Tidbits - April 26 2018

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TIDBITS by RALPH SHEALY



NOT QUITE

  My brother-in-law Rickie Turner ordered a set of lawnmower tire valve stems from Amazon.
  The other day the package arrived, but inside the small envelope was a set of cuff links and a matching lapel pin.
  Rickie said he can just imagine some guy trying to attach those valve stems to his shirt while he gets ready for the prom!

TAKE ME OUT!

  The Saluda High baseball team won the region championship for the first time in school history last Thursday.
  That’s hard to believe that a school that has been playing sports since the 1920’s had never won a conference championship in baseball, but we don’t have to worry about that anymore.
  I have not been to any of the SHS games, but I have followed practically all of the varsity and junior varsity contests on the Game Changer app.
  Rickey McCary, whose sons Jonah and Jacob play, got me registered on the app as a family member. We are members of the Emory Church family, so that counts.
  I’m very superstitious,  as you all know. There was no way I was going to the conference championship deciding game against Fox Creek, since I had not been to a previous game. That’s jinx material.
  I did decide, however, if the Tigers had a commanding lead going into the last inning, I was going to drive over to watching the ending, since I live only a mile and a half from the school.
  That was shot when the regulation game ended in a 4-4 tie.
  In the bottom of the eighth, Jacob McCary, my “family” member, came to the plate with a man on third, and got a hit to win the game in a walk-off! How exciting!
  The Tigers hosted Andrew Jackson in the opening round of the play-offs Tuesday.
  Saluda’s won-loss record is not spectacular, but the three of the Tigers non-conference foes Ninety Six, Strom Thurmond and Mid-Carolina won their respective region titles. Another rival, Batesburg-Leesville, is going to the play-offs.
  The Tigers did not play Ridge Spring-Monetta this year, but the Trojans also won their Region. That makes five teams within a 20-mile range from Saluda that won region baseball championships, and are ranked in their respective class Top Tens!
  That’s pretty good, I’d say!
  Last Tuesday, the once proud University of South Carolina baseball team lost to Presbyterian College, which entered the game at Founders Park with a sparkling 12-26 record.
  The Gamecocks had already lost to Furman, Charleston Southern and The Citadel, not to mention dropping two of out three to Clemson.
  After the P.C. loss, fans were calling for the head of new coach Mark Kingston.
  So, what happened next?
  LSU, ranked 19th in the nation, came to town and the Gamecocks swept them 3-0. Carolina couldn’t beat PC, but could beat LSU.
  Of course, no Power 5 team throws their best pitchers in mid-week game, but the same batters and fielders that played against LSU played against PC. Carolina scored 11, 11 and eight runs against LSU over the weekend, but only managed three against P.C.
  No matter what happens the rest of the way, fans should not blame new coach, Kingston. He is playing with the hand that was dealt him.
  The veterans, left behind by Chad Holbrook, have not come through in the clutch, until this past weekend.
  In going to the College of Charleston, Holbrook must have inherited some pretty good players. The Cougars swept a three game series with Georgia. Against Carolina and Clemson, Georgia is 5-0 this season.
  Those great Carolina teams had plenty to stellar pitchers to win most of the mid-week games. That is not the case right now, but the freshman hurlers will get better.
  We, Gamecock fans, when the other sports’ teams faltered would always say, “There’s always baseball season.”
  We haven’t been able to say that the last two years, but the other sports have done pretty well.
  I don’t know about the men’s basketball team. Three players announced they were transferring, two more announced for the NBA draft, and another was told he didn’t meet Frank Martin’s requirements to return to the team.
  Martin might have to hold student body try-outs to have enough players to field a team next year!

BARBARA BUSH

  I wondered if Barbara Bush’s funeral would be “high church.”
  There was a lot of beautiful ceremony at the former First Lady’s funeral, but four of the hymns sung are in the United Methodist Hymnal, “Praise to the Lord,” “In the Garden,” “Amazing Grace,” and ”Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee.”
  The anthem, “The Holy City,” took me way back to my childhood, when the late Earl Steadman had the Emory choir singing that song practically every Easter, with the late Joanne Calk Rodgers singing the solo. When I got older, I “earned” the low solo part at the end!
  The funeral was a wonderful tribute to a special lady.
  I think of all the First Ladies I have “known” in my life, 12 so far, Barbara Bush is my favorite. (Bess Truman was First Lady when I born, but I obviously have no memory of her.)
  Her sense of humor and her saying exactly what was on her mind made her stand-out.
  I may have missed it mentioned last week, but did you know Mrs. Bush graduated from Ashley Hall in Charleston in 1943? She attended school there for three years.
  It was when she went home to New York for Christmas vacation from Ashley Hall that she met her future husband, the future president, George H.W. Bush.
  When she returned to school in Charleston, Barbara and George began their now famous letter writing to each other.

MORE SADNESS

  I was sorry to learn of the passing of Paulette Corley Hendrix. Paulette had waged a brave battle with illness, and she was only 60 when she passed away.
  I have known Paulette and her family for a long time.  She was always a pleasure to be around.
  Her late husband Paul Hendrix was a life-long friend of my brother Jamie, and Paul roomed with us for awhile when we rented a place in West Columbia.
  Paulette endured the too soon deaths of her husband and her daughter, and died on her late father Paul Corley’s birthday. I know they enjoyed that “Glad Reunion Day.”
  I was also saddened by the death of retired Saluda school teacher Renee Hauser. Like fellow educators, Linda Gibson and Brenda Shorter, who recently passed, Renee succumbed to cancer.
  She is also the fourth member of our Saluda Players theater group to die since last August, joining Don Hancock, Tommy Willis and Brenda.
  I met Renee when she joined the cast of our comedy “Faith County.”
  She fit in perfectly, even though she was a transplanted Yankee, all the way from Skokie, Illinois.
  She was also Jewish, but enjoyed attending Sunday School class at Saluda Baptist Church.
  In her time with the Saluda schools she made so many friends,  because of her wonderful personality.
  She had no immediate family left, but her friends were her family, and they remained with her until she died.
  On March 8, I received the following message on Facebook Messenger, “Hope you are doing well - loved doing the plays with you - I love you.”
  I wrote back that I hoped he was doing better and was praying for her, and ended “Love ya!”
  “Yay,” she wrote, “Thank you.”
  Six weeks later, she died. I realize now, she was saying good-bye.
  I know Don, Tommy, Brenda and Linda, welcomed Renee into Heaven.
  As I wrote on my Facebook tribute to her, down on earth “the show must go on.”