Champion phone lines and internet services were fairly clogged with well-wishing sons and daughters hoping to get through to speak with their dear old Mothers on Sunday.  Monday finds the old darlings smiling and contented to have been remembered.  Some had the good fortune to see their offspring face to face.  Others have plans for a visit soon and look forward to it with optimism.  When the English, Irish, and Scotts made their trips to the New World back in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, most were on a one way, one time only voyage.  It was the same with the prairie schooners and wagon trains headed west across the country later on.  To look at a child departing for the unknown wild world with their heads full of hope and adventure must have weighed heavily on rooted parents that were left behind.  To know for a certainty that their eyes would never lite again on their precious child must have been a burden as they embraced for the last time.  Surely it would have been a struggle to present a expression of encouragement and enthusiasm as they looked at each other finally with determination to remember every line of the beloved face.   Stoic parents smiled and waved that handkerchief until their traveler has crested the hill or rounded the bend, out of sight forever.  Sometimes those who think idealistically that they were born in the wrong century might consider the hardships and heartaches of those times as well as the simplicity and romance.  Fledglings still must leave the nest and their parents must help.  Fortunately, in the 21st century, there are telephones and airplanes and an appreciation for good change.   Champion!

Elmer looked over at another good looking old gray haired old man the other day and said, “You and I are the old timers now.”   He said that he had never seen a year when so many of the old people had passed away.  It was observed that the older a person gets the more dead people he knows.   News has arrived of the passing of a lovely old friend.  She was an exciting, vibrant individual with a great love for good music of all kinds, and of good people of all kinds.  She wrote about her very special neighborhood, “…in which better friends and neighbors could not be found.  Now, it appears I am on my way out under the ministrations of Hospice Austin.  I’m almost 83 and I certainly don’t feel deprived after spending so many happy years in this town.  Love, Nancy.”  She was a gracious lady in life and departing it.  Those who love her are waving that handkerchief and smiling at the privilege of having known her.

Two of Linda Cooley’s grandchildren have birthdays in May and her own birthday is on Wednesday.  That is also the special day (May 15th) for Miss Elizabeth Heffern of Springfield.  She has Champion grandparents and is therefore an amazingly lucky young lady.  The 16th is the birthday of a tireless Skyline VFD Auxiliary worker, Karen Griswold.  She lives next door to a wonderful passel of grandchildren and so will be grandly celebrated.  Mr. Boardfeet is a Champion son living far away but not so far that he cannot be reached by telephone on his birthday, also on the 16th.  Skyline prekindergarten student, Meikel Kline, will have his party on the 17th.  The 18th of May is always set aside among the good memories of one Champion daughter.  Exer Hector was born May 18, 1913 and passed away in 1975. “Dear Mother, Thirty eight years later, I still remember your face.”   Skyline first grader, Heidi Strong has her birthday on the 22nd, sharing it with the charming Teresa Wrinkles, of Vanzant.  All her Champion friends wish her well and hope that something unexpected and wonderful happens for her that day, or the day before, or the next day…every day!

Linda’s Almanac from over in Norwood indicates that the 14th and 15th will be most favorable for planting above-ground crops, seedbeds and flower gardens.  After that the next good time to plant will start on the 20th and go through the 24th.   The 18th and 19th will both be good days to prune to discourage growth.   Find a copy of the Almanac on line at or on the bulletin board at Henson’s Downtown G&G in the city center.   Linda always has a copy of the Almanac to share up at The Plant Place, together with information, advice and encouragement vital for a fruitful garden.  A harried person, not fond of being continually told what to do, might look at the document with resentment, as it mandates the best days to plow, cultivate, plant, weed, harvest, prune, fertilize, transplant, wean , and a host of other farm chores.  Building such resentment would be a mistake (always).  The Almanac is better viewed as a tool so that even the most minimal effort might have the best chance of producing good results.   Then Mom can say, “Thanks for what little you did do!”  That is a special expression of Love and Gratitude.

There were eighteen riders on Bud Hutchison’s Champion trail ride the other day.  Reports are that it was a pleasant trip to and fro and spectators came to admire the horses and see the party off.  Some stayed and waited happily for their return.   They figured rightly that there could be no more pleasant a spot to while away a few hours.    There were others that would like to have gone along, but circumstances stood in the way.  Obstacles sometimes make the journey more interesting, sometimes they end it all together.  Good hopes are that every cowboy who wants to ride gets to do so next time. Bob Wills sang a song written by Fred Rose.  “There’s a big rock in the road and it’s there blockin’ the road.  Lots of caress folks have found it so you better get around it.  There’s a big rock in the road.”   Sing your favorite traveling song on the spacious veranda down at the Historic Emporium over on the North Side of the Square.   While away a moment as you just stand still and enjoy the feeling of Spring in the air in one of the world’s truly beautiful places—Champion!  Looking on the Bright Side!