The good news in Champion is plentiful.  The weather is being pleasing and little dribs and drabs of rain keep Champion hearts optimistic for eventual drought relief.  An agronomist was heard to say that gardeners can expect a bumper crop of weeds next year on account of so much barren ground this year.  Ahead of the times, as usual, many Champions already have quite a bounty of weeds, which some classify as any plant whose virtue is not yet known.  Some who have had glorious, ornamental, non-bearing green beans are expecting the plants to suddenly produce a plenteousness in these temperate days.  Great expectations abound in Champion.

Over the years the ‘Champion Items’ have been written by a number of people.  Sylvia Henson, wife of Ezra and no kin to Edgar and Anna, wrote them back in the 1950s and 1960s.  Ruth Hicks, who lived on the next place over, wrote them for a while and Esther Wrinkles, who lived in Champion proper, wrote them for many years.  There were others as well.  Some research off in the future will detail the chronology of Champion writers for anyone who is interested in such things.  This particular permutation of the ‘items’ only goes back to August 28, 2006.  The first entry was:  “News has reached the Champion community that its former longtime resident, Mrs. Clifford Wrinkles, has suffered a mishap that has resulted in a plaster cast on her foot together with admonitions to stay off the foot for two weeks.  This will work a hardship on Ms. Wrinkles who is routinely more active than most.”  Since then she has made a dozen or more quilts, hundreds of pies and gallons of noodles.  She has lifted the spirits of family and friends and kept the road hot with her comings and goings.  Now she has had another mishap that put her in the Autumn Oaks Care Center in Mountain Grove.  She has a steady stream of visitors who join with many others who know and love her to wish her well.    All her fellow music lovers are dedicating the best song that plays in their heads to Esther.

Tennessee Champion Dakota Watts’ aunt Tianna Ogelsby celebrates her birthday on August 22, and Dakota has his on the 24th.  His great aunt Barbara Krider shares her birthday with Dana Harden who will be six years old and is in kindergarten at Skyline School.  Barbara’s sister in law, Rita Krider, has her birthday the next day.  They live near each other up in Illinois and will probably revel together in a big chunk of cherry cheesecake to mark the occasion.  Rowdy Woods, Skyline first grader, will be seven on the 29th, which is the same day Wes Smith will be—well, older.   It would be interesting to know if Wes was like Rowdy when he was that age.  Something in the twinkling of the eyes makes one think that might be the case.   Abigail Dyer will enjoy her eighth birthday in her third grade class on the 30th, and then Kalyssa Wiseman and Jenna Brixie will celebrate being five years old on the same day–August 31st.

The Champion School Reunion is fast approaching—September 1st.   Alumni of the Champion #47 School District, which last held classes in 1959, together with descendants and other family and friends will gather on the grounds once again to tell the old stories and to hear them.  “Ain’t it funny, how times slips away?”  That could be one of the songs proffered by the various attending musicians, to which some might remark, “T’ain’t funny, McGee!” If you would like to see what a Champion #47 School Reunion is all about, go to and look under Champion School Reunions.  There you can find pictures from the first one, held in 1984.  By then the school had been closed for twenty five years.  A particularly interesting reunion occurred in 2008.  While everyone is not computer-savvy or particularly interested in being so, most people know someone who has access to the World Wide Web.  Out there on the web is stored some pictures of the 2008 reunion and a person can almost hear the laughter and pleasant sounds of acquaintance renewed.   Also find there the Dynamic Duo of Lonnie Krider and Wayne Anderson singing “Two Different Worlds” with such sweet harmonies a person cannot help but to smile and express some gratitude for the experience.  It is a chance for the young folks to take the old folks on a computer tour of Champion.  Captain Picard (not to be confused with the General) says, “Make it so.”  The past is “slip sliding” away; the future is a promise; today is happening right now in Champion!

Linda’s Almanac from over at the Plant Place in Norwood says that Friday and Saturday the 25th and 26th will both be good days to cut winter wood and to prune to discourage growth.  One finds it amazing that there is forever something timely to be doing and, at the same time, gratefully, not much in the way of an oversight committee.  One is inclined to do just as she pleases and she finds it serendipitous in the extreme that those things she so enjoys doing are the exact things that most need to be done.

“They” say that good news travels fast.  If you have some good news or joy that you would like to spread around send it to Champion Items, Rt. 2, Box 367, Norwood, MO 65717 or to  It is a joy to tour a friend’s garden to see how differently and how effectively each gardener approaches the endeavor.  Driving down a country lane, if the gardener stands up to watch you pass, he will probably wave at you.  The tidy little plot next to The Historic Emporium in Downtown Champion is the very picture of a garden specific to the gardener’s needs.   It is just right.  Lean over the porch rail to admire it.  Look around and take a moment to appreciate the tranquil beauty of the setting with its great trees and grassy creek banks, its charming lanes and precipitous hills.   It is Champion—Looking on the Bright Side!