It happens sometimes that an old friend introduces one to another of his old friends and the two strangers suddenly become acquainted as if they have known each other for years.  There is immediate trust and appreciation for the good taste of their comrade who is willing to share friends with each other.  They often find that they have much in common apart from their mutual acquaintance and new vibrant relationships emerge.  Bringing kindred spirits and good people together is a Champion practice well implemented.

Good news is that Pete Proctor has had a birthday.  No telling how old he is, but everyone who knows him knows him to be young at heart.  That is probably on account of having such a sweet mother.  Word is that Ruby has taken a fall and hopes are that she was not seriously injured and that she is much recovered.  The details have been sketchy but it was reported that there were no broken bones and that she was feeling better.  All her Champion friends are most interested in her because she is so well regarded as part of that generation of Champions that made the place what it is today.  She will tell you that Champion is where her heart is and her Champion friends all wish her well.   Graeme Laird, a fine singer-songwriter in Edinburgh, Scotland, celebrated his 42nd orbit of the sun on the 26th.  He wrote, “Now’s the end of the beginning.  The days are passing faster than the sun.”  Other birthdays being celebrated belong to Jana Brixey who marks hers on the first of October.  She shares the day with the shy cousin of her husband, most frequently referred to as “a prominent Champion.” The very next day Wild Turkey Hunting Season opens.  It is presumed that the kind of wild turkeys being hunted will be of the avian variety and not the distilled kind, though there likely will be some of that floating around.  Conservation officials say the number of adult turkeys should be plentiful thanks to good reproduction over the past couple of years.  That is good news for hunters who are looking for turkeys with meatier bodies.  Back in the late forties Sylvia Henson was writing the Champion Items and remarked that the Upshaw family had increased by two on October 4th.  The twin girls had a number of big brothers to spoil and tease them and Morton and Mable must have had their hands full with such a boisterous household.  Linda Kaye comes back home to visit often and Karen Fae keeps the home fires burning and the welcome mat out for all the family.  Between them they have ten grandchildren so there is always fun and excitement going on.   Skyline Auxiliary President Betty Dye celebrates her special day on October 7th.   She may decorate her own cake, a skill at which she excels.  She has many talents and keeps the auxiliary humming along in a productive and supportive way.   Betty will let an interested party know that the Skyline Auxiliary is not just for ladies, but for anyone who wishes to support the wonderful little fire department that allows home owners to have insurance and the protection provided by the able volunteer fire fighters.  Champions all!

Sherry Bennett has posted some excellent pictures of the Pioneer Descendant’s Gathering on the Facebook.   They were made in 2011 on a bright sunshiny day.  David Richardson also posted a fine video of the 2011 gathering.   Bob Berry’s gorgeous red Studebaker was prominent and it makes friends lonesome for the sight of Bob and Mary.  Hopefully they will be here again this year.  With recent rain and promise of cooler temperatures, the weather ought to be perfect on the 5th and 6th.   A note from Cathy Mallernee to asks “Can you tell me were (The Pioneer Descendant’s Gathering) is located and give me directions please?”  She also says, “Thank you.”  Cathy, if you are in Ava, go East on Highway 14 for 18 miles to County Road 341. If you are in Mountain Grove, go South on 95 Highway to Gentryville and turn right on Highway 14 to get to County Road 341.  From there go South for four miles following the signs to the Edge of the World.  The road is well marked and the parking is good when you get down there.  They always provide golf carts from the parking area to the event grounds for anyone who might need some help getting around.  Bring your lawn chairs to rest under the big pavilion where lots of live music will be going on.  There are acres of interesting exhibits and demonstrations and the chance to bump into folks that you may seldom see.  There is plenty of good food.  The event is scheduled from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday and from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Sunday.  There is no admission and it is a wholesome family affair that will draw you back year after year.  Have fun!

The last of the tomatoes are coming in and some of the greens planted last summer are making.  Pretty soon there will be hardly anything to do in the garden.  Go up to The Plant Place in Norwood to find a few things to put in this fall and to visit with Linda about how to bed your garden down for the winter.  Then go enjoy some music.  There are reports on the internet of another superb night at the Vanzant Music Jam with lots of tasty food, nice folks and music, music, music.  It happens every Thursday Night.  Ruth Collins says that she appreciates such a fine group of pickers and listeners.  Gospel songs, bluegrass and country music make her happy and her smile is a light for the room.  She wrote a note to Sherry thanking her for lugging that big old bass around and said “It adds so much to the music.”  It does.  Sherry provides a solid beat that makes it all just right.

When a friend, a family member, or a rank stranger knocks on a door in Champion unexpectedly, he is met graciously. The house may not be clean.  A person may have plans and be busy.  The caller may just pop in for a moment or may arrive with expectations of a lengthy stay just figuring that he is loved and welcome.    Whether or not accommodations are easily available or the visit is appropriate or fitting, Champions are most likely to extend the courtesy to invite the guest in, or at least to stand on the porch and visit for a spell in the case of the stranger, particularly if he is rank.  Champions do not need lead-time, advanced notice or an R.S.P.V. to be polite.  It is just natural.  They say that hospitality is making your guests feel at home even when you wish they were.  Augustus McCall of “Lonesome Dove” fame said, “There’s no excuse for rude behavior.”  It certainly does not fly in Champion and the rest of the world could well take a lesson therefrom.  It could just be that a surprise is anathema to some and the rebuffed should endeavor to not take it personally.  A traveler to other parts of the big world might well say, “Come on down through the beautiful hills to the end of the pavement, where country roads meet by the wild wooly banks of Old Fox Creek, where generous spirits prevail and where ‘Welcome!’ is the byword– to Champion—Looking on the Bright Side!”