Champion is just the kind of place that makes a resident pleased to stay home. With the help of the telephone, one could be comfortable enough not to ever have to venture out. Then an old friend calls. What could be sweeter than that? Ruby Proctor called last Monday just to chat. She said that Lyman was enjoying his birthday and that her family had been celebrating her 88th birthday steadily for a week. They had enjoyed multiple trips out to dinner and cake and ice cream with big family bunches. Her sister, Amy has her birthday within the next few days and the 29th is her son Frankie’s birthday. He is a leap year baby so he is not very old. He just lives right across the field from Ruby and is happy to come and get her to take her to his basement when a bad storm hits. He’s a good son. All her children are good. She has had experience with bad storms and is glad to have a safe place to go. A look back through the www.championnews.us archives reveals a lot of interesting information about Ruby. She was raised in Champion just over north east of the store. She had three brothers and six sisters and her folks were John and Golda Hicks. She married Mr. Proctor when she was seventeen. There is a story in Champion that she worked at the knothole factory until she went to work at the doughnut-hole factory. The knothole factory was the Cloud Toy Factory, which was situated near the railroad in Mountain Grove. She worked there for a long time and then took a job at the bakery at the Town and Country grocery store. She worked there for eighteen years, getting to work at four in the morning to get the doughnuts started and things ready to open up for business at 6 a.m. During this time she was raising children and working on the farm. To call her a Champion Woman is an understatement. Ruby said that she had enjoyed reading Bob Berry’s letter about Esther Wrinkles in the Champion News a couple of weeks ago. She and Esther were baptized in Old Fox Creek down at Champion on the same day seventy years ago this June. She misses her dear old friend and remarked that she was so touched that Esther’s family had invited her to sit with them that sad day. Old friendships endure in Champion.
Champions will have plenty of good reason to get out Saturday when the Skyline Fire Department Auxiliary has its annual get together. Hopefully the weather will be perfect for it (nice and chilly for a nice bowl of chili) and Ruby will be out with her family early to tour around the old stomping grounds before the supper. The Pride and Joy Cloggers will be doing some stomping this year. They are an energetic group of young people who emphasize the downbeat of the music with their enthusiastic footwork. The dance has its origins in Wales and England during the Industrial Revolution. The cloggers will demonstrate their fancy stepping just after the Whetstone bunch play up on the stage Saturday night. It ought to be a great kick-off for the Spring Social Season. There are a number of other bands slated to perform and there will be chances to win the handsome quilt made by Auxiliary President Betty Dye. It is a queen sized beauty. It is obvious that everyone who puts time and energy into making this annual event such a good time for everyone is having a good time while they are doing it. That sentence reminds a person of the song, “I was looking back to see if you were looking back to see if I was looking back to see if you were looking back at me.” Hope to see you there supporting the vital rural fire department that puts so much training and effort into looking out for the safety and security of the community. It is a Champion outfit that goes by the name of Skyline VFD!
Linda’s Almanac from over at the Plant Place in Norwood says that the 27th and 28th will both be good days for planting root crops. The 1st and 2nd of March will also be good days for those gardeners who feel comfortable in getting the potatoes in the ground before St. Patrick’s Day. Someone suggested using plenty of good mulch if planting this early. One Champion gardener figures he has been planting his potatoes much too deep in recent years. He is getting a little older now anyway, so it may be a good time to experiment with some other methods and save a little of that hard work for some other tasks which his amiable wife can help him identify or for taking a nap.
A variety of information comes from the Thursday afternoon meeting of the Liars Lair at the downtown Vanzant Convention and Wisdom Center. The first piece of interesting information is that such a place exists. It is presumed that a bunch of otherwise unoccupied individuals get over to the venue early before the Thursday Night Bluegrass jam to get things (or themselves) oiled up for the festivities. There was a great deal of misinformation and patent gossip about the Great Champion Gridlock Traffic Jam of the day before. It happened just at the crest of the hill when an eighteen wheeler, with a collie in the driver’s seat, found itself perpendicular across WW with some of its many wheels stuck in the mud. Fox Creek Farms had its best man on the job unloading hay while polite travelers waited in lines in both directions for the chance to continue on their way. It was completely civilized, contrary to reports from the Lair. A special surprise guest speaker for the next “LL” meeting will present a program on “The Dangers of Preaching to the Choir.” Not that many of the charter members have much experience with either, but the brunt of the program will focus on the difficulty in hearing fair minded, reasonable people disagree with the point of view shared by one’s fellows. When they only ever speak with people who believe exactly the same things they do, the rhetoric gets more impassioned (inflammatory) so that anyone who might speak up with a differing view becomes some kind of whack-job. It has always been the same. Seventy-five years ago some local papers were proposing that the New Deal Monopoly in Washington ought to get thrown out. Social Security and a great many local public works projects that benefited the area came out of it, but it was unpopular in conservative areas like Douglas County. It was systematically being shut down by the opposition which many historians believe would have brought on another deeper Depression, and then, of course, the Country was saved by World War II. It’s always something.
Bonnie Ware is an Australian nurse who spent several years caring for people who were in the last few weeks of their lives. She wrote a book called “The Top Five Regrets of the Dying.” She observed that people gain a very clear vision at the end of their lives and the following are the common themes surfaced repeatedly. 1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me. 2. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard. 3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings. 4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends. 5. I wish that I had let myself be happier. Come down to the Community Chat Room and discuss the Champion life without regret. It is located in the Historic Emporium on the North Side of the Square overlooking Old Fox Creek. You will be in Champion—Looking on the Bright Side!