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The wild vicissitudes of the weather have had very little effect on Champion.   With more ups and downs in store before predictably constant warmth sets in, about all the astonishment and annoyance has been used up.   “Yep,” is the answer to “Is it cold enough for you?”  “Staying warm?” It is figured by some that if you are able to complain it is because you are alive and are breathing wholesome fresh country air.  Champion!

Ferley Lambert was the subject of much discussion around the ‘round’ table the other day.  The talk was about what a scrawny little guy he was and what a powerful individual.  He broke up bull fights with a pitchfork and saved a bunch of fox hunters from a rampaging bull threatening them at their campfire.  He just took a branch and beat him with it and ran the critter off.  Jerry Smith said that he could catch a wasp and pinch its head off and never get bit.  Wes Smith said he saw him do it many times.  Ferley told Jerry, who was a little kid at the time, that if a person held his breath the wasp would not sting.  That did not work for Jerry.  Ferley could snap the head off a black snake when he was young.  Later on, he had a hummingbird feeder that he enjoyed watching.  One fractious hummingbird was hogging the feed and not letting the others get at it.  Ferley addressed the offender with his 12 gauge shotgun.  Someone asked reckon he had enough firepower for the job.  Nothing was said about the condition of the hummingbird feeder.   Ferley’s older brother Clark Lambert had his picture taken for the National Geographic book on “Hidden Corners of America.”   A cold afternoon around the same stove Clark warmed by is a place for these great stories.  If you cannot make it down to the Historic Emporium, send your stories to  or to The Champion News, Rt. 72 Box 367, Norwood, MO 65717.

The weather has been such that Jerry has not opened his sawdust factory up in Seymour for a while.  He will be back at it one of these days.  He turns out some lovely pieces and has made a number of boxes, benches, and picture frames from some of the lumber that was the old Champion Store.  He grew up just over the hill and is lucky to have Champion cousins to visit.  Wes had arrived at the round table saying that he had just read The Champion News to Cowboy Jack.  That must have had something to do with the Polar Plunge Non-Event.  It seems to have been considered ‘over reported’ by some.  Wes and Pat have a new grandson to report.  He is a couple of weeks old now, a lad by the name of Miles.  He is a little Arkansawyer and the apple of several Champion eyes.

Skyline School kindergarten student Kimberly Wallace is having a birthday on the 29th.  Erika Strong is a first grade student.  Her birthday is on the 30th.  She shares the day with Jenna and Jacob Brixey’s dad who was 40 in 2012!  He must be getting older now.  Speaking of old, that guy with the dachshund was born Feb 1, 1940!  Wow.  For a real wow, get acquainted with Zack Alexander!  He has Champion grandparents.  He is going to be in the neighborhood of seven years old on the first.  His Aunt Angie has her birthday on the 2nd of February, together with Judy Sharon Parsons, and Charlene Dupree.  Great ladies all!

A Champion asks about getting skunk smell out of a house.  There are several homemade remedies to be found on-line.  One says to put some small bowls of vinegar around to neutralize the smell.  Another says to mix 1 quart of hydrogen peroxide, ¼ cup baking soda and one teaspoon liquid laundry soap or dish washing detergent.  They say the first two ingredients form an alkaline peroxide that chemically changes the skunk essence into an odorless chemical.  The soap breaks down that oily skunk essence and makes it more susceptible to the other chemicals.  They say the chemicals in this formula are harmless and can be used on people, clothing and pets.  Use immediately after mixing and they say not to store it because it will expand and can burst a closed container.  It is that time of the year when the skunks are busy being attractive for each other.  Love is in the air!  And of the air, a Champion writes about the articles in the electric co-op papers bewailing the ban on the use of coal for generating electricity.  She says she gets email requesting that she support the poisonous coal burning in order to “protect rates.”  She says there is never any mention of protecting life on Earth.  She likes the idea of heat-pumps for heating and cooling and solar and wind energy.  Hydroelectric plants probably have their shortcomings too, as do the nuclear power plants.  There have been some big changes in the world since the power lines reached Champion in the 1950’s. 

Some Champions have been so busy stacking firewood and hauling ashes that they let their Burn’s Night celebration slip by.  This Robert Burns was a hardworking farmer.  He plowed behind a horse and worked himself to death at a young age.  Like so many farms today,   his was undercapitalized, so he and his brother worked to exhaustion.  He also is reported to have lived a dissolute lifestyle which together with the arduous toil took its toll and he passed away at the young age of 37.  Certain Champions are combining their Burns Night with Groundhog Day and will be celebrating on Super Bowl Sunday with Burns poetry, some lilting Scottish tunes and a little easy jazz when the crowd thins.  If the football stadium is belly deep in snow on that day and the game is postponed it is sure that the Champion Burns-Groundhog soirée will be well attended.  (RSVP) It might relieve the anxiety of the General who has been torn about his social calendar.   Apart of Auld Lang Syne, perhaps one of the most popular of Burn’s songs is one of the Generals favorite, The Silver Tassie.  “Go fetch to me a pint o wine, and fill it in a silver tassie; that I may drink, before I go a service to my bonnie lassie.”  He is headed off to war and hates to leave his sweetheart.  It is a timeless piece.  Find more Burn’s poetry and music at   Come down to the bottom of the hill at the end of the pavement on the wide wooly banks of Old Fox Creek to enjoy the timelessness.  Champion! Looking on the Bright Side!

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