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- General Interest
Champions are a helpful and generous people. One took the opportunity to help the builder unload a few boards the other day and now can strut about saying how he has been ‘helping’ to build the Replica of the Historic Emporium on the North Side of the Square in Downtown Champion. Patrons of the Temporary Annex over on the West Side of the Square are pleased with the progress of the Replica and particularly with the perfect placement of the pads for the porch posts. Soon the porch will be there and it is to be hoped that the steps will be the last to go up as a way to keep out the gawkers. So far the building has not been too overrun with nonparticipating observers because it has been rather inaccessible to all but the nimble, but once the steps go in it might be a different story. The superintendent is accustomed to handling all types of delicate situations, so no conflicts are expected and progress should not be overly affected. There will be explanations about how the new roof will be a “three-way” rather than regular shed roof on account of the relative ceiling height and the like. It will go on and on—Champion!
Champions are more familiar with the “three-way” being a harness of three mules pulling a wagon like the Webster wagon with Candy, Kate and Joe that came through last year. Champions are excited that the Wagon Train is due through town this week. If it runs according to schedule, it ought to be pulling into Champion in the neighborhood of noon on Thursday. This is The West Plains Wagon Club led by Clifton Luna. The club makes the annual trip to Mansfield starting out from West Plains on Monday morning. They travel about twenty miles a day and make camp each evening at their regular spots along the way. They will arrive in Mansfield on Saturday in time for the Wilder Days Celebration. Last year there were eleven wagons of various descriptions and the community turned out to give them a good examination. They seem to enjoy the attention, so it works out well for everyone. The travelers will have some surprises in store for them when they roll into Champion.
A week after the Champion School Reunion, Hovey will be pleased to know people are still talking about him. The various versions of the stories about the mailbox, the still, the hollow log, the boys in trouble and trips into town to see the judge are all remembered differently according to whether the rememberer was an actual participant in the alleged shenanigans or the recipient of some exaggerated hear-say third hand and in the way distant past dredged up now from fading memories tinged with the rosy glow of nostalgia. So much of history trickles to the surface through these murky channels. Hovey said that he was interested in responding to Wally Hopper’s note about the history of Denlow and how he would like to have an historic marker there. Hovey agrees that the place has fallen into significant disrepair. He is also wondering if there is a marker that actually marks the spot known as Vera Cruz. Inquires confirm that there is such a spot and it is on the farm of a Mr. John Vineyard. Do-gooders and busy bodies will spend some time getting the two of them together so the Champion’s concerns can be relieved.
The coyotes howled around the intrepid campers and the young folks drifted off to sleep to their music. Roasted marshmallows and ‘smores’ were evening delights and pancakes on the camp stove in the morning will be long remembered and expected on future outings. No alligators crept up out of the pond and no bears came down out of the woods to trouble the happy campers and Mom and Dad were right there to be sure of it. Foster and Kalyssa are already building a set of good childhood memories. Their little cousin, Taegan was quite entertaining on Sunday showing everybody that at four months old she is just about ready to take off crawling. She will soon get that knee up under herself and then she will be going where she pleases. Old folks wonder if they are changing as quickly as the little ones do.
The General spread the largess of his attentions around to the Brixey Family Reunion up in Seymour on Saturday and so missed the four Henson siblings at the Champion School Reunion. More is the pity. They missed him! The Brixeys must have had advanced warning that he was coming because the numbers were down a little. The General’s lovely sister seems to be related to everyone in the area some way or another and so it is reckoned that he is too and for that reason has some degree (for want of a better word) of ‘welcome’ at almost any family gathering in these parts. There has been no recent news of the marauding goat of Vanzant. It has spent time on Esther’s porch, napping and nibbling the flower buds off her Christmas cactus and making sudden lurching exits from her garage. It takes a lot of seasoning to disguise the taste of goat once it reaches a certain age. These things are best left in the capable hands of the General himself. This may be the soirée to which certain Champions are finally invited, though no breaths are being held. Noses will be, though—goat tacos. Yum.
As of September 13, 2010 there have been 2,054 United States and Coalition casualties in Afghanistan. Thirty-three of those have been from Missouri. One hundred eighty-one of those casualties have been twenty-one years old. Modern warfare in the Middle Eastern conflicts have resulted in fewer casualties but more wounded soldiers. As the families of the fallen need compassion so do the returning wounded and their families. Love and Gratitude can be expressed in many ways. Champions everywhere seize the opportunity to say, “Thank you.”
The signs have changed and so that 15th through the 17th will be good days to plant above the ground crops. Some spinach and any kind of leafy greens can go in about this time and will most likely have time to make. These things can stand some cold weather, and it may happen that they get some before long. The seasons are going by quickly. Linda’s Almanac has a lot of good information. It will soon be time to start bringing in those delicate things that will need protection through the winter. Linda has some nice fall cabbage and broccoli plants and lots of good advice for novice gardeners and experienced ones.
“Rolling, rolling, rolling! Keep them wagons rolling. Though the streams are swollen, Rawhide! Through all kinds of weather, what if the sky should fall? As long as we’re together, it doesn’t really matter at all.” One old Champion tells another that this song is about ‘doggies’ not wagons and the rest of it is part of a song called “Side by Side.” The song the Champion is looking for is “Wagon Train, Roll along. Rolling over prairie where there ain’t no grass. Rolling over mountains where there ain’t no pass. Sitting on the board, eye in the weather, praying to the Lord we stay together side by side on the wagon train.” Sing that one out in the loafing shed while you still have the chance.
Get down to the Square on Thursday to see the wagon train or just come anytime to Champion and Look on the Bright Side!