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The wild unpredictable vicissitudes of Spring are not lost in Champion and Champions stand with bouquets of early flowers and optimism for the warm days ahead. Mushrooms will be gracing certain tables and spring breakers will be out looking for more just to please a sweet grandmother…Meanwhile late Sunday night found fortnight bridge players driving home in the driving snow! What a Champion kind of Spring!
About forty people attended the meeting over at the Vanzant Community Building last Friday night. President Bobby Emory and second fiddle, Robert Upshaw, have been joined on the board by secretary Debbie Stone, treasurer Debbie Shannon, and board members John Unger, Theresa Wrinkles and Brenda Massey. They will have a board meeting all to themselves to assess the situation and hash out plans this coming Friday and then another public meeting on Friday April 15th to inform the community of their findings and figurings. The group has designated the 8th and 9th of July for the Vanzant Picnic this year, so things are moving along already. An email came from Carmen McCarty with some good information about the old building. It was called Clifty Hall School and the last school year there was 1967-1968 with Mrs. Cap (Verla) Wood the last teacher. Clifty Hall was consolidated with the Mountain Grove School District then. Ms. McCarty’s Dad, Claudle Lovan, was a bus driver for the little school as was Merle Kutz. She thinks the only living teacher who taught there is Sybil Gheer. She remembers that they had a Clifty Hall Yearbook one year but she lost her copy during one of her moves. Perhaps someone will find an extra copy to share with her.
“You’ll never plow a field by turning it over in your mind,” according to an old Irish saying. Linda’s Almanac from over at the Plant Place in Norwood says that the 29th through the 31st will be barren days, best suited for killing plant pests or to plow or cultivate. The first and second of April will be good days for planting root crops, extra good for vine crops and to set strawberry plants. These are also good days for transplanting. It looks like the 5th and 6th will be good days for getting those peas in the ground for slowpokes who do not have it done yet. Some old Champions have become so precious that they do not think they should be cold or uncomfortable in any way. Fair weather gardening is still probably much better than no gardening at all. A look at the prices in the grocery store might be enough to have them rethink their delicacy. Find a copy of the Almanac on the website at www.championnews.us or over at the Plant Place or down at Henson’s Store currently located in the Temporary Annex on the West side of the Square.
“When?” It is a much-asked question. “Whenever” is as good an answer as is liable to be had. “Are we there yet?” the kid asks before the car is out of the driveway. Patience. It seems that every week there is a family dispute concerning the spelling and meaning of a couple of words. To finally set the record straight: A “patient” in a hospital is often required to have “patience” with the red-tape and aggravations of being hospitalized. Two people in the hospital are “patients” and must each also have “patience.” English is a delightfully complex language. It is always appropriate to correct the grammar of a child if it is done in a kind and instructive way. Patience is always appropriate even when “When?” is over-asked.
Mr. and Mrs. Wesley Davis of Republic have had their nuptials celebrated Booger County style with much fanfare and delight of family and friends who wish them a long and happy life together. It is lovely to see a young couple starting out well grounded and with the support and appreciation of a good community. Congratulations! Mozel tov!
The struggle to stay on the Bright Side is less arduous in isolation. When there is no distressing news of political unrest, natural disasters, unnatural disasters, and human suffering, it is easy enough to live that sweet Utopian (Champion) life—free of any contention, free of artificial flavorings and colorings. The bright and flavorful citizens and environs of Champion have no requirement for dangerous and unnecessary chemicals. Red 40, Yellow 5 and Yellow 6 are particularly onerous. An editorial in the Washington Post reveals that the European Parliament requires that foods containing these chemicals must bear a label warning that the dyes “may have an adverse effect on activity and attention in children.” There are cancer risks as well. There are many vivid natural food dyes made largely from plant extracts that do not pose these threats, but using them requires costly and inconvenient reformulating of the food products—something that European manufacturers but few companies here have been willing to do. Maybe the worst aspect of the whole food-coloring issue is that children are attracted toward brightly colored processed products that are high in calories but low in nutrients. Champions recognize that there is an emotional connection between people and color and as citizens of the world, prefer to grow their food rather than to manufacture it. Informed choices are Champion. It all adds up over time like plutonium, which was the first man-made element produced in a quantity large enough to see. Now they say that there are traces of radioactivity in the rain in Champion. It adds to the little piece of radioactivity from Chernobyl and all the atomic tests and bombs going back to White Sands, and all the mammograms and dental x-rays that do not shield the thyroid gland. Even in the deepest hollows and the ‘fer backest’ hills there is no longer the option to be isolated. So Champions accept their place as world citizens and will live the example of being good neighbors and friends, minding their own business and behaving. One old Champion will try to stop using the word ‘sweet’ to mean good. It is a start.
Vivian Floyd was just about settled in to enjoy a Stained Glass Theatre production the other evening when the General abruptly appeared and demanded to see her ticket. He seems to be everywhere at the same time and to Ms. Floyd’s credit she laughed right in his face! She has a great laugh and Champions hope she will bring it down home one of these days soon. Maybe she will be here for the Champion Easter Parade again this year. The General is practicing walking and playing his accordion at the same time and if he can find someone to follow maybe he will not wander off into the brush this year. They said that last year he was following the Spotted Hog. If a gentleman is someone who knows how to play the accordion, but doesn’t, then what do you call a General who does not necessarily know how to play, but does? Answer at Champion@getgoin.net. His fans most often request him to play “Far Far Away.” Sing what you like as you stroll around colorful Champion—Looking on the Bright Side!