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A favorite Champion song is “May the good Lord bless and keep you, whether near or far away. May you find that long awaited golden day today.” When that golden day comes along Champions know it and are not want to waste a second of it. The past’s nostalgic hold and future’s promise have little to do with what is happening now in Champion.
Bill Long has been working in his garden. Every so once in a while he just goes out and plows it up to kill the weeds. He has put in onions already and has his potatoes planted and noticed that his thornless blackberry bushes are starting to leaf out. He is going Spoonbilling at Cape Fair with his grandson this week. There was a great article in the recent Conservation Magazine about the process, Anthony Ford a paddlefish angler from up at Warsaw says that all you have to have is a sixteen ounce sinker, two treble hooks and a stout pole and you can catch a 50 to 100-pound fish. The most interesting thing he had to say about the whole thing is, “It’s always better to be lucky than good.” As that statement relates to Bill, Crenna will have to be the judge. She had her birthday on the fifth of the month. Bill said she does not celebrate them anymore. It might just be that since he forgot it, he thinks that she forgets it too. Birthdays are funny. Geoff, a long time Champion from over Champion East, will have his celebration on the twelfth and will be happy if the sun shines in on him on his sixty tooth (second) birthday. Kindergartener Patricia Maggard will have her sixth birthday on March 16th , so it will be ten years before she is sixteen on the sixteenth. Myla Sarginson who is in the first grade will have to wait eleven years to be 18 on the 18thw. Katelyn Souder will be 13 on the 19th. She is a sixth grader at Skyline. In just six years she will be nineteen on the nineteenth! Time is fleet. Champion Sam over in Edinburgh will have his birthday on the 15th of the month. “Beware the Ides of March,” said the soothsayer to Julius Caesar. It turns out that there are ‘Ides’ in every month…It just means the 15th of the month. Sam shares his day with his second cousin, Jacob Masters, of Austin, Texas, who is thirty years younger than Sam and will be nine this year. Amazing.
Spring Break! What a wonderful concept! Champions are just mad (in a good way) about the whole idea, particularly when it brings long missed children from distant places. There will be long quiet days ahead, days in a row when the phone does not ring and the mailbox yawns empty, but this week is full of giggling, laughter, lots of drums and music, much exploring, gardening, storytelling, friendship bracelets, violin solos, cookie baking and bread making, popcorn, games and games of UNO and scavenger hunts together with great art works. Champion is in a whirlwind of girls! There are pick-up truck loads of them descending on the place. Champion indeed!
A good rain is just what this part of the world needed to squelch the fire danger. The end of last week found Champion North ablaze. It is possible that the very high winds broke limbs that broke electric lines that sparked dry brush and started the whole thing. Whatever the cause, the Skyline Area Volunteer Fire Department (yea!) and the Missouri Conservation Department (yea!) were able to control it. Most all of the property formerly known as the Orville Hicks place on the East side of Cold Springs Road was scorched and blackened. That may be about fifty acres. Fortunately, there were no homes damaged, though some were in the path, and homeowners are grateful that trained, knowledgeable, and brave volunteers and professionals will put themselves in danger to protect the lives and property of people in the community. They are doubtlessly pleased for the rain to soak things thoroughly enough to give them some respite from firefighting without so much rain that water rescues are the order of the day. The weather has been unusual all over the world recently, and while some may still be of the mind that this is not ‘global warming’ or ‘climate change’ it is certain that hardly anything is like it used to be. Champions keep a weather eye out and stay Grateful.
When the sun hit the garden Monday morning, the peas began to emerge from the ground. Look for Linda’s Almanac online at www.championnews.us or at The Plant Place in Norwood, or at Henson’s Grocery and Gas over on the North Side of the Square in Historic Downtown Champion. The Almanac gives a good day by day guide for when it is best to plant root crops, above the ground crops, flowers, and seed beds; when it is best to transplant or fertilize or harvest or wean. It is like having an old person around who knows everything without having to put up with the annoying habits that some old people can develop. Champions are careful to not to become annoying old know-it-alls. Even the Saturday Philosophy Club, which meets most days in the Club Room in the back of the Recreated Mercantile, has certain standards of behavior. Compliance is optional, obviously.
Soldiers do not have many options. They go where they are told to go and do what they are told to do. That they are willing to serve to protect and defend the population and the wonderful Constitution is a gift that Champions appreciate. To those who have served and are home again, Champions say, “Welcome and thanks.”
When Spring Break is over things will settle down again and life will resume its pleasant pace.
Harley and Barbara will come home for a little while. The Young Farmer will have the roof on his new house. Things will change and things will be very much the delightful same. Wander down to the Square on the wild and wooly banks of Old Fox Creek to describe your golden days. If you find that you cannot make the trip for reasons of practicality or facility, send those descriptions and pleasant recollections to Champion@getgoin.net or to Champion Items, RT 2 Box 367, Norwood, MO 65717. It will still be standing when the hoard of Spring Breakers depart. The young people will return to their interesting lives in the outside world, with all their hi-tech toys and the big city noise, but they will remember their time in Champion—Looking on the Bright Side!