Racers were ready for the 8:00 a.m. start of the Skyline Donut Dash.

The Skyline R2 Fun Run, the 5k Donut Dash was an unqualified success on Saturday.  Thirty-seven runners participated.  All the runners completed the course of just over three miles in under an hour which is an improvement over last year.  The surprising thing is that the youngest and smallest of the group was the winner.  Kindergarten student, Kash Hurt (#20), came in first with a time of 29:30.  Last year, Levi Hicks won at 23:39.  Andrew Hardin was in second place last year at 23:45.  Andrew was in second place again this year at 29:04.  He was asked if he and the third place winner, Jim Hurt (29:07), had perhaps lagged back so the little guy could win.  He said Kash had led the whole way and that he won fair and square.  The whole group enjoyed donuts and fruit as prizes were awarded to the winners of the various categories.  The Skyline Wellness Committee sponsored the event with the co-operation of the Skyline Volunteer Fire Department and the sheriff’s departments of both Douglas and Wright Counties.  Promoting good health through activity is a great goal.

This is a busy time of the year in Champion.  Gardens are going in and farmers are busy doing those things that have to be done to keep America fed.  We appreciate it.  The hummingbirds are coming back in such numbers that we feel the chance of another hard frost is slim, but we have been fooled before.  There were great flights of geese headed north Monday morning.  The almanac indicates that May 3rd will be good to plant root crops.  Above the ground crops can go in May 4, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17.  Notice how the 11th of May is not a good day for planting, harvesting, for pruning or fertilizing.  It is, however, going to be a fantastic day for the Third Annual Champion Spring Fling!  Get ready for some fun. Bring your musical instruments, your lawn chairs and your sun bonnets.  Upon seeing a picture of the old Champion Store building on the internet, Amanda Mayberry said, “My Dad used to tell us a story about Grandpa Jon Rhoades breaking a mule and winning hats and pocket knives for his prize at the store.”  There is likely to be quite a bit of reminiscing going on.  The following Wednesday morning, the 15th, Bud Hutchison’s Spring Trail Ride will head up on the Square.  The fun never stops.

First, second and third across the finish line.

The Upshaw contingent was legion in Vanzant on Thursday.  One traveled 3,654.3 + miles for the occasion.  That was Major Loni Upshaw.  She joined her mother-Sue, sister-Darcy, and brother-in-law-Ron Cecil from Idaho for a foray into the back woods.  Their presence drew in many local family members.  Darcy came bearing a gift for the General—a Redneck Brief Case.  Look for a picture of this unique item in this week’s post at www.championnews.us.  The laugher filled the Bluegrass Hall and the enjoyment spread to everyone there.  It is joyful to see a big spread-out family be so close.  Champions!

Jacob Moffett brought his big boom truck to Champion North on Monday and, with a couple of helpers, managed to bring down an enormous walnut tree that had begun to threaten the house over which it was hanging.  It was a pleasure to watch skillful, hardworking men accomplish this amazing task with such precision.

Helen Batten won first place in her division at the Skyline R2 5K Donut Dash Fun Run on Saturday.  She is a dynamo.  It was a great event orchestrated to involve the community in good health practices.  Area residents are welcome to use the quarter mile walking track that meanders through school and Skyline VFD property.  The school is a vital part of our community.  We are lucky to have it and lucky to have Terri Ryan teaching there.  Her birthday is May 1st.  She must have grown up thinking the whole world was celebrating her special day.  May Day has significance for its roots in ancient pagan festivals marking the beginning of summer.  Back in the 1880s more than 300,000 workers in 13,000 businesses across the United States walked off their jobs on May 1st in a bid for an 8 hour work day.  Around here we are happy to celebrate Terri on the 1st and Dovey Dooms on the 2nd.  Dovey’s sister, Reba Bishop, has been absent from the Wednesday gathering down on Auld Fox Creek lately and her friends are looking forward to having her back again.  Someone will ask Don if he has heard that it is time to plant corn when the hickory leaves are as big a squirrels’ ears.  Willie Nelson’s birthday is April 29, 1933.  He is still making music and doing good work for farmers—a National Treasure.

Spring has our attention diverted from the troubles of the world.  We are busy planting tropical milk weed and other plants beneficial for our butterflies and other pollinators.  We see that Morel mushrooms sell for $32.99 a pound at Mama Jean’s in Springfield.  Intrepid hunters in these parts pay for them with tick bites and briar scratches.  Outside in nature we can, for minutes at a time, forget the craziness that seems to be going on in every corner.  Mother’s Day is coming up on Sunday, May 12th.  The whole world could benefit from some solid motherly advice:  “Just act like you have good sense!”  That is what we try to do here in Champion—Looking on the Bright Side!

The race course has many ups and downs, but the runners did not seem to mind.