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Champions Nellie has been well rewarded for her patience. The sun finally did shine and now it looks ominously like summer. No complaints come from Champion, however, because Champions are busy being Grateful, and it is presumed that Nellie got what she was waiting for.
The 25th Denlow School Reunion was quite a festive occasion. Fred Follis led the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag and then the mischief began. With (General) Robert Upshaw presiding, all the attending former students of the Denlow School were acknowledged, as were all of those who served in the U.S. Military. There was special recognition for Grace Smith Hicks. She was a former student and a former teacher. As a student, she shared a desk with Velma Hopper Gray and Velma said that she would occasionally draw a line down the center of the desk to define the separation. There were many stories told and memories shared. The General said that Lou Penner had been his favorite teacher. Others talked about outings down to the creek and climbing up to the top of the hill to the ball field. There was basketball and all kinds of fun, but everyone agreed that the schooling was solid and they all came out of there knowing how to read and write, though the General does not seem to be too big on math. He moderated a quiz between Denlow Students and Non-Denlow Others. There were twelve questionsno math. Denlow was the clear winner, answering nine questions correctly with the Others answering only six. Both teams missed the final question: What is the official language of the United States?
Laverne Miller shared an interesting story. In the spring of 1946, he and a bunch of fellows from around Denlow got together to play baseball. They were the Denlow Wildcats and Miller said that by the time they had played together for a couple of years, they were pretty good. He played third base. Pete Roberson was the second baseman. He had a milk route at that time and he currently lives up around Springfield somewhere. Cecil Keller, brother of Esther Wrinkles, was first baseman and Norman Anderson played shortstop. Cletis Upshaw was the right fielder; Jimmy Hopper was the center fielder and did some catching. Gene Hicks was left fielder. The pitcher was a short kid whose last name was Rainey. Carl Honaker was their catcher and he was really good. He played AA baseball for the Chicago White Sox and was on his way to the big leagues when he got spiked and that was the end of his career. Miller had returned from the war on December 12, 1945, according to Jessie Mae (Williams) whom he married shortly there after. She said that later that spring they started up the ball team. They have been married 65 years now and enjoy reminiscing. Joann and Wayne Anderson just celebrated 55 years!
The afternoon found many out in the gazebo recovering from the splendid potluck feast. After an exciting auction, the crowd was treated to some excellent music performed by Rod Humbyrdvocals and guitar, Jerry Wagnerfiddle, vocals and yodels, and Wayne Anderson–banjo and vocals. Andersons daughter, Linda Clark, joined her fine voice in for those fine close harmonies, as did others at a distance. The music brings back memories and like all these occasions the memories are mixed sweet and sad. Connections and reconnections with dear family and friends surely are the sweetest of old memories and new ones. It was lovely to see Ruby Proctor and Lorene Johnston and on and on.
The signs are about to change again. The moon is crossing over the equator from south to north on Thursday. Friday and Saturday the 3rd and 4th will both be good days to plant crops that bear their yield above the ground. There is much to be learned from a good almanac, but out there in the sunshine and the soil is where the lessons bear fruit. Some days are not good for planting and some are good for a variety of things. The best fishing days are 4, 12, 13, 22, and 23. Learn all this and more from Lindas Almanac now available at www.championews.us and on the refrigerator in the seemingly Very Temporary Annex of the Historic Emporium located for the time being on the West Side of the Square in the current nerve center and Scenic Heart of the Commercial District of Downtown Champion situated comfortably on the wide and wild West Bank of Fox Creek. The eastern entry is just where the pavement ends (or begins) at the bottom of the hill. Find Lindas Almanac up at The Plant Place in Norwood, too.
A Champion was finally glad that the muffler is shot on his weed-eater. At last there is something loud enough to drown out the sound of the cicadas. Musically minded Champions find fun cupping their hands over their ears to change the percussion effect and find it charming that the sound resonates sympathetically with their existing tinnitis. Others are eating them. Go out with a paper bag and gather the newly hatched ones early in the morning and they can be ready by lunch–with a nice garden salad. A quick parboil of 4 or 5 minutes will kill any bacteria. Discard the hard pieces, wings and heads, and roast the rest on a cookie sheet at 225 degrees for 8 minutes. After parboiling they can be marinated for a few minutes in garlic, soy sauce or whatever you like. They are reported to be a crunchy and tasty source of high protein with no fat or cholesterol. Champion?
A message on Memorial Day from the Disabled American Veterans reminds Champions everywhere that generation after generation, brave souls continue to give their lives for freedom. Their hospitals have been filled and refilled with wounded heroesyoung men and women who have lost eyes, legs, arms, and mental well-being. Some of them in and out of hospitals are having a hard time. All of them have the Love and Gratitude of Champions. After the Pledge of Allegiance over at the Denlow School, they would always sing, My Country Tis of Thee, Sweet Land of Liberty, of thee I sing! Sing it out loud (outside) in ChampionLooking on the Bright Side!