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Champions notice that they like people who look like themselves.  They really like people who speak the way that do–or “talk like them,” to illustrate.  They often marry people who look like they look.  Just study the newspaper to see how often the betrothed or just married pair seems to share the same smile.   That is the way it is with Harley and Barbara.  They both have radiant smiles with twinkly eyes and a quick and sharp sense of humor.  It may be that it is true that people who live together for a long time begin to look alike.  That is not the case with them, however, as stature and fashion sense affirms the differences as indeed being from Venus and Mars.  While they do not look very much alike (stature and fashion), one does not look at either of them without being reminded in some pleasant way of the other.  When cupid loosed his bow on them all those many years ago, it took.  Currently both are somewhat under the weather.  Their Champion friends, family, and neighbors all yearn to know that they are feeling better and actively extend good wishes to effect that happy end.   Sweethearts are Champions!

Weeks now after it was over, the Superbowl football game between the New York Giants and the New England Patriots still figures frequently in conversations around the stove.  They say that for the next fifty years they will be talking about that Manning to Manningham play.  Meanwhile, in Auckland, they are talking about a fan who ran out on the field in his underwear during a rugby game between New Zealand and Samoa and gave a flying tackle to the Samoan player with the ball.  After the fracas was over, New Zealand won that game, but on February 12th, in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, Samoa won the final game for the World Rugby Championship. There will probably be parades in Samoa this week.   American football and rugby share their origins and have some basic similarities.  The games are played on similar fields, with the similar goal of advancing the similarly shaped ball to the designated end zone to score points.   There are generally eleven players on the field for each team in American football, and thirteen per team in rugby.  One of the major differences in the two sports is that in rugby, only the player who has the ball can be interfered with by the opposing team , tackled or blocked or held, and any member of the team can advance the ball.  While this would seem to make the game less brutal, with no offensive blocking, etc., it turns out that the game is still quite fierce.  There are no real time-outs in rugby and the players do not wear padding or any kind of protective gear to speak of.  They just play in t-shirts and gym shorts and shoes.  One Champion notes that the rugby players wear fewer clothes but are much more modest than the American football players in all that specialized spandex that makes her kind of blush in spite of the fact that the game is sanctioned as wholesome activity everywhere in the nation.  Rugby players do not wear helmets so their faces are more visible and it somehow makes the game more personal.  The games are a little different, but in Champion and Samoa sports fans live vicariously through their favorite players or teams and cheer them on.  Samoa is located in the South Pacific Ocean.  Pretty much, if a person were in downtown Champion and wanted to point to Samoa, they would just point at Oklahoma City and curve that pointing finger just a little to accommodate the roundness of the Earth and keep pointing for about seven thousand miles in a straight line.   So congratulations Samoa!  Enjoy your parade.  You are Champions!

An e-mail to the mailbox the other day commented on the old Champion’s remarks that things are somehow ‘off’ when victorious gladiators (New York Giants football team) are lavished with a parade and hailed as heroes when the heroic warriors (Veterans of the Nation’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan) are ignored and marginalized otherwise with inattention.  “Warriors are not what you think of as warriors.  The warrior is not someone who fights, because no one has the right to take another life.  The warrior, for us, is one who sacrifices himself for the good of others.  His task is to take care of the elderly, the defenseless, those who cannot provide for themselves, and above all, the children, the future of humanity.” Sitting Bull said that.  Love and Gratitude is due those who sacrifice for all.  Veterans are Champions.

Champion gardeners are as happy as school children to see the snow in its nitrogen fixing blanket out over the garden beds.  An ample larder of squash, sweet potatoes, and all kinds of home canned garden produce, plus the venison in the freezer and the peas, peaches and peppers makes lucky pensioners happy to be able to stay at home.  “Let it snow!  Let it snow!  Let it snow!“  Valentine’s Day is always a romantic time in Champion.  It will also be a good time to do a little indoor transplanting or sewing of seedbeds.  Linda’s Almanac will be available soon to help gardeners figure out what to do and when.   Sweethearts already know.

The Champion Community Action Meeting Room at Henson’s Grocery and Gas on the North Side of the Square in Downtown Champion got some good use on Wednesday.  The Skyline VFD Auxiliary met to continue with the good planning that makes the annual Chili Supper a great fund raiser every time.   There will be good food, good music, fellowship, pie, a silent auction, a quilt drawing and the chance to get out of that old wintertime rut and into some big time fun.  All the proceeds go to help the wonderful Skyline Area Volunteer Fire Department with its expenses.  Any homeowner in the fire district who has home owner’s insurance knows that that protection is available only because this wonderful little fire department is on the job.  March the third will be a marvelous time to get out and hob nob with the neighbors.  Champion!

“Eating tomatoes and sauerkraut is a good way to lose weight.”  “Vinegar is good for ticks.”  “Skunk grease is good for the croop.”  These are things that can be heard in Champion.  Must the tomatoes and sauerkraut be eaten together?  Does the vinegar make the ticks healthy, or make them less interested in people?  How does one acquire skunk grease?  Answer any of these questions or ask any others at Champion Items, Rt. 2, Box 367, Norwood, MO 65717 or at  See what other items of interest might spark a Champion intellect.   Look at for inspiration.  For true inspiration, stride swiftly up the broad elegant stairway of the Recreation of the Historic Emporium and at the summit, turn quickly to take in the view—it is breathtaking in its pastoral tranquility. Champion! Looking on the Bright Side!

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