CHAMPION—February 2, 2015

A Champion Horizon

        Cardinals, finches, blue jays, woodpeckers, titmice and chickadees cavorted in the short lived, wispy Monday morning snow and local observers were pleased to see a beautiful mountain bluebird here and there.  Little patches of blue sky over on the horizon, just behind the hill took over to make a glorious day, if a little chilly.  Champion!

        The General says, “Ground Hog Day has been cancelled this year because of the nor’easter, and especially because of the Super “Deflatgate” Bowl.  The winter weather forecasting pig has moved and has his hide well hidden.  He has heard footballs are going to be made out of groundhog skin because once inflated it is impossible to remove the air from them.”  Ground Hog Day is the day when a fix can be made on the arrival of Spring and so we like it.  People who especially like the day are celebrating birthdays, Judy Parsons, Charlene Dupre, Angie Heffern, Connie Grand and Catherine Mallernee.  Zack Alexander had his birthday on the 1st as did a Champion regular with a nice little dog and a birthday in 1940!  Angle Parkes is an eighth grader at Skyline School and celebrates her birthday on February 6th.

        Lannie Hinote wrote, “Such a great turnout for the Skyline Archery State Qualifier . . . great sportsmanship by all and great shooting . . . I want to thank my entire archery team for all their hard work preparing for the tournament as well as helping run the tournament today.  Thank you to Missouri Department of Conservation Outdoor Specialist Larry Lindeman for helping us on the range, as well as Terry Prock, Rachel Brown, and Debra Helmick Shearer.  You all made it look so easy.  Thank you to Crystal Potter Emery, Crystal Sartor and Bridget Seabert Hicks for keeping up with all the scoring, to Ms. Curtis for helping with registration, and to all the PTO members that help keeping the kids and adults well fed.  Oh, yes, I do not want to forget one specific 8th grader for doing the sunshine dance every day for us so the snow and ice would not interfere….that was epic.”  Passersby were amazed at the crowd.  Local papers should be full of pictures this week.  Congratulations to Skyline on a job well done!

A Champion Reflection

        Justin Britt plays offensive tackle for the Seahawks.  He is a local boy from Lebanon, six foot six inches tall, 325 pounds and 23 years old.  That is a good enough reason to favor one team over another.  In an unusual move, guests at the North Champion Super Bowl Soirée (once again The General demurred) asked that the sound be turned on for the replay of that spectacular spiraling fumbling bumbling catch that seemed to be the turning point for the boys in blue.  Alas!  Their hopes were thwarted when a clever young man among their opponents found himself at exactly that right place, with only seconds on the clock, to intercept, on the very goal line, what was going to have been the winning pass.  Fortunes are won and lost in a heartbeat.  Ms. Ayn Thrope vocalized her steady stream of criticism without shouting, which was a relief to hosts and other guests alike.  “The twenty new NFL stadiums since 1997 cost taxpayers $4.7 billion.  Stadium construction is financed with tax-free bonds intended for school and roads, saving the NFL team another $4 billion.  Teams sell luxury seating to corporate clients worth $2 billion a year—all tax-deductible.  Super bowl commercials cost $4.5million for a 30 second spot—all tax-deductible.  The NFL makes $10 billion in revenue annually but has paid ZERO federal income taxes in 50 years.”  She goes on to say, “Then there is the gambling—millions of dollars change hands in legal above board gambling and estimates are $4.3 billion in illegal betting.”  She cited several sources for her information one being Zack’s Mom.  She did like the pepper jelly on the baked brie, the bacon candy and persimmon cookies.

        Sharon Shannon from over at Olga always has excellent reports to make about the wildlife in her area, the squirrels and foxes and all the things that nose around the chicken coop at night.  She is raising chickens and doing what she loves which she says is “no work at all.”  Roger Wall is presumably doing what he likes these days which includes writing the Notes from Hunter Creek.  He too has some interesting wild life observations.  Champion Deward Henson’s daughter, living up in Springfield  these days, is a great fan of the eagle and will enjoy this exciting reading about how it is possible for a salmon to drown an eagle.  She is politically astute and will appreciate the way Wall explains how “Abe Lincoln became the first elected Republican President in the nation, but without a majority of the vote.”

        Bob and Ethel Leach have had the flu and Lee Ray has too, so Wednesday’s gathering at the Famed Emporium was a little subdued.  Lee Ray might say that if you pat your foot just right you could make that sound like a poem.  He has been in the business of issuing “Poetic Licenses” lately.  He does not charge a fee.  The National Cowboy Poetry Gathering was going on over the last few days up in Elko, Nevada. It is the Super Bowl of Cowboy Poetry.  Next year, just about the time cabin fever sets in, Champions might sponsor a trip for Lee Ray up to Elko for a week.  It would give him a chance to immerse himself in poetry and still be manly.  It is a subject up for discussion.  It might be interesting to find out what the Cowboy and Indian Poets are writing about the pipeline over and through their water and their sacred lands.  There is probably someone chanting, “No eminent domain for private gain!”  Will Rogers, cowboy and Indian, poet and humorist addressed the economy thusly:  “The money was all appropriated for the top in the hopes that it would trickle down to the needy.  Mr. Hoover didn’t know that money trickled up.  Give it to the people at the bottom and the people at the top will have it before night, anyhow.  But it will at least have passed through the poor fellow’s hands.”  He said that in November, 1932.  A week in Elko and Almartha’s Best might sound like that.  Hopefully everyone will be on the mend and back around the stove soon to talk it all over.  The Native American Council is offering amnesty to two hundred forty million undocumented whites.

        Myron Jackson of KZ88 writes in to ask if the date has been set for the Fire Department fundraiser this year.  “As always we’d love to give it some publicity and I may have an item or two for the silent auction.”  The date is set for March 7th and there will be some great music there.  Whetstone, Lead Hill Players, and Back Yard Bluegrass will all be there.  Dennis and D.J. Shumate were on hand in Vanzant on Saturday morning providing music for the funeral of a much loved good neighbor and genuinely nice man, Bill Emory.  He passed away on Wednesday and was buried there in Vanzant where he had lived most of his life.  Beverly and all those left behind are in the warmest thoughts of Champion—Looking on the Bright Side!