2019 Champion Winter Prognosticator

Friends and neighbors will be out in force on Saturday, November 2, for the fund raiser for the Eastern Douglas County Fire Department.  The event, their 10th Annual Chili Supper and Benefit Auction Dinner will start at 5:30 P.m. at the Vanzant Community Building.  Steve Moody will be serving up his award-winning, fabulous pulled pork.  Fire department members, as well as many local merchants, have contributed all kinds of great items for the auction.  Backyard Bluegrass will be providing entertainment, so it will surely be a splendid evening.  It is likely you will run into folks there that you have not seen since the Skyline VFD Picnic back in August.  It is nice to see these neighboring fire departments helping each other.  It speaks of a good community.  Fire fighters and first responders all over the country are looking toward California now, knowing the difficulties those folks are facing and hoping for the safety of everyone.  The Eastern Douglas County Fire Department already had this event scheduled before the October 21st tornado did its work on their various fire houses.  That night the volunteers were all out during the wild storm cutting up fallen trees blocking roads and drives and doing welfare checks—doing the hard, dangerous work of protecting the community.  They were surprised to get back to their buildings to find them badly damaged.  With the community support for this fund raiser, they may be able to meet their insurance deductible.  Perhaps there are government entities that may also lend a hand eventually.  Good luck to a vital, much-needed organization.  The forecast is for perfect chili supper weather in downtown Vanzant—see you there!

By the time The Douglas County Herald reaches homes in Champion on Friday, Thursday’s Trick or Treaters will be recovering from a surfeit of sugar, or will be looking forward to the week end for an extravaganza of candy consumption.  Belly-ache remedies vary from family to family.  While we often use the word ‘sweet’ to mean ‘good,’ we understand that sugar feeds inflammation in old folks with arthritis.  We cannot keep children from finding sweets irresistible, but we can stress moderation for them to live healthy lives.  For parents and grandparents photos of our young ones in their Halloween costumes are the sweetest.  Granddaddy Hector would say, “They’re goodern snuff.”  Some of the things grandfathers say do not necessarily translate into polite conversation, but they can be very funny.  Just ask Laine Sutherland about her Grandpa Ed.  She said he was a character, “He had a wonderful laugh and I have seen him so tickled that he cried.  He would just about get down on the floor!”  There are probably any number of people with stories to tell about Ed Sutherland.  Maybe there are some that would be fit for print.  It is a challenge.

One of the roofers working on the pretty blue house on the hill over on the West side of the Square stopped at the Historic Emporium for lunch while the Sometimes Wednesday Porch Band was playing.  The General loaned him his guitar and the young man rocked out “Columbus Stockade.”  He was invited to the Vanzant Bluegrass Jam on Thursday.  He sounded pleased, but did not make it, most likely on account of the rain and having a job that required him to be up in the morning.  Maybe he will show up one of these Thursdays—pot luck at 6:00 and music 7:00-9:00.  Everyone is welcome.  Music is good medicine.

The accuracy of the weather predictions of the wooly-bear-caterpillar will be tested this year.  Folklore says if the rusty-brown band is wide, then it will be a mild winter.  The more black on the wooly-worm, the more severe the winter is expected to be.  If it is black on each end and brown in the middle, we may expect hard weather in the beginning and at the end of the season and mild days in between.  While they say that other colors of fuzzy caterpillars are not the same type of wooly-worm and are not used for weather forecasting, it is the considered opinion that the solid gold (rusty-brown) woolly-worms in a Champion garden are indeed harbingers of a pleasant winter.  (See photos at www.championnews.us) Since the only constant is change, we can expect dramatic changes from day to day—that is what we call weather–the day-to-day state of the atmosphere, and its short-term variation in minutes to weeks of temperature, humidity, precipitation, cloudiness, visibility, and wind.  Climate refers to the average atmospheric conditions over relatively long periods of time, usually 30 years.  Ruby Proctor said that when she was a girl in Champion, there would be snow on the ground sometimes from Thanksgiving to Easter.  Ruby was born in 1925, and saw the climate change in her 88 years.  Think back.  When is the last time we had one of those long, hard winters?  On Friday our adopted Champion granddaughter, Greta Thunberg, was up in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada with 15,000 students voicing their trepidations over climate change and the long term health of the planet.  Local health food stores, Jean’s Healthway, on the square in Ava, and Meadowbrook, on the square in Mountain Grove, have buttons with Greta’s likeness.  Get one and wear it to spark conversations and perhaps raise an awareness of the real concerns of millions of young people around the world.  In 1960 there were 3.032 billion people in the world.  Today there are 7.7 billion of us.  These “interesting” times have many suffering and many humanitarians struggling to help.  Some people abhor any form of social activism if they do not perceive their own lives to be affected.  “Why should I bother?”  Bother because there is no other place for us to go.  We are all in it together—world citizens.  Champions!  Looking on the Bright Side!

Greta Buttons