“There’ll come a day in February when a dog is looking for the shade.”  Oscar Krider’s saying proved true as Saturday was just that kind of day.  Sunday was wonderful too.  He and Ed Henson were good friends and neighbors and shared some legendary hunting adventures that are still talked about in Champion.  Oscar’s great granddaughters, Teagan and Luxe, live on the family farm where their father and grandfather grew up, in a new house sitting on the spot where Oscar and Goldie Krider lived all those years ago.   Their granddad, Lonnie Krider, said that when they would go to town on Saturday when he was a boy, his Dad would often have a hymn book in his back overall’s pocket, particularly if it was a new one.  He would meet up with friends on the street and they would sing the latest Brumley hymn or work out a new harmony on an old song right on the street corner in Ava.  It might have been embarrassing to a kid back then, but if it was, he got over it.  Music has come down through the family just like farming.  Grandchildren Foster and Kalyssa are great singers, and their cousin Dillon Watts just teamed up with his Tennessee cousins for a nice performance of “Country Roads” on the internet.  The roads in and out of Champion are full of ties between the past and the future.

Olga’s Ms. Sharon Shannon has been taking care of her chickens and taking advantage of the cold weather to do an independent study of Civil War history.  Her studies have taken her beyond the state approved text books and the conventional assessments of the causes of the conflict and the results of it and into some surprising territory.  The world over, people are finding out more about history than established purveyors necessarily make available.  It is reported that while history books in China and India do include a study of World War II, they hardly mention the Holocaust, if at all, considering it a minor event.   Over here, we have always had a pretty good opinion of Winston Churchill.  It turns out that he held some fairly harsh and racist views that would not be tolerable today.  When the First World War was over and veterans were returning home in Great Britain, the people of Glasgow were striking to establish a 40 hour work week that would make it possible for those returning veterans to find work.  Churchill turned military tanks onto the streets and routed the protesters.  Many lives were lost in addition to the damage done to collective bargaining.  Later Margaret Thatcher’s approach to the trade unions supported by labor was not dissimilar to the current ‘right to work’ issue here which eliminates collective bargaining altogether and insures that the wealth stays in corporate hands as opposed to the hands of the people actually doing the work.  About the time Churchill was behaving badly in Scotland, President Herbert Hoover turned General Patton and mounted Calvary loose on 17,000 veterans and their families and supporters (46,000 people in all) who were camped outside of Washington D.C. looking for the sign up bonuses they were promised when they enlisted. Someone says that a young person should work in a Veterans home or hospital for some time as a prerequisite to joining the service just to get an idea of what to expect.   Staying informed is an arduous task, but worth the trouble.  It is difficult to see all sides of any situation and hard to change your mind when facts support it.  “Consider the source” is a good adage and the more sources available, the better chance a person has of figuring it all out for himself.  It is a privilege to live in a society where disparate opinions can be discussed in a civil context.  Champion!

The Cowboy had his birthday on Saturday the 7th and it was surely a doozy.  He knows how lucky he was not to have burned his house down recently, and not to have drowned when his horse dumped him in the creek a while back.  He is a walking example of good luck and his Champion friends hope his birthday was just right.  Champion grandchildren, Zoey Louise and Alexandra Jean, had the pleasure of celebrating their Mother’s birthday on Sunday.   Champion Skyline Archer Cheyenne Baker celebrates her birthday on February 11th.  The 13th is the day for second grader Joshua Garner to have his party.   Sandra Powell, Champion daughter, has that day as her own also.  Shelby Ward always has her birthday on Valentine’s Day.  Her sister Madelyn will help her celebrate as will her Champion grandparents who have moved off but come home frequently. Madison Bradshaw is a first grade student at Skyline celebrating a birthday on the 16th. That will be a Monday, which is always a good day for a party.

Linda’s Almanac from over at The Plant Place in Norwood is up on the website and on the bulletin board by the back door at Henson’s Grocery and Gas. A few warm days have some excited about the garden again and seed orders are arriving in the mail, manure is being shoveled by the truck load and one old Champion gardener is looking for a stout young fellow to help her with some heavy work in her garden.  She will not pay in turnips, but in cold hard cash.  Soon enough, people will be getting their potatoes in the ground.  Ed Henson said to be sure and wrap them in newspaper “so the dirt won’t get in their eyes.”

Tina Base has been looking at The Champion News facebook page and asked if the Clever Creek is dry.   TCN responded that it is dry at its southern extremes but it does not take much of a rain to get it going and sometimes in a big way.  There are always a few pools and puddles up toward Cold Springs.  Ms. Base says she is thinking about moving to the area and was wondering what it is like living there.  “Being in a very rural area, what do you do for fun and entertainment?  Where do you go for medical, jobs, home supplies, church etc?”  Perhaps the lady can make a visit to see if it suits her here.  Meanwhile, TCN will do its best to answer her questions. Perhaps she can attend the Skyline VFD Auxiliary meeting down at the Recreation of the Historic Emporium over on the North Side of the Square in Downtown Champion on Wednesday the 11th.  She will meet some fine folks and see the workings of a great community.  Everyone is welcome.

Valentine’s Day is full of sweet stuff to eat and to hear.  “Roses are red and violets are purple, sugar is sweet and so is maple surple,” says Roger Miller.  Romance is in the air and it can take many forms. Arguing turns out to be one.   Arguing with an engineer can be a losing proposition.  They say that it is like mud wrestling with a pig.  After a while, a person discovers that the pig is having fun.  He will know more about the subject of the disagreement than a jack rabbit knows about running.  A good argument can be stimulating and winning and losing can be considered subjective in Champion—Looking on the Bright Side!