Champion’s Spring Fling–Looking on the Bright Side!

Champions are grateful for a good idea conjured up by the Prominent Champion Girlfriend back in March.  It was her birthday wish that came true on Saturday with the Square full of people enjoying the fish-fry and the pleasure of the company of friends and neighbors at the Whoop De Do Spring Fling.  It was a glorious sunny day after so many glum and dreary ones.  Everyone was happy to put the yard work off for a little while longer just to have the chance to visit and share flood stories.  Charlie Lambert came from way up on the other side of Springfield.  He brought his mandolin, but didn’t get around to playing it.  There was a lot of catching up to do.  Music happened and the birthday girl and her friends and her Prominent Beau worked with good humor to be sure the bunch was well fed.  It was just right.  Thanks to everyone who made it happen and to the Champions who came from near and far to the wide, wild, wooly banks of Auld Fox Creek again.  Many regular visitors to the Historic Emporium were able to attend, but Elmer could not.  He lives on the other side of Fox Creek which was still running high and deep.  He has been marooned for some while, and his neighbors are only grateful that he has been marooned in such good company.  Champion!

Pete Proctor said he was inducted into the U.S. Army on May 3rd, 1967—fifty years ago to serve his Country for two years and he is proud of it.  We are proud of Pete too and proud of all those who have served and who currently serve the Nation in and out of uniform.  Pete and his brother and thousands of others served in Vietnam.  The official end of the Vietnam War was April 30, 1975.  It is still germane.  Our wars, past and present, stay with us.  It seems like a never ending procession.  As Memorial Day approaches and the process of remembering comes to mind, a friend posted on the internet:  “A lovely military man selling poppies stopped me today and asked if he could reposition mine.  While doing so he told me that women should wear their poppy on their right side:  the red represents the blood of all those who gave their lives, the black represents the mourning of those who didn’t have their loved ones return home, and the green leaf represents the grass and crops growing and future prosperity after the war destroyed so much.  The leaf should be positioned at 11 o’clock to represent the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, the time that World War One formally ended.  He was worried that younger generations wouldn’t understand this and his generation wouldn’t be around for much longer to teach them.”  “We cherish too, the Poppy red/ That grows on fields where valor led,/  It seems to signal to the skies/ That blood of heroes never dies.”  This was written by Moina Michael in 1915.  She then conceived the idea to wear red poppies on Memorial Day in honor of those who died serving the Nation during war.  She was the first to wear one, and sold poppies to her friends and co-workers with the money going to benefit servicemen in need.  The Royal British Legion said “There is no right or wrong lapel, or right or wrong leaf position, no right or wrong time of day, no right or wrong start date.  The best way to wear a poppy, is to wear it with pride.”  So we will be proud of our Veterans.  We will wear our poppies and hope that common sense will prevail in the dangerous and complicated world in which we find ourselves.  The world is full of despots and greedy people who are willing to use our patriotic young people for nefarious purposes when they could be helping to alleviate the appalling suffering and deprivation in the world.  It makes a person wonder.

On Friday the internet was full of great pictures posted by parents and grandparents of the Skyline School students who were part of the play “The Wizard of Oz’ that was presented on Thursday evening.  Mrs. Casper, Mrs. Coonts, and Mrs. Downs did the adult behind-the-scenes work that allowed the students to shine in this excellent presentation.  May 11th will be the annual Field Day and the last day of school is scheduled to be May 12th.  Summer stretches out for the children as if it will last a long time.  Old folks know that it will go fast so they admonish the youngsters and vacationing staff to enjoy.

The Square was a full parking lot in Downtown Champion for the Celebration of Spring.
The birthday girl, her beau and her friends served up a great fish fry for the crowd.

New road conditions may well be working a hardship on our intrepid United States Postal Service employees.  Their routes have probably had to change substantially to accommodate washed out low water crossings, but they have been getting the job done.  They and those wonderful Road Grader Guys are real local heroes.  As the waters recede, the damage becomes more evident.  Many old timers say they have never seen the water so high in this part of the country.  Recovery will be a slow process and Champions will continue to be grateful for the good fortune that things were not worse and appreciative of the hard work of our mail people and road people.

Yard work and gardening are the major activities of some old Champions this time of the year.  All that rain has incited things to grow at a break-neck speed.  Gardeners have been rushing to get their above ground crops in before the full moon.  After that the beets and carrots and turnips can go in.  Good days for transplanting will be 18, 19, 20, 23 and 24.  Some people go strictly by the astrological signs and others go by when they are able to get things done.

Ann Reeves Jarvis was a peace activist who cared for wounded soldiers on both sides of the American Civil War and created Mother’s Day Work Clubs to address public health issues.  She died in 1905.  Her daughter, Anna Jarvis, held a memorial for her mother and promoted the idea of Mother’s Day to honor all mothers, because she is “the person who has done more for you than anyone in the world.”  As time went by, Ms. Jarvis protested against the commercialization of the holiday.  It was her notion that people should appreciate and honor their mothers through handwritten letters expressing their love and gratitude, instead of buying gifts and pre-made cards.  Now we have telephones and the internet, so those personal communications are a little different.  Jimmy Rogers wrote a great song appropriate to the celebration.  “I had a home out in Texas, out where the bluebonnets grew.  I had the kindest old mother.  How happy we were just we two.  Till one day the angels called her, that debt we all have to pay.  She called me close to her bedside, these last few words to say…”  Well, his mother extracted a promise from him that he would always go straight.  The song goes on to reveal that he broke the promise but then came to his senses.  Come to your senses down on the wide, wild and very wooly banks of Auld Fox Creek…Champion!  Looking on the Bright Side!

Part of the crowd moved their chairs up into the shade to enjoy their lunch. Later the musicians joined them there for some great tunes.