Quatrefoil Quilt

The Champion School Reunion has been cancelled for this year.  It has been held on the Saturday before Labor Day for at least 36 years.  Some local old-time Champion may know exactly what year it was started.  This is the first year it will have been cancelled.  The growing number of Covid cases in rural areas and the age of most attendees make this a wise move for this year.  Next year will surely be a different story.  Scroll through the archives here to see past reunions and keep a bright hope for better times ahead.

Connie Freeman and her quilt-guild friends have made many donations to Veterans through their Quilts of Valor program and to other worthy causes over the years.  The Knights of Columbus auctions off one of her quilts every year.  The one she has graciously donated to the Skyline Area Volunteer Fire Department is a real king size beauty.  The pattern is called Quatrefoil and it is worked in pastel shades of green and blue, made to last.  Her studio is in her lovely home in a remote part of Douglas County.  She is happy to have the volunteers, fire fighters and first responders, of the Skyline Volunteer Fire Department looking out for her, her home and her property.  She may hear “You Can Quilt That Out” from some of her clients—she does good work.  Go down to the wide, wooly banks of Auld Fox Creek and view her contribution in the Meeting Room of the Historic Emporium on the North Side of the Square in Downtown Champion.  When we think of picnic quilts we are reminded of Esther Wrinkles, one of the founding members of the fire department.  She made many for the fire department and always endeavored to sell more tickets than anyone.  A local banker laughed and said any time he saw Esther coming in early August, he reached for his wallet.  Tickets are $1.00 each or 6 tickets for $5.00.  You can send a check to the Skyline VFD, Rt. 72 Box 254, Norwood, MO. 65717 and Betty will fill out your tickets for you.  Or, you can share your mailing address at champion@championnews.us and we will mail you tickets and a photo of the quilt.  If you live far away, we will ship the quilt to you when you win on October 1st.  Good luck and thanks for supporting our vital fire department.

August has arrived in a delightful way with rain and break from the withering heat.  The heat will be back and may seem more belligerent for the respite, but as Chief George said in The Outlaw Jose Wales, we will “endeavor to persevere.”  Entertainment in the canning kitchen has included a variety of old cowboy movies together with some lofty theatrical productions like Sir Laurence Olivier’s Hamlet.  Mel Gibson did a quite rite version of the play as well.  It was said to be the tragedy of a man who could not make up his mind.  As tomatoes and pickles went into the jars, that speech about the “slings and arrows of outrageous fortune” spoke to our current state of affairs.  If opposing the sea of troubles can really end them, there is hope that these tumultuous times may evolve into better days for everyone.  Sometimes it is hard to find beauty in the storm.  A noted local counselor is worried about November.  He says we have never had violence around an election even through wars, pandemics and depressions.  The level of vitriol is unprecedented.  Local contests have been decided and now we know who loves the king more.  Meanwhile, the ‘pop,’ as the jars seal, incites optimism.  Lincoln’s optimism was that “with malice toward none and charity toward all,” we bind our wounds.  Henry Fonda did an excellent performance as Lincoln in John Ford’s movie Young Mr. Lincoln.  So far, there are forty of jars of tomatoes and sauce in the pantry and more in the pot.  Excellent!

The internet has been graced in the past few days with many pictures of Amaryllis Belladonna.  That is the botanical name of what is known in these parts as the Surprise Lily or Naked Ladies.  It is a wildflower in South Africa, leafless on naked stems which give the Ladies long legs.  Sometimes driving down a shady country lane there survives a lonely reminder of a garden and a home-place where some homemaker, now gone on to a better home, planted bulbs shared by a friend.  There are Iris gone wild now up on Cold Springs Road, and day lilies transported down the road by the road grader.  In the spring old home places are marked with daffodils, forsythia, narcissus and lilacs.  The endurance of nature is comforting as we think about the old folks at home.

Did Jonnie actually tree Wilbur, or was it just a coincidence?  Are there enough butterflies in your garden?  On top of all the difficulties going on in the world, many are suffering through terrible storms.  Neither the weather nor the pandemic nor political strife is a respecter of persons.  We will hope for the safety and health of our friends, our families and all our fellow humans.  We are full of gratitude and optimism in Champion, Looking on the Bright Side!