Jonnie by the fire.

“What happened to Fall?” grumbles one Old Champion who had also asked, “What happened to Spring?” when the weather went directly from Winter to Summer.  We did enjoy some spectacular autumnal colors for a few days, but the cold seems to have arrived early.  Quit your bellyaching and make the best of whatever comes along.  Here in the awesome Ozarks we are not experiencing record drought and 60 mile an hour winds.  Point being, it could be worse.  Things change and Champions adapt.  The woodshed and propane tank are full.  The faucets that require it are set to drip.  Those wintertime inside projects are being remembered i.e.:  deep cleaning, de-cluttering, making Christmas gifts, writing letters, reading books, making music, drinking hot chocolate, eating cookies, dawdling on the internet half the day when there is work to be done.  Jonnie, the family dog, sleeps by the fire like a Champion.  Hello winter.

It has been a pleasure to spend this last week honoring our Veterans.  Skyline students held an assembly at 2:30 on Friday afternoon to honor parents, grandparents, neighbors, and friends who serve or have served in the military.  It was an opportunity to thank them.  All around the country, all around the world, there have been observances to mark the end of the War to End All Wars.  The internet has been full of photos of our Veterans.  Among them is one that includes Bryan and Lee Proctor, and their Dad, Pete, and Pete’s brothers, Gary and Frankie–all in uniform, Ruby’s sons and grandsons.  Pete recently spent some time at a VA Hospital and came home with five holes in his belly to show for it.  Phyllis is taking good care of him and, as he is restricted from picking up anything heavier than 10 pounds until the 29th of November, he will have to enjoy his thanksgiving dinner just one forkful at a time.  Meanwhile, Pete does a lot of work through The American Legion that recognizes and supports Veterans.  Pete is a genuine Champion.  Lane Sutherland posted a picture of her Uncle Lee Cooley, Corporal, Army Co. D, 121st infantry who served in WWII.  It has been an education to see how many men and women from these parts have been willing to serve.  Last year Elva Upshaw posted a picture of her dad at Robins AFB in Georgia when he was going through the combat crew training course.  He wound up being a Master Sargent before he was summarily promoted to admiral by The Champion News, and then laterally to General when it was learned that he could not swim.  Joking aside, this part of the world has been well represented in all the armed services in all the Nation’s conflicts.  Champions all!

Champion birthdays include that of Jill Sterling, now married to some guy named John.  She celebrates the 13th.  That is also the special day for Skyline third grader Madelynn Vivod.  The 14th is for second grader Isabella Jeffrey.  The 15th is the special day for Richard Heffern.  He lived in Kansas City for years and recently moved to Springfield, where he has jumped into all manner of community service.  He has a cabin in Champion and a Champion heart.  Seventh grade student, Raven Hull, will be celebrating on the 16th.  The 17th will find third grader, Caleb Barker, and seventh grader, Abigail Whittier both having parties.  Your Champion friends and family wish you all happy days even when it is not your birthday.

Skyline Christmas Wreath

Skyline teacher Terri Ryan posts, “The next stage of our Wonders of Wildlife Field Trip fundraiser for preschool through 2nd grades has begun.  All proceeds raised will go for student admission fees.”  To help out, call Helen Batten (who made the beautiful Christmas wreath she donated to the cause) at Skyline (417-683-4874) or pop into the Re-creation of the Historic Emporium over on the North side of the Square in Downtown Champion—that would be Henson’s Downtown G & G.  Tickets will be available there and the good feeling of helping these kids will last and last.

The horrific fires in California are bringing changes to many.  One wonders if the 150,000 and more people displaced from those terrible fires will be considered refugees, and if they need to walk eastward to find shelter and aid, will they be met with a wall and concertina wire?  Those five thousand troops on the southern border waiting for the refugees fleeing violence, oppression and deprivation who will arrive in two months, those soldiers could be home with their families, or out in California helping to fight fires and save people.  The world over, people, even rich people, have catastrophes that interrupt their lives.  Some people think that climate change has been exacerbated by man’s activities.  Others pretend that it is not happening at all, but it is.  The climate is changing.  Just ask your grandpa.  Champions recognize that many are suffering.

Someone said that if you are not accustomed to driving on ice or snow, just pretend that you are taking your grandmother to church.  There are two gallon jars of sweet tea in the back seat and a sweet potato pie.  Grandmother is in the passenger seat in a new dress holding a crock pot of gravy in her lap.  Drive like that.  A regular devotee of The Champion News at has noticed that of late any mention of a song in the text will send the reader to actual music.  Technology is cool.

It is a relief to have the election over.  All those negative political advertisements were oppressive.  They seemed to add to all the stress.  As the results continue to come in, we are reminded that we are a Democracy and, in spite of what may be going on, we are still “America the Beautiful” in Champion—Looking on the Bright Side!

Champion the Beautiful