more successful in the future. The best hope is that lessons learned from football can translate into healing some of the divisiveness that seems so pervasive these days. As the World Series begins, we will see if we can root for both teams like Champions! Looking on the Bright Side!

On the street where I live...

October 14, 2021

CHAMPION—October 11, 2021


Denlow was the scene of much family fun Saturday as the Alsup – Ousley Reunion drew folks from Alaska, Idaho, Kentucky, and many points in between. It was reported that there were sixty odd people there, meaning sixty people, more or less. The people were not necessarily all odd, but they all had a good time getting acquainted and reacquainted with one another. The memories made will be everlasting. Some of them were stored on the internet where a good bunch of the Pioneer Heritage Festival can also be seen. Organizers of this event did a splendid job of adapting to a new venue. This must be the season for fun.

Our Skyline Cross Country team made a good showing at the Thornfield meet on the 6th. The next meet will be in Ava on the 13th, sponsored by Skyline. The 17th is the birthday of Alain Ambroziac, an eighth grade Skyline student. Excitement is building for the Skyline Fall Carnival which will take place on October 22nd. Tabitha Hurt said, “We are asking parents to help decorate our walking trail if they would like to. Each family can select a ten foot or so section and decorate with fall or Halloween decorations.” This will be a chance for people in the community to see the recent upgrades and improvements made to the campus. There will be lots of games and good food and an opportunity to visit with neighbors and to get to know the staff of our terrific little rural school. If you are saving those Best Choice UPC codes (bar codes), the carnival will be a good time to turn them in. They bring in a little cash for the benefit of the school and every little bit helps.

Some folks are shy and do not like to see their name in the paper, so even if you do not know who they are, these Champions know they are being recognized and appreciated. A guy who does not know how to fly a flag has his birthday on the 11th. The wife of the guy who searched for Booger County celebrates on the 12th. Manes Cathy of the Pivot has the 13th for her big day and the 14th is for the father of Teagan and Luxe, and for our Champion Nurse who had great adventures with Doctors Without Borders. Then the guy who went up and down with the Otis folks enjoys the 15th. Your families and your friends will be baking cakes, making ice cream, and singing songs to you. Bask in their spotlight and enjoy yourselves.

The UPS driver who came up the drive in the U-Haul truck the other day remarked about the good quality of the county roads over in this area. He said that he frequently travels over roads in other parts of the county that are barely passable. Those handsome gentlemen from the Drury shed do excellent work. The beautiful, smooth hairpin turn where Cold Springs Road meets the High Road invites some drivers to ‘put their foot in it,’ that is, step on the gas just for the fun of it. But we resist the temptation since we are safe, prudent drivers in Champion—Looking on the Bright Side!


October 8, 2021

CHAMPION—October 4, 2021


Kaye and Fae
Kaye and Fae
Fae and Kaye
Fae and Kaye

Apologies are extended to a favorite fine fiddler if the question about the relative meanness of a red hog caused him any domestic difficulties. Country musician Tex Renner shares this quote: “O, but to have the wisdom of the oyster, that I might take an irritation and make of it a pearl.” “Boy, howdy!” as they say in Texas. Eddy Arnold sang, “I got a humpback mule, a plow and a tater patch, eggs that are gonna hatch someday. I got my Lord above and a good girl to love me. I’m the richest man in the world.” Music and musicians make the world a more lovely place. Carol Green is just such a musician–a banjo player. She is part of the trio known as TLC. Her birthday is October 6th, and she shares the day with Skyline pre-kindergarten student Alivia Vivod. The 7th is a big day for Betty Dye and for Vicki Trippe. Madeline Ward’s birthday is October 10th. She recently attended a surprise birthday party for her grandmother and her great aunt. This party was a blow out with family from all over Missouri, from Tennessee, Alaska, and Idaho. They are a big bunch—all of them grateful for the abundance of family.

Champion Goldenrod

Family from Seattle came with energy to spare to help out on the farm over in Champion-East. They were dinner guests up in Champion-North on Saturday, arriving and leaving in the rain. The retired labor and delivery nurse has become a rabble rousing union organizer. She has had splendid results, especially in Montana. Having previously made his mark as a purveyor of gentlemen’s fine footwear, he is a working philosopher, producing learned papers in collaboration with younger, less experienced colleagues. The conversation was lively over a broad range of subjects. Life is very different in their part of the world. For example, they have routine recycling pick up at their very door and their tooth paste comes in tablet form that must be chewed.

Skyline’s Cross Country team made a great showing at their meet in Ava on the 29th competing with Plainview, Mark Twain and Thornfield. Superintendent Donnie Luna has a chart that he will share with a smile showing the progress of our Skyline athletes. This week the meet will be in Thornfield and next week Skyline will host again at Ava. Helen Batten wrote, “Everyone cheered for ALL the runners. Parents applauded for everyone that crossed the finish line. And one boy that won a first place medal stayed by the finish line and told all the other boys, ‘great job.’ That was wonderful to hear.”

Champion Fall Shrooms

Colors are beginning to show themselves as if it will be Fall soon. We’ll be singing about the autumn leaves drifting by our windows. Rain was welcomed by many and not so much by others who had roads washed out and new fences knocked down. The Cowboy has his work cut out for him to repair the damage done by four plus inches of hard rain. The Pioneer Heritage Festival could have used some dryer days. On the plus side, a man who relies on a puddle to obscure his driveway does not have to fill it up with buckets. Counting blessings in Champion—Looking on the Bright Side!

A Champion Fall