The bright beautiful days in Champion speak for themselves.  They are the halcyon days that are the ideal ones that people will remember.  Halcyon means untroubled and peaceful.  The definition provided here is for the benefit of a great Champion friend who called last week looking for a definition to a particular word in the article.  It was a lovely chat.  She was pleased to find out what the word meant and provided some first-hand information that Louise Hutchison has made herself comfortable at the Heart of the Ozarks Healthcare Center in Ava,  She is receiving mail and visitors there.  Address your note to Louise Hutchison, Room 205 Heart of the Ozarks, 2001 South Jefferson, Ava, 65608.  Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Wilburn is busy getting the garden in.  He has some help and is putting forth some good effort to teach and to ‘learn’ his protégé how to make a garden.  They had it all plowed and raked and ready to go (with some neighborly mechanical help) when the big deluge hit and washed it all over the place.   These nice days will see them getting it all back together again.  The lovely Ms. McC says they have radishes and lettuce up looking good.  Champion!

A week’s worth of special birthdays goes like this:  April 30th–Taegan Krider, fourth (or maybe fifth) generation Champion celebrates her third birthday! Then:  May 1–Ida Mae Green, Texas cousin and great friend of Champion, Glen Ford, actor, Scott Carpenter, astronaut, Mrs. Teri Ryan, super Skyline math teacher, Silvana Sherrill super Skyline kindergarten student; May 2—Catherine II Empress of Russia, Mrs. Sleep, Skyline School Librarian, Madison Shearer, fourth grade student at Skyline School, Brenda Lee Mastin, special Springfield girlfriend, Baron Von Richtofen, Germany’s WWI “Red Baron,” May 6—Linda Heffern Kansas City Champion, Tony Blair, British Prime Minister, Rudolph Valentino, actor, George Clooney, actor;  May 7th Gracie Nava, preschool student at Skyline, Robert Browning, poet, Johnny Unitas, NFL quarterback;  May 8—Mrs. Dixie, Skyline School bookkeeper, Harry Truman, 33rd U.s President, Melissa Gilbert, actress who played Laura Ingalls Wilder.

Peanut Taegan had bad luck for her third birthday.  There was a big party planned for her and all the family was going to be there including all the kids and it was going to be great.  Not only did it rain, but the birthday girl got sick.  The party would have gone on in the rain anyway.  Everybody is so happy for the rain that they would not complain.  But it was not to be.  Taegan’s tummy trouble ruled the day.  Her Mom and Dad did give her a new big-girl bed for her birthday and her bedspread has horses on it!  Horses are her favorite.  Her birthday cake even had horses on it—My Little Pony.  It was an enormous amazing cake made by Debbie’s Custom Creations.  The homemade butter cream frosting was purple, turquoise and pink with flowers and ribbons.   Some of the cake was chocolate and some was just delicious.  The cake was shared generously around the neighborhood since the party had to be called off and Peanut’s friends all say, “Happy Birthday, anyway and thanks!”  Find a picture of Taegan’s cake and many other extraordinary confections on line.

Sue Upshaw loved the bluegrass music at the Vanzant Community Jam.  She loved being out among her friends and family enjoying themselves.    She wore red lipstick and had a wonderful welcoming smile that made people feel like she was genuinely glad to see them.  Sweet and generous, a most gracious lady, Sue will be remembered well and long.  Her children and her husband of 55 years and all her dear family will hold on to their own personal memories of her  and will be happy and grateful to have had her in their lives.  Having been an only child, she had a great appreciation and affection for a large loving family.   She was as blessed by them as they were by her.

“It was a bright cold day in April and the clocks were striking thirteen.”  That is the first line in George Orwell’s novel “1984.”  It has been almost 30 years since 1984, and more than 60 years since the book was written in 1949.  sponsored a free give away of the book for a week.  It was quite successful and soon several people will be getting their free book in the mail.  When the people who responded to the advertisement have received and read their books, it is the hope of their cyber-benefactor that they will take a few moments to give the book a review.  What did you think of it?  How do you think it has informed the world of today?  Then, it is hoped they will give the book away to someone whom they are sure will read it.   Next time the FREE column ad will come with the caveat that the recipient read the book, review the book and share the book.   At the time it was written, it was probably considered science fiction.  Today it might be called something else, perhaps visionary.

Bud Hutchison’s Spring Trail Ride will happen next week.  Wednesday the 8th of May.  The outfit will saddle up at Champion and amble over to Drury and back on one of the various routes they can take.  The trail riders can breakfast at Champion and lunch at Drury the way they used to do just a few years ago before some peculiar changes altered things for a while.  Hopefully, the Cowboy will feel like going and will be able to get through the creeks keeping his powder dry.  His friends will keep an eye on him.  From all reports, the Drury Café is enjoying a good business and providing the general neighborhood with another comfortable gathering place.  Some would say that they ought not to be so gathered up like that, but should be out on the farm doing what needs to be done this time of the year and everybody knows that there is plenty to do.  In their defense, the trail riders plan this trip every year.  They have done what needs to be done in advance of the trip so that they can polish their saddles with impunity.  Well, they will really be doing it with their blue jeans, but they will be doing it guilt free.  As for the loafers, the liars, and the lonesome, they just naturally get together anywhere there is a good pot of coffee and a spot to lite.  Industrious people out on errands like to pause by those tables sometimes and catch up on a yarn.  The smart ones do not linger long though if they mean to get their work done.  “Keeping your hand on the plow” is not easy.   Just ask some old timer sitting around in the Reading Room at the Historic Emporium over on the North Side of the Square in Downtown Champion.  On a warm day they might be out on the spacious veranda enjoying the sites and passing the time with their neighbors.  About any of them can tell you just how hard it is to keep your hand on the plow.

It’s a good day from morning to night!” in Champion—Looking on the Bright Side!