April 16, 2022

CHAMPION—April 11, 2022


Champion Tulips

Champions were chasing their hats over the weekend as the unrelenting gusts sent them sailing across their gardens. Getting the soil ready to plant is rewarding work even when it requires more effort than some can muster at any one time. They will be happy for what little they do get done and happier for a rainy Monday to rest and revel in the aquafer being recharged. They will recharge themselves and be ready to get out there again some sunny day.

Skyline students are hoping for a sunny Saturday, April 23rd, for their Fun Run-Donut Dash. Meanwhile they are gearing up for MAP testing, which will be followed by a variety of field trips and end of the year activities. The Sunshine Committee at Skyline is holding a fundraiser selling Krispy Kreme donuts. They will be delivered the day of the Fun Run. Contact any Skyline student to make your order. John Phillip Rhodes, a seventh grade student, had his birthday on April first. Kindergarten’ Fredrick Smith had his party on the 4th. Saturday, the 9th, was the big day for Administrator Donnie Luna and third grade teacher, Candace Mayberry. Seventh grader Wyatt Lakey has the 15th for his big day along with G. Gary Jones over in Stockton, Champion son-in-law Dustin Kline, and Champion Vivian Krider Floyd.

Champion Road Hazard

Studebaker Bob Berry will be celebrated in Vanzant on the 14th. Hopes are he and Mary will be there to enjoy the music with their friend, Glen Brandstedder. Champion grandson and banjo player, Dillon Watts, has his birthday on the 12th. Hopes are he and his wife will find their way over from Tennessee to the jam some Thursday. Our favorite fiddler, hit a deer on the way to Vanzant last week. His headlights were still working so he came on. He was in fine voice and grateful the damage to his vehicle was not worse. It is a cautionary tale. Watch out, day or night, next fall’s venison on the hoof could cause havoc any time of the year.

April 15th, Tax Day, finds most of us glad to pay our fair share and grateful for the benefits of living in this wonderful country. Tax evaders enjoy those benefits too, and their fair share could greatly enhance them for all of us. A little update in the tax codes and some serious enforcement would help. A friend who is interested in word origins said that politics comes from the Greek word for many and from blood sucking parasites. Certainly, if vitriol were vitri-oil, the energy crisis would be well over. Would we could find a way to extract the ire-oil from the letters to the editor and certain inflationary articles, which should be published in the ‘op-ed’ section, we could fuel our tillers, our tractors, our trucks, and our Trans Ams. Political fervor can be mollified by a nice walk in the woods. Maybe you will find a mushroom and lower your blood pressure.

A brief, pleasant meeting with Ethel Leach at the feed store revealed that she and Bob are doing well and staying busy. She sends regards to Don and Reba and all their friends down on the wide, wild, wooly banks of Old Fox Creek, where good citizenship and optimism reign in Champion—Looking on the Bright Side!

Town Tulips

April 12, 2022

CHAMPION—April 4, 2022


A bridge under troubled water...

Sometime after the next cold snap, some Champions will put out hummingbird feeders and will keep a steady watch for their southern friends. As things bud and sprout and bloom, so do the spirits of winter weary old folks ready for one warm day after another. Last Thursday marked the last snowfall for the month of March with a few flakes falling in Mountain Grove and Ava. A gathering of a great gaggle of girlfriends at Rockbridge happened that day, as well, and, reportedly, enjoyed a wonderful time together. A couple of individuals missed out by taking the wrong roads where the bridges were awash with flood waters and debris. By the time they corrected their various routes, the party was over. Alas! They will not miss the next chance to be in the company of seldom seen sisters.

Another party was much enhanced that evening, however, with the long awaited return of a favorite fiddler to the Vanzant jam. He was in the company of his sweet sister, Sally. They were well received and much entreated to come back often. It is a long drive for them after dark, which is what keeps some Champions from the newly established Tuesday Jam over at Roy’s Store in Dora. They get started about six in the evening and carry on until nine or so. Gina Hollingshead, who plays the only electric instrument–the bass, said she was surprised at how many people local to that area are coming with their acoustic instruments to join in. Bertie’s pies may also have something to do with the great turn out. The whole country is hungry for pie and music, both good medicine. Beverly Emery’s favorite is lemon merengue. Thursday, the seventh, at the Vanzant Jam, she will have that birthday song sung to her with enthusiasm by her many friends. She will most likely be on the look out for a gag gift from her irrepressibly silly sister. Irrepressible.

