Tidbits - December 19 2019

TIDBITS by RALPH SHEALY

REFLECTIONS

  Other than the $25 vehicle fee, last week was uplifting.
  Fans of the Saluda Tigers couldn’t stop smiling, after the state championship win on Friday, December 6.
  Positive news coverage came our way early in the week, and when the Parade of Champions was held Thursday, more TV stations and newspapers came to town.
  The week ended with a great Christmas parade and festival, the culmination of the town merchants and citizens working together on the Grinch theme for many weeks.
  You have to got back to 1977, when the Saluda boys basketball team won the school’s first basketball title, to find a time of equal elation. Football fans have to go all the way back to 1962, when the Tigers won their first title since 1941.
  The basketball team won the title again in 1978, and the football team won in 1963, but it was that first title that had the most impact.
  There probably wasn’t as much celebration in 1941, because not long after the Tigers won the championship, the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and soon our country was at war.
  I had a feeling midway in the 2019 season, that this team might win the title. The spectacular come from behind win over Strom Thurmond in the first game showed this could be a team of destiny.
  I mean the game took two days to complete, for one thing. Storms caused the games to be delayed at the end of the third quarter on Friday. It resumed on Saturday morning.
  Thurmond took a 21-8 lead with 8:10 to go in the game, but the Tigers never quit. On the last play of the game, with Thurmond leading 21-14, Noah Bell threw 33-yards to Dallan Wright for the touchdown. The Tigers did not hesitate on the conversion decision. Bell found a leaping Jervon Whitt in the end zone for the two points, and the Tigers won 22-21.
  A close loss to fourth ranked Southside Christian was not discouraging, but losses to Abbeville and Batesburg-Leesville in the last two regular season games was.
  As it turned out the loss to B&L put the Tigers in a more favorable position. Instead of having to play Southside Christian in the second round, like B&L did, the Tigers got them in the third.
  Then came the return match at Southside Christian, a team the Tigers had never beaten. Saluda won 56-42.
  Something happened after the game that made me think this could be the year.
  When we got to Wayne Grice’s house, I put all my equipment - two coats, camera, book bag, umbrella in my van and drove home.
  When I entered my house, I reached for my phone. It wasn’t there.
  I knew I had to call Wayne, but I couldn’t because his phone number was on my phone. Then I remembered I could text on my iPad using WiFi.
  I asked Wayne to see if he could find my phone in his truck. In the meantime, I called my cell number with my house phone to see if I could find it outside.
  Soon, I heard from Wayne. He had found my phone in the road in front of his house.. He said the screen was cracked but the phone was working.
  I picked up the phone the next day.
  Now, let me explain. I had to back my van  into the road where the phone was found. How did I not run over it?
  And, my screen wasn’t cracked. It was the tempered glass screen protector that was cracked.
  It had to be destiny.
  I had an extra tempered glass protector, and started to replace  the cracked one, but then I thought better. I’d leave the cracked screen until after the state championship game. It worked!
  I also a changed the same clothing every game routine.
  The superstition is great as long as you don’t lose, but Saluda has lost in the play-offs the last four years, so apparently, I was not doing something right!
  I’m certainly not going to tell you what I did.
 I know practically every Saluda football fan has some superstition, and for the fist time in 56 years we can say, “It worked!”

THE GRINCH

  I have certainly enjoyed the Grinch’s appearance in the Town of Saluda this year.
  Everyday, you’d see new decorations at a different businesses, and The Grinch, himself, would walk around town.
  It was one of the most cooperative efforts I’ve seen years.
  Now, how do you top it next year?
  Do you keep the Grinch theme every year? We could all save the decorations, except the ones painted on windows, or we could leave the painted windows and become a tourist attraction.
  Maybe, we can pick a new Christmas movie each year.
  My favorite is a “Christmas Story.” Can’t you see little Ralphie, not me, going around town in his bunny suit or cowboy outfit.
  How about Cousin Eddie in his bathrobe from “National Lampoon Christmas Vacation.”
  Or, we could go Victorian with a “Christmas Carol.”
  The possibilities are endless.
  Congratulations, Town of Saluda and the Chamber of Commerce for your great idea and promotion.
  It has been a “Holly, Jolly Christmas!”
  By the way, with the Grinch theme, I decided to watch “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” on TV, and realized it had been a long, long time since I’d seen it. I remembered maybe two scenes!

CHUCK COLLARD

  I was saddened at the passing of Chuck Collard.;
  Chuck will be remembered for his years of service as Saluda County’s Chief Deputy Sheriff.
  He migrated from Buffalo, NY, to his wife, the former Sandra Mitchell’s hometown of Saluda.
  A couple of their grown children, Sherri and Dawn, soon followed them. Sherri Coleman is now Saluda County’s Clerk of Court, and Dawn’s son Kyle Fisher is a member of the State Champion Tiger team.
  Chuck fit right in, becoming a regular golfer at Persimmon Hill and choosing the Gamecocks as the school he supported.
  He was a good guy, who will be greatly missed.