Tidbits - May 25, 2023


  I follow “Jacob’s Mammy” on Instagram.
  Jacob is a “five and three-quarters” (his description), glasses wearing, brilliant  kid from Ireland who says the cutest things on his daily video.
  The other day, the background music for the clip was “Be Young,  Be Foolish, but Be Happy” by the Tams.
  I was floored! The class song for the Saluda High Class of 1969 is known in Ireland????
  I was even more surprised a few days later, when Jacob said, “What you talkin’ about, Willis?”
 What did he just say? Did a five year old child from Ireland just quote Arnold from “Different Strokes?”
  I had to find out. Sure enough, the mother explained “Different Strokes” was a favorite show for she and her husband when they got married.
  When Jacob came along, he watched, too, and picked up the famous line.

  I was saddened by the passing of Joyce Buzhardt last week.
  I always enjoyed talking to her when she’d come by the office to renew her paper.
  Often she would be wearing a red blazer in her capacity as a court bailiff.
  Reading her obituary, I was amazed at all the jobs she had, some at the same time.
  She was the epitome of the Saluda County work ethic.

  It was a sad weekend, my family’s first Mother’s Day without our Mother, and this nearly coincided with the first anniversary of her death, May 19.
  Then on Monday, May 15, we got the word that our cousin Jim Calk had died in Georgetown. We were unaware Jimmy had suffered a bad fall a few weeks ago, and that led to complications and his death.
  Sadness on top of sadness.
  Memories of the Calk family began to flow when I learned of Jimmy’s passing.
  His grandparents, Homer and Carrie Herlong Calk, ran the Calk’s Store in our community. Next door to the store lived Aunt Carrie’s sister Mary Ellen Winn and family, and across the road lived another sister of Aunt Carrie, my grandmother Eugenia Shealy and family.
  Needless to say the Calks, Winns and Shealys were close and that has carried over with each generation.
  Jimmy’s parents, Homer Jr. and Josephine, built the new Calk’s Store in the same location as the old one.
  The Calks still lived in town during the early years of their store.
  Around 1970, Jimmy built the house across the road from ours. A few years later, the house was expanded and Homer, Jr., Josephine and their daughter Joanne moved in with Jimmy.
  They embraced Calkville and Emory Church, where Josephine was church musician for many years, and Joanne shared her  beautiful soprano voice with the choir.
  Jimmy was more “uptown,” serving as the organist at St. Paul United Methodist Church. He mastered the magnificent pipe organ at St. Paul. Every last verse of a hymn, he’d “crank it up.” If that didn’t give you chill bumps, nothing would.
  I put a tribute to Jimmy on Facebook and many of his friends shared memories, including some aspects of his life I had completed forgotten.
  For instance, during their teenage years, Jimmy and Joanne worked the concession stand at the Saluda Theater. Theater owner Buck Herlong was Homer Jr.’s first cousin, so I guess they got the jobs through family connections. Daddy, another first cousin,  ran the projector on occasion.
  Another remembered Jimmy’s days as a radio disc jockey in the area. I believe at times he worked at WBLR and WJES. He had to do some after hours work at WJES once. Jamie and I rode over to the station with him, and he gave us a tour of the facility. He even allowed us to record our voices. That experience helped me developed my public address announcer voice.
  Many remembered Jimmy giving them piano lessons.
  He always wanted to learn more. Becky Pickens recalled when her son Brad married Christi Shealy, and their wedding featured bagpipers. Jimmy was so impressed he drove over to Abbeville to take bagpipe lessons from Mrs. Ferguson, who trained bagpipers in the Abbeville High School band.
  His art featured every style,  oil, acrylic, water colors and pastels.
  He could “Norman Rockwell,” and he could “Jasper Johns.”
  Through his love of art, furniture and decorating, he met the love of his life Betsy Havens of Havens Gallery in Columbia, a talented artist herself.
  They eventually moved to Georgetown, where they operated a gallery downtown, and had showings of their art throughout the Low Country.
  Jimmy did not abandon his music. At the time of his death he was organist and choir director at Prince George Winyah Parish Church. It was there that his funeral was held.
  Jimmy will be remembered by the Shake Shealy family for his generosity. We built the two-story part of our house at the same time he was building his house across the street.
  He would give us some of his paintings, and  a small bronze statue that would look good on the staircase landing.
  He and his family gave Dibbie Joanne’s old bedroom suite for her new room upstairs.
  I’m sure if he was so generous with us, he was that way with all he knew.
  I regret that I never got around to accepting Jimmy and Betsy’s invitation to come visit. I know I would have had a grand time.
  I’m sure Jimmy has found his celestial pipe organ, and Heaven is filled with it’s glorious music. Can you imagine how the last verse sounds in Heaven?!!!
  Including my mother, my family has had six relatives die in less that a year. It’s as if we are in constant mourning.
  That comes with age, I guess, but I don’t like it one bit.