CHAMPION—June 3, 2013

        Champions crossed Clever Creek Sunday morning in a fit of trepidation as the south west side of the slab was quite washed out and exposed and the north side an extended bog of mud.   Four wheel drive proved to be a valuable feature of local jalopies.    Later in the day the washed out area had been repaired and the aprons on both sides were much improved.  The water was still very deep and swift with a good deal of clean gravel over the slab, but it was quite passable for an intrepid traveler.  There were some enormous tire tracks in the mud and so it is figured that those fine gentlemen of the Drury Shed had been working on Sunday pulling oxen out of ditches, making things safe in the neighborhood.  Champion! 

        The haymakers are dodging wet weather to get their crops in and some are having great success.  Non-resident Champions in from Illinois are again alternating their time between the tractor seat and the spacious veranda at the Recreation of the Historic Emporium.   Farmers are not only the backbone of the Nation, they are interesting people.   When they get together there is a good deal of speculation, reminiscing and laughter.    The week ahead should be a glorious one for the haymaking enterprise if Monday sets the example.   Linda’s Almanac says that the 6th and 7th will be good days for planting root crops and for transplanting.  Sometimes the good day is the one when a person is able to get the work done, or when the rain is expected, or when help is available.  Flexibility is one of those Champion traits.

        Henry David Thoreau wrote, “If we will be quiet and ready enough, we shall find compensation in every disappointment.”  He was talking about defeated expectations.  Thomas Waller had a musical conversation about it. “Boy, what’s the matter with you? “  “Ah, man, everything’s wrong.  My old lady ran off with the ice man.  My daughter ran off with the undertaker, and I’m about to die and I ‘aint got nobody to bury me!”  “Son, don’t let it bother you if now and then, castles tumble, never grumble.  Count from one to ten.”   He goes on to say that a smile is a frown upside down.   A much loved Champion advised in his youth that the road sign that has “expectation” written on one side has “disappointment” on the other.  The key to a moderate life might be to have no expectations.  Where is the fun in that?

        “Where were you on the night of June the 3rd?   Did you meet a stranger?  Did you take a walk?  Was your heart in danger?”  Those questions by the esteemed Mr. Waller have romantic connotations.  June the 3rd is the birthday of Ms. McLellan, a great lover of music, as well as the birthday of a certain Margie whose husband is the son of the sister of a certain Champion.   This woman is a talented glass artist and painter, an amazing cook, a contra dancing whiz, a singer of fine voice and knitter extraordinaire, and many other things including beautiful, sweet and friendly.  It is a poor use of time to compare oneself to the likes of her!  She is a peach!

        Young people in the area are getting ready to show their calves at the fair.  Jenna and Jacob Brixey and their cousins are training hard and are expecting to get their pictures in the paper again this year.  The Fox Creek Rodeo has been going strong for a while.  When Taegan Peanunt’s calf got away from her the other day, she just went to the house.  She was fed up and disgusted by the whole thing.  She is a regular farm girl, so she will be back out with it soon.  The three year old sure does like her cow milk.   Foster went airborne, they say, as his calf is a little bigger and new to training.   He is a tough customer though and made a quick recovery.  He had an interesting story to tell about the bear that came into his grandparent’s yard up in Marshfield the other day.  Wayne and Bernice Wiseman saw the critter going between their house and their neighbor’s place.  It spent some time under the neighbor’s trampoline.   There were some pictures on the television news and a short video taken on someone’s telephone.  If Wayne was able to get pictures he will surely bring them to Champion on his next visit.   Foster’s Champion grandmother is not at all unsure that there may be bears in this area.  She has seen them before and is on the lookout, particularly as the berries will soon be coming on.  Her neighborhood is wild and wooly with plenty of room for several nice bears to live.

        The Fox Trotters are having their wonderful to-do this week.  Emerson Rose and her brother, Eli, will be down from Perry, Missouri for the event and will spend some good quality time with their Champion “Grammie” and their cousins.   Their Dad will be competing in various events again.  It is always an exciting time for the family.  It may be that those settlers to the Ozarks in the early 19th century knew that one day the ambling gait of the horse breed they were developing would be famous the world over.  Old Fox was a Champion horse from right around these parts.  There are pictures of him up in the pavilion at the Fox Trotters pavilion in Ava which is located now on what is called “Missouri Fox Trotting Highway.”    Esther Wrinkles had some good stories to tell about those days when Old Fox was in the Champion neighborhood.  There was a famous event when he was loaded up on a trailer down on what is now known as the ‘square’ in Downtown Champion.   Esther had some great stories to tell and her many friends miss her.  She had 95 years of making friends and experiencing a good life.  She had her trials and disappointments, but through it all, she was a real Champion.   If the rain holds off,  her family will have a sale of many of her things on Friday and Saturday.   It will be a chance for her many admirers not to say good bye.

        Ms. Cleary’s garden is a beauty.  Wilburn is giving her good advice and she is taking it.  She has long straight rows and they are fairly bristling with produce.   Now if the bugs do not get it, or it does not get washed out, and marauding cows or hogs or crows or raccoons do not come to feast there, and if her hoe handle does not break, or her help does not show up, and if it does not get too hot, or if she does not get called away on important business, or a great number of other things about like that, she will most likely have a bountiful harvest.  Her Champion friends wish her much good success.  It is almost a sure bet.

        Good advice, sure bets, cures for disappointment, and recipes for fun are all welcome at Champion Items, Rt. 2, Box 367, Norwood, MO. 65717 or at  Look in on for a lovely cyber-view of the area.  You will be much improved by the effort.  Better yet, make the drive down the long smooth hill from C Highway on WW until the pavement runs out;  then make a right turn.  You will be right in Champion—Looking on the Bright Side!