Tidbits - June 15 2017

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TIDBITS by RALPH SHEALY


NONE?

  This would be a great time for me to commit a crime, because, apparently, I don’t have any DNA.
  I have always been interested in Ancestry.com’s DNA project.
  You’ve seen the commercial. I’m already pretty sure, but I’d like to know my lineage. How much German? How much British? How much surprise?
  In my mother’s side, her grandparents were Baker-Briggs and Killingsworth-Youngblood, and on my father’s side, Shealy-Epting and Herlong-Grigsby.
  The Shealy family history is four volumes, I’m not kidding. Bela Herlong did a nice Herlong family history. The Shealy and the Herlongs came to this about the same time, in the 1750’s.
  I’ve done some research on most of the other branches. My great-grandfather Baker came to America with a family friend when he was just a boy. The rest of the family was supposed to join him later, but they never did. We know practically nothing about his family.
  When Ancestry.com announced a sale on the DNA test, dropping it to $79, I ordered the kit.
  When the box arrived, I followed the instructions, or so I thought.
  Basically, you have to spit in a small test tube, then mix that with some solution.
  I mailed the kit  back and anxiously waited for the results, which were due to come in four to six weeks.
  I was hoping I would learn of some connection with my Great-grandfather Baker’s family. Another branch of my mother’s family claimed kinship with George Washington.
  I don’t know if we’ll find out the reasons the Killingsworth’s landed in this country.
  Back in the 60’s, we had a pastor on the Butler Circuit, the Rev. Wilbert Waters, who was a historian and genealogist.
  When he heard my mother was a Killingsworth, he  told her the first Killingsworth arrived in this country when he was thrown off a pirate ship!
  You’ve got to be pretty low on the totem pole to be thrown off a pirate ship, don’t you think?
  I don’t know how deep Ancestry.com delves into pirates.
  Well, last week I got an email from Ancestry. Could this be it?
 Not hardly. I was informed that after repeated attempts, my DNA could not be determined from the sample I sent.
  The issue can be resolved by submitting a new sample, which will be provided free of charge, I was told.
  This time I was given instructions on what NOT to do. One sentence of instructions was not in the original kit.
  It said to wait at least an hour after you eat, drink or smoke and 30-45 minutes after brushing your teeth.
  I’m pretty sure I brushed my teeth and even used mouthwash before I spit in the vial. I thought it would help me develop saliva. I am not a spitter by nature.
  So, when this kit arrives I’ll be especially careful.
  If this one doesn’t work, I may a zombie.

RIDING ALONG

  Since our staff has been reduced to two people, there is no way I can take a complete week off for vacation.
  So, I drive to the beach Saturday, drive back Sunday, get the paper printed early on Monday, then drive back to the beach on Tuesday.
  I’m a driver who keeps his eyes on the road for the most part, so I miss a lot of things on the side of the road.
  I commuted to Columbia from Saluda every day for three years in the id-70’s. On the third year, I was driving home and looked to my left and saw a house I had never seen before! “Where did that come from?”
  On my way down to the beach Saturday, I spotted a sign in front of a cemetery between Marion and Mullins.
  It said, “Sales People Needed.”
  So, did they need sales people to sell cemetery plots, or did they need them as customers?!!!
  On my way back, I looked more closely at the sign and at the bottom it said, “Apply Inside.”
  Actually, it didn’t say inside what!
  In Marion, there was man wearing a yellow vest, standing very near the road and holding a sign that read, “Jesus is coming soon. Are you ready to meet your maker?”
  And I’m thinking, “If you take one more step forward in this beach traffic, you might meet your maker tonight.”
  I appreciate the effort, but don’t risk your life, please!
  I left the beach at 12 noon and planned to be home at 3:30.
  When you travel I-20, it’s best not to make plans.
  I few years ago on my way home, I got caught up in a traffic jam and had to detour through Bishopville.
  On Sunday, traffic came to a complete two mile an hour crawl for miles and miles.
  Finally, the traffic came to a stop.
  A few minutes after the stop, I looked to my right and saw a man coming out of the woods.
  There were no houses anywhere.
  As a fan of “The Walking Dead,” I’m used to seeing zombies suddenly walking out of the woods.  I made sure my doors were locked.
  The man walked through my side of the lane, then got into a car in the other lane.
  Like I said, I watch the road, so I missed him getting out of the car. Apparently, he had to go to the bathroom.
  He was mighty lucky the traffic didn’t start moving while he was gone.
  As I sat stopped, I wanted to reach for a drink, but I’m not a person who travels with a drink in the cupholder.
  “What if I’m here for hours?” That has happened on the interstate before.
  I had some raisin bread I bought for my mother at the flea market, so I wasn’t going to starve.
  Maybe, I need to travel with some sort of drink on long trip from now on.
  Soon, the traffic began to again and wasn’t long before we were up to 40, 50, 60 and Indy 500.
  I never saw any evidence of why we were stopped. A wrecker did pass on the shoulder, and that was my only hint there was an accident.
  With so many cars bunched up for so long, traffic as awful until I pulled off on 178. The tie-up delayed my trip by 30 minutes. Not so bad.