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A review of the first week of April over the last five years reveals the following: Good news in Champion (April 9, 2007) is that Spring is back again! During the course of the week assessments will have been made about the degree of freeze damage to trees and shrubs, though the full extent may not be evident for some time. Some are hoping for a second mushroom season to follow the second winter. All are optimistic about something. It is just the Champion mind-set to look ahead with expectations of a favorable outcome. On April 6, 2008, there is a rumor in Champion that dogwoods are blooming! By the time this goes to ink it may be so in a widespread way. May apples are up two or three inches high and mushroom hunters have begun to gather ticks already. There is a great rivalry to claim the first and most of anything among Champions. They can’t help it. April 6, 2009, said that April slipped in to Champion as quietly as the March lamb left and all was springly sweet and pleasant those first few days. T.S. Elliot was right though when he said, “April is the cruelest month, breeding Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing memory and desire, stirring dull roots with Spring rain.” Mr. Elliot wrote his poem, “The Waste Land,” in 1922, and it lives up to its name with some very dreary imagery. Clearly, he was not from around here because even the brutal cold winds of those next few days with threats of snow and frozen flowers did not frost the spirits of Champions though they may have been picking ticks from their long handles. On April 5, 2010, Champions, alert to the inevitability of change, welcome it with the same ease and grace with which the seasons come and go. Even so. Let it be. The genuine heart of Champion does not change, however, the part that acknowledges the importance of good neighbors and good deeds and that part that recognizes and celebrates the beauty of the place. So on April 4, 2011, everything is the same–beautiful and full burgeoning growing things and full happy hearts. Not boring—Champion!
The Barren Fork Traditional Muzzleloading Association bunch will host the spring Rendezvous April 16th and 17th over north of Gainesville. Participating campers will reflect the 1640-1840 time period in their costume and camp gear. Visitors are welcome to come and look around. Ed Peterka has all the particulars and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. What an excellent opportunity for young folks and the rest of us to get a look at how things were back in the old days. It took some sturdy individuals to thrive during those times and to raise families that raised families that are Champion families today. Time is a fluid concept. Dillon Watts will have his birthday on the 12th. He will have to have a belated Champion party as his spring break is slow in arriving this year. Bob Berry will celebrate on the 14th and all his Champion friends will be ready to shake his hand to say, “Wow! You sure don’t look that old!” He and Mary will most likely be at the Vanzant Community meeting on Friday night, so that will be a good chance to glad hand a nice man. That meeting will inform the public about the situation, condition, etc. of the community building and plans for the future. Everyone is welcome—7 p.m. Income Tax Day finds George G. Jones another year older if unchanged from his flamboyant youth. Taegan’s Uncle Dusty and her great Aunt Vivian will share the spotlight at different parties together on that day too. That is on Friday and so is liable to be a blowout. Packing heat and partying hearty, that whole outfit might as well be called the Wild Bunch. There is a good chance that Harley and Barbara will be down to enter the fray and they will be considered to be a sight for sore eyes. Maybe Barbara will have a preview of her Spring collection!
It is reported that there are 3,060,000 people in the U.S. military and reserves, accounting for less than two percent of the population of 305,816,827 people. Other sources say less than one percent of the population is currently serving. Whether it is less than two percent or less than one percent, three million people are still quite a few. It is wonderful that the Constitution can be supported and defended so well by so few. There are 25.2 million veterans who have done that defending for the rest of the population and the Veteran’s Administration says that on any given night there are 107,000 homeless veterans. Just knowing the numbers is not really much help. Anyone wanting to show Love and Gratitude to a Veteran as a friend or a stranger can contact the local Veterans organizations. The VFW posts and the American Legion have numbers in the phone books and avenues of direct support to Veterans in need. Champion!
Research into early April in Champion’s recent years unearthed this from 2007: “All over this part of the country the forsythia is in full bloom. There are many beautiful examples of it but perhaps none so lovely as the one in Louise and Wilburn’s front yard. It is not as large as some, but for overall beauty it is without compare. It is so wonderfully symmetrical and each blossom seems especially large and well formed. The branches all spring from a center core and arch themselves upward and outward like a mellifluous gilded fountain. The open spaces uniformly highlight the perfection of each flowered bow. Like Louise and Wilburn,it is a Champion! Louise says that it is just that pretty again this year but she allows as how Judy Hutchison, her sister-in-law, over west of C Highway has one that is truly magnificent. This shrub is fairly easy to get started and pretty much takes care of itself. Linda has some excellent specimens of it over at the Plant Place in Norwood and a wealth of information about it and most anything that grows. Her Almanac says the 5th, 6th, 9th and 10th are all good days to plant crops that bear their yield above ground and they are all good for transplanting and planting flowers. Find the almanac on the counter there or in the links section at www.championnews.us or posted on the refrigerator in Henson’s Store currently located in the Temporary Annex on the West Side of the Square in Downtown Champion just to the south of the Loafing Shed and immediately across the thoroughfare from the edifice that some say is surely most representative of the Golden Ratio.
The 35th Annual All Fool’s Formal was a grand success over at the Ace Café last Friday. That is a spot over on the Far Side of Booger County and the place was simply jumping! Judy T. Ing started the event back in the 1970′s and it carries on as a tribute to her and to all Champions everywhere with big hearts, love and tolerance for their fellowmen, and the willingness to get silly while still being good! Send any kind of good Champion report to Champion@getgoin.net or to Champion Items, Rt. 2, Box 367 Norwood, MO. 65717. “Forget your troubles, come on get happy. Sing your blues away. Shout Hallelujah, come on get happy! Get ready for the Judgment Day!” Snap your fingers as you stroll around the Square. It is Champion! Looking on the Bright Side!