When the creeks are up, Old Champions are just as pleased to stay at home, but any chance trip out this time of the year is a great delight.  From day to day things change in a remarkable way as redbuds and dogwoods replace the Bradford pears and serviceberry.  Wild peach trees, the result of someone casting a stone onto the roadside, bloom with a promise of wild summer fruit.  May apples have us poking around in the woods looking for certain treasures and being careful not to reveal the location of our own patches.  A few warm days will have us into full blown spring.  Can it be too soon?

In a pleasant internet exchange, a Champion up in Wolf Pen Hollow lamented that even though his family has been in these parts for generations, he did not know half as much about the Denlow area as The General.  The General responded, “The older we get, the easier it is to make up stories and there is no one from the previous generation to dispute our word.  Although, I did get a lot of information from Cletus Upshaw.”  Old stories circulate around the old stove at the Re-creation of the Historic Emporium and anyone lucky to get an earful is indeed lucky.  Occasionally, there is an offering of poetry as well.

“Is that you, Myrtle?” is an old song that made Myrtle Harris smile.  She smiled a lot, loved her flowers, and said, “God bless you” to many of us often.  Friends and family remember her on her birthday on April 19th.  Her charming sister’s big day was March 1, 2, 3, 4!  She said, “You’re smart.  Figure it out.”  Skyline fifth grader, Jordan Ellingsworth, has his birthday on the 23rd.  The 24th is for a tree climber, arrowhead hunter, Jacob Moffett, and for Shelby Wilson, eighth grader at Skyline.  Champion Ruby Proctor’s youngest son celebrates on the 26th.  We well remember Ruby’s good humor and sweet smile.  We celebrate you all and the beauty of home and family.  Glen Brandstedder likes to see his name in The Champion News and makes the trip to Vanzant most every Thursday for the bluegrass jam.  He can join in the song that did not get sung for Bob Berry last week.  He and Mary were off on a jaunt, having a good time.

“It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.”  So begins George Orwell’s novel.  In 1983, Walter Cronkite said we have seen Big Brother in Stalin, Hitler, and Khomeini.  There have been several others since then, and now we have Putin.  Totalitarianism is a big word.  Mr. Orwell, in an interview after his book was published and popular, sometime in the early 1950s, said it is up to us to fight it.  The brave Ukrainians are doing just that.  Even as we applaud their heroics and wish them great success, we count our own many blessings.

The hummingbird scouts have arrived.  Gardeners are getting prepared and trying not to be impatient.  The weather has been dreary, but hearts are lite in Champion—Looking on the Bright Side!