Wilbur the Woodchuck

Virginia Canada lives up in Columbia these days, but she has deep roots in the Denlow/Vanzant/Champion metroplex. She graciously shared the “We Are the World” video on the 35th anniversary of the original performance. She said, “This touched my heart, a beautiful song…we need this feeling of love and compassion now.” She just celebrated 25 years with her sweetheart and is full of the optimism that comes with true love and security. Her positivity is contagious and we appreciate it. John Lennon said, “Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.”

Mary Goolsby and her handsome companion made the journey to Champion on Wednesday to secure their tickets for the “No-2020-Skyline VFD Picnic Quilt.” “Wow! What a beauty!” The drawing will be October 1st, and Mary is hoping to be the winner. She will tell you that she is a very lucky person. They have always been avid supporters of the Skyline Volunteer Fire Department. Several years ago Mary won an old fashioned milk can at the picnic. Now that they are no longer in use in the dairy business, the once common items have become nice porch decorations, ash trays and have sometimes been filled with concrete to support a rural mail box. This one was adorned with a painting of the Old Champion Store–a nice piece of nostalgia. The artist signed the work, “CMD 09.” Mary would like to know who the artist is. It is a mystery—Milk Can Mystery, bringing to mind the Milk Cow Blues. Mike Satterfield’s swinging fiddle has brought that one to the Vanzant Jam on a number of memorable occasions when Mary and her handsome companion were in attendance. Recently the two of them have been showing off his beautiful 1946 Studebaker pickup. It is his favorite on account of his having been born himself that very year. Any number of Champions can claim that distinction, but without that fine ride.

Judy and Eldon Russel were unexpected and very welcome guests at The Historic Emporium down on the wide wooly banks of Auld Fox Creek on Wednesday, and more so for having brought the Dora Pie Queen, Roberta the Chanteuse with them, together with her beautiful old guitar, which came to her when she was in high school in Dora. The first song she ever sang in public was “Silver Threads and Golden Needles.” She still sings it, as well as “There Is a Time” and “Ghost Riders in the Sky” and many others. It is hard to hold back when it comes to “Yippie ti yea! Yippie ti yo o!,” though she has been seen to smile when others join her for this refrain. The General agreed that her presence had increased the quality of the mid-week recital by more than one hundred percent. The next time Judy Russel comes to the Wednesday Open Air Sometimes Porch Jam, she will be regaled with an a capella version of “Fallaste Corazon,” a Mexican song which caught her attention once at the Vanzant Bluegrass Jam.

Barbara Krider had a beautiful birthday up in Elmwood, IL. “Thanks to my daughters for the lovely flowers and dinner out. I love them both for their thoughtfulness.” Her sister-in-law, Reta Krider, also just enjoyed a birthday. It is a joy to see families celebrate each other.

A thoughtful Champion from up Tar Button Road shares a good thought from her daughter concerning internet behavior: “Post wisely over the next months. Contribute to discourse, not division. Check your facts. Resist memes and cheap digs. Create beautiful content. We can transcend the bitterness and be better, even when we disagree.” A Champion living now in Springfield, seconds that message. From a prominent Champion Spouse comes a thought to ponder: “There will always be a ‘lie’ in believe, an ‘over’ in lover, an ‘end’ in friend, an ‘us’ in trust, and an ‘if ’in life!” Another Old Champion thinks about the advice, “take a sad song and make it better.”

Was it a mistake to name Wilbur? If he is the critter eating the sweet potato plants he might have to go. It might be easy enough to ‘4-10’ him out of his tree, but maybe deer are feasting on the succulent sweet potato foliage. A deterrent has been placed over the sweet potato patch, so time will tell. Hopes are that Wilbur is innocent.

Some good advice comes from a postal worker in Texas. He has been with the USPS for 27 years and says the thing we can do as individuals to insure our mail moves quickly is to use the full nine digit zip code as you address your mail and to make it big and bold. So, if you can solve the mystery of who painted Mary’s milk can, or if you have histories or suggestions to share, or inquiries, address them to: The Champion News, Rt. 72 Box 367, Norwood, MO 65717-9446. Be sure to include your nine digits on your return address to make it easier for your correspondents to speed your important mail to you. It may take some learning and adjusting to make this a new habit in our routine communications, but learning and adjusting seems to be the mode-o-day. Learning and adjusting is what we are asking of our school administrators, teachers, staff and students as school opens. Good luck to the Skyline Tigers! Champion! Looking on the Bright Side!

The sweet potato patch.