Mickey and Mikey

Twin Chefs in Kentucky are irrepressible as they teach us how to make pigs in the blanket. Mickey, the twin on the left, has been a visitor to the area on a number of occasions. It turns out he is married to the irrepressible Cathie Alsup Reilly of the local Alsups, kin to many folks in the Denlow/Vanzant/Champion triumvirate of desirable locations.

Windowsills bristle with seedlings of peppers, marigolds and milkweed waiting to be transplanted to the garden. The almanac says the best days in April for that activity are 16, 17, 25, 26, and 29. Champions generally figure May 10 to be the last frost day, but we have been fooled in the past. They say that it is easier to fool someone than to convince them they have been fooled. When it comes to gardening though, the truth is indisputable. Would it were so else wise world wide! Children, visiting from the city, have had a good work-out pushing wheelbarrows of manure and stacking firewood. It often happens that when we have help, we work harder than we do working by ourselves. A pleasant week-end and good neighbor help has some old Champions looking for the horse liniment on Monday morning and they do not have horses! Champions—Looking on the Bright Side!


April 3, 2022

CHAMPION—March 28, 2022


The walk down to the mailbox might be full of anticipation or dread or just a chance to gaze out across a broad field to marvel at the little clumps of daffodils growing way out there, washed to their new ground by previous seasons’ flood waters.  And the mailbox may hold a surprise.  One such appeared in the cyber mailbox at champion@championnews.us  It came from a K. Brown who, having heard about the Champion Store from Brooks Blevins, googled us up and found The Champion News.  Kim had complimentary things to say about our website, administered by the talented Ms. Oyl.  The pandemic and ‘life in general’ have thus far thwarted Kim’s good intention to visit, especially the local feature known as Nelson Park.  In response to this kind letter, it was explained that the park is just a wide spot in the road at a crossing of Clever Creek where Fox Creek Road and Cold Springs Road join (or fork).  It was also suggested that the end of the pavement itself may well prove a good destination.  Hopes are it will happen yet.  We are always happy to receive mail, cyber or snail at The Champion News, Rt. 72 Box 367, Norwood, MO 65717.

“Y’all Come” is one of those country songs people of a certain age can remember.  “Oh, the kin folks are coming, yes, they’re coming by the dozens…”  And what a joy it is!  The preparations for house guests bring numerous things to mind.  One asks, “Why would we do so much for other people when we don’t do it for ourselves?  Don’t we like it when everything is clean and organized?”  Another one said, “You might just be trying to put forth your best foot.”  A favorable impression is not a bad thing.  A friend over in Champion South said that she and her family had been living there for a few years when a local person visited their house and said, “You people are a lot cleaner than I thought you’d be.”  Friends and family are what make the world a beautiful place, so a little extra elbow-grease is well spent making them comfortable and happy to come again.  Drop us a note with your thoughts on this or any other matter.

The General’s daughters were looking for thoughts on their debate of the difference between tart and tangy.  In short order, they received nine responses.  All said they were different, but only three suggested how.  Tim Wood suggested that tangy is about the intensity of a flavor, while tart is connected closely to sourness/bitterness.  Another Upshaw, Loni, said “Things sisters will debate over!  They’re different.  Tangy is a little sweeter.”  And Debbie Scott Russel said, “Tart is sharp.  Tangy is more mellow.”

Partisan fervor flavoring the letters to the editor makes them a delightful or disgusting read depending on point of view.  So, it was a nice change to read of the troubles of Mr. Brian Haynes in the January 17th, edition of The Herald.  He lives up on Old Highway 5 where he has significant complaint about the condition of the road.  He is eloquent in his grievance with vivid, jarring descriptions and serious safety concerns.  He said that he had driven on gravel roads that are in better shape than his pavement.  Certainly, if he is over in our neck of the woods, when the pavement ends, the gravel lanes are lovely, thanks to those hard working, handsome gentlemen of the Drury Shed.  We will wish Mr. Haynes good luck in dealing with his commissioners and, hopefully, off in the future, our Douglas County commissioners will look seriously at White River Electric’s proposal for good high speed internet service, the benefits of which will be many.  Champion—Looking on the Bright Side!