CHAMPION—January 14, 2019. While many all about were encased in ice, brittle and wind broken, some fortunate Champions weathered the weekend winter storm well. The roads are muddy, but mail arrived on time—thank you Karen Ross and associates. It is cold—but we have fire wood, propane and electricity—thank you to a fine infrastructure and hardworking householders. A few quiet days at home have been a welcome breather from the marvelous hubbub of the holidays and the ominousness of starting a new year amid the political, cultural and emotional upheaval of these times. Family and friends keep us conscious of what is important. Champions are ever mindful of their own good fortune and conscious that others near and far are not faring so well. Barbara Krider up in Elmwood, Illinois posted a beautiful picture of snow in her yard on the internet, saying, “Winter 2019 so it begins.” Lori Kline Cox posts a lovely scene from their rural home up by Kansas City. She thinks it will be three days before she can get out of her driveway on account of the downed trees and Johnny not having much gas for his chain saw, because he thought he would not need it. He likes Johnny Cash and could probably learn the 1959 tune, “Snow in His Hair.” Connie Brown has some great photos of ice in her Mtn. Grove neighborhood and Reba Bishop shared a picture of ice on trees in the Dogwood area. She says, “Beautiful, but so destructive.”
The weather is slated to be harsh on Sunday the 20th, but that will not stop friends and family from gathering in Ava to join in a memorial celebration for Judith Sharon Parsons who passed away on December 27th. Her many friends will share their memories of her and her genuine kindness. She had a mischievous twinkle in her eye and wonderful deep, musical laugh always at the ready. Her patches in friendship quilts and baby quilts are treasures for those lucky enough to have them. She was as skillful in her needle work as she was loving in her heart.
The Champion January birthday calendar is a busy one. The General’s very most favorite daughter-in-law, Mrs. Upshaw, was celebrated on the 13th. The 14th is for Kathryn Partel, who was a regular visitor to Champion before she and Dave moved off somewhere—still too blessed to be stressed. Also for a Champion bother, Willis Masters, who only visited here one time back in about 2000. Walking back down to the house from the spring, he said, “Sister, I’m glad you got what you always wanted.” He passed away out in west Texas in 2016 at the age of 73. The 16th is for Miley Schober, Champion granddaughter, and for Skyline 5th grade student, Aaliyah Irby. The 17th is for Miley’s cousin Rese Kutz, and for Betty White who will be 97. The famous Brooke Quiet-Timber has that day for her celebration as well. Third grade Skyline student, Jacob Brixey, and Mary Beth Shannon share the 18th. The 19th is for Champion’s friend, J.C. Owsley, up in Cross Timbers and for our Preeminent Champion at Henson’s Downtown G & G. Alvin Barnhart will have Beverly helping him enjoy his day and Sharon Woods with have her Buzz. Both enjoy their birthdays on the 20th. Skyline 6th grade student, Kyle Barker, has the 21st as his special day and the 22nd is for 4th grader Elizabeth Hinote. Brenda Coffman Massey has nephews and other kinfolks with birthdays in January, but probably none of them will have as much fun as she will on the 22nd. In the whole tri-city area (Champion, Denlow, Vanzant) she sets the standard for fun. The always lovely Sally Prock will have that song sung to her in recognition of her birthday on the 23rd. Happy birthday to all you Champions near and far. It’s like the old boy said, “Everybody’s got to be somewhere” and Saturday that somewhere will be a party for one-year-old twins girls. Their old grandpa will be practicing up to tell them stories about his old dad. Congratulations, ladies, you have joined a great family and will most likely never be bored.
Hopes are that the Skyline Archery Tournament will go on, unaffected by the bad weather forecasted for next Saturday. The last tournament scheduled here had to be called off because of icy road conditions. It was a good call as there were several accidents in the area that day. Otherwise our many talented archers might have to stay home and listen to that great song by Harry Nilsson, “Me and My Arrow,” which is heard in Nilsson’s fable, “The Point!” It tells of a boy named Oblio, the only round-headed person in the Pointed Village, where by law everyone and everything must have a point. There are a number of good lessons in the story that speak to the strange circumstances we find the world in today–rife with distractions to obfuscate, confuse and intimidate. One is reminded of that quote by a currently controversial individual: “Real power is—I don’t even want to use the word—fear.” Oblio had his struggles, but ultimately found that he indeed had a point. If they are unable to shoot, perhaps our young archers will enjoy some old poetry. Longfellow’s “The Arrow and the Song” is well worth the effort. It ends, “Long, long afterward, in an oak/ I found the arrow, still unbroke; / And the song, from beginning to end, / I found again in the heart of a friend” in Champion…Looking on the Bright Side!