CHAMPION—March 14, 2011

        Champions have felt little earthquakes in recent weeks.  They are unsettling.  As tragedies unfold in other parts of the world, Champions take a moment to reflect on their relative security and their great good fortune.  An individual’s fate can turn on a dime, so can the fate of a nation.  Champions everywhere need not look far to find others in less desirable circumstances. 

        Sophia and Penelope are visiting their great aunt and even greater uncle in Champion and in a few short hours have collected rocks, transplanted tomato plants, made lots of music and have had dinner, cake and ice cream, good baths and a bedtime story.  They have plans for a great many other activities including a big bonfire, walks in the woods, and work in the garden.  Penelope Kay is five years old and attends the Little People’s Academy in Austin, Texas.  There are six people in her class and her teachers’ names are Miss Ariel and Miss Linda.  She is not a big fan of school yet, and finds all the writing practice to be boring.  She has a friend named Gio with whom she likes to play dinosaurs.  So far she has most enjoyed picking special rocks out of a big pile of gravel.  Sophia Lisbeth is a third grader at Henderson Mill Elementary School.  She says there are about twenty two students in her class, a few more boys than girls.  She says that they are given a lot of homework to do every night.  Reading is her favorite subject.  She particularly enjoys fiction and has read a number of books about a contemporary heroine, Abby Hayes.  She has been enjoying her time on the farm and especially transplanting the little tomato plants.  When asked about the likelihood of an earthquake happening in Texas she said, “It would probably not happen where I live, but I feel bad for the people in Japan now.”   She said that tornadoes are the things to worry about where she lives, but they have a good warning system there.  It is a long trip from their city to Champion, but many things are the same.  Champions keep their eyes out for tornadoes all year long and Champion hearts also go out to people in other parts of the world who are suffering in the dreadful disasters.

        Good neighbors over in Vanzant had a very successful fundraiser for Ed and Kristi Miller last Saturday night.  Ed had a heart attack back around Christmas and can no longer work.  Gwen Banks organized the deal and there was chili and hotdogs, music and a great auction, which included some beautiful items as well as numerous cakes and pies.  Sources said that pies sold for an average of about $20.00.  It is reassuring to know that neighbors will step up to help each other in difficult times.

        Word has arrived that Harley has visited the Hoover Dam and is home now thinking about it.  Perhaps by the time he gets back over to his old Champion home he will have digested all the sights and sounds that California had to offer him and will be able to make some cogent statement of his assessment.  It will be good to see that branch of the Kriders any time they show up.  Young Dillon Watts over in Tennessee is said to be making good progress from his ear surgery and since his physical activities are to be restricted for the next few weeks it might be an excellent time to practice his banjo!  Now there is a guy who knows how to utilize his time.  Miss Taegan Krider and cousin Foster Wiseman were notably absent in Champion on Sunday.  They are fighting bad colds and all their Champion friends and family wish them a speedy recovery. 

        When the ladies of the Skyline Auxiliary got together last week to hash over the results of their recent chili supper they were all well pleased with the results.  A few improvements were suggest for next year and pats on various backs were liberally assigned.  Donna Boyd will have received the “thank you—I’m sorry” card by now that acknowledges her tremendous effort as well as Paul’s hard work, and the apology from the Champion correspondent who called her “Tina” in the paper last week.  The card went on to say that a correction this week would be a chance to say, “Thanks again!”

        Times have changed as everyone knows.  A study shows that when there are fewer elders in a community they are more revered.  The nation is getting older and every day in America 10,000 people have their 65th birthday.  Almost any one of them would say that when they were growing up if someone came into their mother’s house they were offered a cup of coffee, a glass of tea, or at the very least a drink of water.  That still goes on in some places, in some households, but Champions are cautioned not to have feelings hurt if it does not happen.  The times are changing.  Age is no more synonymous with venerability than faith is with virtue.  Champions are, by and large, charitable and friendly to strangers, helpful to the poor, sick and disadvantaged.  What a great place to live!

        It was good to see that the young soldier from Monette, Christopher Stark, had a memorial service seemingly free from disruption.  Hundreds turned out to honor him and his family and to stand in the path of that group of protesters who seem to exemplify faith but not necessarily virtue.  Champions extend Love and Gratitude to all those serving, all those who have served and all those who love and care for them.  The link has been changed in the website so that a look to the VFW Post 3770 takes you to the national VFW site—well worth the look.

        Get out to that website to see some great pictures of Sophia and Penelope as well as that great link to the Dairymaid!  It is a most enjoyable read.  The old Champion lady is still looking for someone to respond with the rest of the words to “Fiddling Frank.”  Send them to Champion News, Rt. 2, Box 367, Norwood, MO, 65717 or to Champion News.  Get ready for a delightful exercise in waiting as the last few aspects to the Re-Creation of the Historic Emporium/Mercantile on the North Side of the Square in Downtown Champion come to fruition.  One day it will be as if it were always thus.  It will not be long after the big change until it will seem as if it has always been just like this.  What a celebration is in store for Champion!  Looking on the Bright Side!