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Tom Toles is a prominent national cartoonist and commentator who said that May is the very best month, except for June which is better.  Champions are in agreement and are very much enjoying a busy time of the year and these particularly good days.

Young Champion future farmers had a good showing at the Tri County Fair in Mountain Grove this last week.  Jenna and Jacob Brixey of the Brixey Jersey Farm, had cousins Maddax and Tyler Klingensmith visiting from Springfield and Justin and Jason Schutter from Kirksville.  Together with Foster and Kalyssa Wiseman of Fox Creek Farms they showed their Jersey calves in three different classes and it is reported that they all did quite well.  They handled the animals well and deported themselves like true Champion young lady and gentlemen farmers.   The Fox Creek Rodeo was the precursor to the fair. Conflicting theories for calf roping were still being discussed between the sisters and their spouses days later together with a fanciful description of a butt butting episode that sent Harley home to Barbara.  (There are no worries that he will be offended by this report.  He just reads the first sentence of each paragraph.)

Neighbors over at Vanzant had a blow out of a pie supper on Saturday to benefit the Vanzant Community Center and to get a start on preparations for the annual Vanzant Picnic.  The Summer Social Season has arrived with the first of many exciting community activities.  Everyone cannot attend everything, but some are giving it a good try.   A certain coconut cream pie brought a lot of attention when the auction got started the other night.  People were bidding via the telephone all the way from Kansas City and other places, just like they do in big auction houses in New York and London.  It is reported to have been very exciting as Bobby Dean Emery out bid the phone bids to the tune of $315.00!  Another pie by the same venerable pie-maven brought $260.00 from Ron Wood.  The loosing phone bidder had wanted to be there so badly that he pledged a sizeable donation to the community center.  It speaks favorably of a community that can draw such consideration.  Even with the constabulary out of town, there were no reports of untoward, rowdy or disruptive behavior, though it is a given that the General was there and that wonders, indeed, do not cease.

The Skyline Auxiliary had a pleasant meeting on the 12th and has another one scheduled for the 27th.  It will be at 6:30 p.m. in the meeting room at Hensons Grocery and Gas over on the North Side of the Square in Downtown Champion.  There were nine in attendance at last Tuesday’s meeting and the beginning plans for the Skyline VFD Picnic were initiated.  Anyone in the Skyline Fire District is welcome to attend the Auxiliary meetings to see how this great little organization operates and new members are most welcome.  The Skyline Picnic always takes place on the second week end in August, so this year it will be August 10th and 11th.  The Fairview School Reunion will be August 11th too, but it is earlier in the day.  The picnic generally starts at about 6 in the evening, so there will be plenty of time to attend both.  The election will be over by then, so a person will not have to elbow his way past the politicians to get to the pie!

Rusty Darnell of Joe Bass Team Trail makes a good emcee.  He performed that service for the Skyline School Foundation at their recent fishing tournament.  Rod Crain and Stormy Williams were the first place winners with 13.24 pounds of fish.  They also won the Big Bass Prize for one that weighed 3.32 pounds.  Lane Nance and Les Loftis were second with 10.71 pounds and Dennis Watson and Jim Kirkland came in third with 10.33 pounds.   Skyline School Board member, Brian Sherrill organized this affair with the help of Foundation Board member, Tim Scrivner, and a number of other people.  They counted it as a genuinely worthwhile exercise and plans are in the works to make it an annual event.    It is great to know that so many are interested in helping this fine organization which is dedicated to the students of the Skyline School District.  The Nation’s rural schools need all the help they can get.  The Community Foundation of the Ozarks is the umbrella under which the Skyline School Foundation operates to help about a hundred country kids.  Champion!

One Champion gardener, trying to be organic, put some sticky traps out in the garden to catch some of the pests that seem so plentiful.  This is a viable approach, but gardeners are cautioned to use the right kind of sticky trap.  Industrial strength glue traps for mice catch honeybees too, and that is not good.  Champions are very protective of their wild honeybees.   Gardeners rely on them to pollinate their crops and to share their sweet honey.   Linda’s Almanac from over at the Plant Place in Norwood says that the 20th and 21st will be most fruitful days for planting above the ground crops and then again from the 26th to the 28th.  Hope Sandoval sings a sweet love song about “Butterfly Mornings and wildflower afternoons.”  The folks over at Teeter Creek Herbs say that butterfly weed is also called Pleurisy Root.  It is a favorite of butterflies and of the Native Americans and pioneers who used the root to relive pain and resolve symptoms of pleurisy and pneumonia, dry lingering coughs and fever.  It is one of the easy native plants to identify with its bright orange flowers and, of course, the butterflies.    A gardener is also cautioned to stay in his own garden to stay satisfied with it.  Venturing over to Linda’s garden or to Janet and Sandy Chapin’s garden out in Eastern Douglas County will cause one’s own inadequacies to blossom.  Janet and Sandy just hosted a pleasant gathering in honor of their daughter, U.S. Navy Lieutenant Commander Dana Chapin, who has been reassigned from the East coast to the West coast and happily passed by the old home place on her way to her new station.  She is a dynamic young woman and her family and friends here appreciate her service.  To all those serving the Nation and all her Veterans, Champions extend their Love and Gratitude.

Evans is a spot around the corner and down the road from Champion.  Fred Follis has been telling people that Evans is about to celebrate 75 years of being depicted on maps.  He did not say how this distinction would be celebrated but there was some mention of the New East Dogwood School Reunion.  Inquiries will be made.   “Who are you calling a clod?” asks a sometimes Champion in response to James Russell Lowell’s poem.  “Anyhow, you messed up when you were trying to tell people how to get to Champion from Mountain Grove.  If you turn ‘east’ off 95 on to 76, you are not headed to Denlow or Skyline at C!  You’d be headed off for EE or Big Ed’s down there on the way to Willow.”  Well, a good re-read shows the ‘clod’ to be correct this time.  A person who does not already know where Champion is and who is genuinely interested in knowing might look on a county road map, might Google up ‘Champion, Missouri’ or might go with the GPS device, though the last word was that the reading is off by a couple of miles.  If you get that close to Champion and have not found it, just ask the first person who comes along.   He will tell you to go on down to the bottom of the hill, where the pavement ends, where country roads meet, on the wide beautiful banks of Old Fox Creek to Champion!  Looking on the Bright Side!

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