Champions are pleased for their neighbors, those Pioneers, that they endured the inclement weather as pioneers have surely done always. Betty Thomas said that it was a little slow Saturday due to the disagreeable weather, but that quite a few people came out anyway. Sunday morning the sun was right in their eyes as they were having their church service. They could have turned around, but they just enjoyed the feel of it on their faces. T.J. Stout held their church meeting for them and Betty said it was a good service. The KY3 News people were out on Saturday and said that this is the biggest event that happens in Douglas County. The Gathering was featured on the 10 o’clock news Saturday night. They will most likely have some pictures from this year on their website or their face-book page. The wonderful Buffalo Bill Quilt went to a guy named Cloine Smith from Lee Summit. He won the quilt in 2005 too. It must be that he buys a lot of tickets. Anyway, he was very pleased with it and Betty already has the top together for next year’s quilt. It is called Morning Run and has horses running across it and a fence for the border. It will be another of her hand-quilted masterpieces. Kalyssa and Foster Wiseman and cousin, Taegan Krider (Peanut), had a great time on the wagon rides Sunday afternoon. They had to go around a second time just because it was so much fun. The Southwest Missouri Equine Driving Association once again provided the wagon rides down along the creek for the visitors. They do this every year and Betty says they are a faithful bunch. She and Dale belong to the association and the group meets the second Friday of every month at Shoney’s in Springfield. By all accounts the music was just wonderful. That pavilion really makes a great place to enjoy the music. Someone will have to go down past the Edge of the World to see how the Thomases use the pavilion the other 363 days of the year. This year there were visitors from Washington, South Carolina, Tennessee, California, Maryland, Indiana, Florida and who knows from where else? There were some new demonstrators this year, as well as the Stillings with their molasses, and the apple butter and lye soap people. All in all, it was another successful event that really demonstrates the way people in this area overcame the challenges of their day and progressed. Hard work and imagination – those are Champion qualities!
A pleasant chat with Esther Wrinkles finds her in good spirits. Her fall was on the 22nd of July and the doctors say that she is making very good progress in her recovery considering the length of time since her injury. Her Champion friends wish her the best. Pete Proctor writes about the 88,232 soldiers still missing – the Prisoners of War and those Missing in ActionóPOW/MIA. Pete’s son, Bryan, will end his career in the service at the end of October and will then be home on the first of November. Pete will be glad to have his son home, and the Nation will be glad for the return of any of its lost soldiers at any time. 79,000 of those missing are from World War II. 7,500 are still missing in Korea, and 1,600 in Vietnam. The Cold War still claims 126 Americans and there are 6 missing in Iraq and 1 in Afghanistan. Champions all.
There is no more tender love song than “My love is like a red, red rose.” The melody may not be familiar to all these days. Someone wrote in to Champion@getgoin.net as another fan of Scotland’s Robert Burns and saying that since Burns died in 1796, it goes without saying that in his day songs without words would quite likely be easily forgotten. It may be that more people read music in those days. Certainly all music was live. Poverty, hunger and never-ceasing toil was his lot in life, but Burns could laugh, and his good humor shows through to readers today who cannot imagine how difficult his life must have been. He died a poor farmer at age 37 years, leaving an enormous legacy of poetry and music. He is described as a multifaceted genius and is considered to be the first poet of common humanity.
The Farmer’s Day Celebration in Norwood was great this year. It is always one of Eva Powell’s favorite activities. She particularly enjoys the children’s parade. The frost will eventually get here to stay, but for the moment, it may be that some things will live on for a while in spite of Sunday night’s nip. Linda’s mums over at the Plant Place in Norwood are just gorgeous! For half the price of anything comparable in Springfield, Linda keeps the area beautiful. She makes the cuttings from her mums herself every year and nurtures them until they are ready to brighten the sidewalks and front porches of flower lovers all around the region. It is a joy to support local business owned and operated by real people who are good neighbors. Champions have good neighbors. Linda will continue to help them and avid gardeners will continue to plant and reap all year long whether just with catalogues by the fire or out in the very soil. It is a healthy lifestyle to grow as much as one can eat. That is to say, to grow as much of what one eats as one can.
“You talk funny,” is the opinion of more than one person in Champion. Regional speech, geographic dialects, and all forms of the English language are the main tools available to communicate with each other whether Champion or outlander. None is particularly better than another – just different. A person can hear any number of different styles of speech down at the Recreation Historic Emporium over on the North Side of the Square in Downtown Champion. A seasoned listener out on the porch could probably tell the difference in speech between folks from over at Almartha and those from Drury. Cowboy Jack might be spinning a yarn about almost anything. Any of that bunch from Bud Hutchison’s Fall Trail Ride could be retelling the story of the Near Drowning or any other exciting event that happens out on the trail. They will be leaving Champion about ten in the morning on Wednesday the 17th and will get back when they do, perhaps with new stories to tell. The General’s many friends are glad to know that the veil is being lifted from his eyes. He will be in fine fettle when next in Champion – Looking on the Bright Side!