February 19, 2018

CHAMPION—February 19, 2018


Champion Backyard Birds

On a Saturday morning foray out into the big world an Old Champion paused to appreciate some pretty puddles along the way pondering the past dry months and remembering the floods of last Spring.  On that warm day in February when the dog was looking for the shade, the Surprise Lilies and the Snow Drops were peeping up along with some Jonquils and other bulbous beauties.  Spring is knocking on Champion’s door.  Hello!

A grateful accident victim contacted The Champion News to find out how to send money to the Skyline Volunteer Fire Department.  He had taken a serious fall, was hurt and in a great deal of pain.  His wife was not able to get him into a vehicle to take him to the emergency room.  She called her emergency number (Douglas County Sheriff’s Office–683-1020) and a couple of first responders from the SVFD were soon on the scene.  They handled the situation with calm confidence and in a short while the injured man was transported by ambulance to Springfield.  He is home recovering now and is appreciative of the efficiency of the well trained fire fighters/first responders.  He was told to send his money to Skyline VFD, Rt. 72 Box 254, Norwood, MO 65717.  Skyline first responders recently used their Jaws of Life tool to free a young Drury man from a wrecked truck over near Sweden.  They are volunteers, willing to drop what they are doing to come to the aid of their neighbors.  The dues that the fire district membership pay do not nearly cover the cost of operating these vital public services, so any time there is a fund raiser, go and have some fun while supporting the organization.  Participate.  It is acceptable to express gratitude with money any time.  It is also meaningful to those volunteers to be recognized and valued.

The Winter Olympics have been a marvelous diversion from domestic turmoil.  Beautiful young athletes doing incredible feats of skill, strength, speed and daring lift our spirits and make us again feel that there are lofty ambitions and honorable people all over the world.  For people who have been feeling like the Nation is somewhere between 1928 and 1929 and on the upstream side of Niagara Falls, the distraction is more than welcome.  Television likely is a bigger part of the lives of many than is healthy.  Those athletes did not get where they are by sitting around being entertained, lulled, informed, inflamed, soothed and marketed.  Selecting wisely among the available viewing choices is a challenge for Champions.

Skyline School students are looking forward to Spring Break.  That will happen from March 5th through the 9th.  Actually counting week-ends, they will be free from the 3rd through the 11th!  That could be counted as nine days—certainly enough time to go see Grandma!  Mindy Johnson from over at the Douglas County Herald is sending in her box tops to help Skyline raise funds through the Box Tops for Education program.  Most General Mills products have official coupons printed on them that are worth $.10 each.  One old Campion is amazed at how many Best Choice products she uses—yogurt, cottage cheese, butter, napkins, snack bags, all kinds of canned vegetables.  The part of the label to save is the part with the bar code.  Save a bunch of them and drop them off at the school or mail them the way Mindy did to Skyline R2 School—Box Tops, Rt. 72 Box 486, Norwood, MO 65717.

Jeffery Goss Jr. from over near Gainesville sent some flyers to be posted locally concerning a conference to be held March 8-9 at the West Plains Civic Center called “Bringing Back the American small Farm.”  Featured speakers will be Joel Salatin of Polyface Farm, Hank Will of Mother Earth News and GRIT Magazine and Patrick Byers, MU Extension Horticulturalist.  For more information go to www.AmericanSmallFarm.com or call 417-293-0590.  Jeffrey said that he saw that the Health Department is offering screenings at various rural locations including Redbud store.  He wants to know if it is still open “(Not Redbank, mind you, but Redbud.)”  The Champion News, Rt. 72 Box 367, Norwood, MO 65717 is the address to respond to Jeffrey’s inquiry.  This week the “Lofty Thoughts” mail included a quote from Major General Smedley D. Butler of the U.S. Marine Corps, a two time winner of The Congressional Medal of Honor, who said in 1935, “War is a racket.  It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious.  It is the only one international in scope.  It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives.  A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to be to the majority of people.  Only a small ‘inside’ group knows what it is really about.  It is conducted for the benefit of the very few at the expense of the very many.  Out of war a few people make huge fortunes.”  Another thought was attributed to the actor and great dancer, Christopher Walken, who was reported to have said, “If you know how quickly people forget the dead, you will stop living to impress people.”

