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Champions routinely acknowledge wishes that come true.  When the exterior world reels with disannullery for any cause, the gratitude that Champions feel to see something good happen that they had hoped for is genuine and cause for celebration!

Reasons for good cheer abound.  Harley and Barbara are feeling better.  If they were home in Champion these days, they would have had the chance to visit with their lovely niece, Linda Watts, who was in town with sons Dillon and Dakota for a few days.  They were visiting their Grandmother, uncles, aunts, and cousins down on the Fox Creek Farms.  These Tennessee Champions bring fun with them and much good energy to boot.  www.the-dairy-maid.com is a good place to check in on what is happening down on the farm.  Peanut’s mother has been posting her blog for a year now and it is lovely see how beautifully the high tech world blends with deep agrarian roots.  Check it out in Champion Connections at www.championnews.us.

Another reason to celebrate is that Skyline seventh grader Darin Olson will have his thirteenth birthday on the 23rd of February.  Sources say he is a good student, a good athlete and a nice guy.  This is his first year at Skyline and he played football for Ava this year.  His sister, Amelia, is in the third grade at Skyline.  Her teacher, Mrs. Cline, is celebrating her birthday that day too.  Mrs. Cline is still in her twenties!  Her friends, co-workers, students, family and neighbors all join in to sing that song that rejoices in her youth, her beauty, and her gentility.  Her in-laws prefer her to their own son, who makes random remarks about his parents’ standards and other oddities.  She has only good things to say about him.  She is, after all, genteel.

It is nice to see Mrs. McCallie celebrating her 94th birthday still, or getting an early start on her 95th.  Esther Wrinkles is from June 28th until August 11th older than Ethel.  At that age it is hardly a difference.  Esther said that she really enjoyed Ethel’s letter and has been meaning to give her a call.  Between them they have almost two hundred years of life experience that even youthful sexagenarians and septuagenarians can call on for examples of graceful ageing.  Day by day, every dawning day is one to celebrate.

A pleasant chat with the General’s wife (bless her heart!) reveals that there were 85 in attendance at the Thursday Night Jam over at the Vanzant Community Center.  She says that there were twelve musicians who got up to play and a number of others who just enjoyed the show.  The Thursday Night Jam is a wonderful reaction by the community to the loss of the two local places that people had to enjoy music (not to mention get some gas or milk or bread or have a nice bite to eat).   People here can go to other sources for most of their necessities, but they need the music and will find a way to have it.  Champion!  The General is a big cog (some say ‘clog’) in that wheel of music that goes round and round.  He drags that guitar case around for show, but rarely plays the thing.  “Humble” may not be the worst thing anybody has ever called him, but it is a compliment to the level of musicianship when one recognizes that there are other players around who are better.  Even Elvis asked for Jerry Reed to play the introduction to “Guitar Man” when he covered Reed’s song.  Jerry had a unique fingerpicking style and tuned his guitar, according to him, “up all weird kind of ways.”  Now it would seem that the General is being compared to Elvis!  It is astonishing.

The military says that a soldier from Russellville, Arkansas has been killed in Afghanistan.  The Department of Defense announced Saturday that 30-year-old Sargent Jerry D. Reed II died February 16th in Paktika Province there.  It is not known if the Sargent was related to the musician, but it is sure that his family is suffering the terrible loss.  The U.S. Military will be present in the dangerous parts of the world for the foreseeable future.   Champions appreciate their Veterans and extend Love and Gratitude to them and to those currently out there on behalf of the whole Nation.

The 23rd will also be the first of several good days to be planting crops that bare their yield above the ground.  Peas!  Snowpeas, shelling peas, English peas–whatever kind a person likes, it is a good time to get them in the ground.  Linda’s Almanac from over at the Plant Place in Norwood will have all the information that gardeners need when she opens up for business on March 1st.  Her Cole crops are doing well, she says.  Meanwhile, mailboxes are fairly choked with seed catalogues and warm days beckon Champions out to get their hands dirty.  Stop in at Henson’s Store over on the North Side of the Square in downtown Champion to pick up some of those nice little jersey gloves to keep your gardening hands clean.  The other day an old Champion stopped in to get some gas so he could make it to town to buy a flush valve.  There hanging on the pegboard behind the counter were two different types of flush valves, and the old guy made his choice, went on home and had time to do a little therapeutic wood stacking after his plumbing chores were over.  Champions continue to be amazed at the inventory of the Historic Emporium and some housewives are pleased that there is such a convivial place for their spouses to dawdle without making the long trip to the big towns.  Champion is town enough for country people.

Skyline School Board member, Tim Scrivner, was pictured the other day donating blood at one of the FFA’s six annual blood drives.  That Tim is a real Vera Cruzer and his hand is in several nice pies.  He has been instrumental with the Skyline R-2 School Foundation in getting the Foundation hooked up with the Dolly Parton Imagination Library.  This is an excellent reading program available to all preschool children in the school district.  It is a 60 volume set of books beginning with the children’s classic The Little Engine That Could™.  Each month a new, carefully selected book is mailed to the child’s home.  It is free and the best gift for beginning a happy lifetime of reading.  (Find a Registration form at Henson’s Store in Champion or at the School.)  He has also connected with a Skyline parent to arrange a Bass Fishing Tournament on May 26th at the Spring Creek Boat Ramp, Isabella, MO.  There will be much said about this in the future.  Right now the Auxiliary of the Skyline VFD is hoping that Fire District Member Scrivner will come up with another of his wonderful bird feeders for the Silent Auction at the chili supper on March 3rd.

One Social Season blends happily into the next and as Mr. Reed sang, “When you’re hot, you’re hot!” Get the hot scoop around the stove in the Champion Social Network Salon and Planning Center in the anteroom (if you use the Executive Entry) of The Historic Mercantile located on the broad pleasant banks of Fox Creek, at the bottom of several hills, the juncture of a number of roads, one of which is paved.  Add your events to the calendar at Champion Items, Rt. 2 Box 367, Norwood, MO 65717 or at Champion@getgoin.net.  It is always best to come in person, to Champion!  Looking on the Bright Side!

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