P.O. Box 668
Saluda, SC 29138
Phone 864 445-2527
Fax 864 445-8679
BY RALPH SHEALY
For the first time in decades our Shealy family did not get together with our Parris family relatives from Spartanburg for our vacation.
Dibbie’s family stayed home because Mayson is about to have a baby. Elizabeth’s family vacationed in Key Largo, petting manatees. Kevin Parris and his two daughters, Katie and Sara, spent the previous week in Costa Rico with their church.
That left Jamie’s family and me.
Jamie, Allison, Kailyn and Gavin always camp in their RV at a campground near the beach. Jamie’s oldest daughter Erin, her husband Ryan and Skylar, stayed at the house owned by her grandmother Grace Spainhour on the oceanfront in Cherry Grove.
Jamie and family invited me to stay with them in the RV.
That was a first for me.
I have not camped out since I gave up coaching Little League in the late 80s.
Of course, the RV is a tad different from trying to doze off in a sleeping bag under the stars. It has AC, two satellite TVs, a full kitchen and a bathroom ... not exactly a covered wagon.
My bed was above the cab. It was double bed size, but I had to climb a ladder to it.
Jamie built the ladder for his kids. It’s a perfect fit for them.
Unfortunately, my rear end is wider than the ladder, so I had a difficult time climbing down. Eventually, I figured out it was easier to step onto the bench at the table.
The RV didn’t come with any ladders. I guess the builders figured people could jump into “my” bed and the bunk beds. My jumping days ended in about 1975.
Jamie built two ladders and a side board for the upper bed in the bunks. The board was necessary because Kailyn rolled out the top bunk on their first night of camping.
I was asked if I moved around when I slept. I told them I was safe. Thank goodness. There was no way I could climb over a board too.
Thursday, Erin gave Ryan, Jamie and me a round of golf each at Eagle’s Nest for Father’s Day.
I guess we found out how much she thought us, after we butchered the course. Haha!
On our Shealy-Parris trips to the golf course in the past, Keith, 18 years my senior, always wins.
This year I continued the “oldest geezer wins” tradition.
We ate at Calabash Tuesday, and Wednesday we went to see Jurassic World 3D.
As you all know, I only go to the movies that one week at the beach each year, so you will not be surprised when I tell you I had never previously seen a pillar to post 3D movie.
I’ve seen the old “put on your glasses now” movies.
The dinosaurs were so realistic, I kept expecting one to jump out and eat me on the golf course the next day.
When the was movie over, I followed a guy who threw his 3D glasses into the trash can. Not knowing any better, I did the same. Then, I turned the corner and saw the boxes to collect the glasses.
I’m sure my stupidity was videoed, and the 3D police will come see me soon.
Friday was our last night, and Kailyn said she was going to do something she had always wanted to do.
It was after 9 p.m., when she got out the glow sticks they had brought with them, and started to break them to light them up.
She started laying out the pieces, then started taping the pieces to her body.
“I am going to turn myself into a stickman,” she said.
I helped her tape some of the pieces on, and when we got through she backed into the darkness, and I videoed her moving around. It was a hoot!
There were no streetlights in the campground, and when Kailyn started moving around, people on the other side of the lake were amazed to see stickman walking around.
Allison and Kailyn walked around our side of the lake and people were coming out of their campers to take pictures.
Eventually, the owner of the campground drove over to take Kailyn’s picture to put on the Willow Tree website.
My niece is very creative!
Being I did not have to help clean a bathroom and vacuum a beach house, I left for home around 8:30 Saturday. I didn’t worry about leaving anything behind, because “house” would soon follow me to Saluda!
My first RV experience was a good one!
Last week, Facebook exploded, and it wasn’t good.
With the Supreme Court decision on gay marriage, and the Confederate flag debate, there were many not too nice things said, some of them including four letter words.
I have 4200 Facebook friends. That means I have male friends, female friends, young friends, old friends, white friends, black friends, Hispanic friends, mixed race friends, straight friends, gay friends, and transgender friends.
I do not want any of them to get hurt by words. That is the way I was raised.
Obviously, a lot of people don’t care who is hurt by their words. To each their own.
I hate to get preachy, but when Jesus told us the “greatest of these is love,” he didn’t qualify it by saying, “as long as they are white, or black, or straight or gay.” His directive is all encompassing, and if we honestly call ourselves Christians, we have to obey. Sorry. That’s the way it is.
We are all entitled to express our opinions without being mean.
The Confederate Flag issue will always be inflammatory until those of my generation die out. After all, I have great-grandfathers who were born while the Civil War was going on. That means many African Americans my age had great-grandparents who were born of slaves.
Personally, I don’t need a flag on the State House grounds, that 99 percent of the S.C. population rarely sees, to help me remember my heritage.
My Herlong great-great-grandfather came home from the war, and died in 1864. We don’t know if he was seriously injured in combat or had some disease. He left a young wife and small children. My great-grandfather John was only four-years-old.
My great-great grandmother Permelia never remarried. Imagine the tough life she had raising her children during Reconstruction.
My great-great-grandfather Youngblood lost an arm at the Battle of Gettysburg. There were no prosthetic devises back them. He worked as a gatekeeper in Augusta. I don’t know what that job is, but there was probably little else he could do.
We have the sword of my great-great-grandfather Killingsworth.
I’ve got the heritage.
The flag was put up temporarily in 1962 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the war. That means for the first 11 years of my life, it was not on the State House grounds. It was not there during the Spanish American War, World War I, World War II, Korea or the beginning of Vietnam.
Our legislature conveniently forgot to take the flag down. Had they done what they were supposed to do, we would not be having this discussion.
We have one of the largest monuments to the Civil War in America on the State House grounds. It’s called the State House.
If you know your history, you know the stars on the side of the State House mark where Sherman’s cannonballs hit it. If you know your history, you know the staff of the monument to George Washington was also broken in the Sherman attack.
While few lives will change if the flag is taken down, many say it is the “principal of the thing.”
It’s the “principal of the thing as a symbol of hate” that Dylann Roof waved in most of his pictures. It’s people like Roof who turned the flag our ancestors fought under into a symbol of hate.
I may be wrong, but I cannot believe my great-great-grandfathers would wave that flag and walk into a church and kill nine innocent people. Would yours? I don’t think so. After all, it was the whites who built places in their churches to introduce the African Americans to Christianity.
What part of the south are Neo-Nazis who wave the flag in Germany from?
We cannot change what hate groups have done by using the Confederate flag. We should stop for a minute and reflect how you would feel if you were an African American and that flag was waved in your face.
As the old song goes, “Walk a mile in my shoes.”
I hope and pray no one gets hurt in the flag protests, because there are good people on both sides of the issue.
Too many innocents have already been lost.
Let’s keep up the walking and praying together that started in Charleston, no matter what happens in Columbia.
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