Vanzant Bluegrass Jammers were not providentially hindered from their Thursday gathering.  The pot luck supper (6 p.m. every Thursday) was bountiful and the music (7 to 9) was excellent with twenty musicians from far and wide participating.  Music has such healing properties.  It lifts our spirits when we are down and sooths us in sorrow.  It gladdens our hearts and carries us away from our difficulties.  An old World War I song goes, “…What’s the use in worrying?  It never was worthwhile so, pack up your troubles in your old kit bag and smile, smile, smile!”

Tina, our Douglas County Health Department nurse, will be in Champion for her monthly fourth Tuesday visit on the 27th.  She will be at Henson’s Store until 11:00 a.m. doing blood pressure and blood sugar checks.  This time she hopes to have the cholesterol machine and other testing equipment.  Champions feel fortunate to be well cared for.  It is a treat to be on the wide, wild wooly banks of Auld Fox Creek.  Last Wednesday’s Valentine party was a sweet success.  Friends gathered to enjoy cookies, cupcakes, lasagna and good conversation.  Many comments heard around the ancient wood stove are prefaced with, “Now this is not for publication…” and then they go on telling stories about things that happened around here long ago and sometimes not so long ago.  Of course, the Historic Emporium on the North Side of the Square is open every day (except for Sundays and Monday afternoons for restocking) so there is ample opportunity for folks from out in the big world to amble by for fellowship, victuals, chicken feed, nostalgia and enlightenment.  “On the sunny side of the mountain where the wild red roses grow” in Champion!  Looking on the Bright Side!


February 12, 2018

CHAMPION—February 12, 2018


The wild vicissitudes of weather drive many current conversations.  Old Champions, opting for prudence, decided to enjoy the warm comfort of their little country home rather than going to a movie matinee.  Many who had to be out during these tricky road conditions found difficulties along the way.  Car crashes and slips and falls take their tolls—more expensive than movie tickets.  The actor, Wes Studi, is playing Chief Yellow Hawk in the film ‘Hostiles.’  Christian Bale plays Captain J.J. Blocker.  They say that the film presents an authentic portrait of the native peoples living in the 1890s.  A review from the Billings Gazette says, “….former rivals are forced to work together to survive, eventually transition their relationship from hate to respect and ultimately acceptance and love.”  The writer encourages us to see this movie and to go with an open mind and open heart.  That kind of encouragement can be applied to all manner of social, cultural, and political situations.  Icy conditions outside made the week-end a great time for enjoying the Winter Olympics on television and for watching the birds at the feeders in the yard.  The birds entertain all year, but when it is so bleak, gray and cold outside, their beauty is more evident and glorious by contrast.  The contrast and competition among the world’s athletes is also a thing of beauty.  Not only are these young people physically beautiful, but the attitudes and gratitude they all seem to exhibit gives a positive spin to tumultuous and troubling world affairs.  It is nice to see these wholesome young Champions behaving well.  The feats they exhibit are astounding.  We are amazed that such antics are possible.  There is danger inherent in most all of the events and more danger as overly inspired Old Champions go gliding across the kitchen floor, arms extended, head thrown back as the music swells.

