Champions are optimistic by nature and the idea of a little rain early in the week has some of them making preparations for it. Others are purposely not preparing, daring nature to rain on the clean clothes on the line or on the pie cooling on the windowsill. One calls it the “theory of positive and negative jinxing.” Rain or shine, Champions take what comes and make the most of it. One says, “Might as well, we can’t dance.” It is unclear whether dancing is not allowed or the individual is just incapable of dancing. The weather, however, does look clear and so Champions stay optimistic rain or shine.
Reports are that it was hot and sunny on Friday for the Vanzant Picnic, but that Saturday was just delightful. A big band of clouds rolled in from the northeast; the temperatures were quite temperate and the humidity was low. It was perfect! Those volunteer firefighters from over at the Eastern Douglas County Volunteer Fire Department were out directing traffic in the most expeditious and efficient way. Polite, friendly young fellows kept it safe and a couple of other guys ran a golf cart shuttle for folks who had to park a distance away. The entertainment, the food and the games were all great, but the best part was seeing and visiting with friends and acquaintances that get together at this event every year. Ruby Proctor chose the right night to be out. Frankie and Freda accompanied her and she had a good time. Francis Banks said that the fish had come from a farm in Arkansas and that Gwen from down at the Drury Café had arranged for it through an outfit in Ava. Everyone held that it was just first-rate. Elvie Ragland enjoyed her fish dinner with her friend Linda Collins of Richfield and had some good stories to tell about her recent adventures over in Oklahoma. She said she has not been spending as much time as she would like out on the porch at the Historic Emporium in Champion, but figures that she will get over there soon. The General was in full Generalissimo Mode ramrodding and nattering and hobnobbing all to good effect. Mrs. Don Walker and her charming daughter were on hand selling those tickets for the drawings and greeting the arriving crowd with their sweet smiles. Sherry Lynch and her sweetheart were there selling tickets for the fifty/fifty drawing and someone alleged it was he who did such an excellent job of the National Anthem, though one person thought he said ‘truth through the night’ instead of ‘proof through the night.’ Bob Upshaw said that master of ceremonies, Steve Moody, is responsible for booking the talent for the program. He is quite a talented fellow himself and knows it when he sees it. Those Shannon sisters, Judy Wood and Yvonne Unger, kept the cake walk spinning and a great deal of excellent conversation ensued around that little numbered square of ground. Linda Clark won a lemon cake for her dad, Wayne Anderson, and Linda Kaye’s older sister had great luck and won three cakes during the evening, all of which she gave away. Champion!
“I fell out of a barbed wire fence, straddle of a cherry tree and I tore myself from now until tomorrow morning. The Doctor said I wouldn’t live from one end to the other,” said Rufus Keller, according to his grandson, Larry Wrinkles, the other day. Larry said that his grandpa was full of riddles and limericks and stories of all kinds. One interesting one was about a couple of guys standing around talking when they saw a fellow coming up the road. One asked the other, “Who is that coming up the road.” His companion replied, “Brothers and sisters have I none, but that man’s father is my father’s son.” This is an old riddle, but it still works a hardship on some brains to figure it out. Hard work is no stranger to the Wrinkles clan. Teresa was busy in the cook shack at the Vanzant Picnic. She will work the Up ‘n At It 4-H Picnic in a couple of weeks and has pledged to help out at the Skyline Picnic as well. It will seem strange to have the quilt and door prize ticket table without Esther Wrinkles this year. Teresa sat with her mother-in-law there for many years and will carry on, a Champion. Esther had her 95th birthday last June. She would have been 96 this year. That is corrected information via Irene Dooms, Esther’s sister, and the other of Rufus Keller’s daughters. Irene will make some pies for the Skyline picnic, she says. It is always good to see her and her Champion and Skyline friends hope she will make it out this way often. Before Kenneth and Dawn Henson left to go back to Houston, they made it by Henson’s Grocery and Gas to buy some tickets for the beautiful quilt that will be given away at the Skyline Picnic this year. It is figured that since Hoovey only bought five dollars’ worth of tickets, he will not mind paying the shipping charges if he wins. He might ask someone to hold it for him (if he wins) and he will pick it up when he comes for the Champion School Reunion on the Saturday before Labor Day. He will have to win it first, and his few little tickets among the many will have to prove him to be luckier than experience has demonstrated so far. Well, he does have that lovely, sweet wife. Time will tell on August 10th.
Ethan Alexander shares his birthday with his Uncle Zee on the 19th of July. Together they share their birthday with Samuel Colt, 1814; Edgar Degas, 1834, and Lizzie Borden, 1860. Ethan has a cousin named Lizzie. She is Uncle Zee’s daughter and she was born in 2007, on the 15th of May. She probably will learn about the other Lizzie eventually, but her family is not worried. When it comes to swimming across the pool, or figuring out a hard problem, or understanding things, she says, “I’ve got this!” And she means it. Her old Granddad says it is so.
Lizzie’s Granddad is hoping the deer will stay out of his garden this year. Taegan’s folks are hoping the raccoons will stay out of the corn. It is pitiful to have a good crop just ready to harvest when the critters come along and reap it in advance. Live traps, shot guns, and good watch dogs might keep them at bay, but luck is a factor in there as well. Linda’s Almanac from over at The Plant Place in Norwood says that the 20th and 21st will be good for planting above-ground crops and the 23rd will be a lucky day for planting beets, carrots and other root crops. There is always something to do. Every now and then it is a good thing to take a break, a little rest, to catch up on a little visiting with friends and neighbors on the comfortable, spacious veranda of the Recreation of the Historic Emporium over on the North Side of the Square. Friends will look for Elvie there singing, “Luck be a Lady Tonight!” Take a break and enjoy your good luck to be in one of the world’s truly beautiful places…Champion—Looking on the Bright Side!