TIDBITS
BY RALPH SHEALY

HOT HISTORY
 

 
  I attended events at the Saluda County Historical Society’s two restored homes Friday and Sunday.
  All of Saluda County should be proud of what this organization has done to preserve the Marsh-Johnson House and the Bonham House, or Flat Grove, as it was originally known.
  Of course, this weekend was one of the hottest of the summer, and when I left both houses, I felt like I had been “rode hard and put up wet.”
  Back in the early 1800’s, the residents of those houses could not go out and get in their air conditioned cars and drive away.
  They were stuck ... in time.
  Of course, I spent most of my youth in a house without air conditioning. We had one big window fan that helped “cool” the entire house.
  Fortunately, Daddy finally bought a 25,000 BTU window air conditioner unit that would cool the entire house.
  Unfortunately, he put it in Jamie’s and my bedroom, and we slept under every blanket and sleeping bag we could find to keep from freezing to death.
  The Marsh-Johnson House was part of the S.C. Young Farmers tour of Saluda and Newberry counties.
  Sunday, Bonham House committee chairman Colette Dragoo hosted a drop-in at the house to show the progress made.
  I enjoyed talking to Richard Peterson, who is writing a book on James Butler Bonham. It was Richard who suggested the Bonham Trophy be presented to the winner of the Carolina-Texas A&M game each year.
  Richard and Bonham have a lot in common. Both were born in S.C., both went to college at Carolina, and both ended up living in San Antonio.
  I thought I knew a lot about Bonham, but Richard has done a great deal of research that led to the discovery of many more facts.
  All Carolina students and alumni know about the Maxcy Monument in the middle of the Horseshoe, and the “legend” we won’t go into, but did you know Bonham was on the student committee that spearheaded to plans to build the monument in 1827? Did you also know the monument was designed by Robert Mills, the same architect who designed the Washington Monument?
  When Richard moved to San Antonio, his mother took an active interest in restoring the old missions around the city. He often accompanied her.
  When they got to the Alamo, Richard’s mother pointed to the four statutes outside the mission.
  “See that,” she said, “two of those men are from South Carolina.”
  That was Richard’s introduction of Bonham, and the rest is, pardon the pun, “history.”
  We’ll have more on Richard and his Bonham projects in the weeks ahead.
  It was fun hearing Steve Spurrier mention our homegrown Alamo hero at the SEC media days, when talking about the potential trophy.
  I was listening to the live broadcast on the radio, when Spurrier said he was from Tennessee and was always taught the hero was the Alamo was Davy Crockett.
  “There were 33 men from Tennessee who went to the Alamo and got killed, and so forth,” Spurrier said, as only Spurrier could. I, and all the media members, laughed out loud.
  But, he guessed Bonham must have done good things!
 

 
RADICAL REALIGNMENT
 

 
  I saw on Facebook a story that appeared in the “Wall Street Journal’ on a radical realignment plan for college football, entitled
“What If Schools Were Sorted Based on Football Strength?”
  According to the story, “Two Ohio State sports researchers Jonathan Jensen and Brian Turner chose to ignore geography and tradition, the typical forces in conference realignment. Instead, they focused solely on football and its financial implications, coming up with a formula that factored in every team’s football revenue, winning percentage, computer ranking and attendance between 2003 and 2013. Then they sorted teams into clusters to figure out which schools were most alike—and should be playing each other.”
  In Cluster 1 is Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma and Texas.
  In Cluster 2 is Clemson, Florida State, Iowa, Michigan State, Nebraska, Oregon, Penn State, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Southern Cal and Wisconsin.
  Cluster 3 has Arizona State, Arkansas, California, Georgia Tech, Kansas State, Miami, Ole Miss, Oregon State, Stanford, UCLA and Washington.
  The final cluster includes: Boise State, BYU, Louisville, Missouri, Oklahoma State, TCU, Texas Tech, Utah, Virginia Tech and West Virginia.
  Twenty-three schools in the Power 5 conferences did not make the cut.
  I guess Carolina and Clemson should be proud to be in the second most powerful cluster.
  You can’t really argue with Cluster 1, except Notre Dame, but is anyone surprised the Irish made it?
  Of course, the Ohio State researchers put the Buckeyes in the top group, even though they have never beaten an SEC team, and are 0-2 in the last two meetings with Clemson.