The Champion News mailbox (TCN, Rt. 72, Box 367, Norwood, MO 65717) received good mail this week.  Jody Henson wrote that Royce had hip surgery on December 13th–their 59th wedding anniversary.  He is busy doing physical therapy and pleased to be ‘homebound’ with Jody.  They are staying home to avoid the contagious diseases going around, but Jody says, “We will survive and God is Good!”  Friends will be looking for them at the Champion Spring Fling when the date is set for that sterling event.  North Texas Hillbillies, Suzie and Wes Freeman, say the weather has not been bad there.  Wes has planted seven rows of onions and has two more bunches to plant.  Suzie brags on him and his wooden truck replicas.  He has now produced 110 models in all colors.  She said they were married November 23, 1965 in Mountain Grove.  The Champion News had erroneously credited them with fifty-five years of marriage when, in fact, it has only been fifty-two years (and almost three months now).  They have happy years ahead of them.  There were also several pieces submitted to “Lofty Thoughts” at champion@championnews.us.  One suggests that the five kinds of people who will help us the most in life are the inspired, the passionate, the motivated, the grateful and the open-minded.  A more somber note came with a quote from the Artist Formerly Known as Prince (Prince Rogers Nelson), “ A two party system, the lesser of two dangers, the illusion of choice.  A veiled form of fascism where nothing really changes and you never had a voice.”  Another quotes Frank Zappa who said, “Music is always a commentary on society.”  He also said, “There are more love songs than anything else.  If songs could make you do something, we’d all love one another.”

Birthdays!  How often we think of dear Ruby Proctor with her sweet smile and generous heart!  She was born right in Champion and always loved the place and its people.  Her birthday was on the 19th of February.  Her sons, Pete and Frankie, celebrate on the 18th and the 29th.  Joanna Bell was born February 21, 1969.  Carson and Drayson will find out their Mother was born on February 23, 1983.  Ella Mae, who believes in Chem-trails, shares her birthday with the Indian Swede who believes in growing things and the beauty of rocks and feathers.  That is the 24th.  Jack Masters, great grand-son of Uncle Al Masters, will enjoy his birthday on the 27th.  He is a linebacker already awarded a college football scholarship.  He will finish his senior year at McCallum High School this spring.  Enjoy your special days and as many others as you can.  Time is filled with swift transitions.

Tim Tamburrino and Sara were at the Vanzant Bluegrass Jam on Thursday evening.  They really get around.  He established the Midwest Bluegrass Directory in 2012.  He says, “I believe we need to PRESERVE AND PROMOTE this music for future Generations.”  He has 1,534 people following his internet post of scheduled events and featured musicians.  That quadruple by-pass that he had last October does not seem to have slowed him down.  You will recognize him when you see him—a big man in a big white hat, a nice smile through a white beard, a pretty red shirt, a turquoise bolo tie and a camera on a tripod.  He and Sara are doing a good job of preserving and promoting.  A YouTube video appeared on the internet of Kenny Bushong at the McClurg Jam playing an old time fiddle tune.  The video was published in 2012 by folks at the Myerstown Family Farm who said, “He always says, ‘Well it wasn’t much but I put out all I had.’”  He passed away on Thursday, the 8th.  Those who had a chance to hear him play and to be acquainted with him knew him to be a real gentleman—a Champion.  He will be much missed on the Bright Side.


February 5, 2018

CHAMPION—February 5, 2018


A Champion Blizzard on Sunday afternoon.

The Groundhog’s prediction played out significantly on Sunday with blizzard-like conditions in the afternoon.  Six more weeks of winter will be just the right amount and then glorious Spring will be upon Champion again and the tribulations of late frosts and heavy rains or no rains will be the concerns of that season.  For now the Internet will be covered with snow pictures.  Certainly there will be some good ones at www.championnews.us.  There a person can also find all the news that does not appear in print on paper, in the original text, going back eleven years.  Road conditions are the current news together with the big pile up out on I-44 Sunday evening and the many other accidents all around the area.  Hopes are that all the injured and inconvenienced people will find comfort and safety and whatever they need.  The weather turned out to be more dangerous than people expected.  Champions stay home if they can and take special precautions if they must be out.  Skyline R2 School was closed because of road conditions.  Additionally, seasonal sickness has been going through the student body, so a school closing is a chance for staff to continue their on-going program of sanitizing.  Champions appreciate our wonderful little rural school and all those dedicated people who keep it going.

