Old Champions and old folks everywhere seem to enjoy harkening back to their youthful, vital days. The other day one was remembering what Ava was like when he was in his late teen-age years and early twenties. There were two theatres on the square and a roller rink. He almost killed himself, he said, trying to learn to roller skate backwards and it sounded like he was on the snapping end of crack-the-whip pretty often getting thrown up against the wall. He said the soda fountain at the Rexall Drug Store was a long one that filled up with factory workers on their thirty minute lunch breaks. He cited a time when a car load of them were headed back to work when the driver took that turn (by the new bank at the roundabout) too fast and overturned. Apparently no one was badly hurt, so they rolled it back on its wheels and went on their way with the top of the car all caved in. Then he went on to tell about a fast trip to Omaha in his new 1969 Chevelle with Charles Lambert. That was an interesting story that ended up wishing that Charlie would make it back to Champion more often.

If you get to Mountain Grove, you will see that Downtown Pawn on the East side of the square has a ‘For Sale’ sign in the window. The business has been there for a long time. Owner, Marjorie Carter, and sister, Linda Keys, have been great Champions of the Skyline Area Volunteer Fire Department over the years. They have displayed flyers in their windows, bought quilt tickets, donated great things for the silent auctions, and big items for the fire department fund raisers, including a wonderful Dobro a couple of years ago. They have kinfolks down in this neck of the woods and are fans of the Skyline R-2 School. Marjorie says she would like to sell the business and not just the building. There are too many empty buildings on the square already and the business is vital to its customers. Skyline and Champion friends appreciate their support over the years and wish Marjorie and Linda good luck. They will have a special invitation for The Champion Spring Fling when the date is set for that epic affair.

That epic affair is on the horizon, but Champions do not yet know exactly where. Well, we know where, we just do not know when. It is all up to the Prominent Champion Spouse to set the date. It is, after all, her birthday present, though her birthday is in January, this is her party. She has had a couple of little things going on, so when she feels like it, she will mark the calendar and we will all shout, “Woo hoo!” Skyline fourth grade student, J.P. Rhodes’ birthday is on April 1st. His birthday will always be celebrated with fun. He will surely develop a splendid sense of humor as the years go by. The General thinks April Fools’ Day is a National Holiday. He has already made arrangements for a hangover cure at the Junction on Tuesday morning with his coffee klatch buddies. They will share their favorite quotes of the day. Edgar Allan Poe, “I have great faith in fools—self-confidence, my friends call it.” From the Talmud, “You can educate a fool, but you cannot make him think.” From Will Rogers, “The trouble with practical jokes is that very often they get elected.” And last by a guy named Miguel de Unamuno, “A lot of good arguments are spoiled by some fool who knows what he is talking about.” Jerry Wagner does a fine version of “Now and Then There’s a Fool Such As I.”

The Skyline Wellness Committee is hosting the second annual 5K Fun Run on Saturday, April 13th. They are calling it “The Doughnut Dash.” It is too late to order a t-shirt, but you are welcome to check in at 7:30 AM and start the race at 8:00. The PTO will have snacks available and everyone is welcome to run the race or to stand at the finish line to cheer the competitors as they complete their run. There will be prizes for the top finishers in each category. Last year Levi Hicks won first place with a time of 23:39. Andrew Harden was in second place with a time of 23:45. Rowdy Woods had a time of 24:33 for third place.

Old friends meeting up recently were happy to have the chance to catch up on each other’s heath, families, and mutual friends. One was wearing a button on his lapel that said, “Clemency! Leonard Peltier #89637-132,” which sparked a lively discussion. The friend with the button said that enough is enough. Peltier has been in jail for 42 years for something he did not do. His friend agreed but contended that the word ‘clemency’ implies guilt—that it shows mercy in the severity of a punishment due. He said Leonard Peltier is not due punishment. He is due a pardon for having been wrongfully convicted. “In the Spirit of Crazy Horse” is a ballad by Jim Page that tells some of the story.

You hear it said that a person would not know a snake if it bit him, or a certain substance from Shinola, a bodily orifice from a hole in the ground, or a gift horse if it looked you in the mouth. That last one should be “Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.” Anyway, now we have another for that list. He doesn’t know ‘come here’ from ‘sick ’em.’ A newcomer once told The Prominent Champion just where the raccoon excrement was on the pump handle. He said, “Around here, we say axel grease.” That is genteel Champion speech.

One fellow, already with a case of poison ivy, reports moving seamlessly from one season to another, picking his first tick after hauling in his last load of firewood. He will be scratching, but warm in Champion—Looking on the Bright Side!