The Champion News

On March 20th our sun, well, everybody’s sun, will sit directly over the equator, so day and night all over the world will be of equal length– nice to remember we share commonalities with all the other people in the world.   In the Northern Hemisphere it marks the beginning of that special season.  Alfred Lord Tennyson said, “In the Spring a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love.”    So does the fancy of many of our woodland critters—raccoons, skunks, turkeys, cats and dogs and who knows what all (?)  are on the prowl.  Herds of deer graze in fields along our country lanes and prudent drivers keep a keen eye out for wildlife day or night.  The Prominent Champion Girlfriend had a run-in with a deer a while back up on WW from which she happily walked away.  Now she is ready for a colorful pedicure and her flip flops.  Her Champion friends are looking for a date for her Spring Fling.

Skyline School’s sixth grade student, Myla Sarginson, shares her birthday with pre-kindergarten student, Justin Pendergrass, on the 18th of March.  Though he may well celebrate every day there in Edinburgh, the 23rd is the official birthday of Mr. Gordon Reynolds, a great patron of Scott’s music and a fine musician himself.  That is also the special day for one of Mrs. Eva Powell’s sons, one of The General’s fair daughters (Elva), Reba’s sweetheart (Don) and the Wapaho Dude’s darling (Judie).  Happy days to all you fine Champions—enjoy every day as if it were your birthday.

Elmer Banks was chosen from among all the people across the country with his particular heart condition to undergo an experimental surgery to improve the quality of their lives.  Sixty- five world-renown surgeons and nurses crowded the room to participate and observe the procedure.  That was Tuesday.  He came home Wednesday and Thursday drove over to the Historic Emporium.  He was there again on Saturday afternoon talking about having fed cows and pitched hay and any number of other things that another person with those kinds of incisions might think about putting off for a couple of weeks, as the medical professionals recommend.  He says that other than being cold all the time he feels just fine.  There was a great get-well card circulating for him—seems a moot point since he is back in his regular routine already.  What a Champion!

Elmer is a prime example of the fact that you cannot look at a person and know what all they have been through.   He has two sets of batteries in his chest, but you would not know it just meeting him on the street.   By the time a person is grown, he or she may well have experienced grief, heart-aches and disappointments, car crashes, tornadoes and lightning strikes, violence and betrayal, or the horrors of war.  Things add up.  Just one of those things or a combination of those things can add up to post traumatic stress disorder—PTSD.  We have become aware of the condition because of the condition of many of our returning Veterans, but it turns out that anybody can suffer with the debilitating malady.  It can manifest itself in many ways, so, once again, we are admonished to reserve judgment when someone behaves badly or disproportionate to the occasion.  Empathy and compassion take more effort than sanctimonious derision.

Gardeners are spreading that good stuff around.   It makes the soil rich and fertile and beautiful.  They have difficulty this time of the year.  It is hard to wait.  Tantalizing seed catalogs and warm afternoons tempt them to jump the gun.  According to some, the official last day for a frost in Champion is May 10th!  Two long months!  The Mother Earth News says that onions, peas, and spinach can be planted as soon as the soil can be worked.  Some folks like to get their potatoes planted by St. Patrick’s Day.  Window sills bristle with little plants waiting to be hardened off and planted in the garden.  Blum’s Farmer’s and Planter’s Almanac for 2018 says that the 19-21, 24, 25, and 30 will be good days to plant crops that yield above the ground and the 31st for below the ground crops.  Get in out of the cold wind to talk gardening with your neighbors over on the wide, wild, wooly banks of Auld Fox Creek.  A spot near the ancient wood stove in the meeting room of the Recreation of the Historic Emporium is the perfect place for the casual interlocutor.  ‘Interlocutor’ is a new word supplied by an avid reader of The Champion News who complained that he had not had to go to the dictionary lately.  It means conversationalist.  Share your big words or garden advice at or in person in the heart of Champion on the North Side of the Square.             

Saint Patrick’s Day commemorates the death of the man on March 17, in about the year 460 A.D.  A research fellow at Cambridge University, Dr. Roy Flechner, says that the accepted story that Patrick was kidnapped from Britain, forced to work as a slave, but managed to escape and reclaim his status, is likely to be fiction.  “The traditional legend was instigated by Patrick himself in the letters he wrote, because this is how he wanted to be remembered.”  His family were tax collectors for the Romans, a very dangerous job during that era.  Rather than take up the profession, and fearing for his life, he fled to Ireland.  The researcher believes that he bought slaves in England and then used them to trade when he moved to Ireland.  The new version of Saint Patrick’s life as a slave-trader is certainly controversial, but now controversy in every arena seems to be the mode-o-day.  The take-away and comfort lies in the assurance that eventually the truth will come out, though hopes are that today’s Machiavellian machinations will not take 1558 years to be undone.  Meanwhile, enjoy your shamrocks, your four leaf clover, your green beverages and your favorite song…”When Irish eyes are  smiling /Sure, it is like a morning spring /In the lilt of Irish laughter /You can hear the angels sing” in Champion—looking on the Bright Side!