Greta Thunberg

Dear Champions, You will find much of this familiar reading. That is because the Douglas County Herald did not give our picnic a single word last week, so we are sending it in again because many subscribers to the print version are not online. In other news–good news, our adopted Champion granddaughter, Greta Thunberg, reported today on her 5th day at sea that it is a sunny day with good winds north of the Azores. What a Champion! She might be singing “An Octopus’s Garden.” It is a good song.

Hundreds of people showed up to make the 33rd annual Skyline VFD Picnic a splendid success. David Richardson did an excellent job as master of ceremonies and the music was great from start to finish. Zola Pike won the beautiful, hand-quilted “Flight of the Eagle” quilt, made and donated by someone who wishes to be anonymous. If she wanted to be praised and admired, she would have told us her name. Thank you anyway, whoever you are. Thelma Sanders won the 50-50 drawing and will be able to make a nice deposit in her savings account, if that is her plan. The free drawings made a lot of picnickers happy. Those prizes contributed by local merchants help to make this a very popular event while proving to be excellent advertising for the generous merchants. The community is pleased to support the merchants who support our fire department. The wonderful picnic food and games made for a good time, but the best time was reconnecting with old friends and new ones. We know we live in a great part of the world. It took a few days for some to recover from the excitement. Volunteers put a great deal of energy into making it such a great event and then worked hard to make the picnic grounds look like nothing ever happened. Thank you to all those volunteers, to the wide community for supporting the Skyline VFD, and thank you to the volunteer firefighters who come to our aid when we need it most.

Aunt Eavvie Sharrock wrote, “Vegetables, Ugh!” in rhyme. “I think I’ll never want to see another tasty black-eyed pea! Beets and carrots I need to list, and to beans, okra and squash I shake my fist! Tomatoes red and peppers green, yuckiest stuff I’ve ever seen. We’ve plucked and shelled, peeled and sliced, with sweat dripping from our knife. Our freezer’s full and so’s our jars. Not much is left but garden tares. High cost of living, we’ve tried to beat it, if God will let us live to eat it.” Gardeners are everywhere, even in the busiest big cities. In this part of the country we are fortunate to have plenty of room and good soil to garden to our hearts content. Still, it would be a monumental task to grow everything we eat. In 2019, we rely on food sources from around the world. Coffee and chocolate are not native to Douglas County. We need wholesalers and truckers and myriad others to keep us fed.

A tidy Champion garden.

Farmers in the Ozarks have always had challenges and now there are Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations to consider. Foreign owned corporations will now be able to set up factory farms anywhere in Missouri, thanks to Senate Bill 391, which goes into effect August 28th. It takes away the right of local elected representatives to pass future health ordinances to protect the health and welfare of independent family farms and communities. Rural citizens, air quality, water and property rights are at risk. Call your Senator. Champion friend, J.C. Owsley, is championing a cause: The Organization for Competitive Markets. He says the hog industry has changed. Concentration in the packing industry has driven most of the family hog producers out of business. Rural communities are suffering.

Uncle Al, the Lonesome Plowboy sang a song, “Eleven cent cotton and forty cent meat, how in the world can a poor man eat?” Uncle Al was a cotton farmer out in West Texas back in the 1930s and 40s. Back in those days the economy was improving from the Great Depression, not unlike today as we are recovering from the great recession. The current economy is going great for people who are already doing well. For old folks on fixed incomes, small family farmers and some people who always find themselves generally underfunded, the economy is not necessarily doing that well. Poor people only have money for food and fuel and those things are getting more expensive. Other necessities often get short shrift. If you are one who thinks the economy is doing well, you are in a fortunate minority. Good for you.

A nice friendly dog has strayed onto the place of Drew Durbin who lives over near Alvin and Beverly Barnhart and is lucky enough to have such nice neighbors. The dog is brown and white, short haired and about 70 pounds. It might be a boxer-bulldog mix—a pretty dog. If his owner recognizes the description and wants to reclaim the lovely animal, call Mr. Durbin at 520-705-2470.

The fourth Friday of the month is the day we can expect Douglas County Health Department Nurse, Shirley Emerson, to be at Henson’s Downtown G and G to do blood pressure checks for people in the area. It is an excellent amenity for the community. She generally arrives about 8:30 in the morning and is there until 10:30. She will be there the 23rd. The 22nd is the birthday of the mother of Eli and Emerson Rose and of Ester Grace Oglesby. Her nephew, Drayson Cline celebrates on the 23rd, and another nephew, Dakota Watts, has his day on the 24th. Dakota has been having health issues over there in Tennessee lately, but he has a big loving family taking care of him. His family and many friends across the country keep him in their prayers. Among those sending good thoughts his way are his great Aunt Barbara Krider and great Aunt Rita Krider who celebrate their birthdays on the 25th and 26th respectively. Happy birthday, you Champions—Looking on the Bright Side!