- Featured Stories
- Douglas County
- City of Ava
- General Interest
Champions will stand shoulder to shoulder to say that there is no glory in defeating a weak opponent. The reason they would say such a thing as that is to promote the idea that if it is easy to do or if it requires no thought at all, just anybody can do it. Clearly, long range planning and logical sequencing of events with meticulous attention to the timely flow of materials and supplies are imperative in order to insure successful completion of any substantial construction. Anyone who enjoys building knows that even when things seem to be ‘on hold,’ the builder is dreaming about the job, planning, figuring, innovating, dodging pit falls and setting goals. He is constantly making assessments: assessing his own workmanship in comparison to the workmanship of his antecedents, assessing weather and time schedules against material availability, assessing the quality of his help, his tools and materials, and assessing the qualifications of the myriad self appointed inspectors who may go so far as to ask, “How come you didn’t do it this away?” It is a tribute to the genuine restraint of the many admirers of the work in progress that they refrain from imposing their presence and their views overly on the jobsite. Moreover, on those occasions when necessity brings them to Champion, they rather spend their time in shooing Elmer Banks, Glen Cooley, Jackie Coonts, and others away from the builders, who are nevertheless doing beautiful things in Downtown Champion.
Bud Hutchison’s Fall Trail Ride came ambling through Champion Wednesday and while the ambiance on the square was pretty lively, it is not reckoned that construction progress was slowed to any significant degree. Sons of Clifford O. Hutchison were visiting earlier last week. Michael and Wanda Hutchison were in Champion from Doniphan, Nebraska and Bert Hutchison made a trip over from Murfreesboro, TN. Other Champions have strong family connections in that ‘boro’ and so names and addresses were exchanged. There are many familiar names on the list of those who made the trail ride this year. From Ava there was Raymond Johnson, Hershel Letsinger, Kay Allen, Paul Uhlman, Joe Boyd, Beth McElvain, Ross McElvain, Stacy Lathron, Penny Price, Nancy Burns, Bud Hutchison, and Dale Lawson. Champion’s own Jack Coonts represented Norwood, and Eddie Massey and Willie (Junior) Brown represented Mountain Grove. Chris Comstock of Seymour had that pretty Fox Trotting mule. Don Breauchy came all the way from Vanzant and Bob Heard made it down from Springfield. Gene Dunn came from Protem, MO. Alice Batton and Jonathan Batton came from Garden City, Kansas and Nancy West came from Tucson, Arizona. All in all there were 22 riders this year. Wilma Hutchison took some pictures of them over at Drury. Slow moving Champions who had hoped to see them off in the morning had to be satisfied with welcoming them back into the Square in the early afternoon. They all came riding in with smiles on their faces and it seems the ride had gone off without a ‘hitch.’ Even the steady stream of gravel trucks on the dusty County roads had not caused any difficulty. Before long the participants had loaded the horses up in their trailers and headed back to their homes. This ride has been an annual event in Champion for many years. It marks the passage of time.
Birthday celebrations take on an exceptional quality when held in Champion. Champions Steve and Darlene Connor both have birthdays in early October—his about the 11th (someone said) and hers about the 18th. It is unclear who gave who what, but they each have a new ‘scooter.’ His is white and hers is pink. His is bigger, but hers has a sweet pink helmet to go with it. They will be fun on the beach. Darlene said that she had been able to celebrate with five of her seven sisters! Sunday was Taegan’s Mom’s birthday and the family celebrated up in Springfield. Who knows what form Harley’s festivities will have taken, most likely there will have been some good food, lots of laughter and family fun. Brian Oglesby will be sharing his cake with Eli and Emmy and their sweet Mom. Another Old Champion has stretched her birthday celebration out for a solid week. “Old Man, take a look at my life. I’m a lot like you were.” That is a Neil Young song that kind of goes along with another one of his that has the line “Twenty-four and there’s so much more.” Forty years later, some Old Champions are now sixty-four and Grateful for the Love and Acknowledgement of friends and family. “Happy birthday dear Graaaannnie!” Is the sweetest song yet sung.
Last week, in Mansfield, a group of soldiers from the 103rd Engineer group out of Fort Leonard Wood volunteered to work on making an Army Veteran’s home wheelchair accessible. Sixty-eight year old Wright Bogart will be able to move back home from a nursing care facility and it will mean a dramatic improvement in the quality of his life. Private First Class, Dylan T. Reid, 24, of Springfield, Mo., died October 16th in Amarah, Iraq in a non-combat related incident. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 8th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colorado. Those serving in the dangerous parts of the world are in harm’s way. It is the very nature of their Service. They have the Love, Gratitude and Acknowledgement of their Nation due them.
“Oh, the wild joys of living! The leaping from rock to rock.” Robert Browning’s line was lived out while Champions were on a Sunday drive. The scenic overlook on 95 Highway just north of Drury was the scene to see some young teenage girls leaping from rock to rock. The view is spectacular there where the folds of gold and red roll out the whole distance to the far horizon marked by the crest of steep hills on the other side of the wide valley. The rocks are placed along the edge of the parking area and are easily heavier than any car parked there. They are flat on the top and just far enough apart to require some spectacular leaping. Browning’s lines were a gift in a birthday book from Linda who had been over in Champion on one of these wild celebrations. It was a thoughtful gift. Talk around the bridge table during that evening was that this part of the country may experience another mild winter. Everyone agrees that it has been very dry and much of the final yard and garden preparation for winter could best be done during a rainy spell. It is the time of year to finally get some fall decorations out. Linda has some beautiful mums over at the Plant Place and lots of wonderful bulbs for Spring.
Cast a rainy spell or send instructions on how to do it to Champion@getgoin.net or Champion Items, Rt. 2, Box 367, Norwood, Mo 65717. Get an eyeful of that Mascot Monkey of the Month masquerading as Zorro. His wanted poster has been up in the Norwood Post Office and over at Plummer’s Junction and at www.championnews.us. The Loafing Shed is the place to be to get just the right perspective on the building sight. Their modus operandi seems to be to methodically (‘slow and steady wins the race’) address one aspect of the building and then, by golly, just build it until it’s done and done right. Anybody looking for the thrill of seeing something well done ought to hurry down to Champion before the tin goes on the porch roof. It’s a sight! It is Champion! Looking on the Bright Side!