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Champions are Grateful for having been spared the worst of the bad weather and extend their sympathies and best wishes for a speedy recovery to those hard hit to the south and west, to the north and to the east.    A quote recently heard was, “Be kind to every one for you never know what great burden one might carry.”  Champions know this to be true.  Just looking at people even carefully does not always reveal what is going on with them.  One old Champion was nailing some used tin on a shed one day and busted her finger open with the hammer.  She began to laugh hilariously and said, “Finally, something really hurts that you can see!”  Apparently she had been in some emotional pain that she could not express.  Hardships and difficulties seen and unseen touch compassionate Champions.

Someone asked Butch Linder why he was not up on the stage helping out with the music at the chili supper the other night.  He showed the index finger on his fretting hand to be fairly unbendable any more due to an accident with a wood splitter.   He just grinned at the suggestion that he turn the guitar around and play it the other way.  He could probably be ambidextrous if he wanted to, but he is too busy riding around with the Fox Trotters to practice.  There was plenty of good music at the chili supper anyway.  Big Creek started the evening off as the crowd settled in after a good meal.  They travel some considerable distance to support the Skyline VFD and are always a popular attraction.  The Back Yard Bluegrass took the middle slot of the evening entertainment.  Dennis tried to get the General to demonstrate the waltz, but he would not cooperate.  It would have been a good time to sing Happy Birthday to Mr. Shumate, though he worked to keep D.J. from revealing his age.  It was all over when father and son got into a speed picking contest.  If you were there you know who won.  Both Big Creek and Back Yard Bluegrass can be found on the internet on the Facebook sight.  It is easy to “like” them.  New to the chili supper scene but well received, were the Bluegrass Gospel Volunteers.  They sang some old favorites and as the evening wound down people left smiling from the experience.

Bob Berry, formerly of Gentryville and currently of the Twin Bridges area, purchased the winning ticket for the 2012 Skyline Chili Supper Quilt.  This was the first chili supper that he missed attending, but it is to be sure that he will have his beautiful quilt in short order.  He was also bidding in absentia on that coconut cream pie.  Sharon Woods beat him out on it this time and it went for a whopping $125.00!

A thank you note will go out to Professor Darrell Haden for allowing a copy of his famous controversial song, “All the Late News from the Courthouse,” to go into the auction.   He will be pleased to know that the winning bid on this item was made by a high ranking elected official of Douglas County —funny.    Well, there was a great deal of fun as well as plenty of good food and generosity shown by the community for its wonderful little Volunteer Fire Department.  Steve Moody makes a great master of ceremonies and keeps his sense of humor in order while he keeps everything organized.  It takes a lot of work to make this event happen and the community as a whole benefits from the chance to participate with their friends and neighbors to sustain the fire department.  It was said recently that everyone in the Skyline Fire District who has home-owner’s insurance can thank the fire department for making it possible.  All the volunteer fire fighters are trained first responders, so every car accident and home medical emergency situation has trained people nearby to help.

Someone called the 948-2339 number the other day to report a fire and they did not get an answer.  It has been noted that even though no one seems to be there the messages are heard in real time.  The 683-1020 number to the Sherriff’s Office is an ideal one to use to report a fire or an emergency.  The local fire departments are all hooked in to the system there.  It is a good idea for land owners to inform the fire department when they plan a controlled burn so that fire fighters are not called away from their jobs or their beds unnecessarily.   A few days of rain might allow for some burning but Champions are always careful.

“Thunder in February means frost in May,” they say.  Linda’s Almanac from over at the Plant Place in Norwood shows the Full Moon will occur in the middle of the night Wednesday at 3:40 a.m. Thursday morning.  It is called the Worm Moon and Champions noting the number of robins in the neighborhood these days are sure that they are feeding well.  The moon change is the signal that root crops can go in from the 9th through the 13th of the month and then on the 17, 18th and 21st.  Flowers will do well to be planted between the 9th to the 11th, and transplanting will be good on the 12th, 13th, and 21st.  The Almanac is available there in Norwood, at Henson’s Gas and Grocery in Downtown Champion and on line at  Linda is entering her busy time of the year and celebrating her birthday on the 5th!  She was the high scorer at the regular Fortnight Bridge game on Saturday night.  Her sister, Charlene Dupree, hosted as substitute for the Champion player and Linda and the player from Vera Cruz bid two slams to win the eighth and final rubber.   They were both in hearts and Linda played them, making a grand slam on the second one.  Champion!

Trucker Joe, hanging out around the stove in the Cultural Development Center (the CDC) said that the biggest word that he knows is ‘flatulent’ or ‘flatuation.’  That word or any word that ends in the suffix ‘tion’ can be substituted for the word ‘fascination’ in the song by the same name.  It was a very popular song a few decades ago.  “It was fascination, I know, and it might have ended right then, at the start.  Just a passing glance, just a brief romance, and I might have gone on my way empty hearted.”  Try it with ‘ambition,’ ’ammunition,’ ’decomposition,’’ contrition,’ ’nutrition,’ ‘maceration’ or any such word.  Fun is free in Champion.

“Precarity” is another interesting word.  It is a condition of existence without predictability or security.   Champions are familiar with being in precarious situations and are reminded of the dangers of the hunting seasons, the deep low-water crossing, the Fox Creek Rodeo and the unlikeliness of falling out of the same boat twice on a float trip while trying to impress young nephews.    It is also applied appropriately to those serving in the US Military in the dangerous parts of the world, and, unfortunately, to many Veterans home already.  They are part of the “Precariat” and could use some Love and Gratitude.

Mention your favorite big word or new word in a note to or over in the Champion CDC located in the Visitor Center in the Recreation of Historic Emporium on the North Side of the Square in Downtown Champion.  A prominent local complains of “too many words” but seems to like being located at the bottom of several hills, on the wide and wooly banks of Old Fox Creek in Champion–Looking on the Bright Side!

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