Champion Fall Sumac

Another lovely Champion Wednesday had Champions out on the wide veranda at the Historic Emporium spinning yarns and trading news when there came ambling in from the east a couple of good looking well mounted cowpokes.  They are from up Mountain Grove way and most generally ride with the Hartville bunch, but good sense brought them over to explore Fox Creek and examine the Race Horse Monument north of Denlow.  Good fortune led them back to the Champion Square where they had left their horse trailer earlier in the day.  Perhaps they will show up to accompany the West Plains Wagon Club as it make its way through Champion on Thursday the 20th.  The train usually comes through from the east early mid-day and after a nice break on the Square takes off up Cold Springs Road to the next stop up north on their way to Mansfield.  Maybe the information will get to our cowpokes in time.  They are looking to The Champion News to learn about Bud Hutchison’s Champion Ride.  As luck would have it, Wilma was at the Vanzant Bluegrass Jam on Thursday night and passed along a note in her beautiful handwriting saying Bud’s Trail Ride will be October 17th.  Andrew Hardin will lead, leaving Champion at 10:00am.  She said to bring lunch or buy something at Champion to eat when you get to the Shannon Ranch.  If you see these cowpokes around let them know.  They are well spoken, not overly bowlegged, and one wears a big hat.

Idaho dignitaries were the target of poked fun at Vanzant on Thursday.  They were in the neighborhood visiting family and attending the Wilder Days in Mansfield.  The General requested the ever-popular tune, “Five Pounds of Possum,” as a dedication to his kin.  Sherry Bennett complied, to the great delight of everyone so pleased to have her back after a back-surgery enforced absence.  She is in fine voice and had with her a handsome, talented grandson.  Sue Upshaw, her daughter, Darcy, and their friend, Donnelle, were suitably mesmerized.  David Richardson (sitting in Jerry’s chair) promised that, as emcee of the Wilder Days Celebration, he would take every opportunity to embarrass Sue since she has a bonafide historic family connection to Laura’s sister Carrie.  The Idaho sojourners were headed back North on Tuesday after a family ice cream social Sunday with 25 in attendance.  It is nice to have a joyful reason for family gatherings.

There will likely be a nice family gathering for Louise Hutchison as she celebrates her birthday on Friday, September 21st.  She shares the day with Zoey Louise, Champion granddaughter in Austin and great niece Penelope Zappler of that same city.  The next day will be the Autumnal Equinox signaling the beginning of fall.  Along the roadsides already the sumac is brilliant red.  Perhaps we will enjoy some colorful foliage this year.

The White River Valley Electric Cooperative sent a letter a while back informing customers they would be spraying brush killer along the right of way under power lines this summer.  Most of us did not see the workers walking across the country, but the dying brush is evidence of their passing.  Many of those doing the hard work in the heat, breathing the poison all day were Hispanic, not speaking much English.  There were instances where alarmed landowners, who did read it or did not recall having received the letter, called the sheriff and discharged firearms as a warning to perceived trespassers.  How many people who complain about immigrants taking our jobs would be willing to spend a day doing this work for minimum wage or at all?

Nancy, the nurse from the Douglas County Health Department, will be in Champion Friday morning, the 21st, to do blood pressure screenings.  It is a real service to the community.  Helen Batten writes that Midwest Computer Recycling will be at the Skyline School on Tuesday, September 25 at approximately 10:00 a.m.  She says they will try to have everything around back by the kitchen door for easy loading.  You may bring anything that plugs in and they will take it away, free of charge, except for televisions.  They charge $20.00 to $25.00 for those, depending on the size.  Helen says this is a chance to do some fall cleaning and get rid of those items you no longer want.  She hopes we will all take advantage of the opportunity and make it worth their while to come to our school with this service.  It can be a part of the Champion put away-give away-throw away project.  Share your news at or snail mail to The Champion News, Rt. 72 Box 367, Norwood, MO 65717. Go to to see what you may have missed in printed versions.

A casual student of scriptures is fascinated by Isaiah 10:1-3.  Warren Buffet advises:  “You will continue to suffer if you have an emotional reaction to everything that is said to you.  True power is sitting back and observing things with logic.  True power is restraint.  If words control you, everyone else can control you.  Breathe and allow things to pass.”  That is good advice these days.  “Be sure it’s true when you say, ‘I love you.’ It’s a sin to tell a lie” in Champion—Looking on the Bright Side!

A Champion Vista