Champion

Traveling Champions are pleased to see how excitingly different the world is elsewhere and are delighted to see how very similar it is to home.    An evening in an establishment called The Reverie over on Newington Street in Edinburgh was very reminiscent of any one of a number of places around Champion.  Rambling Heart, a trio of dobro, guitar and fiddle was joined by a banjo, another fiddle and a big, big dog-house bass.  The first song was the Wreck of the Old 97 and so one immediately had the feeling that it was to be an unforgettable evening.  Blackberry Blossom, White Freight Liner, All the Good Times Are Passed and Gone, were followed by Red Haired Boy and Soldiers Joy.  Of course, The Flowers of Edinburg came out and then The Old Home Place which ask, “Why did I leave the plow in the field to look for a job in the town?”  The list of familiar songs goes on and on.  Favorites standing out were Faded Love and I Traced Her Little Footprints in the Snow.  Wayne Anderson would have felt right at home and Champions can smile sweetly at the thought of Lonnie Krider’s wonderful high-lonesome voice in the mix.  Some of the best things about music are how it is draws dissimilar people together and helps to hold precious memories of dear ones close.  Champion!

The bad weather that was predicted for Wednesday the 17th caused a light turn out for Bud Hutchison’s Fall Trail ride.   It is reported that the forecast was wrong and the bad weather did not materialize.  Those few intrepid riders who were willing to brave the elements were rewarded with an outstanding excursion.   It is good to see the General plodding about on face-book liking a link sent by D.J. Shumate concerning Del Reeves song, The Only Girl I Can’t Forget.  (Backyard Bluegrass would be superstars over here.)  For future reference, “Himself” will be telling a joke about a snowman picking his nose in a vegetable market.  His friends are thinking that since he is seeing so clearly now, perhaps it will be as Robert Burns said, “Would some power the gift to give us to see ourselves as others see us!” Certainly the internet is providing some magnificent views of the luscious fall foliage around Champion and Booger County in general.  Breauna Krider has posted some outstanding photos on her website www.the-dairy-maid.com.

Pete Proctor, Archie Dailey and their VFW friends would appreciate the many monuments in the city dedicated to soldiers.  One such on the Old North Bridge says, “In memory of officers, non-commissioned officers and men who whilst serving the King’s own Scottish borders (The Edinburgh Regiment) gave their lives for their country during the following campaigns:  Afghanistan 1878-1880, Egypt 1888-1889, Chin Lushai 1889-1890, Chitral 1895, Thrah 1897-1898, South Africa 1900-1902.”  Some say the Scotts were just London’s cannon fodder.  There is currently a vote on the local ballot for Scottish independence.   It will be interesting to see how it goes, independence being such a Champion notion.  There is also quite a magnificent statue of the First Duke of Wellington, who noted that many cavalry soldiers sustained crippling wounds by having been shot in the knee – a very vulnerable and exposed part of the body when one is mounted on a horse.  The Duke caused the typical boot to be modified with a protection for the knee which may well have contributed considerably to the great victory over Napoleon at the battle of Waterloo.  Later on in 1852, a well-known boot maker, Hiram Hutchison, met Charles Goodyear and the modern Wellington began to evolve.   In World War I production of the wonderful dry boot was boosted with the requirement for footwear suitable for the conditions in Europe’s flooded trenches.   Today, pink lady Wellingtons are available with polka dots and fuzzy linings.  Taegan (Peanut) has a lovely pair of pink and purple “barn-boots” thanks to the First Duke of Wellington and some guy named Hutchinson who could well be an ancestor.  Champion!

It was a lovely sunny day when two old tourists walked about in the Prince’s Garden just below Edinburgh Castle.  The weather is cooler here, on Monday about 45 degrees, but there has yet to be a killing frost.  Roses are blooming still and little front gardens are full of beautiful plants from exotic places.  The gardens below the castle were once a moat and the big volcanic mountain upon which the castle stands has been a stronghold for three thousand years.   In those far off days it was known as the stronghold of Eidyn.  Then came the invading Angles from Germany, around AD 638, and ever since then the rock has been known by its English name– Edinburgh.   Now the city has about half a million people, just about the size of Kansas City, which also has some lovely gardens.   It looks like the growing season will be continuing throughout much of November for Champions.

Champions wandering far from home, even some just down to Arkansas, can find themselves quickly out of touch.  Any news that one would like to have known can travel back and forth across the Pond via Champion@getgoin.net.  It  has been a joy to share with new friends  the amazing beauty of a charming spot at the end of the pavement and the bottom of several colorful hills, where country lanes converge on the wide and wild banks of Old Fox Creek.  Old friends from St. Louis who use to make it down to the country often, but have not in a while, were strolling about the Square the other day.  They enjoyed the lovely view from the wide veranda on the Recreation of the Historic Emporium where they found themselves relaxed and happy.   It will always be a warm spot in the hearts of those at home and of the many who are far flung and yearning to return to their dear Champion!  Looking on the Bright Side!

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