Tonight, Champions will delight under the Harvest Moon, the full moon that takes place closest to the autumnal equinox.  On Wednesday the 22nd, with the sun directly over the equator, we have the equilibrium of day and night.  The sun will begin to rise later, and nightfall will come sooner as autumn arrives.  Meanwhile, south of the equator, spring is about to begin.  They probably have another name for this moon, but up here, we will call it the Harvest Moon and sing that old song.  The harvest as been a good one and the festivals celebrating it make this a busy time of the year.  The old Pioneer Descendants’ Gathering down at Yates on the Edge of the World was one of those great events fondly remembered.  Its exciting spinoff is the Fourth Annual Pioneer Heritage Festival of the Ozarks.  It will be Friday and Saturday October 1st and 2nd at the Fox Trotters Park.  The Apple Festival in Seymour, the Hootin and Hollerin in Gainesville, and those bluegrassers up on Starvy Creek just primed the pump for this kind of wholesome family fun.  The exhibitions of pioneer skills, the music, the games and contests will have something for everyone to enjoy.

Gratitude has been popping up in our lives in surprising ways all the way from ‚ÄúThank goodness it‚Äôs not worse than it is.‚ÄĚ to ‚ÄėWow! There‚Äôs a bee!‚Ä̬† Some Old Champions are grateful for Ethel Leach‚Äôs green tomato pie recipe.¬† It finally got made right at the end of the season, and it is a winner, destined to be a family favorite henceforth.¬† Thanks Ethel!

Appreciation is due a gentleman named Warner Minor in Mountain Grove.¬† He heard that the Skyline R-2 School is looking for donations of guitars for the music program there being taught by Cheyenne McIntosh.¬† He shared a beautiful ‚ÄėEspana‚Äô classical guitar, complete with a tuner, a case, and a guitar stand.¬† Gene Skinner, the master of ceremonies up at the Starvy Creek Bluegrass Festival, made the announcement from the stage there that our little country school would be a great place to pass along those good guitars that are not being played.¬† Tim Tamburrino of the Midwest Bluegrass Directory gave him that information while he was there at the festival having a good time.¬† Tim goes to bluegrass jams, festivals and shows all around the Midwest, documenting the music and the music communities.¬† His photographs and videos have been requested by the State Historical Society to be place in the Missouri State Archives.¬† He includes Vanzant on his circuit and says that he is excited to think that bluegrass might be part of rural school curriculum.¬† ‚ÄúThere‚Äôs a lot of music in Douglas County!‚ÄĚ

Thanks also goes to the Douglas County Health Department for the beautiful, paved quarter mile walking trail built a few years ago, and for Lisa, the nurse, who spends Tuesdays and Thursdays at Skyline.¬† Lisa says she very much enjoys being at the school, ‚ÄúThe students and the staff are great, and it is beautiful out here.‚Ä̬† Seventh grade student, Tristian Jeffrey, will have his birthday on Saturday the 25th, so he may not get a party at school, but Melanie Hall, in the third grade, will celebrate with her classmates on Wednesday the 29th.¬† The first of October, on Thursday, will find eight grader Lydia Harden and third grader Myson Loveless enjoying their birthdays in school with their friends.¬† Happy birthday to all you students, and to Sandy Ray Chapin, In Search of Booger County, on the 24th, and to Cathie Alsup Reilly, with deep Denlow connections, though partying in Kentucky on the 27th.¬† We are lucky and grateful to have people in our lives to celebrate and enjoy.

We understand that there is no glory in defeating a weak opponent, but the loss by the Kansas City Chiefs by one stinking point on Sunday evening was not what we had in mind.¬† Our Norwood/Skyline basketball team won their game against Mark Twain on Thursday by one point.¬† We always try, but sometimes struggle, to be good sports in Champion–Looking on the Bright Side!