P.O. Box 668
Saluda, SC 29138
Phone 864 445-2527
Fax 864 445-8679
BY RALPH SHEALY
All of us experience things we never thought
we would ever experience.
That happened over the weekend.
As much damage as Saluda County suffered, it pales
in comparison to other areas of the state.
I heard the Clarendon County sheriff talk about
the number of bridges and roads destroyed. His
county has become a Third World country.
Columbia, likewise, is heartbreaking. I spent
seven years of my life going to school and working
in Columbia. It’s my second home town. I never would
have thought such a flood could happen.
We paid attention to the weather here at the
Standard-Sentinel. We love our building, but when I
heard we might get up to 20 inches of rain, I was
fearful the roof would collapse.
Friday, we took Jackie’s two upstairs computer,
and I took my external hard drive, with all my
Before I left, I stacked bundles of papers at our
side door, that is about five inches below the
street, hoping they would soak up the water.
With 20 inches of rain, I felt I may not be able
to get into town, since both my routes involve
driving over the Little Saluda River. I’ve seen
water come within a foot of those bridges on four to
five inch downpours. What would 20 do?
We were prepared to work at our homes Monday ....
as long as we had power and the internet.
Sunday morning, the first thing I did was put on
my rain gear and check out our pond. I feared the
water would go over dam, but the spillway was
working well, turning a normally dry steam into a
Next, I drove the check nearby areas that normally
flood, Richland Creek, and both Little Saluda River
bridges. At 8 a.m. all three were well out into the
I rode around town, and it looked safe. I didn’t
check the Sentinel office, figuring to put off the
“bad news,” until the afternoon.
On the way home, I got a text that church was
I got back, posted my photos on Instagram,
Facebook and Twitter, then was glued to the TV for
Seeing Columbia’s professional newscasters break
into tears as they told the story, was devastating.
“The is how I get to work everyday,” one of them
The road was underwater, as were all the
businesses along either side.
Amber Meredith-Davis posted a picture of a
portion of ceiling in her house collapsing, and said
she was worried about her 100-year-old building,
that is right around the corner from mine.
I decided it was time to go back to town to check
the flood zones, then check the buildings. The water
had risen in all three flood areas.
The beautiful sun came out. Then it was time to
face the office. Downstairs was fine. The newspaper
stacks were dry. Upstairs was also dry. I offered up
a little prayer of thanks, then drove around the
corner to check out Amber’s building. From what I
could see it looked good.
My Facebook friends began to send me photos from
all over the county. Many of them are in today’s
It is amazing how little creeks can become lakes.
Watching the news Sunday afternoon, I began to
hear of destruction around Lexington. The dam at the
historic Old Mill burst. Most of that impressive
complex was gone.
Then I heard the dam at Gibson Pond Park had
burst. I pass this beautiful park, going and
coming, every Tuesday. I would not be able to see it
Tuesday. The road is closed.
In natural disasters, we must continue to praise
the emergency and utility workers.
A “son of Saluda County,” Tim Gibson, lost life when
his DOT truck was washed away.
I didn’t know Tim, because I had only met his dad
David a few times. A son of Lucille and Harold
Gibson, David and his family lived all over the
world when he was in the military, and he continued
to work in foreign countries in civilian life. I
used to keep up with him through Mrs. Lucille’s
“Hollywood News” she wrote for years in this paper.
David was in Taiwan when he got the word his son
Let’s continue to keep our state in our prayers.
Recovery is going to take years.
AND SO IT GOES
Years ago in this column, I wrote Ninety Six High
School could go to their favorite retirement home,
pick out 22 residents, put Wildcat uniforms on them
and that team would beat Saluda.
There have been many years in this 17-game losing
streak, that Saluda has had a better team, yet
Ninety Six has found a way to win.
There’s an old saying that God doesn’t pull for
football teams, but I am beginning to believe he
wears garnet and gold.
Just look at what happened last week. Saluda was
5-0 and got ranked for the first time this year..
The crowd at the Bettis Herlong at Matthews Field
was probably going to be the largest since the 1973
Upper State Championship game.
Then what happened? A hurricane and a flood, and a
6 p.m. start. The turnout was cut by thousands.
The Tigers played their hearts out, but so did the
The season is not over with one loss. I wouldn’t
be surprised to see the Tigers win at Abbeville
The season may be over for Carolina, however.
With LSU coming to town Saturday, the Gamecocks
could drop to 2-4, and would need four wins in their
last six games to make it to a bowl.
That isn’t likely. I recommend the Gamecocks play
many young players the rest of the way, and get some
new assistants at the end of the year.
The defense is not getting any better, even after
Spurrier hired John Hoke. He kept the rest of the
staff off that horrible defense form last year.
Spurrier needs to let Hoke pick his staff. “They”
say some of the defensive coaches are good
recruiters. Where’s the proof?
Clemson moved up in the polls with their big win
over Notre Dame Saturday.
I’ll admit I fell asleep when Clemson went up 21-3
in the third quarter. I figured I wouldn’t miss
anything. Boy, was I wrong!
I woke up hours later and checked to score to see
Clemson won 24-22. Wow, what a game!
Hats off to the Clemson fans who sat through a
Saluda, Carolina, and Georgia fans had a miserable
weekend, mixed in the all the rain.
Once they dried out and warmed up, Tiger fans
I was saddened by the deaths of
Vivian Scurry and George Hopkins.
Mrs. Viv had a great personality, and would drop
by to get a paper on Tuesday as long has she was
able. I always enjoyed talking to her.
Mrs. Vivian was Mrs. Lucille Gibson’s sister, so
with Tim Gibson’s death in the flood, the family has
been hard hit.
For many years, George Hopkins and his brother Bo
had corner, full service gas stations across the
street from each other on the Greenwood Hwy. and
North Main Street.
Both were popular and fun to be around.
In the late 70’s Big Foot prints were discovered
in the Hollywood Community and George invited me to
go explore the situation with him.
Word got out, and soon the tracks got coverage
across the state. A Big Foot expert from out of
state even traveled to Saluda County to check out
The prints looked pretty convincing, but we found
out later is was a well orchestrated hoax.
During that time, people would call George if they
saw something suspicious and he’d pick me up and off
we’d go to check it out.
Those were good times, and I sure did enjoy my
explorations with George.
Vivian and George will be greatly missed.