- Featured Stories
- Douglas County
- City of Ava
- General Interest
Mother’s Day in Champion was a beautiful day. That old adage about if it rains on Easter Sunday it will rain the next seven Sundays in a row did not play out and with enough rain in Champion’s bucket already, it was easy to concentrate on Mom. The roadways, the phone lines, and the Internet were all humming with activity and matriarchs are satisfied that their offspring appreciate them. Special visitors to the Loafing Shed brought contented smiles to some Champion mothers. As an Old Champion woman thanked a favorite young man for his good wishes for her on that day he said, “You know we have Son Day every week and I never get a card from you. You could slip a five dollar bill in one while you’re at it.”
The big blowout at the Vanzant Community Center was a terrific success. Tom Hicks is to be commended for his outstanding cookery –such brisket! The music was delightful. There was a packed house for the auction and the grounds were crowded with friends new and old visiting and enjoying one of the first such outings of the social season. Norma Shannon enjoyed watching her grandson do a splendid job with the auction. Pie bidding was fierce though a competitor finally let up just a little so the sheriff could afford one of Esther’s pies (thinking, no doubt, that he might enjoy a little ‘consideration’ himself off in the future). The constabulary was well represented with two handsome young uniformed officers, the sheriff in plain (but appropriate) clothes and an undisclosed number of undercover officers all alert to the reputation of the General who seemed to be everywhere at once but did not seem to cause too much trouble. Proceeds from the event will go toward maintenance of the facility and toward supporting the summer picnic—another excellent enterprise. A public meeting will be held on the 20th at seven in the evening to celebrate and summarize the success and to address new business.
One of the charming aspects of this get-together and the others like it around the country is the genial overlapping of so many circles. Someone asked how many of those attending were related to each other. The connections go back so far and so deep that they are lost in the great circular collective briar patch of the local families’ tree. Other circles are comprised of those newcomers, who may have lived here thirty or forty years, but whose parents were not born in the neighborhood, and newer newcomers who may have just lived in the area a few months or a few years but who have found a feeling of community and acceptance in this lovely part of the world. Even with all the new people, the area is still not as densely populated as it was seventy-five years ago, so there is plenty of room for good neighboring. It is a Champion kind of notion—even way over in Vanzant!
Champions are not oblivious to the suffering of those tornado victims in the South and East and to those being flooded out by the big rivers to the East and to the drought stricken people in the South and West. Breadbaskets are being stressed all over the country and fuel prices will only add to the expense of putting a good meal on the table. When Champions offer thanks for their food, they do it with humility and with compassion and consideration for those less fortunate, which includes most of the rest of the world.
Ms. Eva Powell seemed to be having a good Mother’s Day and was pleased to report that Ronnie Thompson and that nice bunch from over at the County Shed in Drury had been working on the North end of her road. It needed a lot of rock and gravel and they are doing an excellent job of getting so many miles of county roads back in shape after all the rain. They were well represented over at the pie supper Saturday night and everybody is always glad to see them coming.
A great number of people gathered to mark the passing of Champion Dain Lambert on Thursday. He lived his whole life here and made many friends. His deep roots are shared and carried on by a family that will forever miss him.
” Build a house by the side of the road and be a friend to man.” That is what Bob Jett did and his many friends will be saddened to learn of his passing on Saturday morning. He had been expecting to go for some while and his grace and humor at the prospect was something that gives pause to anyone contemplating mortality and fearlessness. His dear ones left behind are happy for every moment they had with him.
Friends are off to Arkansas to visit with the Dalai Lama. They say that being around him is like when your Dad reached out to steady you when you were learning to walk or to ride your bicycle. A steadying hand is a gift. He says to be kind whenever possible and that it is always possible. He sounds like a great guy. He shares his birthday with another great guy, Darrell Haden who has deep Douglas County roots. Mr. Haden will be 80 on July 6th. The Dalai Lama will be 76. Haden and his wife, Betty, live about twenty miles from the Mississippi River in Tennessee, and he responded to Champion inquires as to his well being with a lovely phone call. He says things are going well for him and his family and he agrees with a Champion husband that the mushroom tales coming out of Champion are approaching Paul Bunyan status. He is the writer of “The Headless Cobbler of Smallett Cave” as well as other entirely reputable pieces and his opinion matters. However, the photograph of young Colton and Wyatt Marler with that huge red beefsteak mushroom that Clint Marler found last week proves they can get big in these parts. It took both those boys to hold the thing and it is pretty sure the Marlers had enough to share.
Share whatever you have plenty of with whomever you like. Share your thoughts and news at Champion Items Rt. 2, Box 367, Norwood, MO 65717 or at Champion@getgoin.net. Get an eyeful of the progress over on the North Side of the Square in Historic Downtown Champion, well situated on the broad banks of Fox Creek down at the bottom of the hill just where the pavement ends. Peruse that progress at www.championnews.us where you can also read excerpts of the famous Headless Cobbler story and get a look at Linda’s Almanac. It says that the 13th of May all the way through the 16th will be an excellent time to plant corn, beans, peppers and the like, and then the 17th will be good for root crops, leafy vegetables and seedbeds. It will be a good time to get those tomatoes out for people in frost pockets. Sing, “I’ve got a pocket full of sunshine,” or “It’s good to touch the green, green grass of home.” Champion! —Looking on the Bright Side!