Tidbits - August 22 2019

TIDBITS by RALPH SHEALY



A BOLT FROM THE BLUE

  We’ve all heard the expression a “bolt from the blue.”
  Figuratively, it means a surprise. Literally, it means a lightning strike from a cloudless sky.
  Many of us at the Jamboree Friday, experienced a bolt from the blue, literally and figuratively.
  The first game was about to begin, when the crackling sound was quickly followed by a lightning bolt and a loud, and I mean loud explosion.
  The sun was shining. There were no clouds nearby.
  Athletic Director Jeanette Wilder called me to make the announcement for the fans to clear the stadium. A storm was on the way, according to radar.
  A flash of lightning means a mandatory 30-minute delay before play can  begin or resume.
  The storm never came, and the Jamboree got underway at 7:30.
  I don’t know if the explosion was heard all over town, but around the flash point it brought several responses when I posted about the strike on Facebook.
  My sister Dibbie commented she was in the pool with her grandchildren and made a mad dash for the house. Rene Herlong said she, too, was in the pool and got out quickly. Shannon Roesner said she thought a bomb had exploded.
  I have been under the restroom shed on No. 7 at Persimmon Hill during a storm and witnessed lightning strike a tree, but Friday was the first time I have seen a real bolt from the blue.
  I googled the expression:
   “A "Bolt from the Blue" is a cloud to ground lightning flash which typically comes out of the back side of the thunderstorm cloud, travels a relatively large distance in clear air away from the storm cloud, and then angles down and strikes the ground. These lightning flashes have been documented to travel more than 25 miles away from the thunderstorm cloud. "Bolt from the Blue" lightning flashes are a very dangerous type of cloud to ground lightning flash, as they "appear" to come out of the clear sky.
  This is why it is still dangerous to be outside when thunderstorms are in the region, the lightning can, and does, strike many miles away from the thunderstorm cloud itself. This is why it is a good idea to wait 30 minutes or more after the rain ends before resuming outdoor activities.”
  I like to go outside and take pictures of clouds during a storm. I may change that habit.

TWISTER

  Speaking of bad weather, last week marked the 25th anniversary of the day tornadoes struck downtown Lexington.
  Many of you will remember that was a Tuesday, paper printing day, and I drove right into it.
  I was hauling papers in a Dodge Ram pickup back then. It had a bed cover, but the cover wasn’t completely waterproof, so with a threat of rain, I drove home and got my Daddy’s 1978 Dodge Aspen stationwagon to haul the papers.
  As I was leaving my mother told me there were tornado warning for Lexington, and asked me not to go. We all know warnings never lead to tornadoes, right?
  I took 1-20, since our printer,  Bruner’s was just off the No. 6 exit.
  The further I traveled on the interstate, the darker the sky got. I had never seen such a dark sky.
  Soon, I witnessed one of the most terrifying sights in my life, a tornado forming  in the sky just ahead of me.
   I didn’t know what to do. I couldn’t turn around on the interstate, and there were no ditches to hide in. Stopping would make me a sitting duck.
  So, I just kept driving toward it, praying all the way. Thankfully, my prayers were answered, and the twister dissipated before it touched down
  When I turned onto the No. 6 exit, I immediately knew I had risked my neck for nothing.
  If you think traffic is bad in Lexington when we have power, you should see it when there is no power, even on No. 6.
  I made it to Bruner’s, but the staff was long gone, so I turned around, fought the stoplightless traffic, and came home.
  That was long before social media for communicating  with family and the public, and I couldn’t have done it anyway, because I didn’t have one of those newfangled contraptions called a cell phone!
  I soon got a bag phone, so I have not been without communication since.
  That was a scary day.

SPEED!

  You’re going to enjoy watching this year’s Saluda Tigers play, unless you like a “three yards and a cloud of dust” offense.
  You won’t be seeing that.
  The Tigers will be striking fast, throwing the ball all over the place.
  The offense partially reminds of me one Chapin’s Eddie Muldrow ran throughout his coaching career. He used a short pass in place of the run.
  His teams rarely had any speed, but they could move the ball with this offense.
  The big difference between Chapin and Saluda is the Tigers are loaded with players who can fly!
  That five yard gain for Chapin might be a touchdown for Saluda. The Tigers just don’t throw short passes either. They go down the field ... a lot!
  The schedule is tough, as ususal.
  Tomorrow Saluda opens against archrival Strom Thurmond. The 3-A Rebels  beat Abbeville 14-6 in the Jamboree, and every Saluda fan knows how good Abbeville is.
  This should be a good one!