Tidbits - August 2 2018

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TIDBITS by RALPH SHEALY



UP ABBEVILLE WAY

  Becky Pickens, wife of my former pastor Jerry Pickens, posted a link on Facebook to the obituary of Virginia Ferguson of Abbeville a few weeks ago.
  Reading the obituary brought back fond memories of Virginia’s late husband, Fletcher.
  As the longtime sports editor of the Abbeville Press & Banner, Fletcher took me under his wings when I started covering the SHS football games for the Standard-Sentinel, although I was in my 20s and he was older than my parents.
  He always made sure I had a place next to him in Abbeville’s tiny pressbox.
  When I started keeping stats, I just used a sheet of notebook paper, and made it up as I went along.
  Fletcher had ”fancy’ stat sheets. He gave me a copy of all three, and I have been using his stat sheets for nearly 40 years, now!
  Fletcher also taught me how to keep stats and announce games at the same time. I’ve been doing that for over 35 years!
  I got to meet Fletcher’s wife Virginia several times over the years.
  Many will remember the bagpipes that made the Abbeville band famous years ago. It was Virginia who started the bagpipes.
  I was the choir director at Emory when Jerry and Becky were here. When they were moved to Abbeville’s Main Street UMC, Virginia was the choir director there. She just retired this year after 50 years of service and at the age of 92!
  When Jerry and Becky were at the Emory-Nazareth Charge, regular visitors to Emory were Gloria Grigsby Reames and her children of Abbeville.
  Gloria grew up at Emory, the daughter of J.L. and Dorothy Grigsby.
  As long as her parents were alive, Gloria visited several times a year. Sometimes her son, Johnson, would visit on his own.  Johnson was also a high school referee at one time and made several trips to Saluda. during football season.
  Gloria’s husband Jack was a former teacher and coach at Abbeville, and he’s called me throughout the years when Saluda played the Panthers.
  After getting her nursing degree from Lander, Gloria worked at the Abbeville hospital for nearly 40 years.
  Gloria died last week at the age of 77, the last member of her immediate Grigsby  family. Her bother, Joe Lester, a loyal Saluda Tiger fan died several years ago.
  I mentioned Joe as a Saluda Tiger football fan, because I have had several friends say lately, “As Joe Grigsby used to say, when July 4th gets here, football is just around the corner.”
  Joe would have enjoyed David Roberts’ recent article in the Index-Journal about the Abbeville-Saluda rivalry, since he has connections to both schools.
  David ranked the Top Ten games in the Lakelands for the 2018 season.
  Ranked Number Two was Abbeville at Saluda (Greenwood and Gaffney was Number One, in case you’re wondering),
  The key word in that sentence is AT!
  David pointed Saluda has traveled to Abbeville for the Upper State Championship game for three straight seasons, and for three straight seasons, Abbeville has won and gone on to win the State Championship all three years.
  Saluda fans agree. Had it not been for Abbeville, Saluda would be a  three time defending state champion.
  This year, if everything holds up, Saluda and Abbeville will be in the same conference, along Ninety Six, Batesburg-Leesville, Fox Creek and Silver Bluff. Abbeville is scheduled to come to Saluda on October 19.
  A school has protested the realignment, and the case has not been settled, so nothing is official right now. The situation has to be resolved soon, because the season begins August 17.
  I can’t mention football without remembering James “Poogie” Chapman.
  Many years ago, Poogie and Wayne “High Pocket” Rowe were both managers of Mooney Player’s Saluda High football team.
  Both men greatly admired Mooney, and, sadly ironic, both men died this year.
  Most members of Poogie’s Chapman family are ardent Clemson fans, but Poogie went against the norm and started pulling for Georgia.
  He and Danny Bledsoe would have some colorful Clemson-Georgia bets when the two teams met on a regular basis.
  One year, the loser had to push a peanut across the Caper House parking lot with their nose.
  Poogie’s son Eric also went against the Chapman norm, only instead of Georgia, Eric pulled for Florida State.
  As you all remember, Eric lost his life in the line of duty a few months ago as a member of the Johnston Police Department.
  Father and son are united again.
  Poogie was a local legend, and he will be missed.

EVELYN
  My Saluda High Class of 1969 lost another dear member when Evelyn Berry died last week.
  Evelyn has been in poor health for some time, but she always had a great sense of humor.
  As our class approaches its 50th reunion next year, we have already lost 17 members out of a class of only 69. Evelyn is the latest to be greatly missed.
  “Memories will ever follow, where’er we my rove.....”