Tidbits - January 4, 2018 2



  There really is no such thing as a holiday in the news business.
  There are only two holidays that I don’t work - Christmas and the 4th of July, unless the 4th falls on a Monday, then I work, because the paper is printed on Tuesday.
  The office may be closed on holidays, but I am working at home. I’m watching the Georgia-Oklahoma game on New Year’s Day while I’m writing this, for instance.
  We closed Monday and Tuesday for Christmas, but I had to go to town to deliver papers to our normal Tuesday delivery spots that morning.
  I made my first two stops, then came back to the office to reload my van for more deliveries.
  I was walking with a box of papers to the van, and missed the curb. My ankle twisted, I threw the box forward and I fell backwards onto the sidewalk.
  I was in agony, but before I checked to see if I had broken my ankle, I looked to see if anyone saw me.
  Thank God, Saluda was a ghost town the day after Christmas.
  Then, I had to found out if I needed to call an ambulance, which, of course, would draw a crowd.
  I had fallen, but I  could get up.  I put weight on my foot and nothing gave. I could walk on it. How lucky could I get?!
  It still hurt like all get out. Severe pain tends to make my nauseous, so I sat down for a few minutes until the pain stopped.
  Finally, I was able to load the van. I hopped in, turned the key and the battery was dead. I had my cellphone size instant battery booster, but I hadn’t recharged it since the last use, so it didn’t work.
  I called my brother Jamie, who was about to leave his house to come to town to buy cat food, so he came by and boosted me off.
  I drove straight home and hooked up the battery charger.
  After 30 minutes, I returned to town for those deliveries and then headed to The Circle for another stop. I came home and charged the battery for 30 more minutes.
  Then it was nap time. My ankle did not hurt when I made my deliveries, but after I got up from my nap, I was in agony.
  I walked on tiptoes on my left foot the rest of the day, because it did not hurt as badly.
  I dreaded having to make more deliveries Wednesday, but when I got up my ankle was fine.  I guess I had a 12-hour ankle virus.
   I used up most of the gas in the van on my Tuesday run-around, so when I stopped at Tire & Oil on my paper route, I pumped gas.
  Then I got it the van, turned the key and the battery was dead again. Come on!
  But, if you’re going to have a battery go dead, do it at a place that sells batteries.
  I got a new battery, and my agony and battery Christmas ordeal ended.


  Santa brought me a WiFi electric plug that I can plug something into and my Amazon Echo can turn it on or off at my command.
  I was going to plug my Amazon Fire stick into it, then I discovered by accident, after a whole year, my Echo can communicate with my Fire (Amazon’s equivalent of Roku).
  I tried it. I turned on my Fire Stick and said, “Alexa, show me comedies.”
  And immediately, a list of comedies popped up on my TV screen.
  That’s downright scary!
  My sisters, Dibbie and Elizabeth, have been giving each other “12 Days of Christmas” gifts for years, only they do it backwards. Instead of doing after Christmas, they do it before.
  This year they included my mother and me.
  It was lot a fun opening one little gift each day.
  One made absolutely no sense, a talking bag clip.
  When mash the clip, it goes “M-o-o-o!”
  It’s hilarious, but who came up with that idea and who decided to make it?
  I came from Kohl’s, so that makes sense. Kohl’s sells those wild Christmas suits.
  Dibbie had told everyone she was going to “win” Christmas this year. We had no idea what she meant.
  She walked into the house, and handed us teddy bears, and an envelope with pictures.
  My envelope only had a picture of our Daddy and his six siblings.
  Dibbie then had to explain she had the bears made out of Daddy’s coveralls. The vest was made from one of his shirts, and the bowtie was made from one of his neckties.
  She met Dianne Caughman at the Christmas Craft Show, and Dianne made the bears.
  Yep, Dibbie won Christmas!
  After Christmas, she gave me a “Christmas Story” sportcoat and matching tie. I’m going to have to come up with a place to wear it next year.
  I don’t think I can wear a coat and tie with a leg lamp prominently displayed to church!


  I went to Matthews BBQ and got New Year’s Day lunch plates, complete with greens and black-eyed peas.
  New Years’ Day is the only day of the year I eat greens. Yes, I’m Southern, but I don’t like greens.
  I’m just glad liver in not a required New Year’s Day food.
  I finished eating around 11:45, so I could go to my room and NOT watch the Carolina-Michigan game.
  While recording the Outback Bowl, I watched three episodes of “Black Mirror,” one of “Midsomer Murders,” and took a little nap.
  When my phone informed me Carolina had won, I rewound the tape to when the score was 19-3 Michigan in the second half, and watched from there.
  All you people who spent three and half hours watching a game, I covered the good parts in about ten minutes.
  So, who’s the smart one?
  I’m very proud of the Gamecocks and their 9-4 season, and I hope Bryan McClendon gets the offensive coordinator job, full-time.
  Absolutely no one gave the Gamecock offense any hope of scoring against one the best defenses in the country.
  The return of Rico Dowdle after breaking his leg earlier this year pointed out how good a running back he is, and add the return of Deebo to the team next year, then the Gamecock offense should be really good in 2018.
  Of course, I said that last year....
  I can’t say anything about Clemson-Alabama, because I’m pretty sure I’m going to fall asleep before its over.


