A Champion Way

Excitement and enthusiasm for the Pioneer Heritage Festival of the Ozarks caused us to report, in error, that it was happening last Friday and Saturday. This Friday and Saturday is when the fifth annual event will take place. Meet your friends and neighbors out at the Fox Trotters Park and have some fun.

Chuckles and his burrow (inset)
Mason and Grandpa Mayfield

A busy week here on the Bright Side started with Chuckles, the groundhog, distant cousin to Wilbur. Something scared him so badly that he broke into the screened in porch and wound up trapped in a wicker chair! It took a neighbor and a coat hanger to free the little fellow who took off lickety-split. Then, for the second day in a row, young Mason who is 3 or 4 years old, was able to convince Grandpa Mayfield to come over from Drury to the Champion Store for a popsicle. While he was there he probably heard about the time The Cowboy drove his 1979 brown three-quarter ton Chevy truck slowly around the field while a couple of yahoos loaded eighty-five (85!) bales on it. He said the hood kept getting higher and higher, but he made it the two and a half miles home to his barn without losing any of it. This allegedly happened during the early 1980s when farmers ordinarily maxed out their trucks with fifty bales. The story was corroborated by both the Cowboy and the yahoo doing the stacking. They said the stack barely cleared the electric lines.

The tall ship with its 25 sails and a Champion daughter aboard left the Spanish isle of Madera on Sunday and is expected to reach the Canary Islands off the western coast of Africa on Wednesday, a little over three hundred miles. To be out of the sight of land on the ocean is an experience many have not had, and one that Grandpa Mayfield does not want to have again. He got caught in a storm while fishing off the Oregon coast and was disoriented and lost for a while. He was glad to get back on dry land again. But the girl loves it. She says there is nothing between you and the sunrise and the sunset and you get to see all the colors of the ocean. Her report on the trip from Portugal to Madera was that she had spotted a fin whale, lots of dolphins, skua, predatory sea birds, and bioluminescence during night watch. To her old folks on the farm who have not been anywhere in a long time, this is a wildly exciting adventure, if only a vicarious one. She was pleased to find that the ship is equipped with a violin, but unfortunately there is no rosin for the bow. Hopes are that she will have luck finding some when they dock in Tenerife on Wednesday and that it is clear sailing all the way. We can’t direct the wind but, we can adjust the sails.


Barbara Cooper said how much she misses the Skyline Picnic. We all do. Barbara and Darrell were shopping at Richard’s Brothers Thursday and paused for a pleasant visit. She said she would like to come back to Champion some Wednesday. Darrell said he might bring his banjo. The General said he would believe it when he saw it. It seems that Darrell plays everything. He planned on seeing Cheyenne McIntosh Saturday in West Plains at HOBA and would decide if he has extra guitars to share for her Skyline R2 School guitar class. Children benefit in multiple ways with music as a part of their education. The school year is off to a good start. Runners made a good showing at the track meet in Ava last Wednesday and they will run there again this week. The Fall Carnival is coming up October 14th which will give the whole community a chance to tour the campus and to show support for the great little rural school turning out the good citizens who will be running things in just a few short years.


By the time The General got back from West Plains to Vanzant Saturday night, a sudden thunderstorm had his yard full of debris, though the downed limbs and trees had already been cleaned off Highway 76 and EE. Monday morning Commissioner Brand Loveless said the county road men were working on cleaning up storm damage and when they could, they would get over to the spot 1.3 miles south of Highway 76 on CR 76-237 to deal with a deep, wallowed out spring branch across the road with big rocks submerged. Those charming gentlemen of the Drury Shed do fine work.

This is an exciting time of the year with sudden serious weather, and now all our glorious weather for our festivals and gatherings. The excitement associated with the KC Chiefs, however, dwindled a little with their unfortunate loss on Sunday. The lessons the team will have learned through the experience will doubtlessly prove valuable as the season goes on. Optimism is a great trait of Champions—Looking on the Bright Side!

After the Storm