Sharon Sanders, reigning Douglas County Checker Champion and curator of the Douglas County Museum, has just celebrated a birthday.  Melissa Lilly Masters, Navy Veteran and Champion niece has her birthday on the 6th, and Cowboy Jack revels on the 7th.  He continues to keep his hat out of the creek.  Zoey Louise and Alexandra Jean can sing, “Happy birthday, dear Mom,” on the 8th.  Skyline first grade student Aidan Acree celebrates on the 8th.  Clare Shannon Johnson parties on the 13th and was seen congratulating her friend Debbie Newlyn on-line on her own recent birthday.  The 13th is the birthday of Skyline fifth grader Joshua Garner.  Miss Shelby Ward was born on Valentine’s Day.  She has Champion grandparents who live off in Salem but come home often.  Skyline fourth grader, Madison Bradshaw was born the 16th of February.  Trish Davis is a recent twins-grannie.  Her birthday is on the 17th.  That day is also for Linda Clark, a triplets-grannie.  All you Champions, curators, students, teachers, Veterans, nieces, parents, grandchildren and grandparents can be delighted because your friends and families love and admire you.  Enjoy it.

Imagine what a stranger might think upon entering your home for the first time.  When his or her attention moves from your welcoming smile, what does the stranger register about you and your place?  A well-appointed space with gleaming surfaces and elegant minimalism can still feel quite home-like.  It does not need to be like an upscale hotel lobby.  Just add some favorite family photos, a special painting by a granddaughter, curiosities and gifts from friends for your collections, your collections, and plants.  Plants always give vibrancy to a space.  So much for the elegant minimalism.  Once a Champion gave a birthday gift to her husband with the following note:  “Happy birthday, Darling!  Here is a gift for you that no amount of stuff can replace.  It is your own clean, flat, empty space.”  (Except for the note.)  There are volumes written about clutter, poems about clutter, web-sites full of quotes about clutter.  The word ‘clutter’ is even heavy—too many t’s.  A neighbor helping another neighbor with some projects assigned most all of her precious stuff with the term ‘junk’ and suggested it should all be eighty-sixed (thrown out).  She was appalled.  Value seems to be a subjective term.  It is not possible to look at a person and to know all that has occurred in that person’s life that causes him to be the way he is.  Judgment is a tricky proposition.  It comes back to Rabby Burns saying, “Oh, would some Power give us the gift To see ourselves as others see us!  It would from many a blunder free us, And foolish notion.”  There is also a growing realization that the generation to come is not interested in the vast majority of the ‘crap’ they are destined to inherit.  A cold, windy day might be a good one to go through that filing cabinet drawer that has not been opened in fifteen years.  Imagine the treasures!

Quotes supplied this week to the “Lofty Thoughts” section of The Champion News champion@championnews.us include Abraham Lincoln’s, “We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the Courts, not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow the men who would pervert the Constitution.”  Herman Melville’s “Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.”  Mahatma Gandhi’s “… Seven sins are:  wealth without work, pleasure without conscience, knowledge without character, commerce without morality, science without humanity, religion without sacrifice, politics without principal.”

Double fiddles are a double delight and so it was on Thursday at the Vanzant Bluegrass Jam when Roger Williams joined Jerry Wagner and the bunch in the circle making and enjoying the music and the fellowship.  The potluck supper starts at six and by seven the music is on.  It goes around the circle until nine, though often enough, a duo or trio will carry on for a while and it is hard to walk out the door with such good stuff going on.  Almost any night of the week there is a jam going on around here somewhere with great live music.  Valentine’s Day is coming up and love songs will be the mode o day.  Jewelry, flowers and candy, poetry and promises, good deeds and favors all count, but for romance, there is nothing like a good love song.  “Let Me Call You Sweetheart,” “Waltz Across Texas With You,” “I Love You Because,” “I Love You Just The Way You Are,” and a new old favorite, “That’s How Much I Love You.”  Eddy Arnold sings, “Now if you were a horsefly and I an old gray mare, I’d stand and let you bite me and never move a hair.  I’d stand and let you bite me and never move a hair, ‘cause that’s how much I love you, Baby.  That’s how much I love you.”  Valentine’s Day is on Wednesday this year.  That makes it all the more special in Champion—Looking on the Bright Side!

