Tidbits - September 14, 2017

TIDBITS by RALPH SHEALY



HURRICANES

  If you live in the Southeast, then you have to get used to hurricanes, no matter the part of the area you live.
  My first memory of a hurricane was Gracie in 1959. It came ashore in South Carolina, but the winds reached Saluda County.
  I was eight years old at the time. When you’re that age, you don’t remember a whole lot, but I vividly recall a red aluminum lawn chair being blown across our front yard like a tumbleweed.
  I also remember getting under the kitchen table with my mother, and Jamie and Dibbie  (Elizabeth hadn’t arrived yet). That was pretty scary.
  I have to skip all the way to 1992 for my next big memory, Hugo.
  I spent the night with my grandmother, Elizabeth “Dibbie” Killingsworth, in her house on North Main Street that is no longer there. My grandmother had been living by herself for many years, and was not afraid of the storm, but we thought I should spend the night ... as if I could have done something.
  The wind howled all night, but Saluda County came through with little damage.
  What stood out about Hugo was not only the terrible damage on the coast of our state, but how far reaching the storm traveled.
  Several of my grandmother’s sisters lived at the beach in North Carolina, not far from Calabash,  so they evacuated to another sister’s house in Darlington. There was no damage at their beach homes, but Darlington suffered terrible destruction.
  This weekend Hurricane Irma came to visit.
  So many evacuees came through Saluda Friday and Saturday, most down Main Street, but a good many down Jefferson Street (thanks to GPS).
  Highway 121 (the Woodpecker Trail) used to be a main route to Florida.
  In the last few weeks, Saluda has had many visitors. Hundreds came from all parts of the country to view the eclipse, and the many passed through evacuating from the hurricane.
  Many came because they wanted to, and others came because they had to. What do all these evacuees have to go home to? I pray for them.
  Finally, hats off to Ann Forrest Watkins, Wendy Courson, Jennifer and Grant Gentry, and Saluda policemen Church Padget and Robin Freemen for offering water and snacks to evacuees passing through on Main Street Saturday.
  This was not the work of some organization. Those people just got together out of the goodness of their hearts.
 Sunday afternoon, I was watching Channel 10 and looked up to see Saluda County’s Joy Bodie, Rosa and Mike Berry, and Elise Rodgers being interviewed.
  They were part of the Ridge Baptist Association’s relief team that supplied showers and washers and dryers to evacuees at a rest stop. Good job!
  Monday,our power went off 12 times. That was an all time record for me.
  In six of those outages, I was working on the paper. I learned quickly to save after every word!
  The longest my power was off was 30 minutes. My family a few hundred yards away did not get power until 3 a.m.

WATERED DOWN?

  There was a mad rush by many to buy water as the hurricane approached.
  I saw a meme on Facebook that said, “You drink three sodas a day, yet with a threat of a hurricane approaching you buy four cases of water!”
  I had to laugh.
  This is the honest truth. In my lifetime, I have paid for bottled water three or four times, at most.
  Why spend money for something, you can get out or your faucet for free ... or whatever percentage of your monthly water bill?
  I bought this thing called a hydration bottle. I fill it with water from the tap and put it in the refrigerator. When I finish the water, I refill the bottle. The hydration bottle pays for itself!
  If you’re on town or county water, the water still flows even if your power goes out. At least, it will flow long enough to fill jugs and glasses with water!
  Now, milk and bread are other things, all together!

SO FAR, SO GOOD!

