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Good news travels fast in Champion.  Some of the good news is that Champions are coming home to roost for Thanksgiving and there will once again be a great grateful crowd over at Vivian Floyd’s house for Thanksgiving dinner.  It is a long standing tradition that the family gathers there for this particular holiday and she is always glad to have her brothers and all her sisters in law and all the nieces, nephews, and their children for a house full of fun.  Champions agree there is much good reason to be Thankful.

Esther Wrinkles will soon be back in Autumn Oaks in Mountain Grove after a week’s stay at Mercy Hospital in Springfield.  She had a stroke last Monday morning.  Her family says that she has made some real improvement and should be getting back closer to her old stomping grounds soon.  She has had some good visitors including young Cloey Harris, age 7 years, who sits between Esther and her Grandmother at church on Sundays.  Cloey held Esther’s hand for a long time, joining her many other friends wishing her well and a speedy recovery.  Her mail still gets to her at Rt. 1 Box 845, Vanzant, MO 65768.  She had hoped to be at her house for Thanksgiving this year, but things do not always work out just as person might hope.  Wherever she is, she has good wishes surrounding her.   What a Champion!

Edith Mae Percifield was 100 years old last February.  She passed away this week.  In a conversation that was reported in The Champion News back on February 6th (Go to to read the whole conversation.), she said that she remembered the first time she went to town.  She was four or five years old and she rode horseback with her mother into Ava.  It was not much of a town, just a few houses and store buildings.  A pleasant hour with her revealed that she was a bright, hardworking person with a good attitude and a great love for her home and for her family.  Many people will miss her.  Others are grateful just to have crossed paths with her even briefly.  When asked if she had any regrets over things she had not done or anything she wished she had not done, she said, “What would be the point of that?” That is a Champion kind of thought.  If a person gets to live a hundred years or just a few, it is sure that the lives that person touches are forever changed.  The love for the dear one passed does not go away and everyone holds in his heart an album of loves, precious family, and dear friends who are passed out of this life but whose memory is always close.   When grief is fresh it is hard not to think of them as lost, but someday a smile will cross the face of the one doing the remembering just as the remembered one would want.  So it is in Champion.

Deer hunting is occupying the thoughts and conversations of many a Champion these days.  One said that the deer do not seem to be worried about the sound of gunfire.  They are accustomed to hearing it in the country side regularly and appear not to recognize it as a threat to their very lives.  Many deer are being harvested and the hope is that they will have had a chance to fatten up a little or at least to have gotten a little real nutrition in them after the rains started back in September and the plant life began to recover somewhat.    There certainly are some big acorns out in the woods.   A nice dish of deer heart and red peppers graced the table of some Champions having a pot luck dinner on Friday.  It was very tasty and quite fresh as the deer had been walking around earlier that morning.

The Skyline VFD Auxiliary had its meeting in the meeting room at Henson’s Store on Tuesday, November 13th.  Members signed a card to send to Esther to let her know that she is much missed and regularly thought of by her Auxiliary friends.  President Betty Dye had the Chili Supper quilt for examination and it is a real beauty.  It will be on display at the Historic Emporium over on the North Side of the Square in Downtown Champion on the 8th of January.  That is the date of the next Auxiliary meeting when the serious planning for the March 2nd Chili Supper will get going in a big way.  Preliminary planning is already well underway.    Word is spreading and it seems that the membership is already setting aside those special items for the silent auction.  It is a great little community that supports its fire department so well.  Actually the ‘little community’ is about 125 square miles big.  Skyline VFD can use a lot of support!

The other day some of the Skyline R2 Foundation board members met up in Ava to have their picture taken receiving a big check from the Douglas County Community Foundation.   The check was physically quite large and represented a $2,000.00 grant to support the Skyline R-2 School Foundation in their affiliation with the Dolly Parton Imagination Library.  Additionally, it was learned that the Douglas County Foundation has teamed with the Ava Public Library to provide the DPIL program to every child in Douglas County.  From birth to age 5 years, the DPIL sends a book each month in the child’s name.  These are age appropriate books chosen to promote a love of reading early in the lives of children.   Contact the library or Skyline School for additional information.  Applications are also available at Hensons Grocery and Gas in Downtown Champion.

Thanksgiving is not a holiday in Great Britain since King George was not all that happy to let the Colonies go.  These days the relationship between the two countries is much better.  Gratitude is one of those Champion notions that this whole Nation embraces.   In the difficult time that so many are facing because of the recent storm, Sandy, and in the wake of so much rancor and dissatisfaction with the economy and politics one is reminded, “When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed, When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost, Count your many blessings, name them one by one, And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.”  Send a list of your many blessings, or your favorite Thanksgiving song to Champion Items, Rt. 2 Box 367, Norwood, MO 65717 or to   Most school children know the song about Over the River and Through the Woods.  Around these parts, they’re going to Champion—Looking on the Bright Side!

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