Sometimes a trio lingers a while.  Here is Dave Medlock, Travis Hathaway, and Roger Williams.

January 29, 2018

CHAMPION—January 29, 2018


When he was 71 he used to square-dance. Now he is 81 and has a new hip, a new knee, a stylish walking cane and the same sweet smile photographs going back decades prove he has always had. The big crowd at Vanzant’s Thursday Jam (brought out by good weather and good road conditions after a long period of neither) celebrated Duane Collins in advance of his Sunday birthday. The General led that song, and, according to him, did a good job of it. There will have been a big gathering of children and grandchildren at the Collins’ house on Sunday and Ruth is always happy for such an occasion. Champion’s close neighbor, Glen Cooley, celebrates on the first of February and has been doing so since 1940. Zack Alexander also has his birthday on the first and he has Champion grandparents who love to party with him. His Aunt Angie has the second as her birthday as do Judy Sharon Parsons, Connie Grand, Charlene Dupre, Catherine Mallernee and Nikki Combs. Groundhog Day is a particularly popular day for birthdays of interesting, talented people. Our Skyline R2 School is turning out interesting, talented people, among them eighth grade student, Jeffrey Rineman, who will have his day on the third. You celebrants are appreciated, admired and loved by your families and friends. Be happy.

Look for this logo to help support our great little rural school–Skyline R2 School.

Skyline School participates in the Box Tops for Education program. The school gets $.10 for each box top bearing the Box Tops for Education logo–most General Mills products. They also collect Best Choice labels and get $30.00 for each 1000 they send off so, as Ms. Helen says, “That adds up.” Feel free to mail your box tops and labels to Skyline R2 School—Box Tops, Rt. 72 Box 486, Norwood, MO 65717 or drop them off during school hours. There are plenty of ways to support our vital little school. Even if we do not have students attending, we all benefit from it. Newcomers and old folks can benefit by being around young people. It is a way to participate in the community and to keep ourselves young at heart. Bridget Seabert Hicks says they are looking for volunteers to work the concession stand on the following evenings: February 6th , February 20th, and February 27th. Call 417-683-4874. Have some fun doing good.

Wednesday was much improved as Sharry Lovan brought her father’s beautiful old banjo to Champion to join in with the regular neophytes. The banjo is not that old since her dad bought it new when she was seven. It is beautiful though. On Saturday it was well reported that she and her friends, David Richardson, Lynette Cantrell, Rod Cash, and Wendy and Ed Cline had enjoyed a terrific success as they paid tribute to Patsy Cline. Bravo! Sharry says her four year old granddaughter, Kiley Mae, has a case for her guitar now and is anxious to work up some tunes to perform with her grandmother. Other musical events to put on the calendar include one that Champion friend, Kaitlyn McConnell of Ozarks Alive has put together. On Saturday, February 24th, several of the region’s longtime musicians (Alvie Dooms, H.K. Silvey, J.R. Johnston and David Scrivener and others) will gather at the Ozark County Historium in Gainesville to share stories about old-time music and its place in local communities. After a panel discussion led by Kaitlyn, the musicians will play some of the old songs commonly heard in days gone by. This event is free and open to the public. Kaitlyn will inform us of the time.

Whoever refreshes others will be refreshed. That is according to Proverbs 11:25. It could be the reason an Old Champion’s Mother would, upon the arrival of any guest, invited or chance, soon offer water, coffee, or tea. There are probably a number of Biblical verses that have encouraged this particular hospitality, which some call Southern, though gracious people of all climates subscribe. This verse also suggests that a generous person will prosper. The King James Version says “The liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that watereth shall be watered also himself.” We think of fat and jolly in the same thought if the heavy person is someone we like. Liberalism seems to have a bad name these days, contrary to what a good upbringing might have taught. Champions, on the whole, like a liberal piece of pie but are want to conserve it nevertheless.

