Tidbits - January 3 2019

TIDBITS by RALPH SHEALY



OVER WATCHING

  I don’t know why, but on  Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, I watched more movies and specials than I ever had before.
  One reason was the change of time for Jamie and Allison’s Christmas Eve family gathering. In the past the get-together was held on Christmas Eve night, with Trey acting as the chef.
  The year, the meal was moved to lunchtime. Trey still did the main course. He grilled steaks. Erin stopped by a place near their home on Columbia and bought potato salad and a tomato pie!
  I had to get the paper out, but I still  got there a little after one.
  That left my evening free for movie watching.
  Normally, I watch my favorite Christmas movie, “A Christmas Story,” first, but this year I changed things up.
  On one TV, I turned the volume down and watched “It’s a Wonderful Life.” I don’t need the sound. I know what every actor is saying!
  On the other TV, I turned the volume up and watched “Home Alone,” my second favorite. A million times I’ve seen it, but I still laugh out loud.
  “Home Alone” ended in time for me to switch over and catch the end of “A Christmas Story.” Being the movie was on for 24-hours straight, I caught it all in bits and pieces.
  Christmas Day, I watched “Elf” and “Christmas Vacation,” two more of my favorites, and a good portion of the “Santa Clause 2.”
  In between I watched several 30 minute specials. One version of “Frosty, the Snowman” featured Andy Griffith as the narrator. I don’t know if I had ever seen that one.
  Later I was about Christmas movied-out, and switched over from “White Christmas”  to that great classic yuletide fare  “Tremors.” Maybe, one of the giant worms had on jingle bells.
  I fell asleep when they were trapped on that rock island, and when I awakened “Tremors 3” was on. I guess I slept through “Two.”
  Please don’t condemn me to the depths of Hades, but I don’t watch Hallmark Christmas movies.
  I’ve mentioned it before, I’m mad at Hallmark for taking “Murder She Wrote,” “Matlock,” “Hart to Hart,” “Columbo,” “I Love Lucy.” etc. off so they can can show Christmas movies 24-hour a day.
  Why can’t they go to 11 p.m. each day, and give it a rest till the next morning?
  Even with Christmas over, the movies continue.
  I’ve had to watch “Holiday Homicide,” and such. Nothing says Merry Christmas like mass murders!
  I did enjoy a new Christmas moved on Netflix called the “Christmas Chronicles.”
  It featured Kurt Russell as Santa. I’m so old I remember when Kurt was a child actor, and his dad, Bing, played the sheriff on “Bonanza.”
  The end of the movie had a cute surprise. Guess who played Mrs. Santa?
  I got my “Holly, jollies,” but I am ready to get back to normal days.
  With us having to get papers to the printer on Fridays the last two issues, each week has had three Mondays. You have the real Monday, then the day after the holiday, which feels like Monday, and at the newspaper, we have to treat Thursday as Monday and Friday as Tuesday!
  No one should have to endure three Mondays in one week!
  Last week’s paper was our New Year’s edition, but  I’m writing this on Monday/Thursday, December 27, for our January 3 issue, so the new year is still a few days off.
  I don’t know how Carolina and Clemson did in their bowl games. Both are going to be played on Saturday. If this were normal, I could write about those games on Monday, but it’s not normal.
  I’m anxious to see how the Gamecocks do without Deebo in the lineup. Will next year’s receiving star be revealed? Will Jake have a game like he did against Clemson?
  I’m also anxious to see if Notre Dame can challenge Clemson. I don’t think so.
  The Alabama-Oklahoma game should be more entertaining, maybe, but Oklahoma has not played a team with a defense this year.
  I read reports that college football fans are tired of seeing Alabama and Clemson in the playoffs every year.
  What are you going to do, disqualify them?
  I just don’t see any team in the ACC challenging Clemson in the near future. The only way Clemson doesn’t make the playoffs next year is if the Tigers get upset twice.
  The same holds true for Alabama. The SEC has a few more quality teams than the ACC, but beating the Tide is nearly impossible.
  Perhaps, expanding to eight teams would give the playoffs more variety.

MAN FOR THE  EYES

  I’ve been pondering making an eye appointment.
  My glasses still work well, but they are showing their age.
  You see, the glasses I wear were purchased from Dr. Bob Rollings.
  Dr. Rollings died last week.
  So many can thank him for making them see better.
  I was 45 years old before I went to Dr. Rollings for the first time. I went from drugstore glasses that I only used while working on a computer to bifocals!
  I was a lot blinder than I thought.
  I got progressive lenses, but it took some getting used to, especially when I wore them to the upper deck at Williams-Brice. Walking up the steps was quite a challenge. Eventually, I got used to bifocals and I’ve been wearing them ever since.
  Dr. Rollings was remarkable. In his 60s, when others were thinking about retiring, he was taking classes to get certified in new optometric procedures.
  He opened his office in 1952 and continued providing fine service into the 2000s when he was in his 80s.
  Being a great eye doctor was not his only gift.
  Few people remember, he was once a race car driver, even competing in the famous Motor Mile on the beach in Daytona.
  In the early 60s, he joined with several local men to build Persimmon Hill golf course.
  He knew about eyes, but he also knew about turf. His knowledge of fairway grass and greens helped make Persimmon Hill a show place.
  In the 80s, he decided he was going to create a rhododendron garden, even though he was told the mountain flowers would not grow in Saluda County.
  Guess what? He grew rhododendrons in Saluda County. That feat attracted television programs and an article in “Southern Living.”
  He always invited people to come see the garden. The flowers were absolutely beautiful, growing on a hill, overlooking the golf course he helped build.
  Everyone around here knows Dr. Rollings was a loyal Gamecock fan, serving with distinction on the Gamecock Club board. If you wanted the inside scoop on the Gamecocks, Dr. Rollings usually knew.
  I still have all the glasses I  bought from Dr. Rollings over the last 22 years.
  He helped so many see the light, whether it be through eye classes, golf course greens and flower gardens.
  He will surely be missed.

SYMPATHY

  I extend our sympathy to Ridge Spring News writer Harriet Householder in the death of her husband Robert Householder, Jr.
  Both of Robert’s late parents were well loved throughout Saluda County. His dad Robert Sr. was a longtime deputy sheriff, and his mother Florence worked at Ridge Spring’s Town Hall for decades.
  I emailed Harriet about our early deadlines last week. I had no idea that was the day her husband died.
  She already had her column prepared, and, despite all she was going through,  she sent it on.