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Indian summer has settled over West Texas. Yellow and white wild flowers carpet roadsides and pastures. Lantana is in glorious bloom, and a vine we call old man’s beard when its seed pods burst into fuzzy white puffs covers the fences. Here and there, you can see orange gourds growing wild in a bar ditch. Days are bright and mild, and nights are cool and starry.
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The CHS Theatre

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The CHS Theatre Department will perform Spoon River: Set Free on Sunday, Oct. 25, at the Texas Crown, with back-to-back shows at 6 pm and 7:30 pm. The one-act play is based on the novel, Spoon River Anthology, written by Edgar Lee Masters and adapted by Mistie Walser, who is also directing the performance. Christy White is the assistant director. In Masters’ original collection of postmortem autobiographical epitaphs, 244 former citizens of fictional Spoon River, Illinois, tell the truth about their lives—with the honesty that no fear of consequences enables. Masters shattered the myth of small-town America as the example of American virtue. Tickets can be purchased from a cast or crew member: $10/adult and $5/student. With reduced seating, no at-door tickets will be available. Masks and social distancing will be required for those who attend.
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Autumn to writers is a turning point. When green leaves turn to gold and red, we rejoice in their beauty. The letdown comes when the leaves turn brown and fall off the trees. This deep sense of loss when fall dissolves into winter has been described by Keats, Shakespeare, Frost, and many more poets. Since we no longer need to store up food for the winter in order to survive, autumn today is a metaphor for the precarious nature of life which can be here in its glorious fullness one day and gone the next.
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In Waiting No Longer

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The twice-delayed Canadian High School Homecoming Queen coronation was held at the CHS Gymnasium last Friday at noon. Senior Maggye Coffee (in photo, fourth from left, with father Logan Coffee) was crowned 2020 Homecoming Queen in a ceremony viewed by members of the student body, as well as the CHS band and Wildcat football team. Other members of the court were (from the left) Freshman Princess Samantha Krehbiel with escort, Jake Krehbiel; Senior Queen Candidate Leslie Gonzalez, with escort Martin Gonzalez; Junior Princess Emory Brewer, with escort Marshall Brewer; Senior Queen Candidate Alondra Ortega, with escort Juan Ortega; and Sophomore Princess Moraima Morales, with escort Ramiro Morales. The original Homecoming was to have been held during halftime on Friday, September 18. That event was cancelled, though, when the Perryton Rangers reported that members of their team had tested positive for COVID-19, and a quarantine was imposed. PHOTO PROVIDED BY HEATHER SAWYER
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It’s Banned Books Week! The week of Sept. 27-Oct. 3 is a reminder of the freedom to read. The Texas ACLU no longer tracks the banned and challenged books in the state’s public schools, but the American Library Association does. This year’s theme is “Censorship is a dead end. Find Your Freedom to Read.” ALA’s list of books banned and challenged in 2019 have an obvious theme: LGBTQ. Eight out of 10 titles explore the predicaments of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer/questioning characters.
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Need a hug? Don’t we all? Person-toperson contact is how humans express affection, comfort, and connect with each other. Touch releases oxytocin and sometimes dopamine, two of the “happy hormones” that regulate positive moods. Touch also signals a sense of belonging, safety, and trust. Living in isolation during the pandemic has resulted in touch deprivation. People working from home are deprived of daily touching such as handshakes and pats on the back. The over-60 crowd who have to observe strict social distancing miss hugs and kisses from children and grandchildren. A lack of touch can trigger anxiety and, in the extreme, loneliness and depression.