The delicious break in the weather has Old Champions breathing a sigh of relief. It looks like Saturday will be warm (hot) again and so the Champion Reunion will be well situated inside the store. The noon time potluck feast starts off an afternoon of visiting with old friends and getting acquainted with new ones. Everyone is welcome. Folks new to the area can learn the stories behind the historic photographs on the walls along with the prize winning paintings depicting the Bright Side. Alvie Dooms hopes to make it over to his old stomping grounds. He has some stories to tell. Our “Ozarks Alive!” correspondent, Kaitlyn McConnell, might come and share some of the adventures she had at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival and in the actual Library of Congress. We hear that Jerry Wagner has been seen at the barber shop on recent Wednesdays, so perhaps he will fiddle over this way again. Music is always a possibility. It goes along with the hospitality. “When you’re living in the country, everybody is your neighbor…. Y’all come!”

Our Skyline School year is off to a good start. Skyline Tiger, Jennifer Trujillo, has joined the staff as Assistant Cook. She and her husband both attended Skyline, and now their two daughters are Tigers as well. Harper Campbell is starting kindergarten this year. His Mother, Danielle Campbell, is the New Skyline RII School Art Teacher. She has previously taught first and fourth grades. She is excited to be joining the Skyline community–an exciting place. Enrollment is up to 84 sterling students and our new secretary, Sarah Harden, says the first week went very well. Way off in the future these young folks will be old folks talking about the wonderful days they had in a little country school in the middle of Booger County back in the 20s.

There is always a little suspicion when the score keeper wins three games in a row. Lena says she is still up one scrabble game for the year and that is what counts. To his credit, her brother has been doing the traveling to play recently. Perhaps he will join the throng at the Champion Reunion just to balance out all the truth to the stories being told, though it is not necessarily our point to call him a prevaricator. After all, he has been referred to as a motorcycle hoodlum. That should be enough.

The big Blue Moon will light things up for us Wednesday. There will likely be songs sung about it. Sunday was the right side of the moon for planting turnips for a fall cover crop and as bait for the rabbits, which have been a real nuisance this year. They got most of the beets and beans, so Champions will be eating lots of black eyed peas this winter. The deer have not been as much competition for the garden produce as they were last year, partly because of the good grazing out in the woods and otherwise because of the higher fence. Green tomato hornworms did not bother the pink morning glory growing up in the ornamental backyard tomato plant. They had plenty to eat before they were discovered and summarily sent off for a nice swim. They have spared the big tomato patch so far, but gardeners will certainly be more vigilant until frost. One almanac says the first frost date for us is October 22nd, but we have seen it much earlier. It will almost be a relief for some canners in the kitchen.

Excitement came on Friday afternoon when a Skyline VFD first responder happened upon an accident out on HW 76 near Brushy Knob. He discovered an overturned vehicle, rendered aid, and called for assistance. The driver was extracted from the wreck and hopes are that her injuries are ones from which she can recover. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that more than half of all car accidents occur within a five-mile radius of home. We are reminded that our beautiful country roads and highways are so familiar to us that we may easily become cavalier. There are many places along our local lanes that have memories of accidents attached to them. They can serve as a warning. Stay off your phones as you come down to the wide, wild, wooly banks of Old Fox Creek to Champion—Looking on the Bright Side!