Found on the internet:  “The Skyline VFD will be having biscuit and gravy breakfast Saturday, March 14th at the Skyline School from 7am to 10am.  We are also giving the community the opportunity to elect new fire department board members.  A list of candidates will be available the morning of the breakfast.  This will be a great opportunity to fellowship with your neighbors, have a great meal and let your voice be heard in your community.  $7.00 a plate.  All the funds go to the fire department.  Come cast your vote!”

This will be another interesting week in Champion.  On Wednesday, Shelby will be at the Historic Emporium in the morning doing blood pressure screenings.  It is an important amenity provided by the Douglas County Health Department, one that has saved lives.  Over in Far-East Champion, a.k.a. Vanzant, on Thursday at the Bluegrass Jam, Kansas City Star Sandra Scott, nee Plumber, will hopefully join in with her guitar and voice.  After five years or so in KC, she has relocated to Willow Springs, though she was heard to say last Thursday that Vanzant will always be home.  She was well received and it is always lovely to see old friends reuniting.  Saturday will be Leap-Day, Frankie Proctor’s once in four years birthday, and will also be the Archery Tournament hosted by Skyline R2 School.  Archers from all over the area will be competing:  Norwood, Mtn. Grove, Gainesville, Manes, Cabool, and maybe others.  It will be going on all day.  They always have a good concession stand and it is a nice way to spend time enjoying a quiet sport and supporting our great little rural school.  Did Frankie go to Skyline?  If we run into him we will ask.  All of us who had the chance to go to a little country school know how precious the experience was.  Perhaps we can find a way to keep this little one going for generations to come.  Think about it.  Terri Ryan said, “Coming home and seeing bald eagles flying around the house is a treat that I don’t take for granted.  I’m thankful that laws were put into place to protect them.”  We are thankful to have Ms. Ryan on staff at Skyline.

More interesting mail has come to  The first is a letter from a pastor over in Crossville, Tennessee, Tim Lewis.  He says they are looking to retire in about five years and is hoping to do it in these parts.  They have made several trips and, so far, they like eastern Douglas County the best.  He said, “Being able to read The Champion News seems to bring us closer to the place we want to someday call home.”  Maybe when they visit again in March they will come to Champion on a Wednesday morning/mid-day to get acquainted with some Champions or to the Vanzant Community Building on a Thursday evening for the pot-luck and music.  In recent years we have enjoyed an influx of retirees–immigrants from the world of working for a living.  Welcome!

The next letter came from Jenifer Miller who lives in New Zealand.  She is the Editor of an interesting blog,  Jen Reviews:  “The Authority on Everything Food, Fitness and Home.”  She ran across The Champion News post of October 29, 2019, as she was researching the Beatles.  One of our music links had been to the Beatles’ song, “Help.”  Her outfit just published an updated, comprehensive guide on how to play guitar like the Beatles on their sister site, Beginner Guitar HQ.  It is completely free and here it is:  It is exciting to make these great connections around the world.  There are Champions everywhere.

After not hearing from her in a long time, it was a pleasant surprise to get a note from Eulalia Jasmin.  She writes from some undisclosed location outside the country with concerns about our wellbeing.  She admonishes us to remember that we never win anyone over with insults and that learning how to disagree better would serve us well.  She wants us to listen to each other respectfully, really trying to understand the other person’s point of view.  Tone of voice, body language and facial expressions communicate a great deal, so she says to pay attention to yourself and engage by asking questions that show the other person that you are paying attention to what they are saying.  “Cuidado!” she says.  That translates to “Watch out!” or “Be careful!”  “When a deeply held belief is suddenly and irreparably proven wrong, the experience can be painful and disorienting, so be kind to each other, por favor.”  Thanks for the good advice, Eulalia, wherever you are.  She would probably appreciate a statement by Rosa Parks:  “Stand for something or you will fall for anything.  Today’s mighty oak is yesterday’s nut that held its ground.”

We are ahead of the game with rain for the year already and grateful for a good recharge of our wonderful aquifer.  On a nice day gardeners are piling up leaves, chicken manure, coffee grounds and wood ashes to make compost.  Some are starting seeds already.  We know that Spring will be here soon.  Lem and Ned have been back in the neighborhood checking in on the turnips planted last fall.  They are not much to look at yet, just a nice patch of little greens.  Lem and Ned are not much to look at either, what Uncle Al might have called ‘rusty-ankled’ old boys, but they are good-hearted, hard-working, and entertaining Champions—Looking on the Bright Side!