The hottest day of the year so far was Saturday, August 31st and also the day of the annual Champion School Reunion. That did not seem to make much of a difference to the fifty or so stalwart Champions, families and friends who enjoyed the afternoon under the ancient walnut trees in the old school yard. Ruby Proctor pointed to the tree that was home base and told about the batter who let go of the bat after a hit. It hurled right into her face and she said she still had the scar, but her sweet smile hides it well. Some of the others who passed the day with Ruby were Elsie Curtis, Debbie Massey, Connie Brown, Robert Brown, Paul Brown, Lee Brown, Richard and Kaye Johnston, Karen Krider, Ray Hicks, Pete Proctor, Harold and Eva Phillips, Elva Ragland, Sheila Brown, Betty Henson, Fern Bishop, Kenneth and Barbara Anderson, Wayne and JoAnn Anderson, Russell and Dean Upshaw, Frank and Freda Proctor, Arlene Cooley, Tom Cooley, Laine Sutherland, Frances Sutherland, Billy Jo Lambert and his son, Don Krewson, Anita Krewson, Wayne Sutherland, Modeen Dooms, Mrs. LuAllen and two daughters, her son and his wife, Benton Hutchison, Jackie Coonts, Dale and Betty Thomas, Leslee Krider, Bill Smith, Wilma Hutchison Pointer and her husband, Royce and Joe Henson and Vaughn Henson. Royce and his son Vaughn completed the Walk of Ages again this year from Cold Springs all the way to Champion. Champions know about how far that is and about how long ago it was that the roads were full of young folks going here and there. A few old pictures came out at the reunion, and many old memories of pleasant days long gone. They may seem more pleasant now than they were then, but memory plays some great tricks. It is easy to forget the hard times after a while and to let those sweet remembrances hang on. There were some notable absences, but perhaps next year the weather will be more mild and those who could not make it this year will be able to come home again. Champion!
So many inquiries were made concerning the dates of the wagon train schedule this year that a call was made to West Plains Wagon Club ramrod, Clifton Luna. He says that the outfit plans to leave West Plains on the 9th of September and will roll into Champion on Thursday the 12th at about their regular time. That is somewhere around late morning to noon. They generally rest up and lunch in Champion and then make their way up Cold Springs Road to a campsite north of Skyline. Look at pictures of previous wagon trains on line at www.championnews.us. Everyone is invited to come out to the Square on Thursday to enjoy seeing all the various wagons and rigs and the beautiful horses and mules. One year a guy showed up in a cart pulled by a goat. It was funny looking but it got there just the same. Moderate weather will be expected and appreciated for the sojourn as well as for the journey.
The Dogwood School Reunion is coming up October 19th at Evans. Betty Thomas claims to make excellent cheese enchiladas and plans to bring some to that gathering to satisfy the hankering of a native Texan whom she has invited to attend. She and Dale were also handing out flyers for their twelfth annual Pioneer Descendants Gathering down at their place at Yates on October 5th and 6th. This event has become a great new tradition in these parts out on the “Edge of the World.”
Birthdays are good for your health. Studies have shown that people who have more birthdays live the longest. Kalyssa had a great sixth birthday on Saturday and was treated to a roller skating adventure by her family. Reports have not arrived concerning the celebration of Jenna Brixey, born on the same day, though it is a fairly sure bet that it was a good one. The first of September is the birth anniversary of Larry Wrinkles. Teresa is certain to have made his favorite dish. Perhaps Sandy Ray Chapin will have prepared something wonderful for his lovely wife, Janet, on her special day as well. Over at the Skyline School seventh grader, Derek Camp, will have his birthday on Thursday the 5th. The 8th of September will be on Sunday this year. That is the birthday of intrepid bridge player Carol Tharp of Vera Cruz. She has a birthday buddy group that knows how to celebrate and then her bridge friends will put the icing on the cake at their next game. Elmer Banks has a birthday coming up on September 15th. Various hunting and fishing seasons open up in Missouri on that day and in the United Kingdom it is The Battle of Britain Day. Elmer shares his birthday with Roy Acuff, Jackie Cooper, James Fennimore Cooper, Tommy Lee Jones and other famous people. Elmer makes quite a good local celebrity and always has some interesting information to share. He is quick to attribute his facts to the proper source, but Champions generally just remember that Elmer said it. For instance one can learn from him that Douglas County is the second largest county in the state and is the least populated and the most economically depressed. It is also the only county with only one town. Some prominent citizens dispute that fact, however, and can be heard doing so vociferously in the community meeting room at the Recreation of the Historic Emporium on the North Side of the Square in Downtown Champion.
Taegan (Peanut) Krider has taken to pre-school like a duck to water and her folks are feeling like empty nesters. They grow up so quickly. She is very fond of her new cousin, Drayson Cline, who was in Champion for the first time Sunday. His was very well received and there was a line waiting to get the chance to hold him. His great uncle Richard very much enjoyed his turn with the little fellow.
Linda’s Almanac from over at The Plant Place in Norwood indicates that the 3rd through the 6th will be a most barren period, best for killing plant pests or doing chores around the farm. After that there will be several good days for planting crops that bear their yield above ground, especially leafy greens and the like. Linda has some nice Cole crops started for the fall. Find her Almanac on line at www.championnews.us or at Henson’s Grocery and Gas or up at The Plant Place. She always has some good advice to share and is pleased to answer any gardening questions. The erstwhile barber of Champion West should ask her why his beans bloom but do not set any fruit. He was down at the store on Wednesday bragging about all the canning he was doing with crates and cases of food he had bought in various places. Once his brand new overalls are washed a few times he might start looking a little less like the city slicker he plans to be when he moves to town. When he gets there he will look like a country boy.
“Why did I leave the plow in the field and look for a job in the town?” Now that is one that many know and it is likely to be sung at the Vanzant Thursday Night Jam Session. Last week a dozen or more musicians entertained a good size crowd. It is wonderful to see the age range from fourteen to way-on-up-yonder all enjoying the musical tie that binds. Your good news is welcome at Champion Items, Rt. 2, Box 367, Norwood, MO 65717 or at Champion@getgoin.net. Spread it in person out on the graceful veranda of the Elegant Emporium in the city center–Champion—Looking on the Bright Side!