The good news in Champion comes in the form of wonderful weather, though some are beginning to feel a little chilly in the mornings.  Those folks who are responsible for cleaning the flues and getting the kindling boxes full figure that they should have had it all done already. There are so many distractions this time of the year it is hard to focus on what is important until the toes hit the cold floor one morning.  The woods will be full of the sound of chain saws as the slackers start gathering wood that should have been in the shed already.   There will soon enough be frost on pumpkins whether or not residents are ready.  Champions are ready.

Betty and Dale Thomas are getting ready for their 12th annual Pioneer Descendants Gathering down at the Edge of the World.  This year it will happen on October 5th and 6th.  There will be lots of live music provided by local bands.   They have constructed a marvelous huge pavilion where people can sit in their lawn chairs and listen to music the whole day long.  The many demonstrations of the 1860 to 1960 era, the wonderful food and wagon rides down along the creek make this a popular annual event.  It is promoted by the many descendants of Tom Brown and John Burden.  Royce Henson and Jo, of Springfield, are most likely going to come out for the festivities.  It will be nice to visit with Royce to find out how his wagon ride went.  He caught the wagon train in Champion on Thursday, the 12th and rode down to Cold Springs with them.  That is the reverse of the walk he likes to take to get to the Champion School Reunion every year.   He is an intrepid traveler and a true Champion.   It will be good news to Royce and to others who attended the Champion School Reunion that things are back to rights in the old school building after the dramatic flood of August 8th.  The floor and the carpet have been thoroughly and professionally dried and reattached.  The pews are back in place and all is well.  Young Drayson Cline, now a month old, enjoyed some singing there Sunday and did some of his own.  He comes down to see his Grandmother often and the whole community enjoys getting to spend some time with him.  He is already a Champion.

Skyline School fourth grader Dustin Johnson will have his birthday on September 26th which is Thursday.  Maybe his folks will give him a treat and get him started off right with a trip to Vanzant to the bluegrass jam that happens every Thursday there.  He could share his birthday cake at the pot luck and then settle in for some good music.   Ms. Nicki, the preschool aide at Skyline will celebrate on the 27th.   Friday is always a good day for a party.   A regular follower of The Champion News who lives in Texas sometimes and in Belize other times, Becky Heston, shares her birthday with Judge Dale Johnson of Mason, Texas on the 29th.  They are longtime friends of each other and of Champion as well, Judge Johnson by his nature and Ms. Heston by experience, having toured the place a few years back.  Newt Souder is in the 6th grade and will have his birthday on September 30th.   A birthday on a Monday is a splendid way to start any week, Newt.  “Tuesday’s child is full of grace” according to a traditional British rhyme and so Lydia Harden will enjoy her day with her kindergarten class at Skyline.  Birthdays seem more exciting to five year olds than to people in their late middle age, middle age being considered between age 55 and 70.    A prominent Champion, who graciously likes to go unnoticed, will celebrate quietly that day and will open his birthday cards in private.  He always remembers that if a person acts like he is having a good time, pretty soon he will forget that he is acting and he will really be having a good time. People reading The Champion News in other parts of the country are often looking for names of people they know.  It turns out that some people do not like having their name in the paper.  Some do not mind.  Some rather like it.  The often vague references to individuals or affectionate diminutives referring to one or the other will not confuse distant readers.  You probably know who they are—those Champions.  Send your guesses of who might be whom to Champion Items, Rt. 2, Box 367, Norwood, MO 65717 or to the new email address  Wander through the website at  for clues while you are resting up from working in the garden.  Linda’s Almanac from over at The Plant Place in Norwood says that the 28th and 29th will be good days to plant turnips!

Those pleasant, helpful, friendly, hardworking, productive, efficient and good looking gentlemen of the East End County Road Shed over in Drury have been steadily working improvements on the much damaged roadways in the area.   August’s floods wreaked havoc on low water crossings and some road beds that had never before been under water.  The Clever Creek crossing has a new extension of concrete covering an area that has washed out repeatedly over the years.  New slabs and repairs to old ones up and down the road make it a safe and beautiful drive, ride or walk.   It is the very definition of infrastructure.

Gary Allan is a singer songwriter who says, “Every storm runs out of rain just like every dark night turns into day.  Every heartache will fade away just like every storm runs out of rain.”  As things get back to normal in Champion it is hard not to think of the many people in Colorado who have lost homes, and roads, and whole communities , as well as lives, to the disaster of floods that followed fires.  Every part of the country is subject to some kind of weather calamity, though the catastrophes may not happen often.  In Douglas County, it is reported that there has been a tornado to strike in every month of the year.  It just goes to show that danger is ever present no matter where one might live.  Since the whole round world seems to be fraught with peril to some degree, it only makes good sense to live at the end of the pavement, at the bottom of several hills where country roads meet.  A person can stop in at the Recreation of the Historic Emporium over on the North Side of the Square for necessities, niceties, news and neighboring.  Hum that tune, “Country roads, take me home, to the place I belong,” while you are out on the spacious veranda enjoying the tranquility of one of the world’s beautiful places—Champion!  Looking on the Bright Side!