Tidbits - October 20, 2016

TIDBITS by RALPH SHEALY

HALL OF FAME

  I enjoyed the Hall of Fame festivities at the Saluda High game Friday night. The six inductees are certainly worthy of the honor.
  Bill Whitfield was a young agriculture teacher when I was a student at Saluda High. He took over for Boyce Todd, when Mr. Todd was named principal at Saluda High. He was another in the long list of outstanding Saluda High agriculture teachers, and, like Mr. Todd, he became an outstanding principal at Saluda High. He also heped start a little event around here called the Truck and Tractor Pull.
  Gloria Caldwell was my sophomore English teacher at Saluda High, and is one of the outstanding English teachers I “blame” for my writing career. She made English and reading enjoyable, and she  continues to “teach”  through her directing of plays and co-writing historical dramas with Bela Herlong.
  I’ve known Molly Mitchell Spearman since she was a little girl and I was a little boy in 4-H. Like me, Molly grew up on a Saluda County dairy farm. Her father Rudolph is a Saluda County legend, and she followed his political lead. She became the first woman from Saluda County to be elected to the S.C. House of Representatives, and the first Saluda Countian to be elected to statewide office since Milledge Luke Bonham in the 1860’s when she became State Superintendent of Education. She also inherited Rudolph’s musical ability, and has shared that with students she taught, the church and the general public.
  I saw Jonell Bosket and Didi Clark Rankin play during their careers at Saluda High. Jonell was the star girl player for the Tigers, when the boys had a couple of players named Melvin Daniel and Johnnie Springs. Those two set records for the boys, but Jonell topped 1000 points in her career. The 400 fans who could get into the “Cracker Box” were treated to great girls and boys games back then.
  Didi was also an outstanding basketball player, but I remember her best as a softball pitcher. You could barely see her fastball, much less hit it. She and her sisters were part of an outstanding community softball team coached by  their dad Clintie Clark that won tournaments all over the place.
  I may have met the late Tommie Hite. Seems like the late Fletcher Ferguson introduced me to Coach Hite in the Abbeville pressbox over 30 years ago.
  I’m sure I told him my Uncle Ed Shealy and cousins Bettis and Ben Herlong were members of the 1941 State Championship team he coached. Then again, this may be a “Brian Williams” moment! I’m getting old.
  Fletcher, sports editor of the Abbeville Press and Banner, was my mentor in keeping stats and announcing games at the same time. He did that at Abbeville and I have been doing it in Saluda  for decades.
  When I started keeping stats, I would just write down totals on a piece of notebook paper.
  Fletcher gave me a stat sheet he designed that had space to write down what happened on every play. I have been using the sheet for 35 years or so.
  My brother Jamie had a legitimate introduction to Coach Hite.
  When he was a teacher and coach at Ninety Six High School, Jamie was an assistant baseball coach for the legendary Fox Boozer, a member of Saluda County’s Boozer Brothers  baseball team when he was younger.
  One day Ninety Six was playing at Abbeville and Jamie was coaching third base. An elderly gentleman in the Abbeville stands was ragging Ninety Six unmercifully.
  Jamie had enough and between innings he suggested to Coach Boozer that they should try to get the man ejected from the stadium.
  Fox pointed the scoreboard on the nearby football field.
  “See the name on that scoreboard?” Fox said. “It says Hite Field, and I don’t think we’d have much of a chance getting Tommie Hite thrown out of this game!”
  As it turns out, Tommie Hite and Fox Boozer were lifelong friends and Hite was egging Boozer on, just as Boozer would do to Hite when he got a chance!


LONG TIME COMING

  It’s been a long time since Saluda was favored to win a region or conference championship in football.
  The last years Saluda won conference championships, 1997 and 2004, I believe  both teams were picked to finished last in the pre-season!
  This year’s Tiger team is picked to win the region, and so far, so good!
  Saluda’s first two games resulted in 56-7 and 49-14 wins. C.A. Johnson comes to town Friday. A win and the Tigers wrap up that third conference win they seek every year to almost guarantee a playoff spot.
  Saluda should be favored since the Tigers beat Eau Claire 56-7 and the Shamrocks beat C.A. Johnson 52-16 Friday, but games are not won on paper.
  Last season Saluda had to beat Batesburg-Leesville in the last game to even go to the play-offs. The Tigers won, but only finished third in the league.
  Saluda played for the Upper State Championship, but would have not even been in the playoffs had they lost to B&L.
  If the Tigers win Friday, they’ll have two teams left on the schedule they have never played before, Fox Creek and Gray Collegiate. Both are relatively new schools, but appear to be pretty good offensively.
  I would be great for he Tigers to win the conference and earn a host spot for the first two weeks of the playoffs, but we can’t count our chickens.
  Let’s get that third win!


WHY DO THEY?

  I’ve read many of the “young adult” book series - “The Hunger Games,” “Divergent,” and “Maze Runner,” and I’ve almost completed volume 3 of “Miss Peregrine and the Home for Peculiar Children.”
  Usually, when the movies come out, I find myself a little lost. Old age causes me to forget what I read. I do remember the basic plot, however.
  Tim Burton directed the film adaptation of  “Miss Peregrine.” I can’t think of a  better director for something so weird.
  The previews, however, left me perplexed.  There was a character played by Samuel L. Jackson that I absolutely didn’t remember from the book.
  I racked my brain trying to remember him. I even started to go back and “thumb” through the e-book. but then I read Tim Burton created this character for the movie.
  Why? Wasn’t the book a best seller without this character?
  This is a three part series, so will this made up character flow through the other two, even if Burton doesn’t direct?
  Why do movie directors mess with beloved books ... other than the money, of course.
  I did not like the fact the last Harry Potter book, the last “Hunger Games” book, and the last “Divergent” book were split into two movies, so the first movie in each did not really have an ending.
  Harry and the “Hunger Games” did okay splitting the books into two movies, but in the Divergent split, Part 1,  was a flop.
  Now producers are considering finishing “Allegiant” on television! Who ever heard of such?
  One of my favorite books from a few years ago was “Girl on a Train.” The book was set in England.
  The movie just came out, and the setting has been changed to America, but the girl on the train is still  British.
  Why do they do these things???

COMPARISONS

  Carolina fans are calling for Will Muschamp to remove the redshirt on Jake Bentley and start him at quarterback Saturday against UMass.
  They think he will be the next Steve Tanneyhill, another freshman who started in mid-season, and led Carolina to five wins in its last six games, way back when.
  I hate for Bentley burn a redshirt, but it’s quite obvious the Gamecock quarterback rotation is not producing points.
  When Donald Trump’s crude talk from ten years ago was released, some of his supporters started to compare his sins to King David.
  First of all, David prayed to God for forgiveness, something Donald Trump has said he has never done. I don’t think Trump has ever had any of the husbands of women he’s fooled around with killed.
  If Trump releases a Book of Psalms, I may give him a benefit of the doubt, however. He is taking on the “Goliath” of the press, but he’s not going to win that battle.
  I don’t know who Hillary compares to in the Bible. I don’t think they had email back then.