Tidbits - August 25, 2016

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TIDBITS by RALPH SHEALY

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEST LAID PLANS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  I thank the Lord for the bountiful rain we got Friday night, for it was surely needed, but isn’t it ironic as dry as a bone as it has been this summer that we would finally get a gully-washer on the opening night of high school football?

 

 

 

 

 

 

  I was semi-prepared. Before I left the house, the weatherman said we were having storms in the area, but they were fast moving. He didn’t expect them to linger around.

 

 

 

  I took an umbrella with me to the game, just in case, but left it in my truck. I always have a poncho in the book bag I use to carry my stuff. Those two items are worthless, however, if you don’t have them with you when it starts to rain!

 

 

 

  I was getting my Booster Burger at 6:30 p.m. and it started to rain. Before I got my burger, I walked in the rain to my truck 50 or so yards away to get my umbrella. That was my first getting wet experience of the night.

 

 

 

  I got my burger and drink and made it back to the press box, and began to wait. Fans were coming into the stadium, even in the rain.

 

 

 

  My first thought was about the gate. If it continued to rain, Saluda High was going to lose thousands of dollars in gate receipts. Good weather, and the Bettis Herlong Stadium at Matthews Field was going to have one of its biggest crowds ever.

 

 

 

  SHS needs to make money in the first three games in the pre-Region schedule because the Columbia schools in the new region don’t travel well.

 

 

 

  The first flash of lightning gave me a hint we would not be playing.

 

 

 

  Athletic Director Jeanette Wilder said lighting in the area is an automatic 30-minute delay, so I made that announcement.

 

 

 

  People were still in the stands as the lightning got closer and closer, so we requested they leave the stands and take shelter.

 

 

 

  A giant flash of lightning shook the pressbox and darkened the lights for a second. I thought is hit near the Primary School, but Charles Long told me the next day it hit the light pole right beside the pressbox!

 

 

 

  I had lent Jeanette my umbrella to use while she talked to the game officials. Soon, after the big strike, I got a text from Wayne Grice saying the game had been rescheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday.

 

 

 

  I dug my purple poncho out, and headed to the truck. At the gate to the parking lot, there was about 30-feet of standing water two-inches deep. Being I was not an Olympic long jump champion, I had no choice but to walk through.

 

 

 

  At the truck, I knew I’d get soaked if I took the poncho off, so I left it on and drove home. My truck interior had a lovely wet dog smell the next morning.

 

 

 

  Months ago, my brother Jamie, sisters Dibbie and Elizabeth, made plans to have a reunion with our Killingsworth cousins, Jimmy and Carolyn Killingsworth and Tony and Adeline Gross. We haven’t all gotten together, live and in person, in over 20 years probably (we keep up on Facebook, email, etc.).

 

 

 

  The date chosen was Saturday, August 20, 11:30 a.m., at California Dreaming in Columbia. Oh well, Jamie and I were eliminated by the rescheduled game, and Dibbie and Elizabeth didn’t want to go by themselves. We’ll reschedule later, although I do not know when, since that branch of the family is of the Clemson persuasion and it’s football season.

 

 

 

  By Saturday morning my clothes had dried out. I’m superstitious, so I wore the same clothes to the game Saturday I had on Friday night, with one exception. Thank goodness I own two pair of purple underwear.

 

 

 

  I got to the field at 9:30 a.m., and was pleased with the good turnout at the game.

 

 

 

  We would find out if Saluda or Thurmond were "morning teams." One of them was, and they did not wear purple.

 

 

 

  I’m positive the Tigers were fired up Friday, but they didn’t have it Saturday morning.

 

 

 

  Before anyone doubts the morning effect, they need look no further than the Gamecocks just up the road.

 

 

 

Carolina just does not play well at 12 noon. The team and the fans don’t seem to get up for the game. There is a big difference between tailgating with scrambled eggs and low country broil.

 

 

 

  Unfortunately, the worst teams in a conference get the 12 noon kick-offs and the Gamecocks "earned" at lot of them last year with their 3-9 record.

 

 

 

  What I’m trying to get at is fans should not get overly upset with the Tigers’ 38-7 loss to Strom Thurmond. The Rebels are now a 3-A team and may be the best team the Tigers will play in the regular season.

 

 

 

  We can’t tell how the Tigers would have played Friday night in normal conditions. That ship floated away!

 

 

 

  Saluda is young at several positions, meaning the team will get better as the season progresses. The pre-season has some tough teams, but it’s the conference season that counts.

 

 

 

  P.S I’ve mentioned many times about my superstition about what clothes I wear to the games.

 

 

 

  A few weeks ago when I got to church, Terry Winn gave me two new pair of socks, still in the packaging, that belonged to her late father-in-law Donald Winn.

 

 

 

  There were few bigger Saluda Tiger fans than Donald, so I decided as a tribute to him, I would wear a pair of those socks to the Saluda-Thurmond game.

 

 

 

  I will never wear them to a game again! Donald would not have liked that outcome one bit!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ID ADDICT

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  I’m a self professed Investigation Discovery (ID) Channel addict.

 

 

 

  I probably watch over ten hours of the programming a week.

 

 

 

  Saluda native Duane Johnson, a retired FBI agent, was in our office last week, and I mentioned ID for some reason, and he said, "One of my cases was on the other night."

 

 

 

  When he started describing the case, I knew exactly what he was talking about.

 

 

 

  I said, "That’s one of my favorites."

 

 

 

  "Favorites" is probably not the proper word when the case involved someone’s demise.

 

 

 

  The case concerns a bank executive who gets kidnapped. Sadly, he is killed when the murderers duct tape him to a chair and throw him over a bridge.

 

 

 

  The case was solved when the end of the tape used to bind the man matched the end of a roll of duct tape in the suspect’s possession.

 

 

 

  This is one of those cases that has been covered in multiple programs, including "Unsolved Mysteries," "Forensic Files," "FBI Files,’ and "Swamp Murders," and if you haven’t seen it, you will!

 

 

 

  Duane said he called the agent he worked with on the case to let him know it was on TV.

 

 

 

  He didn’t have to call far. The case they worked took place in Missouri, but the agent Duane worked with now lives in Chapin!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TWO WE’LL MISS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  I was saddened by the passing of two fine men last week, Lewis Maw and Otto Duffie.

 

 

 

  Lewis was a salesman by profession, but he also had an early career in area auto racing. He married a member of Saluda County’s racing Fulmer family, Evon.

 

 

 

  His brother, Sam, is one of the owners of Spartanburg’s legendary Beacon Restaurant.

 

 

 

  I’d run into Otto Duffie at the Traffic Circle almost every Tuesday when he was able. He was coming to get his paper.

 

 

 

  It was not that ago that his health prevented him from driving to the store. I was shocked when I found out his age.

 

 

 

  I found that out when his daughter put a 75th anniversary photo and story about her parents last year.

 

 

 

  Mr. Otto was 96.

 

 

 

  I always enjoyed talking to both of these gentlemen.

 

 

 

  They both will be greatly missed.