The wild vicissitudes of weather drive many current conversations. Old Champions, opting for prudence, decided to enjoy the warm comfort of their little country home rather than going to a movie matinee. Many who had to be out during these tricky road conditions found difficulties along the way. Car crashes and slips and falls take their tolls—more expensive than movie tickets. The actor, Wes Studi, is playing Chief Yellow Hawk in the film ‘Hostiles.’ Christian Bale plays Captain J.J. Blocker. They say that the film presents an authentic portrait of the native peoples living in the 1890s. A review from the Billings Gazette says, “….former rivals are forced to work together to survive, eventually transition their relationship from hate to respect and ultimately acceptance and love.” The writer encourages us to see this movie and to go with an open mind and open heart. That kind of encouragement can be applied to all manner of social, cultural, and political situations. Icy conditions outside made the week-end a great time for enjoying the Winter Olympics on television and for watching the birds at the feeders in the yard. The birds entertain all year, but when it is so bleak, gray and cold outside, their beauty is more evident and glorious by contrast. The contrast and competition among the world’s athletes is also a thing of beauty. Not only are these young people physically beautiful, but the attitudes and gratitude they all seem to exhibit gives a positive spin to tumultuous and troubling world affairs. It is nice to see these wholesome young Champions behaving well. The feats they exhibit are astounding. We are amazed that such antics are possible. There is danger inherent in most all of the events and more danger as overly inspired Old Champions go gliding across the kitchen floor, arms extended, head thrown back as the music swells.
The Champion News mailbox (TCN, Rt. 72, Box 367, Norwood, MO 65717) received good mail this week. Jody Henson wrote that Royce had hip surgery on December 13th–their 59th wedding anniversary. He is busy doing physical therapy and pleased to be ‘homebound’ with Jody. They are staying home to avoid the contagious diseases going around, but Jody says, “We will survive and God is good!” Friends will be looking for them at the Champion Spring Fling when the date is set for that sterling event. North Texas Hillbillies, Suzie and Wes Freeman, say the weather has not been bad there. Wes has planted seven rows of onions and has two more bunches to plant. Suzie brags on him and his wooden truck replicas. He has now produced 110 models in all colors. She said they were married November 23, 1965 in Mountain Grove. The Champion News had erroneously credited them with fifty-five years of marriage when, in fact, it has only been fifty-two years (and almost three months now). They have happy years ahead of them. There were also several pieces submitted to “Lofty Thoughts” at firstname.lastname@example.org. One suggests that the five kinds of people who will help us the most in life are the inspired, the passionate, the motivated, the grateful and the open-minded. A more somber note came with a quote from the Artist Formerly Known as Prince (Prince Rogers Nelson), “A two party system, the lesser of two dangers, the illusion of choice. A veiled form of fascism where nothing really changes and you never had a voice.” Another quotes Frank Zappa who said, “Music is always a commentary on society.” He also said, “There are more love songs than anything else. If songs could make you do something, we’d all love one another.”
Birthdays! How often we think of dear Ruby Proctor with her sweet smile and generous heart! She was born right in Champion and always loved the place and its people. Her birthday was on the 19th of February. Her sons, Pete and Frankie, celebrate on the 18th and the 29th. Joanna Bell was born February 21, 1969. Carson and Drayson will find out their Mother was born on February 23, 1983. Ella Mae, who believes in Chem-trails, shares her birthday with the Indian Swede who believes in growing things and the beauty of rocks and feathers. That is the 24th. Jack Masters, great grand-son of Uncle Al Masters, will enjoy his birthday on the 27th. He is a linebacker already awarded a college football scholarship. He will finish his senior year at McCallum High School this spring. Enjoy your special days and as many others as you can. Time is filled with swift transitions.
Tim Tamburrino and Sara were at the Vanzant Bluegrass Jam on Thursday evening. They really get around. He established the Midwest Bluegrass Directory in 2012. He says, “I believe we need to preserve and promote this music for future generations.” He has 1,534 people following his internet post of scheduled events and featured musicians. That quadruple by-pass that he had last October does not seem to have slowed him down. You will recognize him when you see him—a big man in a big white hat, a nice smile through a white beard, a pretty red shirt, a turquoise bolo tie and a camera on a tripod. He and Sara are doing a good job of preserving and promoting. A YouTube video appeared on the internet of Kenny Bushong at the McClurg Jam playing an old time fiddle tune. The video was published in 2012 by folks at the Myerstown Family Farm who said, “He always says, ‘Well it wasn’t much but I put out all I had.’” He passed away on Thursday, the 8th. Those who had a chance to hear him play and to be acquainted with him knew him to be a real gentleman—a Champion. He will be much missed on the Bright Side.