Festivities for The Champion Reunion this Saturday, September 3rd, kick off at noon with a potluck luncheon. Everyone is welcome. It will be a good mix of nostalgia and fellowship. Bring your lawn chairs. Looking back, there will be stories told of the old school days and interesting happenings around the old store. Erstwhile neighbors will have a chance to reminisce and to catch up with each other’s life events. Jody Henson is planning to come as an homage to Royce who passed away in May. She is a girl from Oak Forest and said that they never had a school reunion. At some point, the Oak Forest School house was moved to Mountain Grove and is someone’s residence now. She did not know when that happened. She said Royce loved everything about Champion.

Looking forward, newcomers to the area will get a chance to soak up some of the history of the place as they make themselves at home here. Those newcomers can get on their computers (not their phones) and stroll back through time here. These archives only go back to 2006, but they are sprinkled with reports of school reunions and Skyline VFD happenings and a great video produced by David Richardson called “Champion New Store.” David is planning to make it to Champion on Saturday, perhaps with some of his Whetstone Band colleagues. (Maybe Foster and Kalyssa will be there with their mandolin and fiddle.)

Always looking for a good meal, David is then planning to go to the Crouch Farm Labor Day Picnic in Drury where the chicken dinner will be blessed at 5 PM. Roy and Pam Crouch moved here from Iowa back in 2016 and began having their annual picnic at that time to get acquainted with the community and express gratitude for being able to live in such a lovely place: Box 65, County Road 247, Drury. Everyone is welcome. Bring a side dish, if you like, your lawn chairs and musical instruments.

While they were ‘locals’ here for about fifteen minutes, Edie and Lee Richardson (a different bunch of Richardsons) are now situated nicely over on the other side of Norwood, but still Champions. Talking about the summer, Edie said, “It was a full time job just keeping everything watered and alive. The produce garden wasn’t as nice as usual. It has been 3 years now and not one season has been the same. There is still a lot to learn about Zone 6b, but we have done well so far I feel. We are still on council and doing our Master Gardener volunteering at University of Missouri Extension Wright County. If I’m not out in the gardens or herb beds, you can bet I’m doing my next passion—food.” She is an amazing cook. Lee has become a beekeeper and it is all “Honey this and Honey that” with him.

Bee Kind

An avid gardener way over west of Champion says his squash vines are thriving with many fewer squash bugs than in years past. He attributes this to having planted white icicle radishes in each hill and letting them grow up together. That is a trick he learned on the internet. He also suggests that we might Google “Grazon contamination” for information concerning the poisoning of garden soils by herbicides. He says, “Some of these chemicals are persistent in the soil for years and may be introduced through manures of animals pastured on treated fields or through straw or hay grown on treated land used as mulch or to make compost.” He said that this has been a big problem in England, with thousands of garden allotments being ruined. Champions will quiz their manure suppliers this fall.

The second week of school is well underway now and Skyline has 89 scholars attending plus a number of preschoolers. The year is off to a good start. The General and other old timers will miss the farm kids who have been hanging out with them on the wide veranda on Wednesdays asking for that “Dirty Feet” song. They are now laboring over their books. So far, Felix the Farmer is really enjoying kindergarten. He already knows the alphabet and can count to 30. Kindergarten is a good time to learn the ropes of school. A well educated population is the hope of the Nation. Champion—Looking on the Bright Side!

Felix
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