Beautiful warm days have some Old Champions out working beyond their capacity. They will nap heavily and groan from the unusual exertion. They will rest up and then get back to it, proud of what little they do get done. The little bit of rain and little bit of greening is encouraging. How nice it is to be out in the fresh air and away from the internet and the dreary political news of television and radio. It is fascinating to think that in less than a year our core principals have been degraded and our free and open society is in one of its worst conflicts among its own citizenry since the Civil War. While preparing the same soil for this year’s crops that was worked during the Civil War, one thinks about the terrible strife that occurred around these parts in those not so long ago days—within the memory of some old timers not long gone. It is not just the middle of the road, compromising moderate who needs to ascribe to tolerance, those hard right, poor-hating isolationists need to listen objectively to the other side even as do the left leaning, inclusive, spotted owl-loving, do-gooders. If both teams could be corralled for a manure shoveling contest, Champion would be known as the Fertile Crescent of Booger County. Seed catalogues have been tantalizing all winter. Now it is about time to make some decisions about the garden and the government—approaching, as in the song, with “A Purpose and a Plan” in Champion—Looking on the Bright Side!


January 22, 2018

CHAMPION—January 22, 2018


Saturday’s road snow gave way to Monday mud.

“What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness?”  John Steinbeck’s question in Travels with Charlie: In Search of America is clearly answered with our dramatic temperature change during the course of a few days.  On Saturday there was still snow on country lanes.  We are plenty sweet, thank you.  Champions were optimistic for good rain, the gentle soaking kind, but it came down in buckets with plenty of thunder.  The Official Champion Peach Can set in a flower pot out in the open contained precisely 1.5 inches of rain.  That is the most significant precipitation in quite some while.  A foray out on the 4th Tuesday for blood pressure exams (by Tina of the Douglas County Health Department) at the Re-creation of the Historic Emporium will give locals the opportunity to see if there is water under the New East Champion Fox Creek Bridge.  Can Spring be far behind?

Susan and Wesley Freeman have celebrated their 55th wedding anniversary.  They live down in McKinney, Texas, but Suzie says they are still ‘hillbillies at heart.’  Their Champion friends send them congratulations.  Alvin Barnhart celebrated a birthday on Saturday, the 20th.  On Friday he had been out in the woods cutting firewood to help a neighbor who had suffered an accident and was out of commission.  Champions say, “Happy birthday to a good neighbor.”  Talk about your good neighbor.  That is Brenda Coffman Massey.  Her birthday is the 22nd and she turns out to be behind or right in the middle of practically every good work in her neighborhood.  Not only that, she has a great smile and capacity for fun that is the envy of every old stick-in-the-mud around.  The fiddler’s sister, sweet Sally Prock, shares her birthday on the 23rd with a dynamic young percussionist, Oliver Holden Moses, who was 16 in 2015.  He is dazzling them at Northwestern University now.  Thomas Jarnigan’s is old enough now to sing, “Happy Birthday” to his dear old Dad up there in the Pacific Northwest.  Cowboy Jack can sing that song to his dear Joyce on the 26th and Shannon Alexander can sing it to the lovely Kaye on the 27th.  A note in the Official birthday book says that Jacob Brixey’s Dad was 40 years old in 2012.  Loneda (Neda) Bennett is now a grandmother (Paisley) and also has a birthday on the 30th.  Ms. Helen over at our wonderful little Skyline R-2 School shares student birthdays with The Champion News:  Jacob Brixey, second grade—January 18; Kyle Barker, fifth grade—January 21st; Elizabeth Hinote, third grade—January 22nd; Blake McIntosh, kindergarten student—January 24th; Brooke Johnson, sixth grade—January 26th; Erika Strong, fifth grade—January 30th.  All of you, enjoy all your days.  Make the most of them like Champions.

