John Adams, Ben Franklin, George Washington and some other guys got together in Carpenter’s Hall in Philadelphia in 1774, to chat and conspire among themselves with the doors and windows closed against the Royalist spies.  By the second of July 1776, they had moved to Independence Hall and John Adams kept yelling “Now is the time!”  There was a thunderstorm going on.  They got it figured out and here we are…. a big lusty Nation.  Even back then Adams and others were concerned about the direction of the country and continually said that it was “going to Hell.”  The country was in is turmoil.  It has always been in turmoil.  It is the nature of the Nation to be in turmoil because it is an amalgam of the ‘melting pot,’ roiling with growing pains and optimism.  Champion is the very seat of optimism in the very Heart of the Nation.  Hurrah! for the Red White and Blue!

“Now is the time!” said Harley to Barbara or Barbara to Harley on July 3rd forty eight years ago.  So they tied the knot just before Independence Day, forever abandoning their individual independence for the joy of joining  together “‘ till,”  well, everybody knows “’till when.”  For the most part, it seems to have worked out well.  It is good for the city girl that her farm boy needs to go spend some time in the hay every year.  That way, when he has had such a productive country sojourn away from her, and she, such a peaceful respite of freedom, they are again delighted with the sight of one another, just like the old days!  Flowers, dinner out, lengthy conversations about their respective time alone make it all seem like it is starting all over again.  They were young and the future stretched out before them endlessly.  Romance is truly Champion.  Congratulations.

Vickie Baumer, a graduate student working at the Missouri State Fruit Experiment Station is quite a fan of the old fashioned hollyhock.  An article featuring her and the flower in the Ozarks Fruit and Garden Review confirms the plants origins and its Victorian placement around the rural outhouses.   Ms. Baumer could, no doubt, corroborate the information that the tap root of the hollyhock is probably so deep that an attempt to transplant it, especially in extreme heat, would most likely be pure folly.  So when the gardener saw that brand new bright red truck speeding by the other day, she was sure that the driver had read the Champion News of June 17th, 2013, describing the unlawful digging of the lone blossom and was hoping the cheeks of the driver matched the color of the truck.  Read about the theft at and see in that particular article the Champion children at the Tri County Fair and some excellent illustrations of the hollyhock, which was suggested by Texas granddaughter, Zoey Louise, who was much saddened that someone would steal a flower.  Readers of the Herald particularly might visit the internet to verify that they are getting all of the Champion News.  Sometimes there are edits for length or for content or for no apparent reason.  Last week the article ended mid-sentence with the word ‘where.’  The subject was homecoming and the sentence finished thusly:   “where the pavement starts it is good to be home—in Champion—Looking on the Bright Side!”

June Slipped away so quickly.  Nick Massey had a birthday on the 25th and Dancing Nancy out Dogwood way celebrated on the 26th.  Esther Wrinkles would have had her 95th on the 28th.  Champion Eva Powell shared her birthday on the 29th with KZ88 Radio personality Butch Kara.  Now it is July and a most pleasant curmudgeon up on the side of a hill rejoices that he has made it to yet another astounding number of years.  Patrick Vincent, who will be a 4th grader at Skyline this fall, will have his birthday on the 3rd of July.  Kyra Curtis has her birthday on the 6th.  She will be in the 7th grade when school starts up again.  Lyla Brown will be in kindergarten.  Her birthday is on the 7th of July.  The 14th Dali Lama will celebrate his 78th birthday on the 6th of July.  He shares the date with Professor Daryl Haden formerly of Smallett, Missouri, and now of South Fulton, Tennessee.  Of course, The United States of America celebrates its birthday on the 4th of July!  The creeks will be full of revelers and the fun will be effervescent.  Huzza!

Linda’s Almanac from over at The Plant Place in Norwood indicates that the 8th and 9th will be excellent days for planting crops that bear their yield above the ground. Some Champions will use those dates to finally get their green beans in.  “Surely,” think they, “there will be plenty of time for them to make.”  They hope to spend some days in early September canning beans.   Their friends wish them good luck.  These spectacular days are a genuine gift.  Folks to the west and south are suffering mightily from the heat.  The wildfires are horrific.  Friends and family living in those affected areas are much in the thoughts of their loved ones across the Nation.  The firefighters who put themselves at risk for the protection of lives and property are to be commended certainly and the families of those lost firefighters considered in National prayers.  “O beautiful, for heroes proved in liberating strife, who more than self their country loved and mercy more than life.”

Singing “America the Beautiful” is definitely an exercise in spirit lifting.  It is suggested that everyone give it a try out.  Sing it out loud on the comfortable veranda at the top of the graceful steps overlooking the tranquil splendor of one of the world’s truly beautiful places. “O beautiful, for pilgrim feet/Whose stern, impassioned stress/ A thoroughfare for freedom beat/Across the wilderness!” to Champion—Looking on the Bright Side!