- Featured Stories
- Douglas County
- City of Ava
- General Interest
In Champion at the end of July spirits are quite high. Of course, that is the regular situation in the charming burgh as residents make the most of whatsoever and whomsoever is at hand. The long luxurious summer days rather palpate with the delicious heat so longed for back in February. Champions love the weather whatever it is.
Spirits of gum turpentine is a fluid obtained by the distillation of resin obtained from trees, mainly pine trees. It was a common medicine among seamen and was one of several products carried aboard Ferdinand Magellan’s fleet in his first circumnavigation of the globe. There is history of its use in internal medicine but this is no longer a common practice. Topically, it was used for abrasions and wounds, as a treatment for lice, and when mixed with animal fat, as a chest rub, or inhaler for nasal and throat ailments. Camphor is one of the fragrant chemical compounds produced from components of turpentine and many modern chest rubs, such as the Vicks variety, still contain turpentine in their formulations. The residue left after turpentine distillation is sold as rosin and fiddlers are encouraged to keep their bows well rosined against the chance to play for any good reason or just for the fun of it. Spirits of gum turpentine acts as a solvent, flowing agent and drier with linseed oil to make the perfect varnish for violins and some Champions even use it on their floors. Both medicinal and musical—how Champion!
A note from the Kansas City journalist concerning the recent sojourn to his Champion Retreat says, “Just to clarify, I did catch a glimpse of the resident, and it was a coyote, dismayed that I was walking around on the roof of her new den, which she was apparently sharing with longtime resident armadillos and who knows what else. Was I intimidated by eerie human-like growling and throaty huffing in the dark of the night at 2 a.m. far back in the piney woods where the sun never shines? Did I lock the screen doors and search for an old sledge-hammer handle that I kept handy for just such emergencies in the night? Yes, yes, and yes. Thanks for your good reporting.” While it is neither journalism nor literature, the spirit of the Champion News aims to inform, entertain and encourage.
A bit of very encouraging news comes in the formation of the Skyline R-2 School Foundation. In its first meeting, which was held on July 12th, the goals and purposes of the organization were laid out. Cuts in state funding and to transportation allocations are exacting a toll on the school that works a real hardship. The shortfall in the operations budget causes resources to be drawn from the academic side of things, which is, after all, the whole point of the place. The Foundation’s goal is to tap into the generous spirit of the community and alumni scattered to the winds, to give a helping hand to the little school that continues to play such a pivotal roll in the successful lives of its students. Any alumni or supporter of great education wanting to get in on the ground floor of this excellent enterprise can contact Foundation President Patricia Blasius at Pblasius@gmail.com for more information or can address inquiries and checks and cash to Skyline R-2 School Foundation, Rt. 2, Box 486, Norwood, MO 65717. Looking back on early school days, many find their most fond memories there. ‘Times’ are every bit as hard now as they have ever been and that spirit of generosity is sorely needed. Look for much more news on the subject as time goes on.
A Champion gardener active in the Farmer’s Market in Ava made a spirited jerk of the steering wheel early Saturday morning to avoid releasing the spirit of the skunk out in the middle of 76 Highway just passed the Bryant Creek bridge. No sooner had he corrected his course and recovered his breath and heartbeat than flashing lights in his rear view mirror signaled him to pull over. The young highway patrolman saw this diversionary tactic as ‘erratic driving’ and since he had not seen the skunk himself he was suspicious of the explanation and intent upon his duty. Had the gardener hit the skunk, he would not have been put to the 4 a.m. trouble of producing his license and registration and the trooper would have had his doubts erased if not his sense of smell. In his defense, the young law enforcer may have had his zeal still piqued by the adventures of the County Coroner up on C Highway the other day. Back to gardening, Linda’s Almanac from over at the Plant Place in Norwood shows that Thursday and Friday will be most fruitful days for planting root crops and excellent for sowing seedbeds and flower gardens. They are good days for transplanting as well as for pruning to encourage growth. Get a look at that Almanac in the Champion Connections section of www.championnews.us. There is a lovely link there too to The Dairymaid where can be found some very cute pictures of a certain Taegan Peanut swimming with the Farmer. She says, “Oh! Man!”
Pete Proctor is a Champion son if ever there was one. He forwarded a photo taken at the National Cemetery in Minneapolis/Fort Snelling, Minnesota that came to Pete from Bill Moriarty and to Bill from Ed Hawley. The picture is of an eagle sitting on headstone among hundreds of identical headstones on a misty morning in early spring. The light is diffused and the feeing of the image is hushed and still–the very picture of reverence and respect. There are National Cemeteries all around this country and around the world full to overflowing with the remains of U.S. Military Personnel who have died in the service of their Country. Living Veterans have given much and often stand in need. Love and Gratitude is due to them, to those serving and to their families who also sacrifice. Look for that picture in the “snapshots” section of the website at www.championnews.us and look for a chance to be of help to a Veteran. A Champion eagle appreciator will get a copy of that photo in the mail as a reward for having pointed out the good service of another Champion neighbor. Champion Pat Smith has been caught by camera crews and featured on television news as someone who is looking out for others. She has a mail route in Mountain Grove and as she goes about her daily routine, she checks in on the elderly people on her route to be sure they are safe and comfortable during the extreme heat. What Champion spirit!
A guy named Norman Greenbaum wrote a song called “Spirit in The Sky” which was recorded by The Eagles as well as a number of other rock and roll bands. It says, “When I die and they lay me to rest, Gonna go to the place that’s the best. When I lay me down to die, I’m going up to that spirit in the sky.” Send examples of good Champion spirit to Champion@getgoin.net or to Champion Items, Rt. 2, Box 367, Norwood, MO 65717. Stroll around the Square in Downtown Champion to feast your eyes upon the beauty of the next best place, where Champions are indeed wise as serpents and harmless as doves. Champion—Looking on the Bright Side!