“Go Chiefs!” Your Champion friends and fans hope that you gentlemen have been able to rest up and heal up in advance of Sunday’s big game. Thanks for all the fun and excitement.

Winter colors have their charm, adorning our rolling hills with every soft shade of gold, gray and brown. With spring just around the corner and seeds on store shelves already, Champions look forward to the garden and look out their windows enjoying today’s beauty as well. Soon enough those new and old houses and homesteads along our country lanes will disappear behind the foliage as things green up again. The more seasons we have seen, the quicker they seem to arrive.

The week got off to a great start with a call from Brock. He is the customer service guy from the White River Connect outfit, part of the White River Valley Electric Cooperative. The good news is that sometime within the next two to four months people out in the very middle of very rural Douglas County will be able to hook up to the real high speed internet–broadband, if you will. The Bright Speed BS seems to have needed a kerosene pilot light, so it will be a quality of life enhancement to switch.


More good news comes with the groundwork, dirt work for the construction of the new Skyline Area Volunteer Fire Department firehouse. What a change it will be. The new facility will take up much of what used to be the picnic grounds. The pandemic put the kibosh on those wonderful picnics anyway. But, anyway, as our Prominent Champion is want to say, it is good to know that our great Skyline VFD will be here, as ever, to protect our lives and property. Perhaps the fancy new facility will entice some healthy young folks to become volunteers and the new configuration of the grounds might allow for some new kinds of community support. Meanwhile, schoolkids on the Skyline R2 School playground can watch the construction and be inspired to be architects, heavy equipment operators, carpenters, plumbers, sheet metal workers, roofers, electricians, or engineers. There is plenty of excitement and inspiration to go around in Champion.

There is hard news too. Jonnie, the friendly dog, got into a fracas with a FedEx truck or some other big, fast moving rig out on the straight stretch of Cold Springs Road and did not survive. She hated the trucks but loved the people. Steve, the driver from Mountain Country Propane would tell you that she acted like she would eat the truck, but when he got out she was all waggy and ready to be petted. She loved people. It’s a sad loss for the Old Champions. She showed up in February 2017 and became part of the family, great company for two old people. Now they have a note in the mailbox asking Brittany to honk, because Jonnie is not there to alert them. Yes, the world is full of suffering, and this may not seem like much to many. Things happen. Life changes. Change is hard.

But back to the good things, the Douglas County Herald’s reprint from the Ozark County Times of “A World Turned Upside Down” gave a good account of the epic journey of the Barry Family, from the catastrophic accident back in November all the way to the realization that life goals will just have to be accomplished another way. Rachel and Jeff purchased Jean’s Healthway back in 2020. The store has been a gift to Ava and the whole community for over 40 years. Rachel and Jeff have taken the helm for the last four years and have made it their own. It has been a good enterprise for them and continued to be a gift to the community. Their dedicated family of employees and volunteers are carrying the weight until they can do it again. Change is hard, but they are up to the task. We cannot fix everything. The Lord knows the world is in a mess, but here is a chance to be of help. If you can, do. Champion—Looking on the Bright Side!