“In the Garden of Delight” was written by Lily Hardy Hammond in 1916.   It looks like it will be a very interesting read.  It is thought that this book is where the phrase ‘Pay it forward’ may have been coined.  It is certainly a Champion notion.  It is an old concept that goes back to Athens in 317 BC when it appeared in a play by Menander.  Two thousand, one hundred and one years later on April 25, 1784, Ben Franklin described the idea in a letter saying, “It is a trick to do a deal of good with a little money.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote about it in an essay in 1841.  Now it is showing up in The Champion News as Pete Proctor reports a lovely incident.  He and Phyllis were in West Plains enjoying dinner the other day as a celebration of their first wedding anniversary when a man and his wife and daughter approached them and thanked Pete for serving our Country.  The waitress stopped by later to tell Pete and Phyllis that their bill had been paid by the family who had just left the restaurant.  Pete was touched.  It is the kind of experience that Champions hope for all the Veterans and for all those serving currently at the behest of the Nation.  They pay it forward in ways that cannot be imagined by those who have them to thank for peace and freedom at home.  Champion Veterans!

What a treat it was to have Raymond and Esther Howard in Champion again.  They visited with friends on Sunday and posed for a picture under the big walnut tree over by the church.  Raymond is getting ready for his birthday next week.  Thursday the 14th is the day and he will be 91 years old. Paul Morgan will be 83 on the 13th.   Foster and Kalyssa’s Granddad, Wayne Wiseman, had his birthday last Thursday.   He was 80.  Raymond teases Wayne saying he is a week older because his birthday is first.  Those guys have known each other for a long time.  Raymond was pleased to see several big reds while he was visiting.  He and Lonnie Krider used to hunt squirrels together.  The conversations they had about it were certainly lively enough, it is a sure thing they enjoyed the hunt.  It would be a fairly sure bet that if Howard is there, fun is afoot.  It must have been fun for young Richard Heffern to get an early first birthday present in the form of a little brother.  For a few days from the 8th to the 15th he and Robert are the same age and then Richard jumps forward for a year.  Cake and ice cream for a week!  Future custodians of democracy currently attending Skyline School will have birthday celebrations this week.  First grader J.D. Borders celebrates on the 9th.  Sherman Hall who is a sixth grader will have a great birthday this year.  It is a special one–11/12/13!  Raven Hull is in the second grade with a birthday on Saturday the 16th.   More ice cream, please.

Linda’s Almanac from over at The Plant Place in Norwood indicates that the 21st, 22nd and 30th will be ideal days to prune in order to encourage growth.  Those will also be good days to apply organic fertilizer. By the time some old Champions get to that wonderful pile of old horse manure that is waiting for them over in Coonts holler it is liable to be frozen hard.  The days just slip away.   It seems that there is always something to do in the garden.  Linda’s Dad, Chuck Barns, had his birthday on November 11, 1916.   He passed away in 2002.  He was a good story teller and a pretty interesting bridge player.  He had an exciting life doing heavy construction and living all over the world.  His garden experience included raising artichokes in Tasmania.

Kaye Johnston and Fae Krider visited with Ruby Proctor in the Cabool Nursing Home the other day.  Ruby moved there after a short stay in the hospital in Springfield. She was reported to be doing well and was in the sitting room when the sisters arrived.   Pete indicated that she had a good week and she gave him a big smile when he visited.  Ruby has one of those smiles that makes a person feel good without a word being said.  Her Champion friends all wish her well.    She, like many, is probably thinking about and missing her old friend Esther Wrinkles who passed away back in January.  They grew up together in Champion and were baptized on the same day in Old Fox Creek when Ruby was seventeen.  Browse through the Champion Snapshots section of the website to see pictures of Ruby and Esther together.  They are the very image of a lifelong Champion friendship.  While out on that site look at The Dairymaid in Champion Connections to see Taegan (Peanut)’s trip to Tennessee. She had a good time and it looks as if she enjoys traveling.  The Dairymaid does a great job of documenting the family.  It is good to see photos of those cousins on their own turf, though they are always welcome in Champion.  Technology used in this positive way can keep families close and informed about each other.  Out in the big world technology often isolates people making them ‘alone together’, as everyone stares at a screen or device of some kind with no interaction among them.  It is not that way in Champion.

“We’ll not soon recover from the eventual earthly loss of people like you.  Lord, delay that day.” This inscription on the back of a family photograph on loan from the Royce Henson family is a poignant thought.  It brings to mind the notion that today is the day where living takes place.  Champions do a good job of living in the present.  They reference history for comparisons between past and present to conclude that some things are better today and some are not so much.  The scientist and humorist, Steven Wright, says that a conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking.  He also says that experience is something you don’t get until just after you need it.  Comparisons, conclusions and life experiences are welcome at Champion Items, Rt. 72 Box 367, Norwood, MO 65717 or at Bring them with you to discuss around the old stove in middle of the Recreation of the Historic Emporium over on the North Side of the Square.  Sing, “We’ll meet again, don’t know where don’t know when, but I know we’ll meet again some sunny day” in Champion—Looking on the Bright Side!