Tidbits - August 17, 2017

TIDBITS by RALPH SHEALY



HOW DID THAT HAPPEN?!!!

  I was watching TV one day last week, and thought about the Saluda football schedule, and the thought suddenly hit me..
  Saluda’s football season begins next Friday!!!
  How did that happen?
  Didn’t Clemson win the national championship a few weeks ago?
  I guess football it getting to be like Christmas as I get older. It comes round every couple of months, instead of every couple of years like when I was a boy.
  The Tigers begin their season Friday night at old rival Strom Thurmond. As you all know by now, I saw the first Tiger-Rebel meeting in 1961 and I have never missed a game between the two teams.
  I enjoyed the last two Saluda seasons probably more than any in my lifetime. Of course, I loved the 1962 and 1963 state champion teams, but I was a little boy and didn’t see every game back in those two seasons.
  Neither of those two state champion teams put up the yardage and the points of the 2015 and 2016 teams. Last year’s Tiger averaged over 40 points a game.
  Because of those one sided games, Coach Stewart Young was able to play many squad members. I looked over the roster and saw at least 32 Tigers who saw action last year.
  Yes, Saluda lost some great players. Malik Brooks and Tyrell Abney were among the best one-two offensive punches in the state. Kicker Dylan Strickland broke the state record by kicking 75 extra points in a row. Malcolm Wiggins led the defense for several years. Those are just a few of the good players the Tigers lost off the team that played in the Upper State Championship.
  I’ll got to my grave believing the 2016 Tigers were the best 2-A team in South Carolina, but two turnovers inside the five-yard-line against Abbeville prevented a trip to the finals.
  That’s over. Now, it’s time for 2017.
  One thing the last two seasons has done is the Tiger players have gotten a taste of winning, and they like it.
  Break even seasons don’t do it, but a 10-3 year, followed by a 12-2 season and two straight trips to the Upper State Championship game, give players confidence, and it trickles down to the younger levels.
  This year’s team will not be as good as last years, or so it seems on paper.
  Last year, I did not think in the preseason the 2016  squad would be as good as the 10-3 2015 team. They ended up better.
  The 2015 and 2016 teams relied on the run. This 2017 will throw more and the Tigers have an experienced quarterback and some receivers who can fly.
  It should make for another fun season.
  Oh, if the Tigers win the region and get top seed, they may get to HOST Abbeville this year! Wouldn’t that be nice!

GOOD JOB

  I applaud the Saluda School District One Board of Trustees for their quick action last week.
  Superintendent Dr. David Mathis was offered a job he couldn’t refuse from the State Department of Education and handed in his resignation. That same day, the Board made Dr. Harvey Livingston the new superintendent.
  You can’t have a smoother transition than to give the job to a man who has been in the district for 20 years.
  To say Harvey has done it all would be an understatement.
  He came to the district as an assistant football coach for Donnie Woolsey.
  A few years later, Donnie resigned to take the head coaching job at Easley and Harvey was named the new head football coach. Harvey led the Tigers to the region championship in 2003, and they advanced to the third round of the state playoffs.
  He could have had a successful career as a football coach, but Harvey wanted to get into administration.
  He resigned as head football coach to serve as principal at Hollywood Elementary.  Then took the head job at Saluda High.
  His next move was to the District Office, where he was assistant superintendent.
  Years ago Harvey told me his goal was to be the Superintendent of Saluda School District One.
  He paid his dues, and he made it.
  Thanks, Dr. Mathis for the outstanding job you did as Superintendent.
  This small school system got some outstanding recognition under your leadership, and I know Dr. Livingston will continue what you began.

JEAN HOLSTON

  I was saddened to learn of the passing of Jean Bonnette Holston on Sunday. Jean grew up in Ridge Spring, and is remembered in Saluda from when her husband, Jimmy, was pastor of Red Bank Baptist Church. She was a wonderful musician and was active in the Ridge Choral Society.
  I’ve known her for a long time ... even though I’m a Methodist!
  Funny, how things happen.
  I met Gay Beiers through my college roommate Mickey Gresham. The lived in the Lyman-Duncan area and graduated from Byrnes High School.
  Eventually, Gay ended up as a teacher at Saluda High School, as did her first cousin Amy Allred Renshaw, also of Duncan.
  As it came to pass, Rev. Jimmy Holston, beloved pastor of Gay and Amy at Duncan Baptist Church, became pastor of Saluda’s Red  Bank  Baptist Church.
  To be honest, I can’t remember if Gay or the Holstons came to Saluda first.
  Anyway, my sister Dibbie started dating the Holston’s son Alan, so our families became entertwined for many years.
  Eventually, the Holstons wound up at Ridge Spring Baptist Church, where both Jimmy and Jean were from.
  Jean was a remarkable musician.
  She played at a wedding where my sister Elizabeth and I were singing.
  The song we were doing was a little high. The piano at the church had a dial that you could turn to change the key.
  “But I don’t need it,” she said, laughing with that great smile of hers, and began to play the song in a lower key.
  When I learned of her death, I immediately thought of  the great story of the Ridge Spring High School Class of 1944 Washington trip. According to the story, the trip  was during the war when gasoline was rationed. There were no buses to take them there. Jean’s  father, Roy Bonnette, let the class use one of his tractor trailers.
  Breton Asbill, the local furniture store owner, lent them over-stuffed furniture to fix up the back so they could ride comfortably. A ladder was included to make it easy to get up and down out of this 18 wheel trailer. What a story!
  Not too long ago, Amy posted on Facebook that she and her mother Jo had gone to visit Jean.
  Under the picture, I asked Amy if Jean still played the piano.
  It wasn’t long after that Amy answered my question by posting a video of the over 90-year-old Jean sitting at the piano and playing, “When the Roll is Called up Yonder, I’ll be There.”
  The roll has been called, and she is definitely there!