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Champions start off Monday with bright sunshine and a stiff breeze that blows in the promise of a nice week ahead.  Some Champions have friends and kin in New England who are enduring deep snow and looking at the possibility of an ice storm on top of it.  Things like that have happened around here in years past and Champions can understand the difficulties the people face and sympathize with their northern countrymen.  For those still not recovered from the hurricane, this seems like quite an overload.  Aunt Elizabeth, who spent time in Wooster, Mass as a young woman, would say “Oh!  Bless their hearts!”

Jean and Tim Scrivner have family and friends up in that part of the world, and their Champion friends hope for them that this weather is being an adventure rather than a hardship.  Tim is being called on as the Skyline School Foundation liaison with the Dolly Parton Imagination Library to come up with more applications for the wonderful program.   Because the Douglas County Library has also become affiliated with “DPIL,” any child in Douglas County is now eligible to participate.  Henson’s Downtown Grocery and Gas has been steadily distributing the forms and generally has them on hand to get a youngster started on the happy road to reading.  It is one of the excellent services provided by the most pleasant little mercantile in the county.

One of the regular services not provided by the Historic Emporium is birthday parties.  Parties frequently happen there, but participants bring their own cake and candles.  There were no candles on the cake that surprised the cowboy on Thursday, however.  Modern bakeries have special printers that use food coloring to print pictures on cakes.  So it was explained by a staff member of the Richard’s Brothers bakery from whence came this tasty beauty.  It featured the depiction of a dripping wet, disheveled, bowlegged cowboy leading his horse out of the stream and “Over the Hill!”   The cartoon was probably enough to identify the septuagenarian—no names needed.  Another cowboy birthday card reads, “May your horse never stumble.   May your cinch never break.   May your belly never grumble and your heart never ache.”   What a sweet sentiment.  More happy thoughts go to Shelby Ward whose birthday is on Valentine’s Day and to Madison Bradshaw who has her birthday on the 16th.  Madison is in prekindergarten at Skyline.  Trish Davis has her birthday on the 17th.  She has been out of school for a while now, but when last seen was still quite youthful in appearance and demeanor, in spite of being married to an old, old man.  Mrs. Ruby Proctor has her birthday on the 19th of February.  She is a Champion’s Champion born and raised right around here.  She sets the example for kindness and gentility.  There are some great pictures of Ruby and her family in the “Snapshots” section of

This letter from Bob Berry came to the mailbox at  “Missing Our Angel” is the heading and Bob goes on to say, “I would like to share some of my memories of Esther Wrinkles.  She and my Mom were good friends in the old days.  When Mom got sick, Esther came with cakes and pies and little bags of food from town.  She just seemed to know when we were short on food.  Looking back, I’m sure they probably didn’t have enough food at home but still she shared with us.

“Then there was the cold March day when Brother Finley was having a baptizing at Brush Creek. When it was my turn, Brother Finley did his job and then he asked me if it was cold?  He didn’t have to put me down again!  As I came out of the water, guess who was standing there by my Mom, Esther with a big white towel!  No one had a phone back then but she knew exactly where she was needed.

“Then in 1964 I got drafted but I was back home in three days.  Little did I know that someone had gone to the draft board and stood up for me because I was needed at home.  Maybe Esther?   I am sure Esther was an angel, always knowing exactly what was needed!  In later years, when I opened the Gentryville Garage, Esther and Clifford came regularly to have work done on their cars.  Folks, it’s okay to borrow a Mom, Dad, grandmother, or grandfather from time to time when you don’t have your own. I want to thank Larry Wrinkles and Lonnie Mears for letting me borrow their mom when I no longer had my own!  God has called our Angel home – maybe he likes coconut cream pie too. “

Her many Champion friends appreciate what Bob has to say.  Those pies that Esther made over the years were a great source of pride and fun.  She said, “Thank you,” with a pie or offered condolences with one.  She acknowledged friendships with pies and raised a phenomenal amount of money with them for the causes she loved.  The Skyline Volunteer Fire Department was one of her particular loves and as the Auxiliary meets this week to finalize its arrangements for the annual chili super, she will be in the thoughts of her friends.   The meeting room at Henson’s G & G over on the North Side of the Square will be the scene of the action as these industrious activists prepare for another excellent event.

Robert Louis Stevenson, said, “Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds that you plant.”  Some believers in global warming are planting early against the possibility of another very hot summer.  The moon has changed again and so the 16th, 17th, 18th, 21st and 22nd will all be good days for planting crops that bear their yield above the ground.  Greens of all kinds can go in the ground and peas might be planted by those brave souls who figure they can protect them against unexpected, if seasonal, cold conditions.  It is a gamble.  The daffodils are blooming in old home sites long abandoned.  Before long they will be joined and succeeded by narcissus and tulips then iris and peonies.  Gardeners live on through their hardy perennials.  Lilacs, flowering quince, and the Rose of Sharon are some of the other wonderful things gone wild in the woods that used to have people in them.   Jack Ryan, known as “Foxfire,” as he transplanted some wild plumbs, said that an old Vietnamese arborist admonished, “When you eat the fruit, think of him who planted the tree.”  Love and Gratitude are some of the best things in Champion and they are handed down through the generations.

Come down to the village and see for yourself all the splendors that make it unique and precious in a fast paced, technology driven, tumultuous world.  Come tip toe through the tulips on the broad green banks of Old Fox Creek, where country roads meet and the pavement starts, where beautiful hills roll down to pleasant vales and where hearts swell with the joy of being in Champion—Looking on the Bright Side!

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