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The good news in Champion has to do with the whippoorwills and the hummingbirds. These are the sure harbingers of Spring and are as welcome as would be gift of a dozen mushrooms the size of pop cans. The hummers will be here in force before long as the ‘scouts’ have been here for a couple of weeks now. Many Champions keep feeders out for them and find them fascinating to watch. They use the sugar water and flower nectars to fuel their astonishing metabolism and for protein and other nutrients they eat soft-bodied insects and spiders! Some suggest setting out some overripe fruit or banana peels to attract flies for the hummers, but most folks in the country have enough flies to share already. It would be nice to let them in the house to go on spider patrol, a Champion idea if unrealistic. Articles found at hummingbirds.net indicate that red dye is not necessary to attract the birds and that it may be harmful to them. They can live a long time. Some say the average is three to four years, but some species have been documented to live for twelve years. Champion!
When Champion seamstresses of a certain age were learning to sew, it was customary that the nap of a fabric such as velvet or even some corduroys should go from the top down. That is to say a person wearing a velvet shirt should be able to stroke the sleeve from the shoulder down to the elbow had have it be smooth. Conversely, stroking against the grain or nap from elbow to shoulder would produce a rough sensation. Sometime during the past forty years things have changed. Now almost any velvet garment a person can buy has the nap running up. It is suggested that as long as all the individual pieces in the garment run in the same direction it does not matter. To be rubbed the wrong way is however unpleasant.
It seems that it is easy enough to rub someone the wrong way without trying. Champions expend good effort to maintain their friendships. Some other old Champions think that nap is their afternoon snooze and are definitely badly rubbed if disturbed.
Champions are grateful for having missed out on the recent bad weather that has caused such death and destruction on either side of them. Spring is an especially volatile time weather wise, though this part of the world has experienced tornadoes in every month of the year. Sympathy for those suffering goes along with humility concerning good fortune. April has been designated as the Month of the Military Child by the VFW. Governor Nixon signed the proclamation acknowledging the military child as a source of pride to Missouri and recognizing the children of Missouri National Guardsmen for their sacrifices and the challenges they endure as their parents protect the state and nation as well as provide humanitarian relief around the world. In celebration the Missouri National Guard’s Family Warrior Support group has scheduled events and activities throughout the month. Look for details at http://vfwwebcom.org/missouri. A link can be found to this VFWsite at www.championnews.us. Look for Linda’s almanac there too. It says that the whole of the Easter weekend can be given over to planting root crops. Champions in frost pockets know that there is still plenty of time to get a good garden in. It may be too early to plant out those delicate things, but the soil can be readied. There is never a shortage of things to do in a pretty garden. They say if you see a pretty garden, there is generally someone in it. Around here it will be a Champion.
Esther Wrinkles reported a great meeting last Friday over at the newly renamed and reorganized Vanzant Community Center. Sybil Gheer will be pleased to know that the first Pie Supper has been scheduled for May 7. Everyone is welcome come and to bring a pie or any other good thing for the auction. Esther said that J.W. Collins and the young Shannon auctioneer will be doing the honors that evening so it should be a lot of fun. She has a sign up in her dining room that says “Pie Fixes Everything.” The community center needs a little fixing up and that is the purpose for the proceeds of the evening. It will be a great kick-off for the Spring and Summer Social calendar, so mark it down and show up to see old friends and to make new ones. Champion! (Vanzant really.)
That other Tennessee boy has been in the neighborhood visiting with his Grandmother. He has brought his banjo and his good humor to help Champion stay on the bright side. His younger cousins will be swarming around him because he is so much fun and his great uncle Harley has made a trip from Illinois in time to coincide with Dillon’s visit. He has what is called a magnetic personality. He will have to leave before the Easter Parade in Champion but he will not consider himself to have missed much. Perhaps next year he and his other great uncle, The General, will have a marching banjo-accordion duet worked up for the parade. “Here Comes Peter Cotton Tail Hopping Down The Bunny Trail.” Hippity hoppity on in to Champion singing your favorite song, maybe that one about your Easter Bonnet with all the flowers on it. Send any news of Champion interest or examples of “therein lies the rub” to Champion Items, Rt. 2, Box 367, Norwood, MO 65717, or to Champion@getgoin.net. Enjoy a pleasant stroll around the Square in Downtown Champion—Looking on the Bright Side!