Haymaking is dicey this time of the year under normal circumstances.  Abnormal conditions are almost normal these days.  Overall, Champions are grateful that things are no worse.  Other parts of the country are dealing with the aftermath of storms that went around us.  Farmers keep a weather eye out and do what must be done to feed the country.  Farming in these parts has never been easy.  Our predecessors here had skills that have long gone by the way.  One of those skills that we hope to see again at the seventh Pioneer Heritage Festival is that pedal scroll saw pedaled by Brian Thompson.  He makes words in wood.  All those exhibitors of skills and crafts have things to teach us.  The festival is set for early October and organizers are already lining up musicians, exhibitors, and volunteers, and doing all the other hard work that goes into making it a great event.  Anyone interested in participating or helping in any way can call 417-746-4006.  Maybe we will hear something like the Razorback Waltz by Cotton Combs (1921-1984).

Felix the Farmer probably sang that birthday song to his Grandpapa on Sunday.  He has a good voice and a wonderful Grandpapa.  Champions will be singing the song to their friend Kaitlyn McConnell on June 6th.  She will probably have pie since she is baking favorite pie recipes of friends and followers her Ozarks Alive blog.  Hopes are she’ll bring another one to Champion one of these days.  She shares her birthday with Dave Medlock who comes to Champion on sunny Wednesdays via motorcycle and without banjo.  Champion Wayne Sutherland was 85 in 2015 on June 7th.  Kaylin Watkins will be a sixth grader at the Skyline School in the fall.  Her birthday is June 12th and hopes are she is having a wonderful summer.  She may get to play in the creek.

The HOBA folks will have their live shows over in West Plains on June 6-8.  They always have a good line up of musical talent.  It is the 41st Annual Spring Bluegrass Festival.  Campers began arriving on June 1st, and likely there will be jamming all over the park every day this week.  Thursday’s Vanzant Jam may contribute a musician or two, but the beat will still go on in the Community Building anyway.  It also goes on out on the wide veranda in Champion most Wednesdays starting around 11:00.  It is a treat when Joann Laurence joins in.  Anybody with any acoustic instrument or a voice to sing is welcome.

Any day of the week, save Sunday, is a good day to meet up with friends down on the wide, wild, wooly banks of Old Fox Creek.¬† June‚Äôs cold old wood stove still offers a point around which yarns may be spun.¬† On Saturday the whole of the Historic Emporium was designated a liar‚Äôs corner.¬† So, friends and neighbors discussed their gardening efforts, recent local events, politics, epic journeys, and local histories while they picked ticks and told lies.¬† Some of the lies had a grain of truth in them while others were pure fabrications.¬† The frequent question is:¬† to Deet or not to Deet?¬† It seems that even those who spray up still get ticks.¬† A pleasant gentleman steeped in local lore recently told of a fellow who was crossing the country on his way west when he noticed a tick on him.¬† He said that he just let it gnaw on him all the way to California where he pulled it off and let it go, thus augmenting the tick population of California.¬† Folks there may not have it as a gift.¬† Some are questioning the value of a number of so-called gifts such as old age and declining stamina.¬† Nevertheless, gratitude and optimism are watch words in Champion‚ÄĒLooking on the Bright Side!