It was an exciting Thursday for the talented students at Skyline R2 School as they gave a great performance at their end of the year musical program.  Parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, other family, and friends enjoyed seeing their precious little ones, and big ones (they grow up so fast) working together with such good results.  The last day of school is May 18th.  There will be summer school for some, but the session is short, so they will still get some much-deserved time off.  Teachers and school staff have plenty to do during the summer, but hopefully, they get some time to relax too.  The idea of summer vacation is one that everyone remembers as a special time.  Old folks at the Denlow/Fairview School Reunion will probably be able to tell stories about their long ago summer vacations.  The reunion will be May 26.  There will be music about 11:00 in the pavilion, a great pot luck lunch at noon, and an afternoon of fun for folks remembering when they were the age of our current young ones.  It may be that in 2050, these young ones will be attending their 32nd Skyline School Reunion.

Birthday observations last week did not include those of Kenneth Anderson and Candy Bartsch, but they were serenaded vigorously at the Thursday Vanzant Bluegrass Jam.  Kenneth’s day was May 8th. He and Barbara have given up being snowbirds.  They will miss their Florida friends, but are happy to be full time local yokels again.  Candi’s celebrates her birthday on the 14th.  One of her great fiddle tunes is “Bonaparte Crossing the Rhine.”  Heidi Strong is a sixth grade student at Skyline.  Her birthday is on May 22nd, the same day as Teresa Wrinkles.  Jerry sings, “I love you just the way you are. I wouldn’t change you if I could” to his fair Lena who enjoys her birthday on the 26th.  It may be that Thomas’s old Grandpa Webber celebrates that same day.  Ed Henson was born May 27, 1903.  Brylee Clark’s great- grandmother has her birthday on the 27th and Brylee’s is the next day, also the special day for Dale Thomas.  Kazie Perkins, of KZ88, celebrates on the 29th, and Champion granddaughter and aspiring fiddler, Alexandra Jean down in Austin, Texas will have her party on the 31st.  Happy birthday to you all!  The flowers and presents were meaningful to Mother on Sunday, but nothing is as good to her as a visit or of a phone call from her children.  Jimmy Rogers sang “Mother the Queen of My Heart.”

The horseshoe pitch at the Re-creation of the Historic Emporium is getting plenty of action on these warm days.  It is not infrequent that the ring of steel on steel, a ringer, can be heard all the way up on the wide veranda.  So far it would seem that everyone is exhibiting good sportsmanship, though it may be that one of the players sneaks around to practice.  It is all in good fun and the meeting room is often the place or friends to gather to exchange news and to reminisce.  Having conversations with neighbors about gardening in the heat of the afternoon is a good way to rest up from the morning’s hard work.  There is always plenty to do.  The season is just getting started—plenty of time to get some crops in the ground.  Down in the Magic Rio Grande Valley along the southern border, the corn is shoulder high and tasseling.  Cotton is up and looking good.  There are great fields of sunflowers and aloe vera.  Orchid trees, magnolias, red buds, wild olive trees and many tropical things are blooming wildly and local residents do not take the beauty for granted.  They too have tables where they sit together on warm afternoons to discuss family histories and current events.  What a delight it is to meet cousins for the first time in sixty years.  Far flung family gathering for the sake of getting acquainted is a joy—nice to not be at a funeral.  The laughter and exchanges of family stories are true gifts.  As to current events, one refers to that rock and roll song, “War, What Is It Good For?” and answers the musical question: “Lockheed Martin, Halliburton, Boeing, and Raytheon!  Support our brave CEOs and don’t question wars.”  Another shares a book, “Secret Empires” by Peter Schweizer who explains how the American political class hides corruption and enriches family and friends.  Apparently this is a practice common to every political party, liberal, conservative or centrist.  The Champion News will endeavor to find an honest politician, but cautions readers not to hold their breaths.

News from back home indicates that it is summer already, spring having been at and short lived.  Mother’s Day wishes flew through the air and over the phone lines and via the United States Postal Service.  Karen Ross is our local heroine at the mailbox and hopes are that she had a great Mother’s Day.  Beverly Barnhart has had a surgery from which she is recovering and her friends all wish her well.  Bud Hutchison’s Spring Trail Ride will start in Champion on Wednesday the 16th.  Andrew Hardin lead last fall’s ride when Bud was unable to come and he will do it again this time, though it will still be known as Bud’s Champion Trail Ride.  It will be a nostalgic time for the riders as they travel familiar trails remembering happy times with their dear old friend.  It is not a cowboy song but one that fits sweetly:  “We’ll meet again.  Don’t know where.  Don’t know when, but I know we’ll meet again some sunny day.  Keep smiling through, just like you always do ‘till the blue skies chase the dark clouds far away” in Champion—Looking on the Bright Side!