  I just love football season.
  Thursday through Monday you can see games, either in person or on TV. You can see age groups from Rec League to the pros.
  Saturday night presented quite a conundrum to football fans in our state,  becasue Carolina and Clemson were on television at exactly the same time.
  I saw several pictures on Facebook on how fans were moving TVs so they could watch both games at the same time.
  As you all know, I didn’t have to move anything. I have two TVs in my den and in my bedroom all the time.
  In order to watch both games, however, I have Rokus or an Amazon Fire Stick attached to all my TVs. This allows me to use the Watch ESPN app, since both Carolina and Clemson were playing on ESPN channels.
  I continued taping and not watching Carolina’s game live.
  Because of Roku, I was able to watch “Fantastic Beasts” on HBO, while recording the game on ESPN2, with my Amazon Fire Stick on the other TV in my bedroom, I was able to watch Clemson and Auburn.
  While watching those, I was also playing games on my iPad. This was a mistake, because “Fantastic Beasts” is a movie you need to watch every frame, because you can get completely lost.
  That was not a problem with the battle of the Tigers. It was a defensive struggle from the get-go.
  Clemson’s defense was outstanding, sacking Auburn’s alleged prized quarterback an amazing 11 times.
  I’m anxious to see how Louisville’s Lamar Jackson is treated by the Tigers Saturday.
  The Tiger coaches, players and fans all agree DeShaun Watson should have won the Heisman Trophy last year instead of Jackson. I agree with them.
  Lamar is going to be running for his life, but he is a much better runner than Auburn’s Jarrett Stidham. He can make things happens when he’s in escape mode.
  Like the previous week, I had no doubts that Carolina was going to win  Saturday.
  I couldn’t understand why Missouri was favored, being Carolina beat the Tigers last year, and both teams returned most of the same players.
  Deebo Samuel had another kick-off return touchdown. Carolina went something like 15 years without having a kickoff returned for a score, and Deebo has returned three in just two seasons.
  I liked the Gamecock offensive play calling in the game, especially the last score when 6-5, 250-lb. tight end Hayden Hurst got the ball on the jet sweep. He ran over the last batch to tacklers ... as a 250-lb. tight end should.
  Carolina is going to get better. Jake Bentley has yet to have what I call a great game. He has missed a good many open receivers, and he’s slow to get going.
  Once he has a great game, look out!

THE AMAZING THINGS....

  Every now and then, things happen in football that defy logic.
  I’m sure you’ve seen this, but Louisiana Tech had the ball second a goal near the Mississippi State’s goal line Saturday.
  The center snapped the ball over the quarterback’s head and both teams attempted to pick the ball up, but it kept getting kicked and fumbled.
  Finally, a La Tech player recovered the ball at the other end of the field, and the Bulldogs ended up with a third and 93!!!
  They did not score a touchdown or kick a field goal, believe it or not!
  Last week, a Missouri running scored on a long touchdown run, but when he got near the goal line, he dove over the line.
  The referee immediately threw a flag, and took away his touchdown because of excessive celebration.
  The commentators were critical of the call, but that is the rule, sports fans.
  In the past, if you dove over the goal line when no tackler was around, you were awarded the score and the 15-yard penalty was walked off on the ensuring kick-off. Now, you lose your touchdown AND a 15-yard-penalty is walked off from the goal line. Missouri ended up kicking a field goal, if I remember correctly.
  Live and learn, young people. Put your teammates above your self congratulation. This was a 72-43 Missouri win. What if this had happened in a close game?
  I am really sick of the way Notre Dame is idolized by the sports’ press.
  The Irish finished 4-8 last year.
  They opened this season with  win over Temple, and the next week writers and coaches put them in the Top 25. They beat Temple, not Penn State,  but they go into the Top 25.
  Georgia put them back out of the Top 25 with a 20-19 win over the Irish Saturday.
  Winning in South Bend is big any time, but is Notre Dame really a good team, or just a media darling?

SHELBA McGEE

  I was so sad to learn of the passing of Shelba McGee over the weekend.
  Her great-grandson, Christopher Stancel, whom she adored, made the announcement on Facebook through her account.
  I was always enjoyed talking to her when I’d take papers by or buy something at Starvin’ Garvins.
  She endured the sadness of losing two children and her husband to death, but she was strong, had great faith and went on.
  Shelba will be greatly missed.