  What a said week.
  Rose Marie was a comedic actress who starred on the old “Dick Van Dyke Show.”
  I read somewhere where she was celebrating 90 years in the entertainment business. What?
  Correct. She started as a child star when she was four and she was now 94.
  I found out she had a Twitter account, and began to follow her.
  Each day she shared stories from her career, including historic photos. I looked forward each day to read what she had to share.
  One day last week, she sent out a tweet and died a couple of hours later. Her daughter let all of Rose Marie’s followers know, she was going to continue sharing her mother’s stories.
  Ted Charles was a fine man. I’ve known him since he was a little boy.
  I was stunned to hear he died. I can’t remember if I read his sister-in-law Kathy Charles’ post about Ted’s’ death, before or after Tommy Willis’ funeral. Like Tommy, Ted had a heart attack.
  Phil Atkinson was a brilliant man.
  After successful career, he retired to Saluda in 1998, but he didn’t stop working.
  He started a company that designed devises that helped the handicapped. The recipients of these devices received them a no charge.
  I’d run into him at the Post Office on a regular basis. One day he drove up on a hemi-powered Dodge Magnum. I was impressed since he was pushing 90.
  The Magnum soon gave way to a new Chrysler mini-van.
  Phil’s brother Jack showed me a letter Phil had written to his little brother “Jackie” during World War II.
  Phil was injured in a Marine training exercise and was in the hospital at Camp Lejeune. Phil was writing to wish Jack a happy birthday.
  In today’s time of texts and email, it was refreshing to read this letter from a soldier to his 12-year-old little brother.
  “Give my love to the everybody, and take care of the family until I get home. Your very homesick bro’, Phil.”
  Phil died of complications from pneumonia.
  I was floored Friday morning when Sandra Boozer called to tell me our old friend Tommy Willis had died in his sleep.
  I was speechless. In our capacities with the Saluda Players we had spent so much time together over 20-years.
  What great times we had.
  Friday night some of us got together at Tommy’s son Jarred’s house. I got the address from Jarred’s sister Jess.
  I put the address in my phone. I got closer and closer and finally my phone said I had arrived.
  I was in the middle of the Newberry Highway!
  I turned around several times, and even crossed the bridge into Newberry Country. Finally, I turned at some reflectors. That was the house.
  I could just hear Tommy laughing at me.
  Those of us at the house shared our Tommy stories and helped Jarred and Jess plan the funeral, which had a  theatrical flare.
  Both children wanted to funeral to start late, because the old joke we always shared was Tommy would be late for his own funeral.
  As fellow actors, Dean and I spoke. Sandra sang Tommy’s favorite song, “The Rose.”
  The hymns we sang were featured in the first play in which we all appeared, “The Diviners.”
  Dean praised Tommy’s acting ability, saying he could make you laugh and he could make you cry.
  Before the final hymn, Good Hope Baptist pastor Jeremy Beauford asked the congregation to give Tommy a standing ovation. He would have loved it.
  In my segment, I shared stories of Tommy’s vivid imagination in designing sets.
  My favorite idea of his was in the play “Harvey.”
  As many of you know Harvey was a giant, invisible rabbit, the best friend of the character I played, Elwood P. Dowd.
  When it was time for the curtain call, I was supposed to come out las by myself.
  Instead, Tommy, the director, had me come out one side of the curtain, and out of the other side stepped Jarred, dressed in the biggest bunny costume have ever seen.
  We walked to the front of the stage and Elwood and Harvey took their bows together. The audience went wild with laughter.
  Only Tommy could come up with something like that.
  Someone from the Historical Society said Tommy WAS the Saluda Theater.
  He knew every nook and cranny. He knew how to do everything, and now he has left us.
  We tend to take people like Tommy, who spend their lives doing for others, for granted.
  If all his many friends band together and fill Tommy shoes, Saluda will be a much better place.
  And with all the above going on, I learned my dear friend, SHS classmate, Tuesday paper buyer, and fellow actor with Tommy and the rest of us in “An Evening of Culture,” Brenda Shorter was in the hospital.
  We’re all praying for you Brenda.