TIDBITS by RALPH SEHALY

SALUDA STORIES

  In Sunday’s The State newspaper, there was an obituary for a lady with the last name of Muckenfuss.
  That reminded me of a story the late, great Johnnie Goff told me many years ago, and I’m sure I shared here.
  Mr. Johnnie was a great teller of tales of Saluda.
  It seems a young lady with the last name of Muckenfuss came into one of Saluda’s pharmacies and ordered ten cents worth of acifidity.
  When the pharmacist filled the order, she said, “Charge it.”
  To which the pharmacist said, “You can have it.”
  “Oh, no,” she said. “You don’t have to give it to me.”
  “Listen,” he said. “It’s worth ten cents to me to not have to write down Muckenfuss and acifidity.”


IT IS WELL

  I love the TimeHop app, as it “replays” your social media activity from one to whatever years ago.
  One of the  items it reminded me of last week took place two or three years ago.
  I had picked out “It Is Well With My Soul” for our anthem at church for this past Sunday several years ago, and took a copy by to our musician Carolyn Merchant at Tire & Oil.
  Carolyn gave me an evil look and I asked why.
  She told me “It Is Well With My Soul” was the song she had picked out to play for the offertory.
  So, I said, “Great minds think alike.”
  Moving on to last week. I got a text from Sheila Shealy asking if she could sing the offertory Sunday.
  I told her “sure,” and I would let Carolyn know.
  So, I composed at text to Carolyn.
  Sunday at offertory time, Sheila stood up to sing with her taped accompaniment, and Carolyn  also began to play.
  I hopped up from my seat and rushed to the piano to tell Carolyn Sheila was singing the offertory.
  “I sent you at text,” I said.
  “I didn’t get it,” she said.
  While Sheila was singing, I checked my phone.
  I did write the text to Carolyn. I just didn’t hit “send!” I had good intentions.
  The song Sheila sang? “It Is Well With My Soul” -  another “Godincidence.”
  I cannot think of a better song after what our country went through last week.
  If you don’t know the story of the song, here it is:
  A wealthy Chicago lawyer named Horatio Spafford had everything going for him. He was successful, had a wonderful wife and five beautiful children, and was a devoted Christian.
  Then his young son died and much of the property he owned was destroyed by the Great Chicago Fire.
  To help get over the tragedies he scheduled a vacation by ship to Europe with his wife and four daughters, but at the last minute, he had to stay behind and would join them later.
  A few days after the ship departed,  he got the word his family’s ship collided with another ship, and all four of his daughters had drowned. Only his wife survived.
  He soon boarded another ship to join his wife in Europe, and on the way he began writing a poem with the words, “When sorrows like sea billows roll; Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say, It is well, it is well, with my soul.”
  That poem was put to music and is now one of the great songs of the church.
  It lets us know whatever we go through, our faith will pull us through. It will be well.
  So many of our hymns were borne out of sorrow.
  “Precious Lord, Take My Hand,” was written the Rev. Thomas Dorsey after his wife died in childbirth and his infant son died a few days later. He was out of town on church business when that happened.
  Natalie Smith wrote “The Hymn of Promise.” It was first sung at her husband’s funeral.
  Fannie Crosby, one of the greatest of all hymn composers, was blind, but wrote some of our favorite songs, like “Blessed Assurance.”
  The hymn writers shared their great faith through their songs.
  Last week seven people died, two at the hands of police, and five because they were police.
  The two that died in police confrontations were in Baton Rouge and St. Paul. Because of those actions, five officers died in Dallas, five who had absolutely nothing to do with the two deaths, five who were only trying to protect those in a peaceful “Black Lives Matter” rally.
  Just read my column of a few weeks ago after the Orlando massacre. The logic still applies.
  Nothing is solved by hate.
  We need the Mother Emmanuel congregation everywhere in this country.
  Even the families of those murdered forgave the killer. Theirs is one of the most remarkable displays of faith I’ve ever seen.
  What would Jesus do? Just what the congregation of Mother Emmanuel did. They are truly disciples.
  Forget politicians. We need the Mother Emmanuel display of love all over this country.
  Actions speak louder than words, and I mean peaceful actions.

SAD WEEK

  If was another sad week in Saluda County.
  It began with the death of very nice lady. Judy Horne, who had the distinction of being the widow of a former Chairman of Saluda County Council Bernard Horne, the mother of former Chairman of Saluda County Council  Hardee Horne, the mother of Saluda County Sheriffs’ Deputy Toby Horne, and the step sister-in-law of current County Council Chairman Don Hancock.
  This was followed by the death of Jimmy Williams.
  I first met Jimmy when I was elected the president of the newly reorganized Saluda County Chamber of Commerce in 1990, and we hired his wife Carol to be the executive assistant.
  Carrol and Jimmy were a great match. They were both natives of West Virginia, but they fit in perfectly in Saluda County with their humor and kindness. You’d never know they weren’t “homegrown.”
  Jimmy had success as a salesman in his work career, and he also excelled in music and was part of a beach band for many years in the area.
  He was the type person who would make you smile every time you met him.
  Pat Rodgers was a Saluda County icon.
  We were double kin. His grandfather Greg Forrest and my grandmother Eugenia Shealy were first cousins on the Grigsby side of the family, and his grandmother Lula Forrest was a sister to my grandfather Rufus Shealy.
  In other words, Pat’s mother Virginia and my daddy Shake were first AND third cousins. That happens a lot in Saluda County!
  Pat’s Rodgers Fertilizer had been an important business in the county for many years, providing a valuable service to our farmers.
  Pat also had a part in creating  Saluda County’s most famous event, the Young Farmer Truck & Tractor Pull. He and Bill Whitfield were the main organizers for many years.
  Of all Pat did for this community, perhaps the biggest contribution was showing us how to live in the face of unthinkable tragedy.
  Pat and his wife Nancy Kay’s youngest daughter Leigh Ann died in a boating accident, and a few years later their oldest daughter Missy died in childbirth. The child died, too.
  Pat and Nancy Kay did not go into a shell as a results of these terrible events. Instead, they came to the aid and support of other parents who went through similar ordeals.
  Pat was also an avid sports fan. The Saluda High football season will not be the same this year, as Pat will not be here.
  Despite the fact he had to use a cart to get around, Pat went to 13 games last year. I’m glad he got a chance to see his grandson Cade play in the Upperstate Championship game. I’m sure it brought back memories when he was a successful athlete playing for Mooney Player.
  Judy, Jimmy and Pat were people I am so glad I got to know. My sympathy to their families.