Glorious early summer days in Champion have haymakers busy and all the exciting summertime events are beginning to happen.  It seems that every time of the year has some excitement built into it in Champion.  It is just that kind of place, poised on the balance of past and future with the pleasant present as the central pillar.  Nostalgia and optimism teeter back and forth on the lovely here and now.  Champion!

It may come as a surprise that Father’s Day was forty years late in becoming the counterpart to Mother’s Day.  It was not until President Lyndon B.  Johnson issued the first presidential proclamation honoring fathers, designating the third Sunday in June as Father’s Day.  Six years later the day was made a permanent national holiday when President Richard Nixon signed it into law in 1972.  Senator Margaret Chase Smith accused Congress of ignoring fathers for forty years while honoring mothers.  Most countries around the world have a Sunday in June dedicated to fathers.  Champions honor the old guy year around with much Love and Gratitude for the hard work, the good guidance, stewardship, and the steadfastness which he exemplifies.  Good fathers are teaching their sons how to be good fathers by example–being fair and kind as they apply the Golden Rule.   Champion, Dad!

Ms. McCleary’s garden is looking good.  She plans to run some fence and hang some aluminum pie plates to deter some critters.  She might visit a barber shop and get some hair to spread around the perimeter and she has several other ideas about protecting her pretty parcel.  She has quite an appreciation for wild flowers and posted a picture on line of what may have been a buttercup.  She is on a quest to identify it.   Linda’s Almanac says that from the 16th through the 20th will be good days for planting and transplanting above the ground crops.  There will not be another good time to plant root crops until the 3rd of July.  Linda’s main garden helper was planting sweet potatoes Saturday.  He is famous for growing huge sweet potatoes.  His method is hard work, but it really pays off.  He digs a deep trench, 18 to 20 inches, and fills it in with layers of compost and sand and keeps building it until he has a raised bed a foot or so high.   He covers the bed with a good quality weed cloth that has been cut to accommodate the plants.  He may have drip irrigation installed in it too.  It seems quite elaborate, but once the initial work is done he can just sit back and watch them grow.

It was a surprise to see radio personalities, Myron Jackson and K. Z. Perkins on television the other day.   They were talking about storm damage that the station had sustained recently.   KZ88 is the community all volunteer listener supported radio station in Cabool.  On Sunday they had their Barebones Bottom-Of-The-Barrel Birthday Bash with lots of good food, a silent auction and a rummage sale.  In spite of a fast moving thunder storm that roared through during the event, they were able to raise $1,161.00.  That will go a long way toward affecting the repairs to the tower.  KZ88 has been a good neighbor supporting the Skyline Volunteer Fire Department in all its various happenings and it is a joy to be able to reciprocate.  Some radio station volunteers shopped at the sale in Esther Wrinkles’ yard on Friday and Saturday.  Her sons and daughters-in-law worked for some weeks getting ready and were exhausted by the end of it.  Many friends and neighbors who loved Esther had a chance to secure a little memento for remembrance.   Esther was a real Champion.

Remembering birthdays is no kind of chore.  The pleasure people take in being remembered on their special day is beyond price.  Adeline Homer and Isabelle Creed will both be in the third grade at Skyline when school starts up in the fall.  They celebrate their birthday on the same day, June 12th.  That is also the birthday of a certain-mother-in-law who may have coined the phrase “SPS” (self-praise stinks).  That may be a lesson in humility.  Dylan Ford and Wyatt Hicks share their birthdays on 13th.  Dylan will be a seventh grader and Wyatt will be in the third grade.  Zachary Coon will be a second grader and his birthday is on the 15th.  Foster Wiseman’s birthday is the 16th.  He is growing so fast that it is hard to remember if he will be seven or eight.

Cousins Foster and Eli had a good visit during the week.  They caught turtles and named them, and did all kinds of serious boy stuff while Emerson Rose, Kalyssa and Taegan did all kinds of interesting girl things.  They all went up to Clever Creek together to play for a while and no doubt many good memories were made.  In forty years they will all be middle aged people looking back on a wonderful childhood.  It will be exciting to hear of their adventures at the fair and their Champion friends all wish them well in their showings.

“Now the moon shines tonight on Pretty Red Wing.  The breeze is sighing, the night bird’s crying.”  The song was written in 1907, and the music was adapted from a composition by Robert Schumann, “The Happy Farmer, Returning  From Work,” in 1848.   One version of the song says that she is weeping her heart away because far away her brave is sleeping.  Another version says he is dying.  The Remember the Removal Bike Ride is going on currently.  A group of young people are riding nearly a thousand miles commemorating the forced removal of the Cherokees from their original homeland to what is now Oklahoma.  It was in 1838 that the federal government under the presidency of Andrew Jackson forced the Cherokee and other tribes to give up their land.   Looking out over the beauty of the country and feeling deep roots here, it is easy to imagine how painful the experience must have been.  The wide and wooly banks of Old Fox Creek have probably not changed too much in the last 175 years.  The wide and inviting veranda on the Recreation of the Historic Emporium is a good place to look back over time.  Share your thoughts on the subject at, at or at Champion Items, Rt. 2, Box 367, Norwood, MO 65717.  While you enjoy the beauty of the place, sing a little bit of Pretty Red Wing and be glad to be in Champion—Looking on the Bright Side!