June 15 – The good news reported in the Herald that Skyline voters approved the raise in the operating tax levy is offset by the Governor’s announcement of $131 million in budget cuts to Elementary and Secondary Education. The CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) may help in the short term, but all our schools will share in the shortfall. Back to the good news: the Skyline community supports our school and will continue to do so while necessary adjustments are made. Superintendent Donnie Luna, all the staff, and the school board will be doing the hard work of keeping our great school going strong. We appreciate everyone for being safe during the ongoing pandemic. Our precautions protect each other.
Gardens are glorious this year, sending some new fresh vegetable to the table every day and blooming with the optimism of much fruit to come. One Champion noted that when her garden is weed free, well mulched, attractively arranged and bursting forth with produce, no one stops by to see it. On the other hand, when she has let it get away from her and it is weedy, diseased or failing, she can hardly keep people out. They want to take pictures! So it goes. The omniscient ‘they’ say any time you see a pretty garden, there is someone in it. All this isolation makes it easier to be out there even if no one sees. Things that only you see in your garden make it the pleasant place to be in today’s tumultuous times—a butterfly with a tattered wing, a beautiful ribbon snake, or visitors to a dandelion. Local hay-makers have done a good job dodging the rain and fields are dotted with big round bales. Sometimes the air is full of the hum of distant hay making machinery. Hum along because music is known to have many of the same positive health benefits that gardening provides.
The Vanzant Bluegrass Jam reopened on Thursday with good safety precautions in place. There was plenty of room for social distancing and hand sanitizer and gloves were available. Some had masks or bandannas down around their necks. It was a small gathering which seems just the right size even though we look back with great fondness to the place having been packed in days gone by. Maybe it will be like that again one day, but for now, our good judgment must prevail.
Show and tell at the Historic Emporium has been interesting lately. A gas powered flat iron was on exhibit there for a while, and has since been taken to a recycler. Another item was brought in the other day by a regular Champion visitor and was identified as a horse clog. It is a three pieced wooden apparatus configured to go around a horse’s foot in such a way to prevent the animal from being willing to run. It is an old thing, but it would still work. Old folks still working may find they are accomplishing less these days, yet they endeavor to persevere.
The reward for making a recent, rare trip to town was running into Karen Ross. Karen was the Champion mail carrier for a long time. She has another route now and seems to like it just fine, though she asked to be remembered to all her old Rt. 72 friends. She must be extra busy these days. We miss Karen, but are very pleased with our new guy, John. Often lately his is the only vehicle going down Cold Springs Road. The USPS has always been a vital amenity for rural people. Mail-order is still important in the country, though many of us may be shopping on the computer rather than with the Sears and Roebucks catalogues that were a main stay back in the day. We have been getting our packages reliably for a long time. We handle our finances through the mail and get those precious grandchildren’s photographs and drawings. John is doing a good job and is much appreciated.
These are being beautiful days in Champion in spite of the great National and global turmoil. In times like these we think of FDR. He spoke often of our four great freedoms: freedom from fear and want and freedom of speech and religion. Those are things we contemplate in the comfort of our peaceful, rural homes. Champion—Looking on the Bright Side!