The flush of spring’s arrival has eyes open in Champion.   The slow arrival of spring in the past seemed to have made it last longer.  No amount of pontificating on the subject can slow it down, so 
Champions just stay alert to the current beauty.

During the big rains recently some Champions noticed that their mail was coming from the other direction.  Karen Ross, Champion Rt. 2 mail carrier, says that when the creeks are impassable,  it adds twenty to thirty miles to her daily route.  There is danger involved in the job as well as a long history of good public service.  A recent article written by a venerable Texas politician, Jim Hightower, reveals that the U.S. Postal System functions nicely on its own.  The brouhaha has to do with congressionally imposed requirements that this private agency be required to pay health benefits and retirement benefits now for employees through the next seventy five years.  To have to pay in advance retirement benefits for future employees, who have not yet been born, seems a little unusual.  Some Champions are confused about the motivations for these requirements at the same time they are so appreciative of the efforts of Ms. Ross and her cohorts at the Norwood Post Office and the Service in general.

Talk about service!  Rick Allen and his nice bunch from MoDOT were quick to get the new Champion city limits sign back up.  They are an efficient outfit and the new installation looks very good.  Vandalism to road signs is a real problem in the area.  Many of the number signs that mark the county roads are damaged or missing.  It is such a frequent occurrence that the county road folks have a hard time keeping up.  Local people pretty much know where they are, but when a new ambulance driver is searching for an address where someone is having a heart attack, it can be a life or death situation.   Fun and mischievousness aside, it is a serious issue.  It is like litter.  One Champion was thinking to put up a sign that says, “Trash Litters,” but was cautioned against it as it could cause more trouble as in, “Who are you calling ‘Trash’?”

A pre- kindergartener by name of Miranda will celebrate her fifth birthday on the third of the month.  Five years old is a wonderful age and her family and friends will be sure she has a glorious day.  The next day will see a memorial balloon release at Skyline to commemorate the birthday of Dane Solomon who died tragically last fall.  His friends miss him.  Tristen Shearer, a seventh grader at Skyline will become thirteen on that day.   What an exciting time in a person’s life!  Who can remember being thirteen?  Probably Cowboy Jack was still in the New Dogwood School at that time in his life.  At this time in his life he is reported to be foundering on mushrooms and fish!  Champions all!

“April 4, 1984” was the first entry made in the forbidden journal by fictitious character Winston Smith in the novel “1984.”  Walter Cronkrite said that the novel is an anguished lament and a warning that we may not be strong enough or wise enough or moral enough to cope with the kind of power we have learned to amass.  This novel was published in 1949, and concerned itself with events thirty five years in the future.  1984 is now twenty eight years in the past and Orwell’s warning about human freedom in a world where political organizations and technology can manufacture power in dimensions that would have stunned the imaginations of earlier ages is still stunning today.  The new Samsung televisions on the market have built in GPS, cameras and microphones and can interface with home computers, satellite systems, national emergency systems and the like.  The disclaimer that goes with the product says that no ‘unauthorized’ party can have access to the private information of the television owners.  They do not say who is authorized.  Perhaps it will just be “Big Brother. “

Champion is flush with Kriders!  Harley and Barbara are home for their spring visit which always brightens up the place.   Donald and Rita are also in town and it is agreed that they come far too infrequently.   They say that they have had a few warm days up in Illinois too, but not to the extent that Champion is experiencing such an early and vigorous Spring.   They have been to the Emporium for coffee and socializing and have made a good tour of the progress on Leslee and Briaunna’s new house.  Take a tour yourself at “The Dairymaid” link on the website at  It is going to be a lovely home for this young family and in the very spot where generations of Kriders have lived before.   Sister, Vivian Floyd, rendezvoused with her brothers and sisters- in-law at the old home place.  Like all welcome visitors, their visits are too short and there is always competition for their attention.  The up side is that they all care so much for each other that they share willingly and sweetly.  A Champion family for sure!

Operation Enduring Freedom reports 1,835 fatalities have occurred in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Uzbekistan going back November 25, 2001.  The total also includes service members who died later from wounds sustained in these faraway places.  Many are coming home with invisible wounds.  It is easier to sympathize with a wound that can be bandaged or that produces a visible scar.  Few actually serve, but all benefit.  Love and Gratitude are the least they have coming to them.

The other day a Champion heard someone say that the term ‘garden’ came from the words ‘guard in.’  That just makes all kinds of sense.  A young man walking by a garden and looking at the fence said, “That’s a nice pen.”   It is always curious to hear what a stranger might observe about one’s familiar environs.  Being guarded inside fences are garlic, kale, broccoli, potatoes, peas, onions, spinach, lettuce, radishes, asparagus and leafing berry bushes.  Linda’s Almanac is available at The Plant Place in Norwood and at Henson’s Grocery and Gas on the North Side of the Square in Downtown Champion.  Any good effort extended in the garden these days is a good investment.  Remember that song, “There’s just two things that money can’t buy, and that’s true love and home-grown tomatoes!”  Send your favorite garden song to Champion Items, Rt. 2, Box 367, Norwood, MO 65717 or to  Come on down and lounge elegantly with the ladies on the broad inviting veranda that graces the front of the Recreation of the Historic Mercantile.   Ascend the flowing staircase and when you have reached the top, turn suddenly (and carefully) and behold– Champion!  Looking on the Bright Side!