Champion Comfrey

Local print newspapers are going through changes. The Mountain Grove News Journal and the Mansfield Mirror are joining forces to become the Wright County Journal, effective June 3rd. The Champion News may continue to show up in its few pages from time to time even though we are in Booger County. The Douglas County Herald, “Dedicated to all the people of Ava and Douglas County,” also has fewer pages lately and frequently the folks there are unable to find room for The Bright Side, even though we are very near the geographic center of the county…just a little to the right. It may be that we do not meet journalistic standards or it may be that the new folks there just have not yet been out our way to see that Champion is truly a perfectly delightful place. They may have troubles of their own, so we at TCN will not take it personally. The lockdown has brought out the procrastinator in our staff and colored things over with a haphazard, lackadaisical brush, which causes our on-line posts to be tardy. We plan to straighten up right away.

Harsh weather has caused trouble for people to the north, south, east and west of Champion. Pictures of flooding and wind damage overflow on the internet and we are left with but gratitude that there have been no reports of serious injury, apart from some folks who were caught out in that hail storm on May the Fourth. They did not photograph their mushrooms but their bruises were that amazing shade of purple that show up on people after a hard blow. Somewhere a cell phone tower blew down. It is spring after all. Creeks are out of their banks and over the roads. The owner/operator of the recreation of the Historic Emporium on the North side of the Square says that no one is approaching the city limits from the east currently. Champions apply their “Turn around—Don’t drown” wisdom to high water. Detour! There’s a muddy road ahead. There is room for lots of wisdom in our present-day situation. It is easy, out here in a wonderfully remote part of the country, to forget that we are part of the whole wide world. Two episodes of frost in the month of May were just two episodes too many for some worried gardeners who, relying on their experience of recent years, had many tender things in the ground already. The up-side is that it is still early enough in the season to recoup losses with more of that stuff called hard work.

Good conversations this week include one with Corrine over there in Vanzant. She’s doing fine and had been to town to gas up her truck. She had spoken with Frances Banks the day before and reported that Frances is doing well too. Judy Russel indicates that she and Eldon are getting along nicely, of course they always get along with each other, and they are very much missing the music. A good rumor is going around that the jam may start up in some fashion the second Thursday in June if all goes well. That is something to hope for! “Whispering Hope” was one of Uncle Al’s favorite songs.

Looking back in the Archives to last May, we see things were different and the same with wild weather all around. Big rains had caused the Spring Fling to be cancelled. Bud Hutchison’s Spring Trail Ride had taken place and The General had been on the Honor Flight of the Ozarks with his daughter up to Washington, D.C. They toured all the monuments there and returned home to find a large appreciative crowd waiting for them at the airport. Pete Proctor had been on one of those flights a few years ago and found it to be a very moving. He was still recounting the experience at the Denlow-Fairview School Reunion. This year the reunion will be May 23rd. It will be the 34th reunion for Denlow students. The Fairview students started their bi-annual reunions in 1997. They changed to annual reunions in 2015, when they combined their observance with Denlow. These kinds of gatherings may have to be done differently. We will see how those ingenious Wildcats do it this year. Good luck!

Last week the country heaved a simultaneous sigh, smiled and said in unison, “Gee, thanks, Ma!” The cards, flowers, phone calls and messages lifted Mother’s hearts. She has done well by us all these years, teaching us lessons, standing behind us. “But it’s not fair!” The frustrated lament of youth, feeling put upon these days, gets the answer from Mother who says, “Get used to it. Much of life is not fair. Make the best of it or change it. It doesn’t get better. We get better.” Those of us who had parents who lived through the pandemic of 1919, the Great Depression and World War II had the advantage of an upbringing that included the possibility of world-wide turmoil. Here we are again and may the strength of our forebears inspire us to our best response. These difficult times may forge the strength in our young people that will enable them to insure domestic tranquility when they are running things. Good luck. Champion—Looking on the Bright Side!