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It would seem that people have finally worn themselves out with complaining about the weather.  They have whined and moaned since three days before Thanksgiving (according to Elmer) and have just about used up every applicable lament.  They ran out of gripes just in time.  The days are glorious in Champion.

Raymond and Esther Howard were in town last week.   They live over in Marshfield but get down to Champion on a Sunday every now and then.  Raymond has just bought a new truck.  It is a used truck, but just used by a little old lady to do her grocery shopping since she bought it new in 1999.  It is a hot little Ford and redder than red with some fancy accent painting on the doors and tail gate.  It is pristine and it has a standard transmission and a wild man behind the wheel.  Nineteen or ninety one?  Esther says he is enjoying his ‘toy.’  He delivers Meals on Wheels in his neighborhood and has a chrome plated tool box in the truck bed that works well for the purpose.  Raymond is a good driver and a good neighbor.

Friends were talking about Neil Schudy the other night.  Miley Schober’s grandmother says that Neil was about the best neighbor a person could have. He would help you do anything.  If you were broke down in the hay field or had some fence down he was right there to help.  She said that the kids (meaning Miley’s Mom and folks of that generation) all loved Neil.  He was a big kid himself and loved to play tag on the road with the kids on the four wheelers and to ride horses and rope and do all that cowboy stuff.  He particularly liked paint horses and he said that he spent most of his time on a horse and the rest of the time was just wasted.  He and his sweet smile are sorely missed.  The family of Russell Upshaw gathered at Denlow on Sunday to give him a send-off.  Another celebration of his life will happen about April 27th.  Details have not yet been finalized, but every Vanzant bluegrass jam will be a celebration of Russell and Sue.

The Wellness Night up at Skyline last week was a great event.  Jenna and Jacob Brixey were romping with their Champion chums being rowdy and noisy and having a wonderful time.  Taegan Krider was right in there with them doing some very exciting activities with parachutes and bouncing balls.  Her Dad said she did not want to leave.  The Skyline students will have Muffins with Mom on April 4th.  That afternoon at 2:00 they will have the BACA (Bikers Against Child Abuse) assembly.  On Sunday the 6th students and their families are being encouraged to wear blue as a way to promote child abuse awareness.  This little school is doing a terrific job of taking care of the future movers and shakers of the area.  You never can tell what these great kids are going to do.  Judson Wall was the Valedictorian of Skyline School in 2001.  He went from one good school to another.  It all gets started in school.  The Dolly Parton Imagination Library gets them ready to read and kindergarten takes over from there.

“Good, better, best—never let it rest—‘till your good is better and your better is best!”  That is a real Champion notion taught to the esteemed musician, Bobby Nicholson, in 1976, when he was just a lad in another quality little school up in Kircaldy, Scotland.   It is about the size of Skyline in a town about the size of Norwood.   One of Bobbie’s good friends, Morag Edward, will be having her birthday on March 31st.  There will be music and chocolate and much good merriment.   Meanwhile, back in Champion, Teagan’s year old Blue Healer, Banjo, is going to stock dog school.  He started off being afraid of the sheep and then decided he might like to eat one.  He about has it figured out now and it looks like he is going to be a big help on the farm.

On the subject of banjos, Linda Clark posted an interesting story on line with pictures.  Her folks live out on 14 Highway and their yard is high up on a steep bank along the side of the road.  Linda’s story had to do with her dad having accidently taken his riding lawnmower on a fast, wild trip down that bank all the way to the highway.  She said that this was when she heard her favorite quote of the day.  Wayne said, “It’s not too bad when you don’t have time to really think about it.”  The next time he comes to Champion perhaps he will share the story as he recalls it.  After last week, it might be advisable to let folks embellish their own stories.  (There was some speculation that one might be getting paid by the word as the tale droned on and on.)

Champion’s other friend Linda is up at The Plant Place in Norwood busy transplanting tiny plants from her seed starting station into the four-packs of flowers and vegetables that will make Champion gardens lush and lovely this summer.  Gardeners with the time, space and know-how can get seeds started for above the ground crops on the first and second and then on the sixth and seventh of April.  Linda’s Almanac says that the third through the fifth will be barren days.  She says her Cole crops are looking good.  Get a good look at that almanac there at The Plant Place and on the bulletin board at Henson’s Downtown Grocery & Gas and at the very top of the page at www.championnews.us.

Bonnie Raitt said “Life gets mighty precious when there’s less of it to waste.” She is an American blues singer-songwriter and slide guitar player.   One of her great songs is “Let’s give them something to talk about.”  Come down to the broad beautiful banks of Old Fox Creek and enjoy the conversations around the stove on these chilly mornings.  You’ll be there with the movers and shakers (whittlers and spitters and yarn spinners) of Champion—Looking on the Bright Side!

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