The General's pink dogwood in Vanzant

Hark! The merry month of May is all over us. We have had May Day, Cinco de Mayo already. Mother’s Day is coming up, then Memorial Day. Preschoolers have graduated to kindergarten, from there to first grade and on and on through high school and beyond! A pioneer of America public schools in the 19th century called education the “great equalizer of the conditions of men.” Champions value our little rural Skyline R2 School. Even those of us with no children, grand or great grandchildren enrolled understand the importance of an educated citizenry. We are so impressed with the dedication and hard work of our school board, our administrators, teachers and staff and our wonderful Skyline students, who will be in charge of the world soon. That they then may recall their unique rural beginnings gives hope for the continuation of this kind of community. Congratulations to all you matriculates. The Saturday of Memorial Day weekend will see attendees of the Fair Grove and Denlow Schools having their reunion. The celebration is open to friends and neighbors and to people who just wish they had gone to school there or who have no reunion of their own to attend—always a pleasant gathering.

The Woo-Hoo Girls are likely to make an appearance at the Vanzant Jam again one of these days. A chance run-in with Bobbi Gast confirms as much. She and MaryJo Jolly are hoping to make it to the jam some Thursdays this summer. Bobbi says she has really missed it since she moved farther away and since the pandemic. She asked to be remembered to everyone and was glad to know that the music circle is unbroken. She and MaryJo and their friend Treva Harris were recently in Branson expressing their ‘woo hoo’ enthusiasm for Elvis which captured The King’s attention. There are photos. A lovely meal at Paula Dean’s place at Branson Landing was another highlight in the weekend that she described as ‘crazy fun.’

Audrey Hepburn said, “To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.” The meteorologists will have us believe that we are now free of the fear of frost. Cautious locals will start their transplanting of tender plants on the 13th, 14th, 17th, and 18th. The long awaited best time of the year is here even though mushrooming has been pitiful, and the ticks are being plentiful. Alas. Hummingbird entertainments during our rest periods divert attention from our worries to the wonders of our wonderful world.

Wesley Boyd was a Skyline prekindergarten student this year. His birthday is May 11th. The 12th is for Conner Jonas who was an eight grade student and now off to another school. On the 14th we remember our friend Candi Bartsch who passed away recently. She played “Old Indiana” in G on her fiddle and made many friends with her thoughtful kindness. Champion granddaughter Elizabeth Heffern and Linda Cooley share the 15th for their birthday. Famous local luthier, Alvie Dooms, has the 16th for his big day. He may be part of the proof that music can be a positive effect on longevity. He has a very long history in Champion—Looking on the Bright Side!

A horse named Steel