The Champion News – Wilda Moses

Feb. 17 – Among the Champion mail this week comes a letter recommending “The Turnbo Manuscripts” by Silas Clairborne Turnbo 1844-1925. Probably local Civil War aficionados are acquainted with Mr. Turnbo’s work as many of his 800 stories have to do with happenings in this part of the world, including an incident on Fox Creek,   one down south of Rock Bridge and a particularly gruesome one over at Vera Cruz. 

Concerning the Civil War times here about, the letter says, “It has caused me to reflect some on how local folks suffered not only the fear of enemy armies and the fear that a son or brother, or father might return maimed or not at all, but also, because of a population of mixed sympathies, the fear that a neighbor or friend or relative might be, as well, an enemy and ride up one day and shoot you down on your own doorstep. The events of the Civil War seem remote and unreal, but they happened not so long ago.”  

The letter points out that the entire nation is now a population of mixed sympathies. Our best hopes are that we can use civility and common sense to avoid “the unfocused, disorganized violence that happened in the Ozarks in the 1860s.” Find a link to “The Turnbo Manuscripts” at  and keep those cards, and letters coming in at and at Rt. 72 Box 367, Norwood, MO 65717.

Wild turkeys came strutting through a Champion yard this morning and an early flock of robins adorned tall walnut trees in profusion as the mist rising from the valley met the fog. Spring is surely on the way in this glorious part of the world. Gardeners are watching tiny seedlings emerge on their window sills and planning their rows and beds. Mushrooms are on the minds of many watching the thermometer for a signal to start hunting.  

The 16th is the birthday of Donna Mullens Gainer. Her folks were Pete and Bonnie Mullens and she grew up in Kansas. She said they were here every summer when she was a kid and now they get back to Denlow for Memorial Day every year. They will be at the Denlow School Skyline Reunion where they can enjoy the stories of Denlow and those other precious little country schools that molded their folks into such fine people. Skyline prekindergarten student, Rayleigh Harvey has her birthday on the 18th. She and her classmate, Maci King, whose birthday is on the 24th, are fortunate to be attending one of the last two little country schools in all of Douglas County. 

Alumni of Skyline are looking for ways to insure that this great little school continues to thrive. It is turning out good citizens who will be running the country in a few years. One little thing we can do is to save those Always Save and Best Choice UPC barcodes and the Box Tops for Education coupons that come on most General Mills products as well as on Ziplock goods. Drop them off at the school or at Henson’s G&G in downtown Champion or mail them to Skyline R2 School, Rt. 72 Box 486, Norwood, MO 65717. Every little bit helps.  

Back to birthdays: Joanna Bell celebrates on the 21st. Stacy Krider Cline, Skyline alumnus and former teacher, mother of Drayson and Carson, has her birthday on the 23rd. Farmer’s Market Arnie will have his party on the 24th. That is also the special day for Ruth Fish Collins. Ruth has a beautiful velvety voice and a great repertory of songs. One starts out, “It was colder than a well diggers ankles in Cut Bank, Montana…” 

That is how cold it was last Thursday when prudence prevailed. The wild antics of the thermometer sparked the cancellation of the Vanzant Bluegrass Jam.  Who knows what Valentine’s Day sparked the next day? Everyone will be ready for the music this week and to catch up with friends.  

The pot-luck is at 6:00 and the music starts at 7:00. Everyone is welcome. Bring your acoustic instrument and sing along….”and the icicles melted away at the sound of her name…” Champion—Looking on the Bright Side!