There is joy and sadness in Champion.  It is always like that.  Joy abounds in the excitement of young ones like Drayson, Taegan, Foster, Kalyssa, Jenna, Jacob, Faith Anne and more as they start their romp through their busy and blessed lives.  Sadness comes as dear ones slip away.  J.T. Shelton lost his brother Dennis “Red” Shelton back in December.   Dennis was born in Drury and grew up between there and Champion.  When he got out of the army in 1968, he went to work at a cement plant in Davenport and was there for thirty years.  He was only 66 when he passed away.  That seems young.

On Sunday, Fae Krider pointed out the window of the little church up to the top of the hill to the northeast to the place where the foundation still remains of the house where Ruby Hicks was born.   Ruby grew up there and went to school in Champion.  She married Vasil Proctor and continued to live close by.  She and Esther Wrinkles were baptized the same day in June of 1943 right there in Fox Creek.  She was heartbroken over the loss of her dear friend just a year ago and now she leaves many feeling that same lonesomeness for herself.  Family and friends across the country and the internet are remembering her kindness and her wonderful smile.   Tracee Davis said, “My mother, Inez Laverne Proctor Davis, grew up as close as sisters with Ruby and treasures many fond memories that the two of them shared. My mother visits Ruby daily in her thoughts and prayers. She sends her love.”   Jewell Hall Elliott wrote, “A very sweet lady. She and my mother worked together in Mtn. Grove rode together many miles beside each other.  Their children attended East Fairview together.  She was a dear neighbor and friend.”  Angela Kelsay Barnes:  “A lot of my morning childhood memories have this beautiful lady in them! Heaven gained an angel!”  Laine Sutherland said that she had known this dear lady all her life and Mickey Reilly said that she had made a lasting impression on him.  Donna Smith:  “I only had the pleasure of meeting Aunt Ruby a handful of times but could tell she was an exceptional person and she will be dearly missed by those who knew or loved her.”  Judi Lynnie Waits-Funk:  “We visited my Dad’s Mom and Dad every year in Arkansas and we always stopped either on our way there or home and spent a night or two with Uncle Vasil and Aunt Ruby… Loved them both!”  It is amazing to know how many lives were touched in such a positive way by this one Champion. Her children and sisters and brother have the heartfelt sympathies of friends and family in the place she loved so well.  “ A jewel on Earth, a jewel for Heaven.  She’ll brighten the kingdom around God’s great throne.”

The sunshine and warmer weather lifts spirits all around.  Finally some are getting to hang a few things on the clothes line and hoping this is not the day neighbors decide to burn trash.  Everybody has a different idea about what is suitable to burn in the burning barrel.  For some it is just food wrappings, tissues, junk and personal mail.  Others think burning plastic and Styrofoam is ok. As to that, one says, “If you can smell it, it’s getting in you.”

Brooklyn Edwards is a kindergarten student at Skyline. Her birthday is on the 17th.  Then young Jacob Kyle Brixey will celebrate his very special day on the 18.  The 19th is a Sunday.  Nathan Nava will have the day off from school to enjoy his birthday.  Several prominent people have that day as their birth anniversary including Robert E. Lee who was born in 1807,   Edgar Allen Poe, Janis Joplin, and Dolly Parton.  Dolly is the only one living in that group and she shares it with another live wire in Champion.  Kyle Barker is a big first grade student now at Skyline.  His birthday is the 21st.  He has a large family which includes a General for a grandfather and will probably have some homemade ice cream at his party.  They will be singing that song.

Finally the weather may be just right for some to get over to the Bluegrass jam at the community building at Vanzant on Thursday.   Music is a healing component in life.  It soothes, comforts, inspires, exalts, encourages, tantalizes and emboldens.  The year ahead will have its trials and triumphs.  There will be a song appropriate for almost any situation.  Share examples of this with The Champion News on facebook, or with Bring them with you down to the Recreation of the Historic Emporium, fittingly situated on Lonnie Krider Memorial Drive just on the North Side of the Square in Downtown Champion—Looking on the Bright Side!.