CHAMPION‚ÄĒAugust 22, 2016
¬†¬†¬† ¬†¬†¬† When the weather turns from hot to perfect, as it just has these lovely days, some Champions take a little while to catch up‚Ä¶catch up with the yard work, and with the whole idea that summer is almost over.¬† Most likely there will be more hot days ahead, but the temporary reprieve from the oppressive heat and humidity is a gift that will make it more bearable as the season winds down.¬† Naturally, no one has had the heart to complain when neighbors just to the south and east are floating away, stranded, and bereft.
¬†¬†¬† ¬†¬†¬† Tuesday the 30th will be the last Tuesday of the month and therefore the day that Nannette Hirsch, the Douglas County Health Department Nurse will be in Champion from 9 in the morning until 11.¬† She does blood pressure checks and other health screenings as an amenity to the rural community.¬† This program has saved lives.¬† The following Tuesday will find her at Skyline School from 8:30 to 10:30 in the morning doing the same thing.¬† She helps us look after ourselves.¬† What a sterling service.
¬†¬†¬†¬† ¬†¬†¬† Labor Day is on the way and that means the Champion School Reunion will again have the Square full of students and their families and friends celebrating the institute that figures so vividly in their childhood memories.¬† It has been sixty years since it was merged with the other local schools into Skyline.¬† The reunion has been going on for well over thirty years now.¬† It happens on the Saturday before Labor Day and anyone with an interest in the school is welcome.¬† There is a pot luck lunch and ample opportunity to visit with seldom seen friends.
¬†¬†¬† ¬†¬†¬† A sojourner relaxing on the wide veranda at the Historic Emporium might look over at the big oak tree that bears the sign, ‚ÄúLonnie Krider Memorial Drive‚ÄĚ and will notice the hood of an ancient car leaning up against the tree.¬† Larry Wrinkles, enjoying an ice cream out on the veranda the other day, said that it was the hood off the car that Ed and Anna Henson were driving when Bob Shull ran into them.¬† It happened up on the dirt road, now named for a much loved native son, in front of Manfred Smith‚Äôs house.¬† Ed and Anna were both badly hurt, but both declined a trip to the hospital.¬† They recovered with time and Larry said that for a long time the old car sat over on the creek bank.¬† Bob Shull lived down the road east on the other side of Fox Creek.¬† He was reported to have been an excellent welder and a week end tippler of some distinction.¬† Maybe Larry will attend the Champion School Reunion and share some of those stories about how Arthur Porter kept Punk in line for a couple of years.
¬†¬†¬† ¬†¬†¬† Just back from vacation, a regular visitor to Champion had pictures to show and tales to tell about being out west.¬† The vacationers inspected Mt. Rushmore and other scenic places, enjoying the natural spectacles and each other‚Äôs fine company.¬† Their stay in the Black Hills coincided with the 76 annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.¬† The folks at Wikipedia say that the highest attendance for this rally was in 2015, when there were 739,000 people there.¬†¬† There may not have been as many this year, but there were enough to have traffic so chaotic that our Champions beat a hasty retreat.¬† They missed getting to see the Crazy Horse Monument which has been under construction since 1948, and has a way to go before it will be completed.¬† It was commissioned by Henry Standing Bear, an Oglala Lakota chief and well-known statesman who wanted the real patriot of the Sioux tribe to be honored along with Washington and Lincoln.¬† Some Oglala Lakota object to the carving of the sacred Thunderhead Mountain and say that Crazy Horse would not have approved.¬† Standing Bear spoke with anger of the broken Treaty of Fort Laramie (1868) in which the President promised the Black Hills would belong to the Indians forever.¬† Imagine how he would have felt about the Bakken pipeline.¬† Many Oglala have traveled up to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in North Dakota to join in the protest of the 1,134-mile long underground oil pipeline project for crude oil that would run from the Bakken oil fields in Northwest North Dakota, through South Dakota, Iowa and end in Patoka, Illinois.¬† Pipeline opponents say the project would disturb sacred sites and could affect drinking water on the reservation and for people downstream.¬† Again, however, if there is money to be made, somehow the rights of the native people and the promises of the Nation become nebulous.
¬†¬†¬† ¬†¬†¬† Eli and Emerson Rose Oglesby sang ‚ÄėHappy Birthday!‚Äô to their mother, Tianna Krider Oglesby, on August 22nd, also the birthday of Skyline School‚Äôs custodian, Mrs. Stephanie.¬† Drayson Cline shares his birthday with Skyline‚Äôs second grade teacher, Mrs. Willhite.¬† Drayson‚Äôs Mom taught at Skyline before he came along three years ago.¬† His cousin, Dakota Watts, who lives over in Tennessee, celebrates his birthday on the 24th.¬† He will be 23 this year.¬† He is studying to get his pilot‚Äôs license, which makes his grandmother proud and nervous at the same time.¬† Daniel Cohen teaches literature to middle school and high school students in a little school about the size of Skyline up in Stroudsburg, PA.¬† His birthday is also on the 24th.¬† Skyline 4th grade student, Dana Harden, and Barbara Krider, of Elmwood, IL, have the 25th as their birthday.¬† Rita Krider, Barbara‚Äôs sister-in-law, also lives up in the Elmwood area.¬† Her party will be on the26th.¬† Champion, Wes Smith, and Springfield‚Äôs Jody Henson will party in different places together on the 29th.¬† That is also the special day for Rowdy Woods.¬† He is a 5th grade student at Skyline and was a big help getting ready for the Skyline VFD picnic this year.¬† Happy Birthday to all you folks near and far–remember you have to keep having birthdays if you want to get old, which many old people say is a good thing.
¬†¬†¬† ¬†¬†¬† The old bees have moved out of the Behemoth Bee Tree on the South Side of the Square.¬† They had overpopulated again and the elders have taken off in a swarm.¬† It is a natural occurrence that happens a time or two every year.¬† There will be a great roaring and a v-shaped group will transport a queen with them and hover somewhere for a while before dispersing to a new home.¬† It is an excellent time for bee keepers to capture them, though this time the swarm had disappeared before the local bee wranglers arrived.¬† Young bees take over the hive and the process begins all over again.¬† Bees are our very best pollinators and gardeners enjoying a bountiful harvest have them to thank.¬† ‚ÄúOh, the buzzin‚Äô of the bees in the peppermint trees/ ‚ÄėRound the soda water fountains/ Where the lemonade springs and the bluebird sings/ In the Big Rock Candy Mountains‚ÄĚ of Champion‚ÄĒLooking on the Bright Side.