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“When it is good, say so.” This is one of the Seven Champion Rules by which to live. And so on this Monday morning the weather is perfect. The sky is blue; the birds are singing; the gardens are burgeoning with healthful food; Champions are relaxed and happy, optimistic for the future, and satisfied with their pleasant existence. There are no complaints to be had in all of Champion.
Penny Beason is happy. She bought the winning ticket for the $100.00 of free power that the White River Valley Electric Co-Op’s donates to the Skyline Volunteer Fire Department every year. This was the first time they had attended the picnic in several years and Penny said they really had a good time seeing old friends and lots of new faces as well as the improvements in the picnic grounds. Jeff Pardeck, over at White River, says that they are pleased to offer this kind of support to the community, and certainly the extreme weather this summer made the prospect of a little help very attractive. Penny and Carl Beason are life long residents of Brushy Knob and live in their family home that is called the “old Don Fleming place.” Their children grew up attending Skyline School and Penny and Carl were active on the School Board as well at the Parent Teacher Organization. They were there when the first computers were brought into the school. Penny is interested in learning about the Skyline R2 School Foundation that is getting its start this year. One of the Foundation goals is to upgrade the computer lab so the Beasons, as well as the rest of the community will have a chance to help out again. They will be watching for their chance. Champion!
Well the Skyline Picnic is gone again for another year. Ray Bradley says, “Don’t say ‘gone’ to an undertaker!” He is a funny guy and always does an excellent job as master of ceremonies for the picnic. He has moved off to another part of the country, but he is close enough that he can still make the trip down to help out one of his favorite communities. He must be a country boy at heart. He seems to know a lot about corn, anyway. Moreover, he is full of ideas and he plans to have conversation with the ‘powers that be’ for some changes or additions next year. Whatever they may be, the main thing here is that he plans to be back again and his many friends in these parts are glad of it. A number of Champions and their neighbors are moving a little slowly as the new week starts. There is a lot of work connected with this beautiful picnic and those who have been doing it all know who they are. Betty Elliot and Lisa Shepard are a couple of new faces to the Auxiliary and they certainly put out some sterling effort this year, as did all the auxiliary and many others. Some just showed up at the last minute to act like they had helped, and they know who they are! The important thing is that the work did get done and the wonderful little Skyline Area Volunteer Fire Department Association reaped the benefits of community wide support. Esther Wrinkles was moving a little slowly on Monday. She made umpteen pies and cakes and spent both evenings on her feet selling quilt tickets and signing people up for the free drawings. She said that the quilt brought in $841.00 this year. That is a pretty sizeable number for a depressed economy. One of the things Ray Bradley had to comment on was the amazing amount of merchandize, good stuff, that is given away as door prizes at this picnic—more than any other around. It is a testament to the generosity of local merchants from Champion, Ava, Norwood, and Mountain Grove, and it speaks to the gratitude of the Fire Department for the help—the very right hand of fellowship.
Friday evening, Champion Christine Phillips stopped in at the silent auction to donate a few things. They went out on the auction table on Saturday and one was Item # 3, Four Old Bowls. They were small little bowls about four inches in diameter, kind of pale yellow with an autumn leaf pattern and a little gold rim. Marsha Hutchison was the first to bid and then Tanna Wiseman made a bid and pointed out that these were antiques known in her family as “Jewel Tea.” (The glassware was often given as premiums on orders from the Jewel Home Shopping Service as salesmen traveled through the country on regular routes supplying housewives with everything from baking powder and other grocery items to cleaning supplies, linens, cookware and china.) Fae Krider upped the bid on the little bowls to ten dollars from two, and Marsha bid again. Then came Jan Liebert, and Tim Scrivner and Fae bid again. The bidding moved back and forth among the three of them for a while and then Kim Foster came in to raise it from $23.00 to $30.00. Kim and Tim battled it out until the bidding closed at 9 pm and Kim won with the bid at $50.00. So, thanks to Ms. Phillips for the valuable donation, and to all those bidders who know their antiques and know how to make an exciting auction even though it is ‘silent.’
Ray Bradley does a bang up job with the Star Spangled Banner. Not many people have the confidence to hit those high notes and to hold them for the duration required by the song. It is said that only one percent of the population serves in the military—not many people. Tommy Ratcliff was a Navy Seal from this part of the world who will be interred at Arlington National Cemetery. He had the confidence to complete the training and to serve for the duration of his lifetime. He and all the Veterans and those serving currently have the Love and Gratitude due them from the “Land of the Free…….. and the Home of the Brave.” They are all Champions.
Children are back in school now. The weather will be moderating. The calendar rolls around and around. Soon it will be time for the Champion School Reunion, the West Plains Wagon Club trail ride, Louise’s Hutchison’s birthday, The Pioneer Descendants Gathering, Bud Hutchison’s Trail Ride, Harley Krider’s birthday and on and on. Everything that goes on in Champion is a cause for a celebration. Send ideas for Champion Celebrations to Champion Items, Rt. 2, Box 367, Norwood, MO 65757 or to Champion@getgoin.net. Just look back through the archives of the Champion News to confirm that this vibrant, stimulating community has hardly changed at all, at least during the past five years that this particular permutation of The Champion News has been published. If you do not have a big stack of yellowing newsprint to peruse, look at www.championnews.us to see, for free, every article since the first in this series on August 28,2006. In that one the quote from Matthew Henry was, “If truth is once deserted, unity and peace will not last long.” This was a favorite quote of Lonnie Krider, a well remembered and much missed Champion. Every parade that happens in Champion goes right down the middle of Lonnie Krider Memorial Drive, under the leafy bows, around the square and up the hill and down by Old Fox Creek. Get ready for the next one, soon to be announced. Champion! Looking on the Bright Side.