CHAMPION—March 29, 2009


        In Champion the old weather adage about March played out this year.  March came in like a lion and left like a lamb.  He entered in a blizzard that startled sweet southern visitors and Chili Supper attendees.  He is leaving with lilacs in his hair across flower strewn lawns that already need mowing.  The seasons roll around.

        Great news has come from Champions Pete and Kate Proctor.  Their son, Bryan, is back in the US and by now is back home with his family.  He has been in Afghanistan.

        Any family with a soldier deployed to the dangerous places of the world has a great gladness about them when their loved one gets home.  Love and Gratitude.  Bryan’s grandmother, Ruby Proctor, says that he is a very good-natured person and he says, “It’s my job.”  She does hope that he will be home for a while.  Ruby misses Champion and living in the country.  She says it will always be home to her.  She misses making a garden but says that Barbara is working full time and making a garden too!  They are a busy family.

        “The best laid schemes ‘o mice an’ men / Gang aft agley.”  Often that line is paraphrased in English as ‘The best laid plans of mice and men / Often go astray.”  Robert Burns wrote it in a poem called “To A Mouse, on Turning Her Up in Her Nest, With the Plough.”  He wrote the poem in 1785, but it could well have been written in Champion on March 32nd, 2009.  Not that anyone is plowing up mice, but rather trying to keep the plough out of the armadillo hole!  The first and only one time ever event previously referred to as the First Ever Biennial Armadillo Round Up and Art Festival has been taken a step back.  The (Secret Planning) Committee presented pertinent and worrisome issues to the General in a secret planning session at an undisclosed place and time.  An anonymous source reports that there had been no provisions made for the health and safety of the proposed spectators in the presences of so many dead and decaying armadillos, not to mention the live ones.  At the very least some variance from the Health Department or the Conservation Department should have been arranged.  This issue the General summarily and judiciously adjudicated by saying, essentially, “ Very well then!  All entries will henceforth be presented in photographs or other visual media not to include any actual armadillo parts or substances.”  The deadline for entries is April 30, 2009.

        What the General did not say was that two of the headline participants in the Art Show have each had a calamity that prevents the completion of their entries!  Barbara Krider has been flat on her back getting accustomed to her new stent!  She is making a good recovery and will in all likelihood be satisfied to simply photograph her original armadillo handbag collection.  They are couture.  She is rumored to have the largest and most complete collection of couture armadillo handbags east of the Mississippi.  Her avant guard fashion senses and adventurous nature are frequently the subjects of comment in her absence.  Charlene Dupre’s calamity came in the form of a broken arm!  A misstep and a tumble has her good right arm immobilized now and her good left arm is in training just to do the ordinary chores!  Charlene is a talented artist who works in a variety of mediums.  Many of her pieces can be seen at The Gift Corner over at the Plant Place in Norwood.  Her foray into florescent armadillo forensics will have to be put on hold until she has use of both arms again.  That plaster of Paris doesn’t mix itself.  Then, of course, the Art Guild’s own Donna Moskaly with blue ribbon winning paintings already on display at Henson’s Store, has yet to receive her invitation to participate!  The General’s confusion (partially) has been concerning the amateur status of the entries.  Ms. Moskaly is a professional artist with accolades and notoriety, not to mention a tenured spot in the hierarchy of the established art community.  It was on this point that the SPC finally took its overdue stand with the General.  He ultimately agreed that exclusivity is passé.  Anyone who wishes to participate may do so by sending a photo or rendering (no lard please) of an original art work depicting the life or demise of armadillo.  E-mail them to Champion at  Send them in the mail to Champion Items (Armadillo Department) Rt. 2, Box 367, Norwood, MO. 65717 or stop them off at Henson’s Store on the North side of the Square, just off Lonnie Krider Memorial Drive, in Historic Downtown Champion.  (Entries from Spotted Hog are subject to dismissal without cause.)  There is no entry fee and as yet no prize, as the General has been busy.  Judging will be done in secret during the Champion May Day Celebration and the results announced eventually. 

        Not only is March 32nd April Fools Day, but it is a poor day for planting. The second through the fourth will be good for planting anything that bears its yield above ground.  That is according to Linda’s Almanac.  A distant Champion e-mailed that “Homegrown Tomatoes,” the song, was written by Guy Clark.  “There’s nothin’ in the world that I like better than Bacon, lettuce and home grown tomatoes Up in the morning and out in the garden Pick you a ripe one, don’t get a hard un.  Plant ‘em in the springtime eat ‘em in the summer, All winter without ‘em’s a culinary bummer.  I forget all about the sweatin and the diggin Every time I go out and pick me a big’un.”  It is a three cord song, so even the General could play this one! 

        Mary Graham still has the little dog Brownie who needs a good home.

        Meanwhile, tomato songs, reasons for Love and Gratitude, garden advice and best laid plans of mice and men may be sent to the usual addresses.  Wander around in the website just for another look at Champion.  Ms. McCallie will be pleased to know that her Champion picture postcards are in the mail and now she can join Champions in Looking on the Bright Side!