“Truth, Justice and The American Way!” was the message scrawled on the bathroom wall and discovered after the last of the early summer guests had departed. The message was really written in a precise hand on a small slate hung on the wall in that little room and it caused the host to smile reflecting back on the pleasant hours of conversations concerning music, art, literature, philosophy, politics, religion, farming, gardening, engineering, innovation, health, health care and myriad other subjects. The pleasure derived from such pleasant visiting is one of life’s treasures. Champion!
Dawn and Kenneth Henson surely had some of those great conversations while they were in town for the Mountain Grove Alumni gathering this week. The alumni celebration ties in nicely with the Fourth of July festivities. Saturday was the regular day for the parade and general get-together of people who have attended school there in past years going way back–way back. Dawn did not go to school there. She grew up in Tulsa and had six hundred people in her high school graduating class, which had its 50th reunion this year. She did not attend, saying that she does not feel as close to her own graduating class as she does to Kenneth’s in Champion and in Mountain Grove. She likes the friendly environment in these parts. The two of them spent some pleasant time on the wide veranda at the Champion Store on Sunday. The store was not open, but they still enjoyed a few minutes of leisure looking out over the tranquil scene. Dawn said that it had been 107˚F when they left Houston the other day, so it was not just family history that had them so glad to be back in Champion. They were going to spend some time Sunday afternoon with Uncle Deward Henson’s daughter, then head up to Springfield to visit with brother Royce Henson and his wife Jo. They planned a stop off in Arkansas on their way home to see a granddaughter perform in a school function there. When complimented on his apparent vigor and weight loss, Kenneth (Hoovie) credited his by-pass surgery. He said that he had blown his strict diet in a big way on this trip but that he will get back on the straight and narrow soon. Their Champion friends hope the straight and narrow will bring them back for the Champion School Reunion on the Saturday before Labor Day.
“Is this the Information Bureau?” That was the opening salvo of the telephone conversation initiated by a prominent Champion who was calling to find out what he could do that day according to Linda’s Almanac. The July almanac was late in being posted on the bulletin board at Henson’s Downtown G & G and he could not figure out what to do. It turned out that the day he called and the subsequent day were perfect days for destroying weeds. He had been killing brush the day before so he felt like he was on the right track. The 14th through the 17th will be the next favorable days for planting, particularly for those crops that produce their yield above the ground. The almanac can be studied on the bulletin board in Champion, on the internet at www.championnews.us and over at The Plant Place in Norwood. It is nice to have a plan or to have the comfort of knowing you are doing the right thing at the right time.
Plans are well underway for the Skyline VFD picnic that will be the 9th and 10th of August this year. The Skyline VFD Auxiliary will have its next planning meeting in Champion on Thursday the 11th of July. Time is flying by! Hoovie and Dawn did not get to see the beautiful quilt that is on display in the Historic Emporium, but they have been promised pictures and the opportunity to buy as many tickets as they would like by mail. The drawing will be held on Saturday night of the picnic. The White River Valley Electric Cooperative people have been very nice again this year, awarding $100.00 in free electricity to be won by a participating member. Howell- Oregon Electric has also contributed a Deluxe AM/FM weather alert radio which can be examined at the store in Champion. It will be offered in the silent auction at the picnic so some lucky bidder can enjoy the good news about bad weather and as the Missouri Electric Cooperatives say, “We can’t change the weather, but we can help you plan and prepare.”
Sophia Zappler will have her eleventh birthday on the 13th of July. That is just about the time that Kate and William Winsor are expecting their royal baby. Maybe Sophia will share her birthday with a future queen. Ceiara Carroll will have her birthday on the 14th of July. She will be in the seventh grade at Skyline this fall. Summer is an excellent time for a birthday. Some friends celebrate Christmas time birthdays in the middle of the summer just to have the day be truly special. “Birthday” money should not necessarily have to be spent on other people at Christmas. While giving may indeed be the greatest joy, sometimes it takes a while to figure that out, and for a child or an adult receiving is also most pleasant. That is particularly true of a thoughtful gift. It takes practice to figure out just what might be the most wonderful thing to give to a friend or loved one. The thought behind the gift is decidedly more important than the amount of money spent on it. One old Champion grandmother thinks she will just start giving boxes of “Thank you” notes to grandchildren, who do not seem to have been taught the concept.
Love and Gratitude go together like biscuits and gravy. Country musicians have written many songs about being thankful. Roy Clark sang, “Thank God and Greyhound Your Gone.” Kris Kristofferson wrote to God in his thank you song: “Thank you for that burning sun that’s rising golden in the air that smells so sweet. Thank you for that empty far horizon that opens to a new eternity.” Send your favorite thank you song to Thank You, Champion Items, Rt. 2, Box 367, Norwood, MO 65717 or to Champion@getgoin.net. Better yet, make the trip down to the bottom of the hill on the wide, wooly banks of Old Fox Creek and sing your thank you song right out loud. Climb up the broad graceful steps of the Recreation of the Historic Emporium and turn to look out over one of the world’s truly beautiful places. Hold on to the porch rail with both hands as you express your jubilant joy and gratitude for being in Champion–Looking on the Bright Side!