The Champion News – Wilda Moses

 Feb. 2 – The Kansas City Chiefs are Champions! The Champion Super-Bowl watch party was a lovely affair, made all the more exciting by the win. Earlier in the day Champion’s groundhog found himself sunburned and some old gardeners found themselves exhausted after taking advantage of the beautiful day to over work. The late Lonnie Krider once cited some ancestor who said, “There’ll come a day in February when a dog looks for the shade.” And so it came to pass. The family dog found the shade and the old gardeners rested and found themselves restored by the spectacle of jubilation among football fans. Happy Groundhog Day!

Sharon Tate Williamson shared an old photo online of students in a one room school house with a big wood stove and said, “I would not trade those days for anything! I went to Bakersfield, Champion, and Fairview in Eastern Douglas County Missouri. What memories!”  Connie Brown saw the picture and said, “Daddy went to Bakersfield, Fairview, Champion, Pole Pen, Vanzant, and then Mountain Grove.” Kay Grace said, “I went to Fieldon one school year.” Carole Callahan Barnhart said, “Fairview for 2 years. I have lots of memories!” Pete Proctor said, Fairview all 8 years– the last 8th grade when they closed the school in 1958.” Many of these little schools, including Denlow, were consolidated into Skyline about that time. One local alumnus said that she saw the first indoor plumbing when she went to Skyline. 

Our great little school is still perking along. It is one of only two rural schools left in Douglas County, the other is Plainview. Demographics have changed as our population has aged. There are fewer children in the area and many are being home schooled, but still the Skyline Tigers roar. Hopes are that Sharon, Connie and her Dad, Kay, Carol and Pete will remember their ‘good old golden rule days’ and use their influence to support our school which can use some serious help. We save the Box Tops for Education and the UPC codes from Always Save and Best Choice products. What else can we do?  Maybe all these alumni can contact their class mates and appeal to their nostalgia and generosity to come up with some good ideas.   

Meanwhile, we can sing, “Happy birthday to you,” to Aidan Acre, a third grade student on the 8th and to MaKenzie Jonas, a prekindergarten student, on the 9th.  We can sing that song to Cowboy Jack too. His birthday is on the 7th. Surely he went to school around these parts somewhere.  

On Saturday Skyline hosted an archery tournament with archers from Gainesville, Manes, Cabool and Buffalo. There were 150 archers shooting. Skyline’s Conner Jonas received his first 1st place in the Elementary Boys Division and Haylee Surface received her first medal, 3rd place in the Elementary Girls Division. The next home tournament will be on February 29th.  

It is a wonderfully quiet sport except for the thump when arrows hit the targets. Spectators enjoy the concession stand and the chance to support and encourage these young people who are developing skills that will serve them well in the future. They know how to be calm, how to concentrate and they see that they can grow and improve with hard work. Good life lessons.  

Navy Veteran, Melissa Masters, down in Austin, Texas is doing good work for the benefit of her community as she is an advocate for people in difficult situations. Her birthday is February 6th. Champion daughter-in-law, Sarah Rucker, will have a big birthday on the 8th.She also has great responsibilities helping people recover from serious illnesses and injuries. An old Champion said that the daughters she wanted were provided to her by her sons. “They are strong, smart, musical, inventive, innovative, practical, whimsical, creative, stubborn, beautiful, loving and kind. My boys know how to pick them.”  

The world seems to be in turmoil on both sides of both the big oceans. People are over wrought and searching for expression. One finds some comfort in a quote from Shakespeare’s Henry IV Part 2: “You scullion!  You rampallian!  You fustilarian! I’ll tickle your catastrophe!” Language was a little more flowery in 1596. Some words have fallen out of use. The need to vent frustration is as appropriate today as it was back in the 16th century. Stubborn people can be infuriating. 

On the way down to the wide, wooly banks of Auld Fox Creek you may spy a handsome mule grazing in a field and it might occur to you that the mule is saddled with the reputation for being stubborn, but it is really only an abundance of common sense and a strong desire for self-preservation that makes the animal  inclined to resist. On a sunny day on the wide veranda of the Historic Emporium enjoy some civil discourse. There is likely to be someone around who can tell you stories about local mules. If not, just relax and delight in being in one of the world’s most pleasant places. Champion! Looking on the Bright Side!