Much will be written about the tragic event in Las Vegas.  It touches all of us in some way.  Outpourings of love and compassion may be joined by a genuine effort to make this mass shooting be the last one.  The 250 Lakota massacred at Wounded Knee are scarcely remembered in history.  We hope this, the worst mass shooting since 1890, will be remembered.  It will take great minds to find a preventive remedy.  Where are those minds?  Who are they?

The Douglas County Health Department will have twenty free flu shots to give on a first come, first serve basis at the Skyline School on Friday, October 6th from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m.  Elisabeth is the nurse who is visiting Champion and Skyline these days.   She is pleasant and professional and the whole program of the DCHD is a valuable amenity for the area.  The area will be full people on Saturday and Sunday for the Pioneer Heritage Festival of the Ozarks.  It will be held at Chapel Grove on Highway 14 just west of Bryant Creek.  It looks like it is going to be a great event and that the weather will be perfect for it.  There will be lots of music, food, and demonstrations of all sorts.  Dale and Betty Thomas can attest to the amount of hard work required to make a festival like this happen. This is a new happening and hopes are that it will be as long lasting and successful as the one that inspired it.

Draven Koepke is a 7th grade student at Skyline School.  His birthday is on the 9th of October.  Madeline Ward was born on October 10th, 2006.  The driver of that red 1960-something GTO who sashays through the square with a belt squealing has a birthday on the 11th.  Janet Chapin and Evelyn Wood both celebrate on October 12th, which used to be known as Columbus Day.  (These days Columbus Day is celebrated on the second Monday of October, which makes it October 9th this year.  Many people are now celebrating it as Indigenous People’s Day in order to promote an accurate telling of the United States’ history and to commemorate the resilience of its original inhabitants against European settlers.)  Cathie Baldwin has her birthday on the 13th.  Eva Clark, Jillian Hall, Twyla Friloux and Leslie Krider all celebrate on the 14th.  The 15th is for Joe Moskaly and for Skyline 1st grader Keedien Curtis.   There was a great picture of Pete and Bonnie Mullens on the internet on Sunday morning.  Pete is celebrating his 90th birthday and his friends and family are celebrating him.  Birthdays are our chance to acknowledge those special people in our lives though they are special every day of the year.  Happy days to all you Champions!      

The purpose of Constitution Week, which just passed, (Sept. 17-23) is to emphasize citizens’ responsibilities for protecting and defending the Constitution and to inform people that it is the basis for America’s great heritage and the foundation of our way of life.  The observance also carries encouragement for the study of the historical events which led to its framing in 1787.  The late Molly Ivins said, “I’d rather see someone burn the flag and wrap themselves in the Constitution than to burn the Constitution and wrap themselves in the flag.”  Dale Earnhardt Jr. quoted John Kennedy saying, “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.”  Everyone has a right to peacefully protest.  (Refer to the history that resulted in the framing of the Constitution.)  We are a Nation founded by protesters.  It turns out that the football player who started the kneeling during the National Anthem first started just sitting down for it.  A well-known rival player, who was also a Veteran of one of our current military conflicts, wrote to him and said that, as a Veteran, he was offended by the guy sitting down during the Anthem.  He was polite in his statement and received a polite response which generated a face to face meeting between the two.  The upshot of it was that the Veteran told the protester that at a military funeral the flag of the deceased is folded thirteen times and then presented to the next of kin from a kneeling position.  He suggested that kneeling was a way for the protester to honor the Veterans and the flag and still exercise his right to bring attention to the injustice of unarmed people routinely being killed by police.  Agree or disagree with his protest, but figure that the presidential feud with the NFL most likely goes back to a billion dollar lawsuit which he won back in 1986.  He sued for more than a billion, but was only awarded $1.00.  By the time the Supreme Court ruled on it a few years later, he had accrued interest that brought the sum up to $3.87.  The whole kerfuffle looks like a grudge “a way to punish the NFL” 86-45.  It seems inappropriate for the “leader” of the Nation to be swearing on television. All of the attention to this matter is a diversionary tactic and takes up a lot of energy that could be spent helping American citizens in dire need and other important issues pertinent to the well-being of the people.   

The many fall festivals around the country get folks out in the beautiful weather and meeting up with friends and neighbors.  Musicians have been having a wonderful time at all the area bluegrass gatherings.  It was great to see several of them back at Vanzant Thursday.  There are more places for them to go in the weeks ahead, so the home folks will be glad for them to be having fun and glad when they come home.  One imagines that the whole country may be steeped in the richness of live local music, though it may not be so.  Around these parts we can sing, “The hills are alive with the sound of music,” even if that may not be the genre of choice.

When a few clouds act like they might sail over Champion, some people hang laundry on the line and wash their cars just hoping that the theory of positive and negative jinxing will take hold.  We could certainly use some rain.  Colorful fall foliage may not be in the offing this year.  Fall gardens are suffering for lack of rain though gardeners are out there every morning with the hose.  It seems that a tea cup of rain does more good than a gallon of well water.  Things could be better here, but no one will complain considering the hardships that weather, fire, and seismic activity have brought to so many Americans and others around the world.  We are indeed grateful for our blessings and sympathetic to those suffering hardships.  They number in the millions.  Come down to the wide, wild, wooly banks of Auld Fox Creek and you will be in one of the world’s most beautiful and fortunate places.  “The night was dark and stormy, the air was full of sleet.  The old man stepped out in the yard and his shoes were full of feet.  Oh! It ain’t a gonna rain no more, no more.  It ain’t a gonna rain no more” but it did!  It came slowly on Tuesday morning and was most welcome in Champion-Looking on the Bright Side!