The ‘Dog Days of Summer’ have arrived in Champion.  They are said to have started on the third of July and will end on August 11th.  They are the nice toasty days that will be well remembered in mid-December.  One old saying found in the book Ozark Magic and Folklore, published in 1947 by Vance Randolph, is that for every day in July that reaches one hundred degrees there will be a day in January that is twenty below.   “The only sure thing about the weather is that a dry spell always ends with a rain.”   This is a quote from Will Talbott, a Green County weatherman in 1930.  Champions concur with this piece of wisdom and add that a tea cup of rain does more good in the garden than a washtub of well water.  Some find a way to enjoy every kind of weather as an affirmation to being alive.  Champion!

Stories are being told and retold about a canoeing adventure on Saturday down around Dora.  Krider, Watts, and Wiseman aunts, uncles, cousins, brothers, nephews, sisters, mothers and grandmothers all floated gently downstream and some went over the waterfall several times.  There was only one report of a tipping over.  An aunt and nephew went into the drink.  It might have been as comical as the Near Drowning of Cowboy Jack, but not many details were revealed.  There seems to be some sensitivity about the incident, and so, in this case, names are being withheld to protect the chagrinned.

Carol Barnhart, helping out with the Vanzant Picnic, makes a point to remind people interested that the Fairview School Reunion will be held August 11th.  There will be plenty of time for people to enjoy their get-together and still make it over to Skyline for the second night of the picnic there.  The Summer Social Season is well under way.   Saturday’s unexpectedly cool and cloudy weather made the Vanzant Picnic, well, a real picnic!  First-rate music and food and great games for the kids were just the backdrop for a chance to see old friends and acquaintances for a pleasant visit.  Louise and Wilburn Hutchinson had a good time and said, “Hello” to a steady stream of friends throughout the evening. Master of Ceremonies, Steve Moody, the banker, (not to be confused with Ray Bradley the undertaker) did an excellent job of keeping everything moving.  He has the gift of gab and remembers everyone by name.  The politicians were out in full force.  They say that there will be a candidates forum there at the Vanzant Community Center on August 4th just before the election and then things should settle down a bit.  It is to be noted that at this picnic and at the Skyline Picnic coming up that there are no conservative pieces of pie served.  They are liberal every one.  No one takes the right to vote for granted.   An overheard conversation at the picnic included the opinion that the absolute corporate control of American politics is being exposed with greater clarity than ever before.  If there were less profit to be made in war, there would be fewer wars.  This person said that the 2012 election will be most interesting in that the many issues of the greed of unregulated capitalism are as visible as they were prior to and during the great depression.  Champions made it through the great depression and came out of it stronger and smarter.  Still, most of them probably would not like to go through it again.

Linda’s Almanac from over at The Plant Place in Norwood says that the 19th through the 23rd will all be barren days.  It will be a good time to kill plant pests and do general farm work.  Then starting the 24th through the 27th signs will be favorable for planting crops that bear their yield above the ground.   Champions and others in the area are busy putting up as much food as they can.  Ruby Proctor was at the Vanzant Picnic the other evening and said that Barbara Jean has been canning green beans like crazy and putting lots of corn in the freezer.  Barbara has retired after many years with Mountain Grove High School and is enjoying her new freedom.  Ruby says she is working harder than ever in her retirement.  For some new retirees, work is play.  Linda will be in Champion Saturday to play bridge.   The Champion player will host the Fortnight Bridge Club and is planning to make that excellent dessert that gets served at Henson’s Downtown G &G when the Skyline Auxiliary meets there.   It is a treat when friends share their good receipts.

Patriot Rider, Tom Cody, was happy to report that his group had just escorted a returning soldier home to his family, whole in life and limb.  The Patriot Riders and a number of other motorcycle clubs put themselves between families who are grieving the loss of a beloved U.S. Service Member and a certain religious/political group with a mean spirited agenda-driven stutter that they use to avoid actual thought.  Champions think that Love and Gratitude are the sentiments to lavish on those who step up to do what their Nation asks of them.

A rainmaking ritual used in extreme drought requires that an innocent child draw a turtle in the sand and then a circle around the turtle and then dance around the circle in a clockwise direction pausing and asking for rain at each cardinal point.  There is plenty of sand in Champion to try out the ceremony. That is good advice about not running under a tree.  Explain your own rain-making superstitions, sing your favorite rain song, or give good advice at or in person out on the porch down at the Recreation of the Historic Emporium over on the North side of the Square.   The word of the week is “compel.”  It is just a pretty sounding word–compelling.  When in Champion, one is compelled to Look on the Bright Side!