It is wise to be careful out in public these days with the influenza raging.  Anything that we touch can possibly be contaminated.  Paper folding money is particularly suspect of possible corruption.  It goes through lots of hands.  Hand washing has become a first defense against the virus.  Money laundering is a different thing.  Financial crimes such as tax evasion and money laundering have proven to be the straws that finally break the criminal’s back.  The term ‘money laundering’ actually comes from Alfonzo Capone who began the endeavor in local coin operated laundries that he controlled in New York.  He laundered billions of dollars but was ultimately convicted for tax-evasion.  Other great practitioners of the art were John Gotti, the Teflon Don, and the infamous General Manuel Noriega of Panama, both of whom were brought down by Champion Bobby Three Sticks.  Gotti died in 2002 in the Federal Prison Hospital in Springfield.  Noriega served time in the United States and in France for money laundering before he was returned to Panama where he was incarcerated for crimes committed while he was in office and where he died in 2017.  It may be as dangerous to launder money as it is not to wash your hands.  The flu that is going around now is a particularly virulent strain.  Dr. Taubenberger, Senior Investigator in NIAD’s Laboratory of Infectious Diseases says that all the human–adapted influenza viruses of today are descendants, direct or indirect, of that founding virus that caused the 1918 flu pandemic that infected 500 million people around the world and resulted in the deaths of 50 to 100 million people—three to five percent of the world’s population.  Our population is much larger now that it was in 1918, and it can clearly be said that these are even more dangerous times.


Skyline R2 Tigers hosted their second archery tournament at ‘home’ this school year.  There were five schools participating:  Lebanon, Manes, Mountain Grove, Norwood and Skyline.  It is a terrific program that gives boys and girls the chance to build some personal skills, to learn some science and math, to enjoy competing and getting some interaction with kids from other schools.  Parents and others in the community get to help with the concession stand and to fill the grandstand to watch a fascinating event.  It is a very quiet, orderly sport.  Whistles blow, the audience holds its breath and then there is the thud, thud, thud of arrows hitting the targets.  Skyline students did well.  Cyanna Davis was first place among middle school females, Kyle Barker was first in the elementary boys’ division and Malachi Fulk was second.  Faith Crawford was first in the elementary girls’ competition, Destiny Surface was second and Miranda Cannucci third.  All these young people are winners.

On Friday over in Willow Springs there will be a Tribute to Patsy Cline.  Sharry Lovan, David Richardson, Rod Cash, and Lynette Cantrell will join Wendy and Ed Cline at the Star Theatre for the performance at 7:00 p.m.  Five dollars at the door is a bargain for an evening of such fine entertainment.  Robert Burns was born January 25, 1759.  A poet and a farmer, well known for his blunt political and civil commentary, one wonders what he might say about our current situation.  Long-time Champion friend, Eulalia Jasmin, writes in (champion@championnews.us) to say that millions of citizens took to the streets all over the world on January 20th with Burns’ message:  “Oh would some power the gift give us, to see ourselves as others see us!”  We seem to be in disarray.  The Madison Avenue Baptist Church in New York City has a sign up that says, “Rather than build a wall, America needs to build a giant mirror to reflect on what we’ve become.”  Thursday will find people celebrating with Burns Suppers in Scotland and many other places around the world even in Vanzant where there will be pot-luck feasting and good music.  It happens in Vanzant every Thursday evening (weather permitting) in the Community Building, starting at 6:00 with the potluck and then a music jam from 7:00 to 9:00.  Maybe someone will sing that Stonewall Jackson song, “I washed my hands in muddy water.  I washed my hands but they didn’t come clean.  I tried to do like Daddy told me.  But I must have washed my hands in a dirty stream” in Champion—Looking on the Bright Side!

A muddy stream when it is not frozen.