Champions are pleased that George Washington and his army were willing to endure great hardship at Valley Forge in 1778, in order to break away from the Crown. It has been so long ago that it might be easy to take those sacrifices for granted. “No taxation without representation!” That was one of the rallying cries and some think that is the case now when wealthy people buy politicians who then do not work for the betterment of their constituency. The great Scots poet, Robert Burns, was a big fan of Washington and as Scotland prepares to vote on its own independence, his ode for the Generals birthday may be repeated, “A broken chain exulting, bring and dash it in the tyrant’s face, and dare him to his very beard, and tell him he no more is feared…They shout A People freed!” The Queen probably has a lot to mull over. The vote is in September. Champions will be paying attention.
Shelby Ward was given a pink violin for her birthday on Valentine’s Day. She wants to be in The General’s Band. He wants to be sure she does not get too much classical training as he does not want to be ‘showed-up.’ LaShell Upshaw Bearden had her birthday on the 16th. Her uncle, The General, used peanut butter as a stifling agent when LaShell was little in order to stem her flow of conversation. Trish Davis has her birthday on the 17th. She lives over by Ava and is a health care professional and not married to the Bobby Davis of Willow Springs (whose preliminary hearing date for timber thievery will be set in Douglas County on February 20th), but to another guy by the same name from the Ava area—a nice guy they say. Pete Proctor’s birthday is on the 18th. He is a proud Veteran and active in the VFW. The 19th is set aside to remember Pete’s mother, dear Ruby Proctor. She had lots of birthdays, a number of charming children, and many friends who miss her dearly. Joana Bell celebrates her birthday on the 21st. There is fun and laughter where ever she goes. Drayson Cline’s mother, Staci, was born on the 23rd of February. Drayson is just about to start crawling they say. He has several teeth now and is already better looking than his Papa! Judi Pennington also has a birthday on the 23rd. She had a bear in her yard last year and is just about over the scare. Ell Mae is a great Champion friend. That is not her real name, which is Margaret, but people call her Peg. Her birthday is on the 24th. That is Arne Arhnstat’s birthday too, but folks figure that must be his real name. Find him in the garden year round. Emma Evans is a 6th grade student at Skyline. Her birthday is also on the 24th. Birthdays might be more exciting when a person is in the 6th grade, but Emma might find out that they just get better and better the more of them a person has!
The Thursday bluegrass jam at Vanzant went on without Sue Murphy as she and Duane (Murphy) went off to see their granddaughter play basketball that evening. That is another wonderful kind of fun. No reports have been circulated of any untoward behavior on Thursday, so it is generally figured that the jam was its usual success. Warmer weather will find more Champions there in the future. There was a report of a great success by Morgan Whitaker. She won second place in the Rogersville Archery Tournament. Congratulations are due to Morgan and to the fine Skyline Archery program. There are more accolades to share as Mike Upshaw’s play, “The End Came in Spring,” is to be presented at the Stained Glass Theatre in Ozark. The show will run between April 24th and May 24th. It is very exciting to see some talent in that family! A tour around the internet reveals that during the first week of the performance a DVD will be made and will be available for sale and available to those who may not be able to go to the theatre or to those who just want to see it again and again. Bravo!
Catherine Mallernee of Kimberling City wrote that she was interested in the letter from Ethel McCallie where she mentioned that she was related to Doyles and Dickersons around Mansfield and Macomb. Catherine’s mother was a Doyle and she looks forward to a visit with Ethel about family. All the connections have been made so they can get together. Catherine received an email and Ethel will get her information on a Champion post card. Be advised: it now takes 34 cents to mail a postcard.
The Skyline Auxiliary meeting on the 12th was most productive and enjoyable. Guests and now active new members, Diane and Jerry Wilbanks and Star Peters, have joined right in to help make the upcoming fund raiser a success. They will be baking pies, chopping onions and finding good items for the silent auction. Karen Griswold has used her good organization skills to create a task list that is one sheet of paper front and back that covers every aspect of the affair. It is still a lot of hard work but the smoothness of the operation makes it a pleasure. It is always a joy to see people out and about again after a lot of bad weather. They get together for a good time with good food, good music and all for a good cause.
“Trolling” is a technique for fishing. It also describes a pricking devise for use in conversation when one makes a deliberately provocative statement with the aim of inciting an angry response. That is exactly what one distant Champion submits happened in The Champion News recently when the unseemly word “ignoramus” was applied to the provocateur. The troller is now perceived to have been the victor in the exchange and the frustrated writer diminished in equal measure. This is a valuable lesson. Perhaps the tables will turn and he will be called a “Teabillie” who is whimpering about how the cold snap proves global warming is not real. Is that provocative enough?
“Groundhog Day,” the movie, was recently compared to “It’s a Wonderful Life” as one of those timeless pieces of film that helps to define the American experience. Filmography aside, a Champion astutely points out that Mr. Potter still had the $8,000.00 at the end of the movie! George Bailey was saved from committing suicide by Clarence the angel and had the wonderful knowledge that the world was a much better place with him in it. The townspeople gathered in support of George and among them came up with the necessary funds. The Champion suggests that this is very much going on today. The banking industry is in the robbery business with no regulations or sanctions and the poor people have to come up with do re mi again and again.
“If you’ve got the money, Honey, I’ve got the time!” Poetry, music, laughter, stories, fishing techniques and tales of great adventure are welcome around the stove or out on the veranda of the Historic Emporium nestled securely over on the North Side of the Square. Look out across the wide, wild wooly banks of Old Fox Creek and know you are in one of the world’s truly beautiful places—Champion! Looking on the Bright Side!