Skyline Veterans Day
Skyline Veteran Mr. Prock

The freezing, blowing, unpleasant weather on Veteran’s Day caused Skyline R2 to close early that day, so their Veterans’ Celebration was delayed until Friday afternoon.  Mr. Prock, himself a Veteran, put together a great program that started with the Pledge of Allegiance.  At its conclusion, eight men stood in a line while the whole student body and many visitors filed passed them to shake their hands and thank them for their service–seven Veterans and Jason Casper, a current member of the National Guard.  Champions thank them all for their service and we thank the great little school that is providing this kind of important civic understanding to our young people.  These kids will remember participating in this program and what it all means.

Several of our Skyliners have birthdays coming up.  Caleb Barker, a 4th grade student, and 8th grader, Abby Whittier, have the 17th for their special day.  It is said that Dean Brixey was once a student at Skyline.  He has grandchildren attending now and has his birthday on the 18th.  Elva Ragland went to school in Champion and Julie January enjoyed some homeschooling.  Both have birthdays on the 19th.  The dynamic mother of Skyline Alumni, now known as ‘Grandmother, Dear,’ has the 23rd for her tie-dye celebration.  Seventh grader, Faith Crawford, and former Skyline teacher, Lannie Hinote, now basking in Mountain Village, Alaska’s relative warmth, share the 26th.  That happens also to be the special day of young Thomas Jarnagin, John’s grandson, who will be four years old!  Carolyn Nunn Harvey and Uncle Al, the Lonesome Plowboy, share the 27th.  They never met each other but they have a birthday in common, as well as some loose connections.  Billy Strong is in the 5th grade.  His day is the 29th and Lane Watkins, 6th grade, has the 30th for his big day.  All you current and former students, you teachers, grandparents and people with loose connections, you Champions, may your days be pleasant ones as your friends and families acknowledge you.  Eat that happy birthday cake and ice cream.  Celebrate while you can.  Life goes by fast!

Arvin Schroeder is a fan of music.  He likes “Twinkle Twinkle,” “Itsy Bitsy Spider,” “This Old Man,” and any number of tunes of that ilk.  He will have his first birthday on December 31st.  It is a treat for jammers to play for him.  He happened in to the Historic Emporium on Wednesday and got an ear full.  He paid for it with smiles.  Another music lover is Glenn Branstetter.  He has been making it over to the Vanzant Jam on Thursdays for a while and seems to really enjoy himself.  He had a long history with the Kitty Clover Potato Chip Company traveling up and down 14 Highway and other roads delivering Kitty Clover potato chips to all the little country stores and schools.  Now days a person can purchase a Vintage 1983 Kitty Clover Potato Chip can on the internet.  On the can it says “All natural, no preservatives.”

Veterans Day flag folding demonstration.

Shelby, with the Douglas County Health Department, will be in Champion from 8:30 until 10:00 on Friday the 22nd doing blood pressure screenings.  She will also be at Skyline School on Tuesday, the 26th, from 8:45 to 10:30.  It is a genuine amenity to the area.  It may be that the more of us who show up for Shelby’s visits, the more she and the DCHD will be able to help us take care of ourselves out here on the wild, wide, wooly banks of Auld Fox Creek.  Out on the wide Atlantic, adopted Champion granddaughter, Greta, was on her sixth day onboard La Vagabonde. That is a 43 foot catamaran being sailed by some nice Australians who are taking Greta to Spain. On Monday they were north of Bermuda, heading for the Azores.  She said they had some rough weather but that she is very happy and comfortable.

A distant, thoughtful Champion writes in with some good questions.  “Why would someone who has billions of dollars prefer to hide that money in off-shore accounts when he could be bragging about how many taxes he paid to nourish his own part of the world?  Why is it not a mark of highest honor?”  That question sort of jars a person’s head.  If he has three billion dollars and pays one billion in taxes, then he can say with pride, “‘My billion dollars in taxes provided a home and health care for every Veteran, improved infrastructures, increased teacher’s pay and resources, helped farmers, countless old people and sick people, protected the environment, and on and on.”  He can say that and still have two billion dollars.  America is the Land of Opportunity with the understanding that there is no limit to how good things can get.  Another person, who has been reading “Reason To Stay Alive” by Matt Haig, chimes in over the internet to say that happiness is not very good for the economy.  If we were happy with what we had, why would we need more?  Still, we cannot sell an anti-aging moisturizer unless we have people worried about aging.  We cannot sell insurance unless people are worried about loss.  People buy the new smart phone to keep from feeling left behind.  Who profits from our anxiety–from our worry?  It might be that guy with the billions.  Feel free to send your thoughts on the subject or your own head jarring questions to  Matt Haig says that to be calm and comfortable with our own non-upgraded existences is kind of a revolutionary act.  That is the way it is with us in Champion–Looking on the Bright Side!

Skyline Percussion Orchestra