Evening splendor in Champion

On the eve of the election, it is anybody’s guess about what the results will be. Chances are more than likely that about half the country will be angry and disappointed while the other half will be grateful and overjoyed. Hopes are that the winners will be graceful and inclusive, that the losers will be gracious and civil and a spirit of peaceful accord will prevail on both sides. It will certainly be a great relief to be shed of the unrelenting political advertisements. Imagine what those advertising budgets could have bought in terms of benefit to the electorate. What will replace those ads? Pharmaceuticals and law firm hype will fill in the spaces between news reports and opinions, leaving some old folks nostalgic for lines like, “You can trust your car to the man who wears the star”; “It’s what’s up front that counts”; “See the USA in your Chevrolet”; “The best part of waking up…” Hopes are that we will all wake up to a calm resolve to move forward productively.

Wake up happy on your birthday: Skyline 7th grade student Hailey Hall celebrates on November 4th and 5th grader Mason Solomon on the 7th. The 8th is the special day for Zack’s Champion granddad. Elizabeth and Seamus also call him ‘granddad,’ or something that means the same thing. Skyline 2nd grader, Axel Webster, will party on the 9th of November and the 11th will be remembered as Chuck Barnes birthday. He has been gone a long time now, but is well remembered. He lived all over the world and had wonderful stories to tell.

Black Elk began to tell his story in 1932. He told it to a guy named John Neihardt who published the book Black Elk Speaks. Black Elk was born in 1863 and was the second cousin of Crazy Horse. He witnessed the Battle of Little Big Horn at the age of 12 and was present at the Wounded Knee Massacre in 1890. He told Neihardt, “I could see that the white man did not care for each other the way our people did. They would take everything from each other if they could. Some had more of everything than they could use, while crowds of people had nothing at all. This could not be better than the old ways of my people.” Perhaps we will find some new ways.

It is hard on a community to lose a valued member. Champions join their neighbors in Vanzant feeling the sudden loss of Sharon Upshaw who passed away Friday. She leaves a big loving family, and a great number of friends and neighbors who knew her to be devoted to her family, to have a great laugh and endless patience. It is a struggle to find words and ways to comfort and console. Heartache never goes away. Precious Memories linger always.

Rain and cooler temperatures are working their magic on the autumn leaves. They are coming down in rafts revealing home sites hidden during verdant seasons. All our seasons have their beauty. Every hour of the day has some splendor about it in Champion—Looking on the Bright Side.

A spectacular Champion sunset