Champion Elderflowers

Richard and Kaye Johnston ventured into Champion on Wednesday. Kaye had peeled potatoes for the Senior Center up in Salem that morning. She volunteers there on Fridays too, answering phones. Because of Kaye the crowd was not totally lacking in Upshaws but they were still four short. The General was hauling hay, and the brothers might have been scared off by the threat of a hard rain, though the weather was not very threatening and they are not scared of much. It was a pleasant if small gathering. Wes Smith tried to leave the store several times in order to go to work, but had interference. He and Pat celebrate their anniversary on June 15th. They tied the knot in 1983. They are both retired now and often are seen in the same company. The Cowboy was talking fast cars with Bob and Don and discussing happenings on his soap opera with his niece. He rushes home to be sure to catch the next episode. Champions are careful not to try to delay him or to get in his way.

It was a real treat to have Eula Lakey at the Vanzant Jam on Thursday. Since there were sixteen in the circle, The General opted not to play, though his fans are much looking forward to a reprise of his original “Over and Under Down Yonder.” Meanwhile, it was fun to have Wilma Hutchison join the circle for a song. She has nice voice and wonderful enthusiasm. Judy and Eldon Russell reported that Bertie and the Boys had done a bang-up job at Roy’s Store last Friday and said that the crowd was mostly made up of folks from the Vanzant Jam. It is a gift when someone who has been absent for a while shows up again. David Richardson is so busy since his retirement that he could not remember where he was the previous Thursday. “Beulah Land” is one of those songs that wants just the right voice. That voice is recovering and hopefully will sooth the bunch again as the last song of the evening, as she has done so often. Up in Edgar Springs they only jam once a month, so an accomplished Dobro player from up that way, who enjoys a good pot-luck supper, has found this group and is making a habit of it. Gina Hollingshead shared her recipe for wilted lettuce with a friend who was thinking about elder flower fritters. It is a beautiful time of the year for music, garden produce, old time recipes and friendships.

On Sunday we celebrate our fathers. Telephones ring. Packages with ugly neckties and good barbeque tools arrive. Those lucky enough to have their fathers with them still and to have them close get the joy of the hug that says, “Thank you for being my Dad,” and “Thank you for being by Kid!” It is a two way street. Memories of good times together, lessons learned from each other, together with respect and admiration for each other make the parent-child continuum one of life’s sweetest gifts. Thanks, Old Man. The gentleman had a beautiful day for it, but these days all seem to be ideal here in Champion—Looking on the Bright Side!