Tidbits - June 1 2017

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TIDBITS by RALPH SHEALY



TOO FAST!

  With it being Memorial Day weekend, I decided to ride my lawnmower like I was driving in the Indy 500 or Charlotte 600.
  I normally cut my grass in two parts. The front and back on one day, and the side yards on the other, but with multiple events last Saturday and over six inches of rain during the week, I had not been able to do any cutting.
  Saturday, I was to going cut all four yards. I took care of the  back and side yards in the morning and saved the front yard until after my afternoon nap.
  The nap may have affected my common sense.
  Normally, when I cut under the limbs of the big crepe myrtle tree I slow down to the lowest speed. Saturday, I decided not to slow down.
  You know what happens at Indy and Charlotte every Memorial Day weekend? There are a lot of wrecks.
  During my speedy spurt under the limbs, I did not notice  a low hanging, thorn-covered vine. It caught me at my forehead,  and almost pulled me off the mower.
  When I came out from under the limbs, I thought my only injury was on my finger where a spot of blood appeared from a thorn prick.
   No big deal.
  As I rode down a little lower in the yard, I noticed I was missing something. My vision! I had lost my glasses in my vine incident!
  I turned around and drove back toward the tree, which was pretty stupid, knowing my glasses were on the ground.
   Before I began my search, I decided to go inside the house to my bedroom to see if I had actually been wearing my glasses.
  The reason I did this is I got up from a nap the other week, and hauled trash to the convenience center. Along the way, I realized I wasn’t wearing my glasses. I can see the road just fine. Signs are a problem, but I knew where I was.
  Not this time. My glasses were not in their usual place.
  Have you  ever been on vacation and laid your glasses down somewhere in an unfamiliar room? It’s pretty scary, as you search.
   Basically, I’m a “S&S” glasses wearer. I take off my glasses to shower and sleep. That’s it. I don’t have to worry about finding them. I put my glasses in the same place every time.
  Now, where were they?
  I knew the glasses could be in a tree, in a bush, on the ground. They could have been thrown backwards for several feet, or thrown forward into the daisy bed.
  I began to plan what I was going to do. I wear progressive bifocals and I have never disposed of any of my previous glasses. I know no one is surprised at that. I even have a pair of prescription sunglasses, so I could go around looking like Roy Orbison, only better.
  Did I mention my glass frames are brown, which doesn’t exactly stand out on the ground?
  I made my initial unsuccessful search, and was about to go to the shop to get my telescoping magnet. Before I took a step, I looked down and there were my glasses!!!
  I’m usually not this lucky.
  I hopped back on the mower and cut the rest of the grass.
  I could see real well when I moved a planter and was attacked bya  hundred fire ants.
  It was not until I was getting  ready to go to bed did I notice several blood spots at the top of my forehead. The briars got more than my finger, and when I brushed my hair Sunday morning as I prepared to go to church, it really hurt.
  I got “thorned” pretty good, but I learned my lesson.
  I need to slow down or wear a hockey helmet!

THERE IT WENT!

  I saw a tweet Monday that said, “South Carolina’s baseball team not making the NCAA regionals is like the Alabama football team not getting invited to a bowl game.”
  In just three years, the Gamecock baseball team has gone from being one of the most respected programs in the country to one that is not respected at all.
  We used to worry about if we were going to get a top eight seed. Now we worry if we are going to make the field. We didn’t, for the second time in three years.
  For Gamecock fans, baseball was our sport, like basketball at UNC, and football at Bama.
  It’s a sport that has seen us play for seven National Championships, and win two of them.
  We were a perennial national power. The operative word is “were.”
  I admired the Gamecocks for making to the semi-finals in the SEC tournament. They should have played that way the last eight series. If they had just won one or two those, but they even lost series to two of the league’s  bottom feeders.
  If you’ve read my column over the years, you know I was never a big fan of the Braves’ legendary manager Bobby Cox.
  Cox is in the Hall of Fame, and he should be. He’s the best regular season manager in baseball history. He knew talent, and many of the great players the Braves had during that time were drafted under the leadership of Bobby Cox.
  The best regular season manager in history was also the worst post season manager in history. Fourteen straight trips to the playoffs produced only one World Series win, even though for many of those years Bobby had three Hall of Fame pitchers on his squad at the same time.
  Bobby was not capable of playing small ball or outsmarting the opposing manager.
  Like Cox, Chad Holbrook is a great recruiter. He was one named one of the ten best recruiters in the NCAA in ALL SPORTS, not just baseball, but like Bobby his team can’t play small ball and he doesn’t outsmart anyone.
  I enjoy keeping up with the games on Twitter, rather than listening or watching.
  The writers “tell it like it is.”
  In one game, the Gamecock’s leading hitter was at bat with a 3-1 count and two men on base. Holbrook gave him the bunt sign on two straight pitches and he fouled both of them off for a strike out. The writers had a field day.
  In another instance, he took out his clean-up hitter for a pinch hitter. The job of the pinch hitter was to bunt. He did. He bunted back to the pitcher who threw the lead runner out at third.
  The writers continuously questioned why Holbrook kept trying to bunt when there was no one on the team who could bunt. They would bunt themselves out of innings time after time ....  like Bobby’s teams did in the playoffs.
  At one time, Carolina’s baseball team was number four in the country, and they finished out of the money.
  Ray Tanner has a tough decision. I wish he could name Holbrook recruiting coordinator and hire someone else to coach.

FOUR HOURS?

  I was surprised when I looked through the Amazon Prime video offerings the other day to see that “Gone with the Wind” was available, along with another classic, “The Wizard of Oz.”
  I decided Saturday was the night to watch GTW.
  I had probably only seen the movie two or three times in my life.
  My mother remembered her parents getting all dressed up to attend the movie in 1939..
  The first time I saw the move was at the Saluda Theater when I was a little boy. No, it didn’t take 20 years for “Gone with the Wind” to make it to Saluda.
  I guess they did a re-release, like Disney does with its movies through the years.
  This was the first move I ever saw a movie that had an intermission, and GTW  was spectacular on the big screen.
  I had forgotten how long the movie lasted. I thought   I remembered three hours, but I was closer to four.
  The movie is so good, you’re never bored. I was amazed again at the special effects. I don’t think directors today with all their high tech gizmos could top the burning of Atlanta created in 1939.
  The acting was also superb.
  I look forward to seeing it again in 15 or 20 years.