Fires in the West and floods in the East make Champions glad to be Middle-Americans. There is plenty of room for gratitude. Many are suffering across the country. We are at about the midpoint of summer and it has turned hot and dry. There are precautions to take in hot weather just as there are in winter. It is a good idea to have a hat in the car or a parasol in case you have to walk. Cell phones are good things if there is a signal. It is good to carry water with you, but not to leave it in a hot car. It is still green in Champion but the swirls of golden walnut leaves twirling down remind us summer is a swift season.
Deer are out in numbers. On the way to Champion from any direction at any time of the day young deer can be seen browsing along the roadsides. They are beautiful to see and their numbers make venison aficionados optimistic for a full freezer this fall. Rabbits are frequently in the road in certain locations. The presence of hawks keeps them undercover in other areas. Monday morning a small hawk was spotted in the road. He paused to have his picture taken and then flew up into a tree for another pose. A few days ago friends over north of Brushy Knob took pictures with their game camera of the bear who comes to their apple tree every year. He is getting to be a big fellow. Champion wildlife makes this a great place to live.
By the time this is in ink the primary election will have taken place and the votes will have been counted. The FCC Fairness Doctrine lasted from 1949 until 1987 when President Reagan made his judgment on the matter. The gist of the doctrine was to afford reasonable opportunity for the discussion of conflicting views on issues of public importance. Certainly it would have been a good thing to have had some clear conversation about “Right to Work.” Each side had figures and anecdotal evidence to support its point of view, though one side was significantly more elucidated around here. Go to www.championnews.us for alternate views, to add your two cents in the comment section, and to enjoy views of Champion with its School Reunions and Spring Flings. Share anything you like at firstname.lastname@example.org or by the excellent US Postal Service at The Champion News, Rt. 72 Box 367, Norwood, MO 65717. Recently a supporter of The Champion News wrote in to explain the RICO Act. RICO is the abbreviation for Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization. RICO crimes include money laundering, extortion, gambling, murder, bribery, securities fraud, dealing in obscene material, drug trafficking and embezzlement. “That’s how we got Al Capone,” the note said, but research shows that it was tax evasion that brought the mob boss down.
Out on the wide veranda of the Recreation of the Historic Emporium a number of locals were discussing hay. They looked up at the field to the north and talked about how Larry Wrinkles had complained that the field was all up hill. Several of them were very familiar with that field. These fellows are old enough to remember bucking hay at a penny a bale. The Prominent Champion said that he and Lonnie Krider had hauled more than a thousand bales out of a field over by Gentryville and stacked it in the barn. He made $50.00 and thought he was rich. They speculated that there is probably not a young man in the country who would buck hay today for any amount of money and would likely not bend over to pick up a penny. MODOT workers spent a leisurely lunchbreak out on the veranda. They have been doing some nice work in the area. One old Champion told them how much she likes the white lines along the edge of the road. It is a good reference particularly as you meet someone who takes his half out of the middle. They said that those folks who drive down the middle probably pay higher taxes for their road use.
School will be starting soon and teachers and staff are already getting ready for the arrival of our wonderful student body. Skyline School students with birthdays in August include third graders Caleb Harden, on the 5th; Jaycee Hall, on the 10th, Cryslynn Bradshaw on the 12th. John Brown is in the second grade. His birthday is on August 15th. Gina Hollingshad celebrates her birthday on August 6th. She has a beautiful voice and plays a variety of instruments. The 6th is also the special day for Lavon Carter over in Ava with her lovely smile. The 7th is for Bobby Three-Sticks. He is a Vietnam Veteran with a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart among other commendations. He is currently waging warfare against egregious venality and his Champion friends commend him for his sterling effort and wish him all success. At 50 now, a Wiseman claims to be the New Kid on the Block, as he considers he is now on the young end of old. Dean Upshaw knows all the words to all the songs that get sung at the Vanzant Jam. His birthday is on the 13th. His friends will be sure he gets celebrated Thursday evening.
David Richardson was there last week talking about a band due to play at the Skyline VFD Picnic on the 10th and 11th. The name of the group is “Just a Few.” David is a funny guy and a great musical performer. He can be seen at any good cause anywhere in the area, particularly if there is music attached.
There will be great music attached to the Skyline VFD Picnic– the last of the summer picnics—the grand finale. The weather will be perfect. Volunteers have been getting things ready for the fun. This year the big prize is a 30 inch gas (propane) smoker. It is a Masterbuilt Signature Series by John McLemores. It features four big shelves and push button ignition. It will be a fine addition to a lucky person’s patio. Local merchants, who had already been approached for donations by any number of organizations, continue to share valuable items and services for door prizes. Last year a visiting cousin said that he could hardly believe that an event such as this could be held without armed security. He is from a big city and folks around here who met him are uniformly glad that he went back there or anywhere.
Just like the old boy says, “Everybody’s got to be somewhere.” You are likely to run into people you have not seen since the picnic last year. Bring your lawn chairs. The Skyline VFD membership will be making cakes for the cake walk and pies for the concession stand. Perhaps David will sing, “I don’t need much, that ain’t no lie. Ain’t running any race. Just give me my country pie. I won’t throw it up in anybody’s face!” in Champion—Looking on the Bright Side!