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The Olympic Spirit is alive and thriving in the heart of Champion.  Last week before the games started, young Taegan Krider’s parents posted a YouTube of the girl singing “We are the Champions! And you’re going to hear us roar!”  It was very cute.  Janna Brixey posted that Jenna had been singing it too and apparently it is a big song in Skyline among the prekindergarten set.   They may be part of the opening ceremonies for an Olympics someday.  Sochi has some pretty incredible slopes and they must have cameras on drones to get some of the pictures that they show on TV of skiers and snowboarders catching big air.  Adventures are becoming fairly common in these parts as well and if a person could get down to the store he might hear all kinds of stories about catching air.   Any gold medals handed out around here will be for the “Most Amiable Companion.”  Being snowed in with a grouch could be a real drag so once again Champions have reason for much gratitude.   There is an old saying that when it is raining in the sunshine, the devil is beating his wife.  They call that kind of rain a “sunshower.”  There are some feminist who would say that the devil is beating her husband since they are looking for gender equality in all things.  When it’s snowing in the sunshine it could be called “sunsnow” and it is just about to be decided that winter is kicking the butt of the mid-west, south, north and east.  Like Taegan says, “We are the Champions!” so it is fairly well figured that we will get through it and winter does not stop birthdays!  Madison Bradshaw is in kindergarten in Skyline and Wyatt Nelson is prekindergarten student.  They both have their birthday on the 16th of February.  Some think it will thaw by then.

The internet was rich with philosophy and yearning this week as many were confined to home.  Here are a few of the stories gleaned from social media.  Connie Grand celebrated her birthday up in St. Louis on Sunday the second with her lovely granddaughter.  Lilly’s photograph showed her wrapped in the growth chart quilt that her grandmother had made for her.  Connie is a master craftswoman artist.  Then Lannie Hinote had some great news about medal winner Morgan Whitacre bound for State competition in Archery.  The archery project has been very successful at Skyline and Lannie is a big supporter.  She also had great pictures to share of herself and some nice looking young people enjoying the excitement of a Lady Bear’s Game.  Elizabeth Johnston posted some great pictures of her niece Shelby Ward’s birthday party.  They were at the Firehouse Pottery Studio making some interesting looking crafts.  Of course, her sister Madeline Ward was there and distant cousins Drayson Cline, Kalyssa Wiseman and Kyle Barker and a number of other good looking young folks.  It looks like they really had a good time.  Internet surfers were well rewarded with music of Dennis and D.J. Shumate.  It is advisable that if a person is going to be snowed in with a musician try to find one who can really play.  It is very nice of them to share their music.  They will be the headliners—Backyard Bluegrass– at the Skyline Auxiliary chili supper on March 8th.  Excitement is building for a cabin fever party.

One of the philosophical conversations had to do with the phrase “Take America Back.”  The gist of it seemed to be that people have a romanticized portrait of the past that is free of cruelty and privation, but fraught with adventure and genial fellowship that made for contentment.  Contentment is what they think they have lost and that is what they want back.  It probably never existed because tragedies and difficulties are best forgotten.  Perhaps the trick is to find some contentment in the present.  It is like a preacher on a Greyhound bus said last summer, “The past is history; the future is mystery; the present is a gift of God!”

Ms. Ethel McCallie from over at Nowata, Oklahoma writes in her beautiful old fashioned penmanship to say how much she enjoys The Champion News.  She particularly likes references to the old songs and she made a list of some well know songs and a few that are fairly obscure.  She said her most favorites are “Fair Carlotta,” “Long, Long Ago,” “Angels Climbing the Golden Stairs,” and “Twilight Is Stealing.”  She says that they always sing at their Hayden family reunion.  “I don’t want to brag, but actually the Haden families are really good singers.  They get it.  Or it comes from the Kay family.  My granny Haden was a Kay.  Her name was Frances Indiana Kay.  If you ever knew any Doyles or Dickersons in or around Mansfield or Macomb, they are our relatives too.”  Find more of the text of her letter in the “Champion Neighbors” section under “Oklahomans” at the website.  She closes this letter by saying, “I’m still not walking good after a broken hip and pelvis at age 96, but I’m thinking I probably will not walk good anymore, but I’m not going to give up or stop trying.  I know I’m sunk if I do and I don’t want to be totally incapacitated.  I hope you and your family are all well.  Well, keep everything good and looking on the Bright Side.  My best wishes to you and all Champions, especially Ms. Henson.  Also my prayers for all.”   And she signs it “Ethel Mc.”

A lovely Texas woman, Phyllis Winn, sends a letter full of jokes from Auntie Acid.  It came just in the nick of time for some solid laughter.  In one story Auntie says she is going to move in with her kids when she gets a little older.  She is going to eat all their food, hog the computer and when they ask her to clean, she’ll throw a hissy fit.  She says she can’t wait.  Phyllis can spin a yarn and has that particular drawl that makes a person hungry for more.  She has two pairs of ear rings.  One is gold and the outline of the state of Texas.  Her other pair of earring are fishing lures.  She loves to fish.  Chances are pretty good that she and another Champion friend will make it up for a summertime visit.  She will be in the middle of the “perpetual series of occasions for hope” which is what John Buchanan said about fishing.

The pavement is clear, but the gravel roads are still icy.  The admonition is to stay safe even if that means not getting down to the broad and wild banks of Old Fox Creek to sit around the stove with the merchants, cowboys, carpenters, farmers, firemen, fishermen, tourists and loafers.   Send your adventure stories to The Champion News, Rt. 72 Box 367, Norwood, MO 65717 via the wonderful United States Postal Service or to When it is prudent to do so get yourself down to the very seat of optimism—Champion!  Looking on the Bright Side!

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