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In Champion the reason for hope is always there. People looking on the bright side always have something to look forward to with optimism for a good outcome. Emily Dickinson said, Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul, and sings the tunewithout the words, and never stops at all. She goes on to say that hope requires nothing from the people who are hoping. Such a Champion notion!
Skyliners had another excellent chili supper on Saturday night. The food and music were wonderful as always and neighbors who rarely see each other got the chance to get caught up with visiting. It was lovely to see Ms. Velma Gray again. She has just celebrated living in her Skyline home for 63 years. Ruby Proctor was seen having a good time with her friends and she said that she had recently been down Champion to look at the progress on the new store building. She loves it and is looking forward to the grand opening. Big Murph Murphy out bid out-of-state bidders for the painting of the Old Store at Champion, by Pat Michaud of Marshfield. He plans to hang the painting in his barbershop there on the corner of the square in Mountain Grove, but someone said that Sue has her eye on it for their home. Esther Wrinkles said that if Sue wins out on this, she has some nice photographs of the old store that she will be pleased to share with Murph. The silent auction was quite exciting this year with so many nice pieces donated by local artists and craftsmen. Noted pie-artist Esther baked the coconut cream pie that was the big money maker, going for a record $80.00 to Bob Berry. Bob also won the drawing for the queen size quilt. He has been buying tickets from Esther every year since the first quilt was put on the block for Skyline back in the 1980s. When M.C. Steve Moody read his name, the crowd roared! It is almost as wonderful to have friends win as it is to win oneself! Louise and Wilburn Hutchison, Sharon and Farel Sikes, Tina and Paul Boyd, Betty Elliot and others did all the hard work and heavy lifting in the kitchen that produced the excellent meal enjoyed by all those attending. All the behind the scenes work and planning that these dedicated folks do is the reason these fundraisers are so successful.
E-mail arrived in the Champion@getgoin.net mailbox saying, I can almost always figure out what you are talking about eventually, but I am lost about the Cowboys Lament and whatever is supposed to come before it. Well, the Cowboys Lament is that song that everybody knows that starts out, As I walked out in the streets of Laredo, and goes on to tell the story of the dying cowboy. The poem that sometimes is recited before this song is about Fiddling Frank. The old Champion thinks that there is a first verse of the poem that she does not know. The part that she knows begins, Now there was a doll-faced gal, by name of Salem Sal. The story goes on about how she loved young Fiddling Frank and how he defended her against a rough customer and then picked up his fiddle. Anyone acquainted with the Fiddling Frank poem is urged to send it in its entirety to Champion Items, Rt. 2, Box 367, Norwood, MO 65717. In a part of the world so blessed with good fiddlers, surely someone knows, He tuned his strings, as a soul took wings, and a funeral march did play.
Daffodils are beginning to bloom all over the place. They are lovely anywhere, but it is especially sweet to see them blooming out lonely in a field or all by themselves in the woods by the side of a country road. It says that once there was a home place there that has disappeared except for the attentions of some long ago woman who did what homemakers do. People sell out, move on or die and the old house and outbuildings deteriorate and disintegrate over time, but the bulbs and shrubs so lovingly planted are living memorials to nameless old-timers who also had beauty in their lives. Gardening is a Champion pastime today. The state of the economy is such that many will be planting more vegetables this year than ever before. Farmers are sharing the old manure and people are sharing saved seed and good experience. Linda has her free monthly almanac available over at the Plant Place in Norwood (also at www.championnews.us) and will have those Cole crops ready when it is time to put them out. Perhaps the years only seem to go by this fast when a person has accumulated more than sixty of them! Zip!
Twenty two year old Christopher Stark of Monett died in Afghanistan last Monday. He was trained as a bomb specialist and was on his way to a site where an improvised explosive device had been spotted when his vehicle was hit with another device. He and 25-year-old Chauncy R. Mays of Cookville, Texas are now among the more than 2,348 soldiers in the U.S.-led forces that have been killed there since 2001. As their families deal with their loss, it is to be hoped that they are able to do so with the support of their communities and with the Love and Gratitude that the Nation owes them.
This time next year Champions will already be forgetting about that strange transitional year between the Old and the New. By then the New will be ordinary again and life will progress as if nothing out of the ordinary has gone on. The flavor and tenor of the new situation will be much as the old one except that the floor boards will not be worn through and it will be more spacious if still so cozy and sweet. Sing your tune with or without the words on your way down to Champion to Look on the Bright Side!