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Contentment is easy in Champion. Champions understand contentment.
The First Ripe Tomato in Champion Contest is on for the fifth year in a row. Contest rules require that the tomato be grown in Champion and that the grower be willing to share the tomato with the judges and be willing to be photographed with it and to brag a little. Donna Moskaly won the contest the first year. It was on June 28, 2007. Her prize was an antique fruit jar and two dozen canning jar lids—one regular and one wide mouth. The next year Louise Hutchison won with two Parks Whopper tomatoes on June 28, 2008. In addition to the two dozen canning jar lids and the antique fruit jar, Louise was awarded a Certificate of Champion Achievement and 6 tickets valued at $5.00 for the drawing of the Rose Star Quilt made by Esther Wrinkles which was part of the fundraiser for the Skyline VFD Picnic that year. Larry Casey won the following year on June 30th. He did not know the variety of the ripe tomato but it was a very pleasant treat for the judges—a rich tangy taste, sweet and juicy. Casey was awarded a Certificate of Champion Achievement, a $10.00 gift certificate from The Plant Place in Norwood, 6 tickets (valued at $5.00) for the quilt drawing at the Skyline VFD Picnic, the two dozen canning jar lids and an old fruit jar. Karen Krider won the prize last year with the earliest ripe tomato on record—June 12th! It was of the variety called “Delicious” and it was indeed. It was all the more sweet because Miss Emerson Rose Oglesby, Karen’s granddaughter, presented it to the judges, and posed with it for a Portrait of a Winner. That picture can be seen, along with the other winners, on the website at www.championnews.us. It is in the “categories” section under “Champions with Dirty Hands.” The earliness of the win found contest organizers unprepared and so Ms. Krider has yet to receive her Certificate of Champion Achievement, her antique fruit jar, the two dozen canning jar flats (one regular and one wide mouth) and tickets for the Skyline Picnic Quilt. She is growing tomatoes again this year; maybe she will win a double prize! Organizers will pay up and while they may scale back a little on the lavishness of the prizes, the recognition and pride of accomplishment will still be ample reason to enter the contest. At the very least the hardworking winner will have an old fruit jar (antique!).
The Community Foundation of the Ozarks is doing some fine work over in Joplin helping significantly with the clean up and recovery after the historic storm. Recently the Skyline School Board voted to establish a Skyline R-2 School Foundation that would be an affiliate of the Community Foundation of the Ozarks. The purpose of the Foundation is to raise funds from the community, alumni, and others interested in supporting our rural school. These funds would then be used to supplement dwindling local, state and federal monies for projects that the board and/or the donors feel would benefit the school children of the Skyline District. The board is seeking members of the community to serve on board of this Foundation. Anyone in the area with an interest in this may contact Jeannie Curtis at the school for more information. A meeting will be set in June to talk with candidates and then the School Board will appoint the initial five members. Look in on the Community Foundation of the Ozarks at www.cfozarks.org. Find a link to that site on the Champion website.
Linda’s Almanac from over at The Plant Place in Norwood indicates that the period between Thursday the 9th of June and Tuesday the 13th will all be excellent days for planting. It is nice to have such an extended period of fruitful days. Many Champions are just now getting their gardens in. Haymakers are out in numbers and musically minded Champions add the melodic drone of heavy farm equipment to the existing cacophony of the ever-present cicadas mixed evenly with a higher pitched tinitus and the melancholy coo of doves for their natural summer symphony—rich and full. Champion. Champion hay-makers are safety conscious as they go about their busy work and their families and friends appreciate their caution. The Douglas County Health Department has tetanus vaccine available for residents over the age of 18 with an order from their physician. There is no charge and the vaccine is available on Tuesdays by appointment. Call 417-683-4174. The Health Department has been serving the community since 1974 and offers a large variety of services—a real resource these days, and it partners with a great number of other organizations including the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5993. Champions everywhere can use a little help from time to time. Veterans are truly Champions.
The town of Champion, Texas is located on Champion Creek, in the extreme western part of Nolan County out west of Sweetwater. It had its beginnings in the year 1905, boasting a first class gin, barbershop and Woodman of the World Lodge. The first store was a general mercantile owned by Alton Griffin. Champion’s population was fifty in 1940, when the town had a church, a store, and a blacksmith shop. The community also had a school for a time. By 1965 little remained at the site. Champion reported a population of sixteen in 1980 and in 1990. In 2000 the population there was eight. Pictures of the place show it to be a small, dusty ghost town at a crossroad of two farm-to-market roads. By contrast, Champion, Missouri, deep in the heart of Booger County, is a thriving berg. It is lush and green and its various buildings are tidy and well maintained. The regular commerce and social whirl about the now famous Loafing Shed and the Seemingly Temporary Annex of the Historic Emporium, being meticulously recreated in it’s original location on the North side of the Square, all go to demonstrate the vivacious nature of the place. “In the summertime when all the trees and leaves are green and the red bird sings, I’ll be blue, ‘cause you don’t want my love.” Champions do not regularly get blue because they are busy and they know that they cannot get a day back that has been wasted in the blues, besides everyone loves a Champion. Send the words to your favorite summertime song to Champion Items, Rt. 2, Box 367, Norwood, MO 65717 or to email@example.com. If you have a good voice, sing it out loud in Champion—Looking on the Bright Side!