Champion Preschool Art

Friends and families will gather together all across the country this week for the great feast of Gratitude.  We can learn when the National holiday of Thanksgiving was declared and by whom.  We can study the various legends that speak to its origins.  We can be grateful every day for our friends, our families our homes and good fortune.  Much of that feeling of gratitude comes to us as we compare our lot to so many much less fortunate.  Thankfulness is best exemplified in a willingness to lend a helping hand.  There are lots of ways to do that.  The smallest act of kindness can have far reaching results.

Last week we were expressing our thanks to our Veterans and those serving in our military today.  Jacob Casper is a member of the National Guard.  He was kind enough to join in the Veteran’s program at Skyline School last Friday, resplendent in his dress uniform and an inspiration to Skyline students.  The Champion News called him Jason instead of Jacob—an error for which we apologize.  Our old friend, Esther Wrinkles, who wrote for The Herald for more than 50 years, once advised that making a mistake might provide an occasion to revisit a subject.  We will take the opportunity to again thank Jacob and all those who are serving now and all our Veterans.  We can enjoy our National holiday in safety and security thanks to them.  While we are at it, we can thank Jacob’s mother.  Mrs. Casper is the art and music teacher at Skyline.  The hallway galleries there are always a reflection of her ability to inspire our young artists.  We can look forward to another of her splendid musical productions when the students present their Christmas program in a few weeks.  Time is rushing by.

Champion Luxe Krider has her birthday on December 2nd.  She has been doing that since 2014.  Skyline fifth grade student, Emma Webster, celebrates on the 4th.  Bobette Spivey has her big day on the 5th.  Also enjoying the 5th is third grader, Michael Hall.  Ed Bell and Zack Godshall enjoy the 6th.  They do not know each other but they have family in common.  The 7th is shared by Ethel Leach and Noam Chomsky.  They are not acquainted either.  He is a noted American cognitive scientist and historian.  One of his great ideas is that if we do not believe in freedom of expression for people with whom we disagree, we do not believe in it at all.  Chomsky will be 91 years old on his birthday.  Ethel will be much, much younger.  She is a local historian and can tell you a story about almost any local individual or their uncle or grandma.  She has a great smile and a good memory for the birthdays and special occasions of all her friends and family.  She sends nice cards.

Greta aboard La Vagabonde.

The day was pleasant enough Wednesday for the Champion mid-day jam to take place on the porch.  It was a little breezy but not too cool.  Two young beginning musicians joined the group–Briley on xylophone and Bella on ukulele.  While they were learning a little about playing with other people, the older people were all thinking about when they first began to play.  Music is a lifetime endeavor and it is lovely to see youngsters starting out early.  Arvin was back to hear some of his favorite songs.  The Vanzant Bluegrass Hall erupted in applause on Thursday at the entry of fair Lena Bell and her long time fiddling beau.  It was a happy reunion making for another enjoyable evening.  After the holiday, the jam will resume every Thursday at the Vanzant Community Building—pot-luck at 6:00, music 7:00-9:00.  Everyone is welcome.  Bring your acoustic instruments and your voice to sit in or come just for the fun of it.  Louise, a visitor from Washington State, had attended the jam the previous week.  Her Dad said that she had been surprised and pleased at the friendliness of everyone she met, not just at the jam but in the whole area.  He made a point of taking her sightseeing down on the wide, wild, wooly banks of Auld Fox Creek to the Re-creation of the Historic Emporium.  He calls it The Champion Mall and will tell you that he once got lost looking for the North side of the Square in Downtown Champion.  Louise had her first successful deer hunt and an overall good visit, so expectations are that we will see her again.

As to the matter of last week’s question, “Why is it not a mark of highest honor for the rich to pay taxes?”  A reader responded, “Charity is a cold grey loveless thing.  If a rich man wants to help the poor, he should pay his taxes gladly, not dole out money at a whim.”  That is a quote from Clement Attlee, who was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1945 to 1951.  Those were tumultuous times, even as these seem to be.  Still, we have many reasons to be grateful.  Send your thoughts on the subject, your lists of blessings, your ponderous questions or your favorite method for making sweet potato pie to  We wish everyone safe travels over the holiday.  Sunday was the eleventh day for adopted Champion granddaughter, Greta, and her Dad to be onboard La Vagabonde, now out in the middle of the North Atlantic, about half way to their destination.  That is not the kind of travel most of us will ever experience, but any trip that brings you to a celebration of Love and Gratitude is a good one.  There will be photographs taken and much reminiscing together with expressions of hope for a good outcome to the world’s troubles.  Optimism is a staple in Champion—Looking on the Bright Side!

A frosty Champion morning.