Old Champions enjoyed sitting by the fire Monday afternoon watching the ice build up on every little branch and twig. It is a fanciful, pretty sight. They are grateful that they do not have to venture out and are concerned for all those essential people who do have to be out in dangerous weather. Farmers, fire fighters, first responders and others keep things going for the rest of us. Our new Rt. 72 mail carrier, Brittany Webster, is getting well acquainted with the route. We would be pleased to wait a day for our mail for the sake of her safety. Champions beseech all you important people to be safe. Much needed rain is on the way. We prefer mud to ice.


“There is an Old Store down the Hill, By the stove, we all sit by still. As the years come and go We all learn, and we know That Champion is the best place to blow.” So began Pat Smith’s epic poem for the birthday celebration of Champion Betty Henson. She shares her birthday with Robert E. Lee (1807), with J.C. Owsley (1943), with Dolly Parton (1946), with Edgar Allen Poe (1808), with Janis Joplin (1943), with Scottish inventor James Watt (1736) and artist Paul Cezanne (1839). All this is to say she fits well with all the creative, intelligent, talented, hardworking, productive people born that day. The community came together with two cakes, lots of candles, cupcakes, ice cream, cobblers, hot apple pie, and with many genuine expressions of affection and appreciation for the Preeminent Champion for her good humor and all her good works for the community.

At the Vanzant Jam the question may be asked, “Why didn’t Nelly just turn around and follow her own footprints in the snow back home?” By Thursday the frigid weather will have passed, and no one will be interested Nelly. She may not have been all that smart or perhaps she was just looking to be rescued. Music is full of romance, mystery, fun and good medicine. “Keep a little song handy wherever you go, and nothing can ever go wrong!” That song was popular in 1934. Rudy Valley sang it, as did Betty Boop. Music lovers often remember the first time they heard a certain song or associate a song with a certain person. Judy Russell likes Jerry Wagner’s version of “Just Bumming Around.” Judy and Eldon frequented the Vanzant jam often in the past. Perhaps warm weather will see them out again. “Once More” will always remind Champions of Lonnie Krider and Wayne Anderson. Norris Woods gave us “Life’s Railway to Heaven” and many others. Whatever our taste in music might be, it has been proven to be good for us.

There is no glory in defeating a weak opponent. So, when the KC Chiefs bested the Bills by just a little they were gracious in their victory and appreciative of worthy advisories. The Baltimore Ravens will offer a good challenge next week. The excitement of sport helps to alleviate some of the stress and anxiety so pervasive in our world these days. Eric Blair made reference to sport as a diversion in his novel, but was short sighted in 1949, when, as George Orwell, he published “1984.” He could have named it “2024.” It has taken only forty years to get to the “1984” that he imagined. The book may not be part of high school literature classes or social studies curriculum these days, but it is a worthy, eye-opening read. Dystopian novels generally portray an imaginary place or state in which the condition of life is extremely bad, as from deprivation, oppression, or terror. We are not there quite yet. We are Champions—Looking on the Bright Side!