The Champion News

By way of connection with a great friend of The Champion News, J.C. Owsley, the pleasant acquaintance with poet, Frank Martin, has been made.  One of his latest gems is called, “By and By.” “In clouds far off to the west/Nature is beating her breast/She is eyeing our sky/ Which means by and by/ She plans to disturb our rest.” Saturday night to Sunday morning found thunder rolling and lightning flashing, but not too much in the way of rain. Though it came down hard and fast, there was not much in the bucket when the storm passed.  It was drizzly all day Sunday and hopes are that every drop soaked in for the benefit of the water table and a little insurance against brush fires.  Fall arrived overnight.  Deer are on the move and drivers are urged to be alert.   Fog rising from valley floors on Monday morning softens the landscape in an ethereal way and adds to the danger for early travelers.   Every season is beautiful in Champion.

Birthday celebrations are some of the best fun that some people have.  Some people do not like anything about birthdays, but children of all ages do.  Here are some upcoming birthdays of friends and family in the area:  Haylee Surface, Skyline 3rd grader, October 22; Roger Miller, gifted song writer, October 25, 1936-1992; Brad Oglesby, Harley Krider, Shala Clark all on October 26; Nicholas Georges, Skyline 1st grader, October 28;   Champions Royce Henson and Connie Lansdown, October 30; Cheyne Hall–Skyline 8th grader, Ms. Curtis-Skyline Superintendent, and Felipe Heston– Austenite, all celebrate on October 31.  Happy Birthday everyone and “Boo!” to you Halloweenies.

Bud Hutchison’s Fall Trail Ride was another galloping success.   Bud was not in the lead this year.  He had been a little under the weather and, though he was on the mend, he sat this one out and passed leadership to Andrew Harden.   The thirteen riders started out around ten on Wednesday morning and made their loop around Fox Creek Road and the hinterlands of Denlow, up around the Shannon Ranch and back through Drury to Champion.  They came ambling in, in a bunch about three in the afternoon ready for ice cream.  The riders were Jeff Alcorn on Lace, Cody Alcorn on Lilly, Nancy Perriman on Ginger, Melissa Harrington on Katy, Hershel Letsinger on Duke, Calvin Chambers on Summer, Andrew Harden on Cloud, Shirley Emerson on Buddy, Bill Winkelman on Cookie, Don Hamby on Domino, Cindy Hufham on Dolly, Carmen Watchinsky on Blue and Terry Redman on Danny Boy.  The general assessment of the ride was that it was without any troublesome incident and pleasant in the extreme.

Friends and neighbors wiled away the hours out on the wide veranda waiting for the riders to return.  Fellow correspondent, Ella Mae Daugherty, came over from Gentryville with Paul Uhlman to enjoy the non-participating part of Bud’s Trail Ride.  She has written articles for The Herald over the years and has many friends in the area.  She said that maybe Paul would bring her back to Champion sometime and Champions hope he will.  Paul does not ride much anymore, neither does Cowboy Jack, still they enjoy meeting up with their friends and being around the livestock.  Neighborhood children filled in the waiting time with singing.  Young Chase Cauthron and Krider sisters, Taegan and Luxe, encouraged The General to sing funny songs.  His version of the ABC song particularly pleases them when he sings, “J, I, b, r, d, u, p, f.” and the like.  It is a joy to see young children with a love for music.  A pair of charming young ladies, Brooklyn and Paisley, sat in with the jammers at Clark’s Eatery on Tuesday evening.  They sang “You Are My Sunshine” and they really lit up the place.   Lynette Cantrell remarked that the omelet they serve there was also very tasty.  It is a great kindness that the folks at Clark’s are willing to open their banquet room to keep Lynette’s acoustic jammers off the street and out of the cold.  They can be found there from 6:00 to 8:00 every Tuesday.  The  Vanzant jam drew a big crowd on Thursday.  They start out with pot luck at 6:00 and music from 7:00 to 9:00.  It has been going on for some while now and is the high point of the week for many people.

Last week it took too many words (670) to say:   1. The new tax proposal will benefit 4.59% of the population of Missouri.  The rest of us will pay for it in diminished services and benefits.  2. What some see as disrespect for the Nation others see as the Nation’s disrespect for its people.   3. American Citizens in Puerto Rico are suffering.  That only took 52 words.

Halloween is one of the world’s oldest holidays. It is celebrated in Mexico and other Latin American countries as the Day of the Dead as a way to honor deceased loved ones and ancestors.   In Scotland the origins of Halloween can be traced back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (summer’s end).  The Celtic year was determined by the growing seasons and Samhain marked the end of summer and the harvest, and the beginning of the dark cold winter.  The festival symbolized the boundary between the world of the living and the world of the dead.  There are torch light processionals and rituals connected with this celebration.  Trick-or-treating is a custom in this part of the world, though people deep in the country rarely have a goblin treating at the door.  Terri Ryan says that Thursday will be a half day of school at Skyline and the day for wearing Halloween costumes.  (There will be no school Friday to allow for parent/teacher conferences.)  The halls of our wonderful little rural school will be full of super heroes and princesses, nurses, hunters and farmers and space men and women.  There may be some animals represented among the costumes, cats and squirrels.   James Whitcom Riley wrote the best poem for Halloween.  It is called “Little Orphant Annie” and the last verse is: “When the night is dark and scary, and the moon is full and creatures are a flying and the wind goes Whooooooo, you better mind your parents and your teachers fond and dear and cherish them that loves ya, and dry the orphans’ tears and help the poor and needy ones that cluster all about, or the goblins will get ya if ya don watch out!!”  Unafraid of goblins, the neighborhood is in good spirits with the rain, the coming of fall and bountiful harvests.  Champion! Looking on the Bright Side!