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Champions are suddenly much taken by the poet, Robert Burns. He was also a gifted musician and he dedicated himself to rescuing from oblivion and neglect hundreds of songs without words or with fragmentary or unsuitable words, “Auld Lang Syne” among them. He knew that song without words often dies. Among other things he says, “Then catch the moments as they fly, and use them as you ought, man. Believe me, happiness is shy, and comes not ay when sought, man!” Champions take the sentiment to heart and relish the view of some strutting crows in a rain of golden walnut leaves against a grassy background with the dogwoods beyond making the beginnings of their spectacular autumnal show. Dogwoods seem to be beautiful at every time of the year. Ah! Champion!

To those celebrating a birthday on the first of October, one says, “Remember, in any situation, even a difficult one, if you act like you are having a good time, pretty soon you will forget that you are acting and you will really be having a good time. It is a trick.” Another good thing to remember around birthday time is, “If you do not get what you want, just think of all the other things that you did not get that you did not want.” Or “Just think of all the other things that you did not want that, happily, you did not get.” Jana Brixey, among others, celebrates her day on the first of October. Jenna and Jacob are just at the age when they begin to realize that everybody has a birthday, even their Mom! Lydia Harden also has her birthday on October 1st. She is in preschool and most likely likes it as much as Jennna. They are Champion girls! Skyline VFD Auxiliary President, Betty Dye, celebrates on the 7th of the month. She stays busy in doing good works, many of them for the Fire Department and has proven to be a good leader of the organization. Champion Steve Connor and his lovely wife, Darlene, both celebrate in October, he on the 11th and she on the 28th. Their neighbor over on the Fox Creek Farm will have a birthday on the 14th of October. He is Peanut’s father and she is a real country girl. She would like to have another Fox Creek Rodeo to celebrate. is a good place to look in on Peanut and her folks. Her mother, and the author of that wonderful blog, celebrates on the 24th of the month. Olivia Prock will be ten years old on the sixteenth of October. She is a fourth grader at Skyline. Local acclaimed artist, Donna Moscaly and Tennessee’s Marty Watts both celebrate on the 20th of the month. Marty will be 40! The 21st of October is remembered always as the birthday of Anna Henson. She and her husband, Edgar, ran the Champion Store for decades. It is still Henson’s Grocery and Gas and it is still very much in the spirit of the original. It is not called the “Recreation of the Historic Emporium” for nothing! There are some great stories about Anna. It is thought that she was the conservative of the pair and her sparing ways helped to keep the business a going concern. Her sense of humor was sharp and she on more than one occasion offered a good-natured “snicker” and a smiling chuckle to a fellow birthday celebrant who would ask for one (snicker) out of the candy case. That Champion plans her birthday this year (her 66th) to be out in the Highlands of Scotland viewing the meteor shower that is the tail of Haley’s Comet. Such an adventure! On the 26th of October Harley Krider, once again, becomes the senior spokesman for non-resident out of state Champions. His friends and neighbors in these parts are disappointed to learn that he and the lovely Barbara will not, after all, be here for the Pioneer Descendants Gathering. They have a scheduling conflict. Skyline third grader Cheyenne Hall will be nine on Halloween! Everybody will be celebrating in the most fanciful and interesting ways. Felipe Heston, another Halloween birthday, hosts elegant dinner parties on his day. He used to like to go to a nice restaurant on 6th Street in Austin and take a table by the window. He made a sign to hold up to the Halloween revelers walking by: “It’s my birthday! Show me your (smile).”

Champions, out on a lark to rendezvous with family, found themselves in the place called Fair Grove recently. There was a festival, market day celebration going on and among the many vendors was Champions, favorite tinkerer and trinket maker. He is said to have some spectacular hand crafted merchandise for sale, the likes of which some Champion husbands wish their wives had not seen.

A pleasant phone visit with Esther Wrinkles reveals that she is making some good progress. She says that it is easy enough to get in and out of the car and she very much enjoyed the beautiful weather Sunday for church services and for a pizza party in Mountain Grove for Teresa’s nephew. She is most conscientious about her exercises and, no doubt, her discipline together with her natural athleticism will help her to speed along her recovery. She was a basketball player in her youth, a forward, and loved those match games. She said she is sending thank-you notes for the many flowers and gifts she received and that she is still getting a card in the mail pretty often. She loves to go to the Pioneer Descendant’s Gathering over in Yates, but does not know if she will make it if the weather is unfavorable. Here is hoping for another beautiful week-end for this outstanding community event. Dale and Betty Thomas have been hosting this meeting for eleven years and it will be a splendid chance for young newcomers to the area to get acquainted with some of their neighbors and some of the history of the place. The music is fine out under a large pavilion and the food is good. The many interesting demonstrations and the period crafts and merchandise available make for a memorable occasion. Champion has some exciting neighbors!

Recently a survey was sent out by the US Postal Service to postal customers in the 65717 zip code. There is still time to return the survey to let the Postal Service know that the rural delivery is of paramount importance to people back in the remote hills and hollers. There will be a meeting at the Norwood Post Office at 4:00 PM on October 22nd to share the results of the survey, answer questions and to look for input from the patrons. Everyone who can attend is encouraged to do so.

The last day of September was designated as Gold Star Mother’s Day to acknowledge every American mother who has lost a son or daughter in service to the United States. It is a title no one wants. More than 2000 have now been killed in Afghanistan. Burns writes, “My soger laddie, I lang hae lo’ed weel. Now nearer my heart I tender thee still: To Country thou’rt loyal, to friendship thou’rt steady. My blessin gae wi, thee, my soger laddie.”

Come sing some lovely ditty out on the porch at Henson’s G & G over on the North Side of the Square in this picturesque and Historic Downtown sprawled comfortably out on the wide banks of Old Fox Creek. There is no requirement for it to be a sentimental song, just something heart-felt and appropriate to Champion, Looking on the Bright Side!

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