CHAMPION—October 30, 2006


        Exciting and excellent news from Champion comes from the Wes Smith family.  The exciting part is the six point buck that Wes shot Sunday morning with his bow and arrow.  It was a handsome deer that he brought down to Champion on his four wheeler a little after noon to show his neighbor.  He asked if it had been his neighbor’s pet and if it were so he feigned remorse. All present were suitably impressed with the beauty of the animal and the cleanness of the shot.  The truly excellent news, however,  has to do with Wes and Pat’s daughter Charlee.  She is one of 52 girls chosen by Missouri State University to participate in the All Star Fast Pitch Tournament recently held at MSU. There were girls from a number of schools across the area including Hillcrest , Nixa, and Republic.  There were two girls chosen from Ava and one senior from Norwood–Charlee Smith.  The game was played Monday, October 23rd.  There were 26 girls on each team playing in rotation and Charlee did not take the field until the seventh inning.  The score was 5 to 2 in favor of the opposition.  Bases were loaded when she had her first at-bat.  The first pitch came right down the middle and she slammed it clear over the fence.  It was a Grand Slam!  At her next at-bat she hit a triple that drove in two runs.  The game ended with the score of 8 to 5 and Charlee was named Most Valuable Player.  She is being courted now by various colleges including Crowder College of Neosho.  Her parents are understandably proud and she is exhibiting her typical humility.  It’s excellent news all around.

        The mailbox at Champion News has received its first e-mail.  It comes from Vicky Czapla.  She says:  “You have no idea how my mother enjoys going to the mailbox and finding that your paper has finally arrived.  We live in St. Louis.  Reading the Herald is like being home again.  Reading about the people, family and friends, places and events allows us to keep in touch.  My mother is Inez Proctor Davis and she is the youngest child of Andrew and Mollie Proctor.  George Tom Proctor and my mother were brother and sister.  [ I am her oldest child and I ] enjoy reading your paper because it brings back so many precious memories of my childhood.

        “We spent so much time on my grandparents farm and I always enjoyed going with my grandpa to Ed & Anna Henson’s store in Champion.  Just to walk in on the old wooden floor (you knew you were home)…the smell of the old wood stove, the folks sitting around talking about crops, hunting, telling tall tales or what ever topic of the day [that] was hot, going to the back refrigerator to get a pop…(the Crush pop was always my favorite and tasted so good), picking out my favorite candy; and listening to Ed…who was always the jokester.  The Champion store was and is the lifeline to the folks down there.  Even after my grandparents passed on, we always made a special trip to go to the Champion store and see the folks and visit with Ed before he passed on and to get that cold pop.  Time moves on and we get older, but our memories never fade.  Family and friends (from today and long ago) are always welcomed to call and chat:  Inez Proctor Davis (636) 391-6594 (Home Phone).”

        Louise and Wilburn Hutchison have just returned from a holiday in Oklahoma City where they visited with Louise’s sister Doris and her husband George Gillis.  Louise and Doris attended the “Affair of the Heart Craft Show.”  This was quite a large production that took up five big buildings.  Louise reported that the bulk of the merchandise was not hand made and much of it was made in China so she did not come home with many new purchases.  Wilburn and George had a great time at the Cowboy Hall of Fame.  There were saddles there with price tags of $32,000.00 and belt buckles worth $28,000.00.  The men were not shopping but just soaking in the wonder of it all.  They had a good time.  It’s good to know that Wilburn is feeling better, as is Louise who is finally getting over a cold that has lasted much too long.

        The Champion woman who boasted of her four and a quarter pound sweet potato contrived to make pies of the monster.  It yielded two real beauties in high fluted delicate crusts made with ‘both butter and lard.’  She returned from her outside chores after the requisite hour of baking to find her oven belching the most acrid fumes.  Her whole house was reeking with the noxious odor.  While they were beautiful, the pies smelled so bad that she took them outside to cool.  From Friday afternoon until Sunday morning nothing touched the pies.  Finally, Blanche, the dog, gave the top of one of them a lick and knocked it over.  She had no taste for it though and neither did any other dog, nor possum, nor coon, nor squirrel, nor cat, nor bird.  A few unwary ants became trapped in the overturned pie and died there.  It seems that it does not take much sense to raise a big sweet potato and apparently not much sense was exhibited in reading the expiration date on the can of sweetened condensed milk used in the filling, as it was several years old.   A wise person told her that just because it’s canned does not mean it’s good forever.  The remaining pie is now ten days old and still in perfect condition in spite of having been out in the recent rains and having made numerous trips to Champion in the back of a pick up truck.  All those who have seen it remark that it is indeed a lovely looking pie.  Several lessons are to be learned here.  Boasters beware!  Pretty does not necessarily mean good, and ‘canned’ does not mean it’s good forever.

        One hundred and one U.S. Soldiers have died so far in the month of October, Champions every one.  Share your news and stories at the Champion store, at Champion Items, Rt. 2, Box 367, Norwood, Mo. 65717, or online at Champion News.