Tidbits - June 22, 2017

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TIDBITS by RALPH SHEALY



PART TWO

  I left at 10:30 a.m. last Tuesday for Part Two of my vacation.
  Traveling to the beach on a Tuesday is a breeze. I went through Aynor this time, hitting Hwy. 22, then Hwy. 31. If you like bumper to bumper traffic, go this direction on Saturday and Sunday. Tuesday, there was very little traffic.
  Saturday, I drove through Nichols on the way to see if there were still remnants of the flood that put that entire town underwater last year. There were a few noticeable destructions, but the town basically looked normal.
  The two Sundays I drove home, I went through Marion and Mullins, so I did have some variety on my trips.
  Dibbie found our vacation home through an internet search. If you have ever been to Cherry Grove and passed the man-made channel, then that is where our house was. It was located on 35th street and you could see the Cherry Grove Pier from our driveway.
  Unfortunately, you’d have to sprout wings and fly if you wanted to go directly to the pier. Our street dead ended on one side of the channel, so what would normally be a three block walk to the beach, turned into a five block walk, because we had to walk backwards, then sideways, before walking forward.
  As normal, I woke up around 6:00 every morning. I’d drive to get a newspaper, read it, then head to the beach for a two-mile walk each day.
  Even at 7 a.m. it was steaming hot.
  The last three days I walked 10,000, 15,000 and 10,000 steps, respectively. I don’tknow how people do that every day when they work.
  I continued my tradition of reading a John Stanford “prey” book on vacation. I started with the first one in 1989, and have not missed one. Wikepedia said there was no book in 1997. Naturally, I don’t remember this.
  I figured Stanford would run out of “prey” adjectives, but with “golden” thisyear, he can continue with the precious metals.
  For the first time in years, I did not play golf, because there were no fellow golfers in our group.
  We started the family vacation idea many years ago. We’d get a big house, and family members would shuffle in an out during the week, or some would get their own places.
  Now, Shake and Betty’s family has 32 members, and the Biltmore House is not available to rent, nor it is at the beach.
  Our group was Dibbie, her daughter Mayson, her husband Jason Donlon, and their three children Deacon, Madden and Emoree.
  We had plenty of room and the house had the best WiFi we have gotten at a beach rental.
  It was needed with all the devices. I travelled with three myself. Even Emoree, who won’t turn two until next month, has a “pad pad.”
  The aforementioned Emoree ruled the house.
  She was fascinated with shells I collected each day. I would put them on the nightstand in my bedroom.
 She would come into my room several times a day to play with the shells. She slammed the door closed to keep Deacon and Madden out. She named the two biggest shells “Mamma” and “Daddy,” and proceeded to pair them with baby shells. She had the best time.
  When she had enough, she would simply point to the doorknob, which meant I had to get out of bed, where I had observed all this, and let her out.
  The shells, by the way, went home with her.
  Dibbie said he would pay for Jason and me to take Deacon and Madden to a movie. I could barely read what was playing  due to the six point type. I was hoping the boys weren’t too young to see “Wonderwoman.”
  I didn’t get a chance to pitch this, because Deacon let me know we were going to see “Captain Underpants.”
  Like the Pokemon thing Deacon found on my phone earlier in the week, I had never heard of “Captain Underpants.”
  “It’s about a mean school principal, who becomes Captain Underpants,” Deacon told me.
  Before we left Friday morning, Dibbie handed me $120.
  “What is this far?,” I asked.
  “The movie,” Dibbie said.
  “It’s going to cost $120 to go to a movie?!!!”
  She said last year’s movie with Morgan and the two boys cost $100.
  I’ve been out of the loop too long. On the rare occasion I go to a movie, I go to a movie, period - no popcorn, snacks or drinks.
  I’m also out of the loop on ticket pricing.
  I walked in  said, “I want one senior citizen, one adult and two children’s tickets.”
  “So, you want four tickets,” the cashier said.
  “I guess I do.”
  Since the movie began at 12:45 p.m., I didn’t each lunch, so we hit the concession stand as soon as we got the tickets.
  Two bags of popcorn, two regular drinks, two bottles of water, and two boxes Skittles cost $40. Those of you who go to movies are not surprised. I was floored. My popcorn and drink costs $16!!!! When I was a kid, those two items cost 25 cents at the Saluda Theater!
  We got into the theater and the boys wanted to sit on the front row. Jason and I talked them out of that, but we relented when they wanted to sit on the third row.
  The previews were already playing when we sat down. After three or four previews and several commercials, Madden said, “When is the movie going to start?”
  The movie started eventually and I soon learned more about Captain Underpants than I ever wanted to know.
  The little boys who created the Captain said most super heroes look like they are wearing their underwear, so they created a super hero who was actually wearing his underwear. And, he is incredibly stupid.
  I think Madden and Deacon enjoyed the movie, but I am about 60 years too old. This was the introduction, so there will be many more movies to come in the series.
  I hope the second one doesn’t come out at vacation time next year. Dibbie got $55 back from her movie money, so she can go.
  That evening we headed to the beach to take our annual dress alike photos. We got all seven of us, plus my camera and tripod on the golf cart.
  Little Emoree was so excited to see the water, she started running in her long dress and fell face first into the sand, suffering a sand scrape on her cheek.
  After a few tears, she got over it.
  The kids had a great time playing in the ocean in their clothes.
  They were so wet and sandy, I walked back to the house.
  Dibbie and Mayson took about a ton of coupons with them, as usual.
  We pigged out on Krispie Kremes and pizza, but did not eat one morsel of seafood the whole week. How did that happen?
  I love the beach.
  When I win the lottery I’m going to buy a place or two down there. I’m going to buy a channel house for the family and an ocean front condo for me. I’ll just go down on occasion, though, and I might eat some seafood.

SADDENED

  I was saddened at the passing of Lee Ann Sample Reigart.
  I’ve known her all her life. Lee Ann grew up here, a daughter of Esther and the late Tom Sample. Her father was the beloved co-owner of the F&S Drug Store on Main Street, that eventually merged with People’s and finally merged with Long’s. Her mother has been a leader of the Saluda County Historical Society.
  Lee Ann was fun loving and a popular. The title Saluda High Homecoming Queen was in her resume.
  Ever health conscious, Lee Ann was a well known runner in the Low Country, and was the organizer of fund raising races.
  She is another example that cancer does not care if you take care of yourself. It is a disease that shows no partiality.
  Lee Ann was only 60 when she died last week. Our sympathy to Mrs. Esther, her brother Thomas, sister Neal and their families.
  If you ever owned a vehicle in Saluda County, you knew Shirley Gibson.
  Shirley worked in the license office of the Saluda County Department of Transportation for 30 years.
  Her husband John is a son of the late Harold and Lucille Gibson. Mrs. Lucille wrote the Hollywood News for this newspaper for many years.
  Shirley’s  daughter Renee Abrams kept her Facebook friends up-to-date on her mother’s struggle with Alzheimers, another disease that shows no partiality. Renee let us know her mother only had a few days to live, and soon she was gone.
  My sympathy to John, Renee and the rest of the family.
  I was also saddened to learn of the passing of Betty Cromley Davis.
  Betty returned to her native Saluda after raising her family. She worked for many years at Saluda Nursing Center and got involved in many community activities.
  When she retired, she moved to Columbia.
  Lee Ann, Shirley and Betty will be greatly missed.