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A little rain would not hurt though Champions are hard put to complain about the weather.  Such cool nights and mornings are a gift.  Days in July and August when air conditioners are not required are blissful, lovely days that no one takes for granted.  When electricity arrived in the 1950’s, it brought some families a good oscillating fan and what a luxury that must have seemed on stifling summer days when women struggled for a breath of air off in the kitchen.  The kitchen is not so isolated as it used to be and even poor folks have window units these days.  Some remember 1953 as being the driest year on record.  (The state average precipitation was 25.35”.  ) The hottest temperature ever recorded for Missouri was on July 14, 1954—118°F in Warsaw and Union.  Champions do not complain.

Elmer Banks called to say how happy he is that the road crews have put some much needed attention to Highway V.   The pot holes are filled and the whole stretch of it is a pleasure to drive over thanks to the efforts of the local road men.  Some of them work for the State and some for the County.  It is hard work that they do and it truly serves the community well.  Elmer says, “Thanks, fellers,” to which ever bunch it was.  Some locals were up for checking it out on Saturday night, but first there was a groundhog and then an armadillo and then the sprinkler needed to be unstuck…and first one thing and then another kept them away from ‘Vanzant Under The Stars’ again.  They will make it yet.  Meanwhile, it is easier for Elmer to get out and his friends sure like to see him coming.

Water!  When pioneers came to this part of the world and edged out the indigenous peoples, they settled near the water.  Descendants of those old settlers are still making their lives in the area as over the years new immigrants have arrived and taken places rich with wonderful springs and good wells.  By the time this is in ink the results will be in from Tuesday’s election.  The laws that protect our water from upstream hog farming and thoughtless neighbors may no longer apply.  Perhaps they will still apply—perhaps the laws will be clearer and stronger.  Optimism is a worthwhile attitude. Congratulations to the winners of the races.  Do your best to live up to your promises—serve and protect.

A couple of years ago a Champion lady donated some old bowls to the silent auction at Skyline VFD Picnic fund raiser.  They went on the block having been written up as “four old bowls.”  They were about five inches in diameter and only a couple of inches deep—kind of yellow colored with a design in autumn leaf colors.  Someone said, “Don’t you know what they are?”  “Nope.”  It turns out that they were “Jewel Tea.”  That is a big deal in these parts.  As it turned out several people knew all about it and the bidding was exciting.  The bowls brought in somewhere between $40.00 and $50.00!  Big surprise!  Now it turns out that the lady has found more of those bowls in her unpacking, just in time for the Skyline Picnic. She is not the only one looking through personal treasures to see what they can share in support of the fire department.    Myron Jackson of KZ88 Radio is planning to be at the Picnic and hopes to record some of the music for broadcast on the local FM station.  He says the Skyline Picnic is “a huge deal” in the area and he is right!  Firefighters and volunteers are busy getting the grounds ready and the members of the fire district are figuring out what kind of pies they will be baking for the event and how they will decorate their cakes for the cake walk.  Generous local merchants are donating the many door prizes that make this one of the best events around as the Skyline VFD shows the community how much their backing means.  The fun starts at 6:00 in the evening both Friday and Saturday nights.  On Saturday that incredible cedar lined red oak blanket chest will be awarded to the winner of the lucky ticket.  One old Champion is buying tickets for her daughter-in-law.  Imagine what a gift like that could mean to any relationship!

Bryon Guthrie will be in the 8th grade at Skyline this year.  His birthday was on August 3rd and born in the year 2000, he will never have any trouble calculating his age.  Not so for Roger Wiseman with a birthday of August 8, 1968, or Phyllis Winn, August 12, 1947.  They have to cipher.   Jaycee Hall and Cryslynn Bradshaw will both be in kindergarten in the fall.  Jaycee’s birthday is on the 10th and Cryslynn’s is the 12th.  They will be five years old.  Friends remember Mary Graham, whose birthday was August 15th.  She lived east of Champion a little way and had a great smile and laugh and a wonderful affection for her family, for music and dogs.  She always loved the Champion School Reunion and she will be missed there again this year.

The Skyline Country Market was not what a person would call a raving success, but it was a good experience and some good information was gleaned.   About twenty families, individuals and organizations had booths set up under the trees in front of the school on Friday morning with a great variety of things to sell.  In spite of some fairly good publicity the turn out from the public and passers-by was minimal.  The vendors, however, did quite a bit of shopping with each other and the weather was so pleasant that it was not considered a loss.  The Skyline Community Teachers Association will put their heads together and revamp the event and the community will have another avenue open to support the great little school that is shaping the movers and shakers of the future.

Linda’s Almanac is up on the bulletin board at Henson’s Downtown G & G over on the North Side of the Square in Downtown Champion as well as on the website at   August is the Green Corn Moon and it will be full on the 10th.  The 12th will be a good day to plant above the ground crops and the 13 will be good for root crops again.  Both days are good for transplanting and for applying organic fertilizer.  Irrigate if you have to.   “Oh, Dan, can’t you see that big green tree where the water’s running free and it’s waiting there for you and me? Water!  Cool, clear water…”  In Champion—Looking on the Bright Side!

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