Champions begin the week with grateful hearts that the severity of the summer heat has for a while abated.  They are optimistic that the moderation will endure and that rain will eventually fall.  Every dry spell in history has ended in a shower.  When the creeks are up too deep to ford, will Champions remember these dry days?  Yep.

“The Orange Blossom Special” was a deluxe passenger train that ran between New York and Florida from 1925 to 1953.  The song by that name is known as ‘the fiddler’s national anthem’ and was written by brothers Ervin and Gordon Rouse in 1939, when Esther Wrinkles was a girl of 22.  She is 95 now and her friends, Backyard Bluegrass, finished their last set at the Skyline VFD Picnic on Saturday night dedicating the song to her.  She is recuperating over at the Autumn Oaks Care Center and this is the first Skyline Picnic that she has missed.  She has been a mainstay in the organization since it first began and her friends are looking forward to her getting back in the swing of things.  Tamara Griswold was the winner of Esther’s quilt.  She and her husband Greg moved to the area a couple of years ago from northern Illinois.  They have been coming to this part of the country for several years visiting family in the Skyline community.  They live over in the EE/76 Fire District, but have been buying Skyline quilt tickets for years and years.  She is very happy about the beautiful quilt and will, no doubt, be first in line for tickets for the next one.  Champion!

The weather was perfect for the picnic and attendance was quite good.  People came from far and wide to meet up with old friends and family for the fun of it.  Some had to go the long way around to get there, but they came nonetheless and had a good time.  Ruby Proctor and her family were there both nights, as were Louise and Wilburn Hutchinson, Violet Hinote, and many others.   Harley and Barbara Krider came all the way from Illinois for the occasion and were happy to visit with many people they had not seen for years.   Area merchants are generous with their donations of door prizes and other support for the picnic and for the fire department.  It is a good relationship.  On a humorous note, Bob Upshaw, (When is he not funny?) engaged in some competitive bidding that went like this:  Anna Lou Wallace-$5.00, Bob Upshaw-$12.00, Wilda Moses-$13.00, Bob Upshaw-$14.00,  Aldous Huxley-$15.00, Bob Upshaw-$16.00, George Orwell-$17.00, Bob Upshaw-$18.00,  E.E. Cummings-$19.00, Bob Upshaw-$20.00.   The prize?  It was a fuzzy green wig, which upon winning, he promptly donned and proceeded to overwhelm the bingo parlor’s guests with antics too wild to report.  Do not be surprised if this typical behavior is repeated on Thursday evening over at the Vanzant Community Center for the Thursday night music and pot-luck.   Myron Jackson from KZ88 Radio in Cabool spread his money around at the auction and came out of it with some glass electric insulators, a Mad Magazine board game and a number of plates and platters that were commemorative of various states.  He is a music lover and can be found at all the local picnics, benefits, and festivals.

Dirk Beeson is a name to remember.  He is the hero of Michael Upshaw’s novel, “It’s About Time,” soon to be available in local stores.  It is almost a field manual on the use of resources, intellect and a sense of humor to solve the problems of the universe.  Two signed, first edition copies of the novel were on the silent auction block and brought in some good revenue for the fire department.  Tim Scrivner made another of his wonderful bird feeders for the auction and Tanna Wiseman’s Chocolate Chunk Cookies brought in a cool sawbuck.  Proceeds from the auction are being spent this very week on some super-duper leaf blowers for the firefighters to use for clearing fire breaks.  It is an important piece of equipment that can make a real difference in controlling and suppressing a dangerous fire.

William Crawford will be thirteen years old on the 19th of the month.  He will be a seventh grader at Skyline.  Caitlynn Pierce will enter the sixth grade this year and will have her twelfth birthday on the 21st.  School is back in session and everyone is set for another exciting year of learning and growing.   The Dolly Parton Imagination Library is gaining a few more subscribers and so Skyline School can look forward to more future students with a well-developed love of reading.

Rachel Pitts who lives over by Hunter Creek was the winner of the White River Valley Electric Co-Operative’s $100.00 of free electricity at the Skyline Picnic.  Jeff Pardek from over at White River is kind enough to make this award to the fire department every year.  Ms. Pitts is a lifelong resident of the area and she says that with the price of cattle, the lack of rain, and the dreadful heat, this winning ticket was a real bright spot for her family.  They have always been staunch supporters of the fire department and love to come to the picnic.  Her daughter, Kristi Vinson, taught at Skyline in past years.  Nine years ago when Kristi’s son, Jacob Teaster, was four years old he had an illness that put him in a coma for three weeks.  During that time the Skyline community had a benefit for him and Ms. Pitts said it was greatly appreciated.  Her grandson, Jacob, is thirteen now and is doing just fine.   She remarked that she had recently been down to Champion to see the new store and she very much approves.   It is a real winner!  So is Ms. Pitts and a Champion!

Linda’s Almanac says that the 14th and 15th will be good days for transplanting and for planting below the ground crops.  It is also good for planting seedbeds and flower gardens.  Then the moon changes and the 22nd through the 24th will be time to plant above-ground crops again.  Some Champion gardeners are experimenting with ‘earth-barrels’ for some of their fall garden.   Being willing to try new techniques is the mark of a Champion!  Cowboy Jack was in Henson’s Downtown G & G on Monday morning bemoaning the fact that the Olympic equestrian events did not include one for swimming.  Perhaps the committee will come to its senses and will add a cold creek swimming event for man and horse.   He will be ready to go to Brazil in 2016.  His friends all wish him the very best!  Send any ideas about any other place where Cowboy Jack can go to Champion Items, Rt. 2, Box 367 Norwood, MO 65717 or to .

The Fairview School Reunion is reported to have been a great success.  Lyman Proctor was part of the program representing the Veterans of the group.  He had a moving statement to make about his recent visit to the various monuments in Washington D.C.  He does a good job of keeping Veterans and those serving currently in the forefront of the community consciousness.  They are Champions every one.

The cool weather makes a sojourn out on the porch at the Historic Emporium just right.  It is a beautiful place, picturesque and tranquil, an excellent place to enjoy a pleasant visit with friends, or just to meditate for a quiet moment.  Come on over on to the North Side of the Square in Downtown Champion—Looking on the Bright Side!