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A little recollection of winters chill is just what Champions enjoy on the very edge of Spring. A brisk breeze at a damp 52 degrees is just enough to spur genuine enthusiasm for the new season. A chance visit to the Village on Thursday revealed some definite sign of multiple horses on the Old North Road right at Clever Creek. It turns out that Bud Hutchison had his Spring Trail Ride on Wednesday and a glorious day it was. Fifteen riders took their regular route and it was said that some were disappointed at the lack of press coverage. Who knew? After the fact, the report is of a lovely adventure.
A cold Saturday morning found the little Temporary Annex over on the West side of the Square packed with customers/socializers. A small place can easily fill up (axel deep on a Ferris wheel) as the regulars wash metaphorical hogs and describe scenes of border collies floating down the flood on mushrooms. Warmer days will carry this rhetoric out to the Loafing Shed where it can be diluted adequately with clean fresh Champion air.
On Monday morning the space shuttle Endeavor took off on its final voyage. Champions may not see immediate tangible benefits from the particle physics experiments known as the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer but will not rule out the possibility. Exciting things happen in Champion every day. Some of the last of the Fox Creek Rodeo stock took their final voyage off to the sale barn in Ava during the week under the stewardship of the Young Farmer and his Uncle. The initial loading of the animals was dicey, but no one was hurt, and the unloading and the sale were well executed. The trouble came on the way back out on Highway 14. Now the bridge there over the Bryant is an attractive span and well built if narrow by current standards. The terminus of a steep hill and a sharp curve marks its Western approach so that Eastbound traffic has not much of a rear view but a good clear view of the road ahead and oncoming traffic. This consisted of a truck at an appropriate distance to allow for accommodation of one rig on the bridge at a time. Suddenly, as the Fox Creek Boys neared the bridge, there came roaring upon them from behind another outfit pulling an empty trailer. Reckless speed and loose control had it careening about the road, narrowly missing the Champions and nearly forcing the oncoming truck off the road. It all happened so quickly that there was scant time to identify the offensive vehicle, just enough for great sighs of relief and expressions of profound gratitude. Tail-gating is nervous making and it is difficult not to speed up when someone follows too closely. It also goes to say that even excellent drivers can be compromised by thoughtless others. The other day, over at Lazy Lees in Norwood, a certain Smith Champion was pumping gas when another customer pulled into the bay quickly and stopped abruptly quite near just as Smith had completed his fueling. He returned the nozzle to the pump and stepped hastily into his truck and slammed the door. It was then that he realized he had sat himself in the back seat of his truck. After a moment he stepped out, gave the lady in the little car a gentlemanly wave, and got in behind the wheel this time and left. He told the story on himself, or no one would ever have found out.
The Fortnight Bridge Club met in Champion on Saturday night. While the Vera Cruz player was off on the annual Audubon bird count, substituting for her was Champion Cookie from the East Side of Fox Creek, quite an able player. The Norwood and Brushy Knob players both came in from the north and reported Cold Springs Road to be in quite good repair after the rains. The play was sprightly with few errors in bidding or in the playaltogether a satisfying game. Anyone looking to learn how to play bridge can visit with Linda over at the Plant Place in Norwood or can contact the American Contract Bridge League at www.acbl.org. Find a link to that site in the Champion Connections section of www.championnews.us. It is in the same section as Lindas Almanac, which informs Champions that the 21st and 22nd will both be good days for planting root crops. Linda has been playing bridge for a long timedecadesand still takes lessons. Continuing to learn is a Champion endeavor. Amy, a Norwoodian transplanted to Lees Summit, keeps up with Lindas bridge playing through the Champion News. She is a long time customer from back in the days when Linda was doing craft shows. Now she pops into the Plant Place when she is home for a visit. She also likes to shop at the Army and enjoys a good bargain. It is good to know that the Champion News has an impact somewhere, helping to alleviate homesickness. Describe your favorite bridge or your homesickness in a note to Champion Items, Rt. 2, Box 367, Norwood, MO 65717 or to Champion@getgoin.net.
A bridge to somewhere is the title of an article written by Tom Sileo in a weekly column called The Unknown Soldier. He makes a point to acknowledge the many U.S. service members who make the extra effort, despite risks, to give children caught in war zones a bright spot in their difficult days. As they frequently hand out candy and toys to kids in the villages, they believe that showing kindness and compassion to innocent people oppressed by totalitarianism and terror is part of their duty. Champions hope that kindness and compassion will extend to those soldiers upon their return home.
The blooms of that magnificent Forsythia in Wilburn and Louises yard have given over to dense foliage now, but the pink and red roses on the archway over their gate are just as amazing. They hardly look real and Champions slow down as they pass just to gawk at them. Slow down, youre moving too fast. Youve got to make the morning last. That is from the 59th Street Bridge Song where they are Looking for fun and feeling groovy. They are headed in the right directionto ChampionLooking on the Bright Side!