CHAMPION—June 7, 2010

        Charles H. Towne must have been in Champion when he wrote his poem “How softly runs the afternoon beneath the billowy clouds of June.”  James Russell Lowell said, “And what is so rare as a day in June?  Then, if ever, come perfect days.  Weather we look or whether we listen, we hear life murmur, or see it glisten.”  So it is in Champion, the bees are buzzing and the haymakers are having a hay day!

        A note comes from the General who said, “If I get a chance to practice before the next reunion, maybe I won’t torture the ukulele so much.  If you would, please add that Buzz Woods won the quilt that Shirley Brixey made and donated.”  People are still talking about what a good time they had at the Denlow School Reunion and one clever photographer took some nice pictures of the food laid out the length of the hall with every imaginable hearty dish—meatballs, lasagna, fried chicken, and ham, to name a few.  There were beautiful salads and vegetables, bread, and then deserts!  There were pies and cakes and cobblers and on and on.  The General allowed as how he has never come away from that table hungry.  It was a feast of everyone’s favorite dish!  Champion.

        The Skyline Ladies’ Auxiliary had a meeting at Henson’s Store in the spacious accommodations of the Loafing Shed.  It was the first of June and a lovely evening and the ladies got right down to business.  Minutes were read, the treasury report was tendered, and the big new business is the upcoming picnic.  Already the behind the scenes work that is required to make the Skyline VFD Picnic the highlight of the summer is well underway.  Put it on your calendar—August 13 & 14.  Esther Wrinkles turned over an incredible quilt for the fundraiser.  It is a queen sized quilt that she hand-pieced.  The pattern is called ‘Stripes and Scraps.’ It has a small nine-patch center in each block with radiating stripes that produce quite and interesting optical illusion.  The whole thing is done in pinks and blues and it is vibrant.  The lining is a solid blue—not baby blue, not dark or light or bright blue, but just exactly the right blue—maybe Perfect Champion Sky blue.  Anyway, it is good to have the quilt designated so the fundraiser can begin.  One lady said that she would have her tickets ready when the politicians come by to ask for her vote.  Since the picnic is before the election, it would be good of those who want to represent and serve the area to actually show some support of it!  There will be a great colored picture of the quilt on the web site.  Perhaps there will also soon be a picture of the owner of the May Mascot Monkey of the Month.  This month a real cow-girl from Texas is the high bidder on the red-heel sock monkey that has been on display down at Henson’s Store in the Temporary Annex on the West Side of the Square.  The SAVFDA Picnic Society runs a monthly silent auction there, the proceeds of which go to help the Skyline VFD make its big old fire truck payment.  The June Monkey will soon be on the block.  This one has piercing iridescent black eyes and a countenance that promotes affection.  Its picture can soon be seen on the Champion web site.

        It turns out that not everyone has an Internet connection.  Champions across the country still use the U.S. Postal Service for all kinds of old fashioned communication.  It just cost $5.50 to send a monkey in a priority envelope to Texas.  It is a great joy to receive a note from a friend, or a birthday card.  Champion Items at Rt. 2, Box 367, Norwood, MO 65717 is a good place to spin a Champion yarn.  There are archives of all the Champion Items going back to August of 2006, so if there is one you missed or one that you remember fondly, send a note to request a reprint.  It will come on plain paper rather than newsprint.  For those with the Internet, the web site has a wonderful search engine that will let you look up anything that has been mentioned.  Of course, if you look up Foster and Kalyssa or the General, there may be too much to read.  If you just want to reread that old buzzard story, you can type in ‘buzzard’ and up it will come.  It is a strange new world.  Linda’s Almanac from over at the Plant Place is easy to find on the web site or on the counter in The Gift Corner in Norwood.  It says that the 10th and the 11th will both be good days to plant root crops or to transplant.  Pithy has been planting sweet potatoes and pulling up some young tender turnips for Lem and Ned.  Such a nice girl!

        Ruby Proctor was out rambling around on Saturday with her son Gary and Kristie.  They had been to the cemetery looking around and reminiscing and on their way over to Champion to get a look at all the changes they stopped in on a friend.  It was a sweet surprise visit that just made that friend’s day.  As to the changes in Champion, Ruby has a happy heart.  She understands why it had to change and at the same time she holds on to her good memories from the past.  She moved to Champion when she was six years old and has always thought of it as her dearest home.  She knows that the changes will be good ones and that the thing that keeps Champion such a precious place will not change at all.  There is a lady with some stories to tell and a wonderful laugh.

        Memorial Day found Champions paying respects to their Military Service people, past and present.  Flag Day is coming up on June 14th.  All eyes look to the Stars and Stripes as a representation of freedom.  Champions look to it and to those serving with Love and Gratitude.

        June’s is called The Strawberry Planting Moon.  The red rose is the flower and the birthstone for the month is the pearl.  “The liquid drops of tears that you have shed shall come again, transferred to Orient pearl,” said Richard III.  He was rudely stamped and badly motivated, but definitely an optimist.   It would be pleasant to go through life with no heartaches, no thistles in the fields, but that is not always the way it works.  Real life has ups and downs.  Down in Champion things are mostly up..Looking on the Bright Side!