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Champion fathers were much in the thoughts of Champions on Sunday as they often are. Old timers remembered their old time fathers long gone from the world and others remembered with sweet sadness fathers who have only recently passed away. It was good luck for everybody with a dad to see the old guy or to talk to him or just to remember him and the good things he did back in those youthful days. When grandmothers talk about how much they had loved their own grandfathers that feeling of continuity is encouraging even when the fathers fathers are not ones own. People in this country have been marking a special day of acknowledgement for fathers since about the time Champion first showed up on a map. One good thing leads to another in Champion.
Summer officially arrives at 12:16 p.m. Tuesday the 21st with the longest day of the year and the shortest night. This celestial event is celebrated around the world, most notably in England at Stonehenge and Avebury, where thousands gather to welcome the sunrise on the Summer Solstice. Champions have their individual ways of marking the day. One family watches the splash of sunlight coming through one particular window and marks it with a pencil on the wall when it reaches its farthest point. They check to see if it matches up with last years mark, just to verify that the world is turning according to schedule. Modern associations with the solstice go to the idea of lucky June weddings and honeymoons. Staci and Dustin Cline are off on a second honeymoon after three successful years of marriage. They are spending time in Tennessee with Linda and Marty Watts and then heading out to get a good look at the ocean. Linda has her birthday on the 21st so there will surely be some partying going on. Champions look forward to their report. The 21st is also the birthday of Sierra Parsons, a Champion granddaughter, who must be sixteen this year! Where does the time go, Grandmother Judith?
Perhaps the Clines will drive through Champion, North Carolina on their way to the ocean. The community is in Wilkes County and it shows up on the map a little south of the Blue Ridge Parkway and a little east of the Cherokee National Forrest. The current population of Champion, NC is said to be 1,561 people. The community is very proud of the Champion Volunteer Fire Department, which has two substations and covers an enormous area. The northern part of their fire district is rugged and mountainous. The largely rural area has many homes built deep in the woods. The southern area has some quite high-end resort kinds of residences on the water. The fire chief there says that as first responders they go on as many as two hundred medical assist calls a year. That is about what the Skyline Volunteer Fire Department does. All of the Skyline fire fighters are first responders and they go through the annual training programs to maintain their certifications. Champion, Missouri deep in Douglas County is quite fortunate to have the Skyline Volunteer Fire Department in such close proximity. The Skyline VFD Ladies Auxiliary will meet in Downtown Champion on Tuesday, June 28, 2011 at 1:30 in the afternoon. Anyone in the fire district is welcome to attend. There will be old business to discuss and the new business will most likely be centered around the Skyline Picnic which is scheduled for August 12th and 13th this year. There will also be some lovely business of celebrating Esther Wrinkles 94th birthday. She has been a tireless worker for the fire department since it started up many long years ago and her contributions are much appreciated. Eva Powell, another auxiliary member, will mark her birthday on the 29th as will KZ88 Radio personality Butch Kara. Celebrating friends and neighbors is a very Champion thing to do–very Champion!
A Champion gardener is having difficulties with a raccoon damaging garden plants as it digs around under the mulch and makes a general mess and nuisance of itself. Four nights in a row it has thwarted the hav-a-heart trap and has made off with the bait. The second night, the critter spent some time in the trap and left a little tuft of hair, but managed to escape. It must be the same raccoon that the Champions spouse wanted to shoot earlier the previous week. The gardener spoke up to discourage the killing, but now has had second thoughts. It is quite probable that there are several raccoons responsible for the mayhem in the garden, so it is hoped that there will be several relocations of raccoons from Champion North to, well, no telling, or maybe that spouse will do some dispatching. Lindas Almanac from over at the Plant Place in Norwood shows that the 22nd and 23rd will be good days for planting root crops, as will the 26th, 27th, and 30th. Check out the almanac at www.championnews.us in the links section. Get a look at those First Ripe Tomato in Champion Contest Winners there too. It could happen any time now, a Champion with the winning ripe home grown tomato could waltz into Hensons Store with it. It is not required that the contestant waltz, just that he (or she) be willing to share that tomato with the judges who will verify its ripeness and award the prizes. Prizes? you say. Yes, indeed there are prizes! For starters there will be the old fruit jar (antique) and some canning jar lids and perhaps some other things as well. Organizers are getting organized and will hopefully have their act together before the tomatoes start rolling in.
Private First Class Matthew Joseph England was killed earlier this month while serving in Iraq. He was 22 years old and had lived in Ozark County since he was a small child. A memorial service was held for him in Gainesville on Sunday as miles of cars, emergency vehicles, and veterans lined up to pay tribute to him. Champions honor all those Veterans and those serving in and out of uniform at the behest of the Nation and extend to them and to those they leave behind Love and Gratitude for their service.
Some Champions are looking into old song books to be sure they remember the words to some of those patriotic songs that are sure to be sung in masse at the Annual Champion Fourth of July Celebration. He has trampled down the village where the shapes of wasps annoyed or there the drapes of glass avoid. Send your own favorite patriotic song to Champion Items, Rt. 2, Box 367, Norwood, MO 65717 or to Champion@getgoin.net.
Remember The Battle Hymn of the Republic and sing it out loud as you wander the wide and wooly banks of Old Fox Creek on the Eastern boundary of the bucolic wonderland that is Champion–Glory, glory Hallelujah! Looking on the Bright Side!