CHAMPION—December 26, 2018. Some folks call the days between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day the “Witching Week” and say nothing that happens during this time counts. Of course, that may depend on what is being counted and who is doing the counting. Over in the UK, these days are called the “Gusset.” A person would say, “Well, I’m three days into the Christmas Gusset and still eating turkey.“ A seamstress will tell you that a gusset is an extra piece sewn into a seam to give it ease in a stress spot so that a garment is not too tight, or to give extra room at the bottom of a bag. Construction folks use gusset plates all the time for structural support. We can use these tranquil unstructured days as a hiatus from the hectic hype of the holiday and to contemplate the coming New Year. If you have it in mind to accomplish big things in 2019, you might provide for a gusset here and there just to ease things along and make them strong. Champions encourage any worthwhile ambitious endeavor. As to resolutions: old Champions might say, “I’m just going to keep plugging along,” or “I don’t make them, because I can’t keep them,” or “I’m going to just try to act like I have good sense, the way my Mother told me.”
Charlie Brown said that happiness is a warm puppy. A hard working Old Champion says that happiness is a well-stocked wood-shed. There are some that think you should not have too much wood stored in advance because you might pass on before it got burned and some less deserving person might be warmed by your effort. Teenaged persons are known to have said they do not care what happens after they die. As the absolute certainty of our mortality dawns upon us, we are chastened to make the most of every living moment. Back up to the wood stove. It happens that some folks find that it is more difficult to stay warm with wood in moderate weather than in cold weather. Life is fraught with difficulties even in moderate times. “C’est la vie,” say the old folks, “it goes to show you never can tell.”
January birthdays start out with Arne Coon, J.W. Masters (1884), and Jan Liebert of Teeter Creek on New Year’s Day. Kabela Clark shares her birthday on the second with guitarist, Leland Isley, and bassist, Linda Millard. We remember dear Esther Howard and her beautiful hats on her birthday, the third. That is also the special day of young Jacob Coon, now a sophomore in high school. Sweet Sami McCleary, Mrs. Prominent Champion, and Sweet Janice Ray’s spouse share the fourth. Hopefully they will be well celebrated. The 5th is the day to commemorate Georgia Ann Pendergraft Masters (1888). The sixth is for Skyline’s maintenance man, Bud Watkins. He takes care of our wonderful little rural school. Travis Hathaway was 20 years old on January 7, 2017. The lovely Savana will probably sing “Happy Birthday” to him. He will smile that smile. Your friends and family wish a happy birthday to all you Champions near and far, past and present.
J. Henry and Company has been selling music supplies since 1887, according to current advertising. They are now offering a banjo mute for sale for $19.95. It guarantees up to 100% sound reduction. Shipping weight is 9 pounds. That will be a good joke for the Vanzant Bluegrass Jam on Thursday, though no one would raise a finger to shush any of the fine banjo players who attend. Pot luck is at 6:00 and music from 7:00 to 9:00—always a lovely affair. Some say that “Foggy Mountain Breakdown” is the best instrumental bluegrass song ever done. Steve Martin and Earl Scruggs did it together a few years ago.
It has been a real joy to see all the family gatherings posted on the Internet. Great bunches of people who love each other face the camera and smile, then go on about their laughing and feasting. Lannie Hinote has been down from Alaska in the midst of a large assembly of Potters. The Bennett bunch is legion, as are the Upshaws, Kriders, Watts and Clines, the Smiths, Hutchisons, and Hensons. From across the country and across the seas, family gatherings, large and small, in person, on the telephone, or cyber-linked, attest to the importance of family ties—something we have in common with all nations. As the world seems to be in kind of an uproar these days, it is good to remember we are all on the same little blue dot in the universe. Here at home, Senator John McCain told us not to “despair of our present difficulties but believe always in the promise and greatness of America, because nothing is inevitable here.” There is much suffering and unrest in the world. Compassion is learned in the family circle.
It will be worth your while to make a journey down to the wide, wild, wooly banks of Auld Fox Creek sometime in the New Year. The comings and goings at the Recreation of the Historic Emporium will help you remember what real community is all about. Champion—Looking on the Bright Side!