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Champions are pleased to see the smiling faces of the Skyline R-2 School Honor Graduates in the paper.  Valedictorian Skyla Boyd and Salutatorian William Crawford are moving on now to a new and exciting learning environment.  Their Champion friends wish them well and wish all the Skyline students a wonderful summer and another great school year to come.  The Skyline staff posts on the internet, “It’s not too late to sign up for a month of fun and learning in June. There will be art, music, basketball, reading, science activities, math, trips to the pool, along with free breakfast and lunch. If you can’t find the signup sheet around the house, just call and ask for a summer school form. 683-4874.” Skyline second grader Heidi Strong has her birthday on May 22nd.  One of Esther’s favorite daughter-in-laws, Teresa Wrinkles, makes merry that day as well.  Kindergarten student Joseph Kennedy parties on May 29th.  Celebrate! Celebrate Rachel Cohen and Jackie Green in opposite ends of the country, both dynamic, exciting productive citizens.  The world is a lucky place to have you both in it—Champions.

Memorial Day is said to have many separate beginnings.  Every planned or spontaneous gathering of people to honor the Civil War dead in the 1860’s tapped into the general human need to honor our dead.  When the official proclamation came down in 1868, General Logan said that Memorial Day is not about division. “It is about reconciliation; it is about coming together to honor those who gave their all.”  The years pass by so quickly.  150 years is not so long in the big picture.  A person born in 1913 has a 100th birthday this year.  Exer Hector was born May 18, 1913, and died January 25, 1975.  Bluebonnets are blooming over her now out on a hillside in Palava, Texas in sight of the Double Mountains and of fields she used to plow.  Her children miss her still. Recent or distant, loss is loss.   So it is across the Nation and around the world as people venerate those whose sacrifices paved the way for them in a day of remembrance.

Wednesday in Champion is as lovely as any other day. “What is in a name?  A rose (or a Wednesday) by any other name…” etc.   This past one found the mid-day confab at the Historic Emporium well attended either because of the weather or in spite of it.  A nice cold spitting rain and a lashing wind added but little to the subject matter of the day which ranged from pranks and hunting stories (the viability of antique ammunition) to gardening and wild life observation.  Lee Ray said he saw an eagle dive bomb a hawk and take a fish away from it.  Ethel Leach said those baby goats are up on Highway ZZ not 76.   In addition to the Prominent Citizen, Ethel’s Bob was there, and Mr. Stone, who had chores and left early, but not as early as Chad and Glen.  Don Bishop and Wes Lambert were there to greet Alvie Dooms and others came and went.  Elmer Banks came and described a marvelous nap that he had on the steps coming down from his deck.  It was the most peaceful and restful nap he can remember and as he awoke to the inquiries of family as to his status he had only pleasant things to report. The next day he had a call from the nurse that monitors his pacemaker who said, “Mr. Banks, you had quite a shock yesterday.”  It was a surprise to him.  He is a gregarious and curious fellow.  He is of Scots descent and a fan of the bagpipe, and asked if the recent traveler to Scotland had seen men in kilts. “Indeed!  There were some strikingly handsome kilted Highland gentlemen to be seen, especially on Sundays.”  Elmer said he was thinking about getting a kilt, but friends actively discourage him.

Thursdays are delightful over in Vanzant.  The potluck jam session is a weekly pleasure when friends gather around to celebrate community, good food and good music.  They are a generous bunch not just with the grins and the groceries, but they will let anyone play.  Skilled, accomplished musicians open their circle to the novice and old timers encourage beginners.  The “Eighth of January” was followed by “Where the Roses Never Fade” and “Five Pounds of Possum,” which Sherry Bennett delivers as if on a silver platter. There was a poignant ballad about 32 acres of bottom land, “bought and paid for by my own hand–worth a fortune to a working man.”  One wants to hear the song again.  It seems that the 32 acres were in the path of a four lane highway.  Sad songs are some of the sweetest ones.  “Why did I leave the plow in the field and look for a job in the town?”

“The 28th annual Denlow School reunion is Saturday, 24 May 2014, at the Denlow Church and cemetery. Former students, friends, feuding relatives, and everyone is welcome to attend. Pot luck lunch at 12:00, an auction to follow, then music in the afternoon (bring your instruments and join in). Around 5:00, Ed Williams will fry fish and chicken, assisted by his beautiful daughter… (a recent graduate of Seymour HS). I would like to see some of those Iowa, Kentucky, and Arkansas people there, along with a lot of the local hillbillies.”  This press release comes from The General, himself, who by popular request will forgo a ‘program’ this year if favor of hanging around in the cemetery visiting with friends.  There is to be no hanging in the traditional sense, just some harmless loitering.

“The End Came in Spring” is a play written by Mike Upshaw.  His aunt Fae Krider joined her sister-in-law, Vivian Floyd, for a trip up to the Stained Glass Theater for a production last week.  Her Facebook response to Mike was that it was very good and she enjoyed it very much.  Shellie Gossett Folts said, “Completely different and a fun little walk down memory lane for me (high school graduation May, 1986).  It was nice to see a cast of some new college-age faces on stage.  I particularly appreciated the understated way you handled the central message of the show and really liked the ending.  I thought it was a bold way to end it.” Now Champions are much intrigued but not at all surprised at such talent finding its way through an Upshaw.

Linda’s Almanac from over at The Plant Place in Norwood says the 22nd and 23rd will be favorable for planting late root crops.  Also these days are good for vine crops and for setting strawberry plants and for transplanting.  The 24th and 25th are both poor planting days.  They are fine for killing plant pests, cultivating or spraying.  The 26th and 27th are good for planting root crops, also for transplanting.  For the 28th and 30th the almanac says that any seed planted during that time will tend to rot in the ground.  The 31st is most favorable for planting corn, cotton, okra, beans, peppers, eggplants and other above-ground crops.  Plant seed beds and flower gardens that day too.  It is best not to wait for Lem and Ned to come along to do the hard work.  Get a look at Linda’s Almanac on the bulletin board at Henson’s Downtown G&G where loitering is encouraged.  Champion—Looking on the Bright Side!

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