May 11 – The internet has been papered over with photographs of our dear Mothers. The tributes are precious. It is as if everyone were sighing simultaneously and smiling sweetly, saying, “Gee, thanks, Ma!”
Two episodes of frost so far in to the month of May are just two episodes too many for some frantic gardeners who, relying on their experience of recent years, had many tender things in the ground already. The up-side is that it is still early enough in the season to recoup losses with more of that stuff called hard work.
Thursdays are particularly difficult for some folks. Skip and Ina are doing okay over there near West Plains, and so is Bertie in Dora, but they, like many others, are missing the Vanzant Bluegrass Jam. Jerry and Lena live a few miles south of Mansfield and were glad to have missed the bad weather there, but not glad to miss the Thursday jam. They are doing well though and report the same for Sally and Wilma. Wilma had a birthday on April 30th and all her helpers got together to give her a cake and a good party. Lena Bell called her up to sing that song which pleased her to no end.
Dovie Dooms celebrated on the 2nd of May. She may be going to the McClurg jam, which has opened up again, but with some significant alterations in the protocol. Whenever and however we are able to get back into these wonderful gatherings, we will be grateful. A couple of years ago a young man, a high school student, showed up at the Vanzant Jam with his guitar and a mandolin. He played beautifully, keeping up easily with much more seasoned musicians. He sang with confidence, had a pleasant voice and a poised presentation. Someone said, “I suppose you have a fiddle and a banjo at home too,” to which he responded affirmatively. School and a full time job kept him away from the jam thereafter. His admirers are hopeful that he is still finding time to play. He has been busy. He is a senior in Mountain Grove High School this year and has just been appointed to West Point Class of 2024. His Champion and Vanzant friends could not be more proud of him if he were our own grandson. Congratulations, Bo Parker!
Congratulations to all our students. The class of 2020 will go down in history. Every student will remember the year things changed.
“But it’s not fair!” The frustrated lament of youth gets its answer from Mother who says, “Get used to it. Much of life is not fair. Make the best of it or change it.” It doesn’t get better. We get better. Those of us who had parents who lived through the pandemic of 1919, the Great Depression and World War II had the advantage of an upbringing that included the possibility of world-wide turmoil. Here we are again and may the strength of our forebears inspire us to our best response. These difficult times may forge the strength in our young people that will enable them to insure domestic tranquility when they are running things. Good luck. One Champion’s opinion—Looking on the Bright Side!