Ilene Woods

Some people with birthdays in December do not celebrate at all, some celebrate in July, and some are just happy to have a birthday. Charming Loretta Upshaw had a happy birthday on the 11th, as did Kai Parsons, Roger Wall, and various local lawyers. Kennedy Hinote is a fifth grade student at Skyline, celebrating a birthday on December 13th. Music lover, the lovely Mary Goolsby, will enjoy her day on the 20th. J.R. and Janet’s little boy, Herbie Johnston, will probably, doubtlessly, indubitably, for sure fiddle around then as well. The shortest day of the year is a fine birthday for fifth grader, Paige Jonas, and for another fine fiddler, Jerry Wagner. (What a treat it was to see him at the Vanzant Jam again on Thursday.) The 23rd is a special day for Chase Cauthron, a third grade student, because he shares it with his dear old Dad. Blaine Denlow’s great grandmother, Sharon Sikes, lives just a little way up the road from her and also has her birthday on the 23rd. One of Blaine’s other great grandmothers, Ilene Woods, just completed another 5K run, then she ran 8.1 miles on her 81st birthday, December 12th. Champions, your Champion friends wish you Merry Birthdays!

There are now seven Yorkies at Sherry Bennet’s house. Zizzie Lou had five pups, her first litter. There is a hound somewhere in Sherry’s neighborhood, so she enjoys plenty howling, yipping, and barking. Our pets can bring us a lot of joy and give some of us much needed exercise, opening and closing doors. ‘Doggie doors’ are not advisable for people in the country who see groundhogs, racoons, five pound possums, chipmunks and squirrels and an occasional skunk out their kitchen windows. There are barn cats, neighbors’ cats, as well as feral cats, and maybe even bobcats that might enter an open door. Armadillos are not friendly. Pets like Mr. Yellow and Jonnie can be company, comfort, solace, entertainment, and aggravations just like any family member. Jonnie joined the family in January 2017, having been dumped out on Cold Springs Road when she was just about a year old. She has gained twenty pounds and the affection of some Old Champions. She really likes people, but not trucks.

The weather is brisk, and business is brisk in Downtown Champion. The holiday season is well upon us. A potluck luncheon in the meeting room of the Historic Emporium on the North Side of the Square on the Winter Solstice (Jerry’s birthday) will welcome the beginning of longer days, soon up to 2 minutes and 7 seconds daily of more daylight, and will welcome Champions, friends, and neighbors. Looking forward to more light–what could be more optimistic than that? The Cheyenne McIntosh production of The Polar Express at our Skyline R-II School on Thursday, December 15th. Boarding time 6:00pm – 7:00pm. Cheyenne is not just bringing music theory and technical skill to our students, but a great appreciation for music in all its many facets, elements, and benefits. The whole community is welcome to the performance. It will be a good opportunity to bring all those Best Choice UPC, bar-codes you have been saving, or those items to donate for the school Christmas Store, where students can shop for their families. Holly jolly fun times are about to overtake us. We harken back to the joy of Christmas we felt as children. A favorite carol of a favorite Champion out on the wide, wild wooly banks of Old Fox Creek is “Beautiful Star of Bethlehem.”

We know there was a full moon last week, the Cold Moon, because Edie Richardson told us so. She plants by the signs and had seeds to get in pots. We would not otherwise have known, as things were gray, damp and dreary for most of the week. Thursday evening had bluegrassers grateful for the white lines along the edges of the highway as they made their way through dense fog to their jam. Then, suddenly, a sunny Friday lifted our spirits enough so that we can endure the winter days ahead. Champion—Looking on the Bright Side!