Tidbits - April 13, 2017

TIDBITS by RALPH SHEALY


SEVE REMEMBERED

  I was so happy Sergio Garcia won the Masters Sunday.
  I’ve always liked him and, like Phil Mickelson did several years ago, he got the monkey off his back and finally won his first major. He can relax now and win some more, just like Phil did.
  This year’s Masters was poignant. It was the first since the 1950’s without an appearance of Arnold Palmer, who died a few months ago. It was touching to see two legends, Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus, with tears in their eyes as the opening ceremony got underway, featuring a chair with Arnold’s green jackets laid across the back.
  Sunday marked the 60th birthday of the late Seve Ballesteros. Seven was Sergio’s mentor and it is only fitting that he won his first major at the course where Seve became a household world.
  I had the pleasure of seeing Seve play on Thursday in 1980 when he won the Master’s at the age of 23. I also got to see Arnie, Jack and Gary play, too.
  Chris Keeler and I watched Seve make one of the best shots ever on No. 18. His drive landed in the trap on the left side of the fairway. We were standing behind him when he hit his second shot. The crowd went wild with the ball landed just a few from the cup.
  Of course, we didn’t see the ball land from where we were, but we knew from the crowd it was an amazing shot.
  Back then the newspaper got two Master’s passes and Chris and I would go on Thursday, and watch the rest of the week on TV. You can see what is happening so much better on television, especially today when the first two rounds are broadcast on ESPN.
  We lost one of our passes when Uncle Bill Eargle died, and gave up our other ticket.
  Those experiences over 35 years ago, however, last a lifetime. I’ll never forget them.
  TV cannot do justice to the beauty of Augusta National, although HDTV comes close. The fairways are unbelievable.
  The thing I think I miss the most about not going to The Masters is the food. The pimento cheese, egg salad and BBQ sandwiches were to die far, and they were cheap! From what I’ve seen, they still are.
  If you ever get a chance, go, even if it’s to a practice round. You’ll make a memory to last a lifetime.
  The same holds true for the upcoming Heritage Classic at Hilton Head. Tickets are easy to come by and the course and Hilton Head Island are absolutely beautiful.
  I haven’t been to the tournament in 40 years, but I remember they didn’t serve pimento cheese sandwiches. They served crepes, stuffed with strawberries. What do you expect at Hilton Head?! Oh, and they were really good, too!

WHAT A WEEK!

  What a week the City of Columbia experienced!
  It began with the Gamecock basketball teams playing in the Final Four, and the women’s team winning the national championship on Sunday.
  Then, Dale Junior arrived at the Governor’s Mansion to promote racing in the state early in the week.
  Wednesday night, Darius Rucker gave his free concert for Carolina students at the Colonial Life Arena. This was the result or his pledge during football season that if the Gamecocks won six games, he would give a free concert. As it worked out, Darius was able to salute the Gamecock men and women’s basketball teams as well.
  Late Wednesday, we learned Columbia native and number one golfer in the world, Dustin Johnson, fell down the stairs of his Augusta rental home and injured his back. The next day, the Masters favorite withdrew on the first tee.
  Thursday night, Tim Tebow made his debut as a member of the Columbia Fireflies and on his first at  bat hit a home run! You couldn’t script that any better.
  The Gamecock baseball team’s series with Vanderbilt was featured on national TV. It was interesting that on the same night there were over 8000 fans at the Fireflies’ game and over 7000 at the Gamecock game.
  Sunday, crowds estimated from 10,000-20,000 attended the parade saluting the national champs. Dawn Staley, still wearing her “netlace,” got a street named for her, Dawn Staley Way, near the CLA.
  That same day, Tebow hit his second home run of the season.
  Most of these events got national coverage, and I think Tebow got the most!
  It disturbs me what negative press Tebow usually gets. One story Monday said not to get too excited about Tebow’s homer, because he’s 29, playing against much younger opponents in a Class A league.
  . It’s as if the national sports’ press wants him to fail. Why? Could it be because he is a professed Christian?

EGGS-ACTLY

  I grew up in a time when there was no such thing as a plastic Easter egg.
  All ours were chicken produced and dyed by Paas.
  I was curious about how long the company had been around. I know it was at least 66 years!
  I looked it up on the website. Here is the story:
  “The original PAAS® Easter egg dye was invented by an American named William Townley.
  Mr. Townley owned a drug store in Newark, New Jersey, where he concocted recipes for home products. In the late 1800s, he came up with a recipe for Easter egg dye tablets that tinted eggs five cheerful colors.
  Neighborhood families started buying Townley’s Easter Egg Dye packets in 1880 for only five cents and mixed them with water and white vinegar to create the perfect egg dye!
  Soon, Mr. Townley realized that he had a wonderful product that other families would like to use to brighten their Easter tradition. He renamed his business the PAAS® Dye Company. The name PAAS® comes from “Passen,” the word that his Pennsylvania Dutch neighbors used for Easter.
  Today, Americans purchase more than 10 million PAAS® Easter Egg Color Kits during the Easter season, and use them to decorate as many as 180 million eggs!”
  Pretty interesting to find out what “Paas” means!
  It was fun helping dye the eggs for the eggs hunts of our youth. We would get creative, doing half and half colors. I believe there was a kit for that.
  Egg hunts around the house were fun. Finding a well hidden egg  a few weeks later was not fun. Naturally, a kid has to find out the hard way why you don’t break a rotten egg.

WE’LL MISS

  I was saddened by the death of Tim Powell.
  Tim was a product of the “Calk’s Store” Community, just like I was.
  His father, Mike, was a gentle giant, standing 6-7 tall. He died young in a tragic work accident.
  Tim’s grandmother Willie Mae Powell was our Avon Lady and she kept us up with all her family.
  Tim was only 51 years old when he died following heart surgery.
  Marion Crouch was a Saluda County legend.
  He and his wife Jean, who died a few months ago, owned the Flower & Gift shop for many years.
  Marion was active in many church and community endeavors, including Saluda Baptist Church and the Lions Club, and he was the one who influenced me into getting into the car collecting hobby.
  He drove a different car, usually a Volkswagen, every day!
  The one thing everyone who knew Marion will remember most about him is he left us laughing, literally.
  He always left your presence by telling a joke. He had a million of them.
  I’ve known Floyd Hodge since he and my mother worked together at B.C. Moore’s when I was a little boy.
  He was active in Salem Baptist Church and was a charter member of the Hollywood Ruritan.
  He was simply put, a good man.
  My sympathy to the families of Tim Powell, Marion Crouch and Floyd Hodge.