Skyline School students, staff, parents and community are getting ready for the Fall Carnival coming up on Friday. There will be games and snacks, interesting artwork to enjoy and the chance to tour the great little school that is preparing our youngsters to be the good citizens who will be running things in just a few short years. Rockbridge is sponsoring Skyline School’s First Annual Duck Race as part of the Rockbridge Fall Festival on Saturday the 15th. The Whetstone Band, made up of David Richardson, Gina Hollingshad and James VanKirk, will be playing there from 2:00 to 5:00 pm when the Duck Race will begin. The race will start on the high side of the dam and will end with some lucky person winning a two night deluxe stay for two at the resort. Most likely you can buy your duck there before the race begins. Proceeds go to the eighth grade class at Skyline.

October is being beautiful. It turns out the month has five Mondays, five Saturdays, and five Sundays, which is something that only happens every 823 years, a fact we might not have known, but for the internet. There is much to be learned there. Many interesting people celebrate birthdays in October. Madelynn Ward became 16 today, October 10th. Teresa Tost, who keeps us informed of local weather and other emergencies, was celebrated on the 8th. The 7th was for Betty Dye of Skyline proper, and Vicki Trippe of Springfield, a much admired political activist. The 11th has little to show for it, but the 12th gives us Janet Chapin, famous OATS bus driver, KC Chief’s fan, mother of artists and sailor daughters. Up in Manes, Cathy Baldwin’s mums are going crazy she says. Her birthday is on the 13th. Champions Eva Clark and Leslee Krider share the 14th for their big day. They will be celebrated in different places by lots of people who love them. October gives us festivals, pumpkins, and many good reasons to celebrate. We celebrate the fluffiest squirrel tails in years, the spoons inside all the persimmon seeds, and the darkness of the rare wooly worm as portents of a severe winter. Forewarned is forearmed and warm in Champion.

The hummingbirds are gone, but the armadillos are willing to be seen in broad daylight. Wilbur, a Champion groundhog, has not been seen in a couple of weeks. Gwen Lawson reported having had a groundhog undermine her driveway and, after numerous attempts to dissuade the critter, finally used a bag of Quikrete to fill its hole. She was curious about the groundhog pictures in The Champion News at The Missouri Conservation Department has a great deal of information concerning area groundhog/wood chucks accessible on the internet. Ms. Lawson was also curious about who The General might be. He is the gregarious fellow who has been hosting and entertaining many family members, some from Idaho and other places near and far. As a preamble of the Vanzant Jam, representatives of that throng presented him with a custom made, handcrafted, ornate cigar-box guitar which surprised and delighted the gentleman. It proved excellent accompaniment to his voice as he burst forth in song throughout the course of the evening. This is an entertainment rich part of the world.

In another part, out on the wild Atlantic Ocean, our Champion daughter, on a 130 foot sailing ship, is headed toward the equator, which she will cross in a few days. She will next stand on land in southern Argentina on November 17th. Happily, she was able to obtain rosin for her bow in the Canary Islands before they sailed on to Cape Verde. From there her request to her other half in Edinburgh, Scotland was to be texted lyrics for a couple of folk songs. So there is music on the high seas. Today, on John Prine’s birthday, many of his great songs come to mind. He wrote “Slow Boat to China” and “Paradise” where we think we are here in Champion—Looking on the Bright Side!