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Was it Will Rogers who said, “All I know is what I read in the papers?” Champions are the kind of folks who just do not believe everything they read. It is a good thing too. Last week in some publications there was a long, convoluted story leading up to Bud Hutchison’s Fall Trail Ride. Everyone was entreated to show up to see the spectacle. The eloquently worded and heart felt invitation was extended for the wrong day—Saturday. It turns out that the trail riders will actually meet up in Champion on Wednesday, the 19th, to go off on their mounted expedition to somewhere as yet undisclosed. The good thing is that at least the error was in advance of the event. If anyone shows up on the wrong day, they will have the opportunity to attend on the correct date, just by waiting four or five days. (Which is it–four or five?) All of this is decidedly better than showing up four or five days late! Being at the right place at the right time is truly a Champion attribute. Anyone who likes the sound of horse hooves, squeaking leather and spinning yarns ought to show up on the Square that morning (Wednesday the 19th), just for the fun of it. The talk will be of pawpaws, persimmons and wooly worms and it will be part of the continual “Occupy Champion” demonstration that only goes to demonstrate that this is about the best place in the world to be. Meanwhile, back out on the trail, in 2006, there were 41 riders and 5 wagons. (That year the first eagle sighting was October 8th.) The next year it took seventeen stock trailers to get all the horses to Champion together with two buggies and a wagon. In 2008 thirty-one riders left Champion, but only 29 arrived in Drury. The next year only six riders made the Champion ride because of a conflict in events. Last year 22 riders made the trip. All this information has been gleaned from archives at www.championnews.us and is available for all to see and/or believe.
October’s Full Moon is known as the Hunter’s Moon. It occurs on the 11th of the month this year which happens to be the birthday of a relatively new Champion who has been busy making himself useful and being a very good and welcome neighbor in recent years. Steve now has an enormous hole dug in his yard with the plans for an innovative home to be built there. Darlene, his lovely wife, has her birthday on the 18th of the month. Their neighbors Leslee and Breauna have their birthdays on the 14th and the 24th of the month. Breauna shares her day with brother-in-law Brian Oglesby who is the lucky father of Eli and Emerson Rose. Then a couple of days later Uncle Harley has his big day and will once again be older than everybody around. One Champion has her birthday on October 21st, but she has decided to celebrate on the 23rd of November, since someone with that birthday has appropriated the 21.st It does not matter the day, the passage of time seems immutable, even if Royce Henson thinks he can harness the little neutrinos for some serious time travel. Those who wake up in the mornings just go on with it one day at a time, older and wiser–Champion!
One little old hummingbird straggles behind in Champion. Her friends and family have all left already. Maybe she dreads the long trip or perhaps she just does not want to leave her Champion home. Friends and families came together on Saturday in Norwood to acknowledge the passing of David Littrell. He was born on October 21, 1952, and passed away in a tragic auto accident on August 20, 2011. He was young and had led a vital, exciting life that touched many people. Over in Cabool that day, a memorial service was held to honor Elitta January. Her birthday was August 1, 1938, and she passed away in her home in the presence of her family on September 24th, the birthday of her friend, Sandy Chapin. Often in prayers, people ask for an ease of passing for those on the brink and for comfort for those left behind. Those are good prayers and Champions would only add that expressions of appreciation and affection to loved ones while they are living are never wasted.
The glorious changing autumnal colors inspire artists and musicians and people with empty woodsheds. “The autumn leaves drift by my window. The autumn leaves of red and gold.” Preparations for winter are well under way and hopes that the frost will continue to hold off for a while are less and less likely to be granted as the days progress. Recently, as the beginning of the ten years of war in Afghanistan was marked, it was noted that less than one half of one percent of the population is currently engaged in the active wars. During World War II, that number was nine percent of the total population. For every Veteran, every one actively serving, and every survivor there is a story. “Hate war, but love the warrior” is a much used quote attributed to a number of different warriors in a number of different wars. Wherever it came from, Champions agree. Love and Gratitude abound here for those who do and for those who have served.
Champions are in a whirlwind of excitement as the date for the Grand Opening Celebration of Henson’s Grocery and Gas has been set for October 22, 2011. Festivities will kick off at ten in the morning and go through five in the afternoon. Butch Stone is organizing music on the porch. There will be refreshments and lunch available on the grounds at an old-fashioned affordable price. This is an opportunity for all of you who have just been reading about the beauties of Champion to really get an eye full of it and to meet your favorite Champions. The Recreation of the Historic Emporium on the North Side of the Square in Downtown Champion will be centerpiece of the jubilee. As a new era is ushered in the past is embraced fully with great affection. Champion is located off C Highway between 76 and 14 at the end of the pavement on WW at the bottom of several steep hills and on the wide and wooly banks of Old Fox Creek just down from its confluence with the Clever. It is easy to find Champion. Look on the Bright Side!