The old Champion schoolhouse.

School is off to a great start at Skyline R2 where Champion students have been attending since the 1950s.  We have 86 students enrolled and 16 preschoolers this year.  The PTO has a meeting scheduled for after school Thursday the 5th, and the Grandparents Day program will be presented on the 6th.  That will be a great opportunity to meet our new administrator, Mr. Donnie Luna.  He is pleased to be part of the Skyline family and is looking forward to a productive year for the students and the staff.  Attendees at the 35th Champion School Reunion, coming up on August 31st this year, will reminisce about teachers/administrators like Arthur Porter.  He made students try Limburger cheese, which has kept him unpopular among some alumni after 50 years.  Others credit him with putting together that wonderful vocal trio that included Harley Krider, Larry Wrinkles, and Eldridge Hicks.  It was said they could bring a sentimental tear to the most callused eye.  Fifty years hence, Mr. Luna may be the subject of reminisces among today’s students.  He is off to a good start.  Go to to see reports on the Champion School Reunions past.  Who knows what technology will be available to review Mr. Luna’s tenure off in the future.  Good wishes to him, to the student body and the staff of our precious little rural school.

A note from Jody Henson indicates that she and Royce will again be at the Champion School Reunion.  She included a clipping from the Sunday News-Leader concerning their son, Vaughn Henson, who has received a well-earned promotion in his job, leading his team in increasing company revenues and adding 60 full-time jobs in the Springfield area.  He has been a regular on “The Walk of Ages,” a 4.2 mile stroll from Cold Springs to Champion, which the family has been doing since 2011.  She says they are the red-faced, sweaty ones barely walking or in some cases riding to the finish line.  Perhaps the expected cool-front headed this way will make for a pleasant walk and another good reunion on Saturday.  Ruth Daharsh writes in to say that she will be accompanying her mother, Ethel Luellen Anderson, to the reunion.  They will be coming from Arlington, Kansas to join with classmates, family and friends from all over.  There will be a pot-luck luncheon at mid-day and lots of opportunities for remembering “school days, school days—good old golden rule days.”

The General, along with many others, is looking forward to the turn in the weather where we can expect a succession of cool, dry days.  Though the expansive Upshaw estate in Vanzant’s City Center is in no need of significant grounds keeping, others are not nearly so caught up on their chores.  Due to unusual summer rain-fall, their acres are much overgrown with some considering bailing their clippings.  The General’s breakfast bunch up at the Junction consider him an example for having it together…..whatever ‘It’ is.

Shirley Emerson had a scheduling conflict last week and consequently will be in Champion on this Friday morning from 8:30 to 10:30.  She works for the Douglas County Health Department and comes out this way once a month to do blood pressure screenings for the community.  It is a valuable amenity for which we are grateful.

A technical glitch caused several Skyline students to have their birthdays neglected by The Champion News in August.  Apologies and good wishes go out to Caleb Harden–the 5th, Jaycee Hall–the 10th, Cryslynn Bradshaw–the 12th and John Brown III–the 15th.  We acknowledge birthdays because they signify our beginnings and the joy of life.  So, joyfully, we report that two Skyline students, Dana Harden and Lauren Collins, have their birthday on August 25th.  Young Felix Parson may have helped is dad blow out the candles on his cake on the 26th.  Three students share their special day on August 29th.  They are Rowdy Woods, Brantley Kilgore, and Jason Smith.  That also happens to be the birthday of Steve Moody of pulled pork fame, as well as banker, farmer, and school board member—quite a guy.  Walk of Ages, Jody Henson, and sawmill hand, Wes Smith, also enjoy that special day.  Laine Sutherland celebrates on the 30th.  On the 24th, she, along with a score of other family members, was celebrating the 60th wedding anniversary of Calvin and Janice Norman Sutherland.  The 30th was also the birthday of Wayne Anderson who passed away back in 2015.  He played the banjo with Booger County Bluegrass and his smile was one of those that made everyone happy.  Lori Kline Cox, long-suffering wife of “Hi! I’m Johnny Cox,” recently spent a few days in the Champion area, but will have her birthday at home up near Kansas City on the 30th.  Skyline students Jenna Brixey and Aiden Ray Hurt have their birthday on the 31st as does Kalyssa Wiseman.  Your Champion friends wish you all a happy, joy-filled birthday.

On day-13 of her trans-Atlantic voyage in a 60 foot open cockpit sail boat, adopted Champion Granddaughter, Greta Thunberg, reported that they were experiencing rough seas south of Nova Scotia.  She updates arrival time at North Cove Marina in Manhattan, New York to be sometime Wednesday.  Greta is one of the young people bringing the climate crisis to the attention of world decision makers.  She will be addressing the concerns of her generation at the United Nations climate summit in September.

There is a study that shows that a person can improve his health and state of mind by expressing gratitude for three things each day for twenty-one days.  Try it.  It is free.  It is unclear whether they have to be a different three things each day, but one includes “home and family” in every episode of thankfulness and extends the twenty-one days to every single day.  Laura Ingalls Wilder said, “Home is the nicest word there is.”  Families far-flung may often find themselves lonesome for each other and for home.  A dear family member wrote, “Your absence has gone through me like thread through a needle.  Everything I do is stitched with its color.”  Then she asked, “Care for someone?  Let them know.”  That is Champion—Looking on the Bright Side!

Greta sailing.