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Champions are rejoicing, bringing in their sheaves, saddling up to go for a ride with Bud to no place in particular, getting ready for company as tourist flock in to town for the big Celebration. What a pleasant time of the year. Champions generally feel that way about every time of the year, but this is beginning to feel pretty special.
Esther and Raymond Howard spent some time in Champion on Sunday. They always pick up the spirits of the community when they are around. Esther shared a new green bean canning process to the interest of many. Raymond has a sunny disposition and fine singing voice—one of those altos that is always at the right place at the right time. He always leaves everyone feeling better about everything. He and Lonnie used to try to get a squirrel hunt in about this time of the year. He likes the big reds.
The Clever Creek Kid writes in ink on paper to say, “I lived ten of my youngest years at Cold Springs just across from the old school house. We had a lot of fun in Clever Creek. I write a lot of what I call hill side poetry…… I remember the Hutchisons and Smiths up and down that old hill. Wilburn gave me by pen name, so I remember Champion.” Then he goes on to say nice things about the Champion News. “I remember the flood the Hensons wrote about. The water lacked one inch coming in the door of the old log house. It was water from one hill to the other and no way out. Wilburn always says, ‘Come down and we will go crawdad hunting.’ HA!” “The Kid” signs his name as Harold March. Wilburn is home now after his own stint in the hospital, with plans for more serious health care exercises in the weeks ahead. Meanwhile, Louise Hutchison, St. John’s Hospital, room 2203-B1, 1235 E Cherokee, Springfield, MO 65804 is a good place to send a get well card to Louise herself. Mail that comes to her home address gets to her too, so the notes you want to send will surely reach her, and word is that they are doing her some good. She is walking 400 feet these days, a little at a time, and singing “Amazing Grace” and “Jesus Loves Me.” She is trying for “What a Day That Will Be,” but has not quite mastered it yet, according to Connie who answers the phone at home and does who knows what all to keep the Hutchison Family ball rolling. She says her Mom’s in ‘rehab’ and her Dad is in ‘house-arrest,’ but what is going on really is she is taking care of her folks. A very gorgeous Champion woman is that Connie.
Those Tennessee boys made a quiet visit to their Grandparent’s farm from about Monday to Thursday while they were on a break from school. They wrangled cattle, went hunting, and had many Champion farm experiences. They are growing up. They have become young men. Their Mom enjoys a trip home to her family farm, though she came close to being run down by a wild bull calf on this occasion. He made a run at several different people over the course of a few days and it proved to be the wrong thing to do for a little bull calf. Uncle Harley’s critter is hanging in a freezer locker now and will be featured at many family dinners in the future. He may be a little more muscular than ‘veal’ but he will definitely be tasty. Unfortunately, the Tennessee school break did not coincide with the Grand Opening Celebration of Henson’s Grocery and Gas, which will occur on the coming Saturday. They were in and out of the establishment many times during their stay, however, and so it was probably better for them, as they were looking for a personal experience, not to have to contend with the crowd. The same is true for Harley and Barbara. They will be doing other fancy family things up in their Illinois home in lieu of joining the parade around the square. That is fine. They too had a week’s worth of quality one on one time at the store. They will be satisfied with photographs and second hand accounts of the festivities. Barbara did make arrangements for the placement of the new sign that will mark Lonnie Krider Memorial Drive. She hopes that it will be in place by the time the party gets started. Not only are the absentee Champions going to be absent at the big fandango themselves, but they have lured away others. Mr. and Mrs. Dusty Mike are sojourning among the Northern tribes at this critical juncture as well! They will come dragging back in in the middle of the night with Harley’s tractor on a big trailer. They will content themselves with reports from friends and family about what an excellent affair it will have been.
Champions are enjoying the exciting build up to the Grand Opening Celebration on Saturday. People will be here from miles around. Linda will come down from the Plant Place in Norwood, and probably Kirk Dooms, the Norwood Postmaster. Maybe his Mom, Irene Dooms will make it over and her sister, of course, Esther Wrinkles will come home to see the sights. Ruby Proctor and some of her lovely bunch ought to make it for sure and there will be Smiths and Stones and Elliots, Hutchisons, Upshaws (the General for sure), Cooleys, and Coontses galore. Murphy from the barber shop in Mt. Grove will not be able to make it. Butch Linder and Todd Miller from barber shops over in Ava might come. Murphy is going to a wedding in Lebanon. He was reminded by a disappointed Champion that he is already married. He will be taking Sue to the wedding, so her mandolin will not be part of the music this time. “This time!” you say. “Why, this is a once in a lifetime event!” Champions know that every event is a ‘once in a lifetime event’ and that nothing can be replicated exactly when it comes to life experiences. This one might remind J.T. Shelton of the old days when Champion would be full of people every Saturday, visiting and learning the news, trading dogs and any number of other things not widely reported. Come see for yourself. Saturday, October 22, 2011 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. in Downtown Champion at the bottom of several beautiful hills, on the wide and wooly banks of Old Fox Creek just where the pavement starts. Be sure to bring your lawn chairs so you can stay all day.
Follow The Clever Creek Kid’s lead and send your poetry to Champion Items, Rt. 2, Box 367, Norwood, MO 65717, or to Champion@getgoin.net. Look in at www.championnews.us for more of his work. This one is called “Looking on the Bright Side.” “If the day be dark and dreary, look for sunshine. If you’re feeling sad and weary, look for sunshine. You will always find a path of blue Where the sunbeams sparkle through, If you look for sunshine. Friends are falling every day for want of sunshine. Help them up along the way. Show them sunshine. If you help the world in seeing, You are always sure of being In the sunshine.” Champion!