Tidbits - July 5 2018

TIDBITS by RALPH SHEALY



DOES IT COUNT?

  I had a feeling Air Force One, carrying President Trump, was going to fly over Saluda County last Monday.
  When I saw on the news the giant plane was having to circle the Columbia airport because of a storm, I went outside and looked up.
  In airplane miles per hour, Saluda County is not that far from the airport.
  I have the Planes Live app on my phone, but I’m pretty sure Air Force One does not get any special designation for safety reasons. Besides, I didn’t think about the  app until after the fact.
  Monday, I work on the paper at home, so I went inside.
  Later, I got a text from my nephew Trey across the road. He was having a Bible study  and saw AF1 turn above his house.
  Soon, Facebook was filled with photos of the big plane flying over various locations in the county..
  I hate I missed it!
  Many other people saw it, but did not realize what it was.
  When  I went the vote Tuesday morning, I asked the poll workers if they had seen the plane fly over the day before.
  Melissa Campbell said she did see it while she was setting up the voting machines, but had no idea it was AF1.
  The circling plane brought back a memory I posted on Facebook Monday evening.
  When I played junior high football (there was no such thing as middle school back then), we had a game at Lower Richland in Hopkins on the Sumter Highway (378).
  We had heard in advance that President Lyndon Johnson was flying into Shaw Air Force Base, and driving by limousine to Columbia for some function. The motorcade was going to drive right by the stadium.
  When we heard the sirens in the distance, everybody, and I mean everybody - players, coaches, referees, cheerleaders and fans, made a mad dash to the side of the road where we all waved to the passing president.
  I’m sure President Johnson was impressed.
  I thought that was my only contact with a president, until George W. Bush came to Saluda on the campaign trail, but my old Wing Publications work buddy Roger Wilson reminded me on my Facebook post about the time in 1973 when President Richard Nixon came to Columbia and drove right by our office on Knox Abbott Drive in Cayce. Roger included a nice photo of President Nixon as he rode by.
  I don’t know how I forgot. I was gone from Wing in a fews years, and Nixon was gone as president not too much later.
  So, does President Trump flying low over Saluda County count as a visit?
  Our county has been visited by two presidents, both named George.
  George W. Bush actually visited Saluda twice. When his father was running for president in 1988, George W. walked around town campaigning.
  When he ran for president in 2000, he spoke at a packed Saluda National Guard Armory. I took plenty of pictures that day and got within handshaking range of the future president, although I never did shake his hand. I was taking pictures.
  The other George to visit was our first president George Washington, who spent the night in a house near Ridge Spring.
  I did not take a picture of this event, because cameras had yet to be invented.

DROPPED

  The College World Series title came down to a catchable foul ball that dropped to the ground.
  For those of you who weren’t watching, Arkansas won the first game of the of the best two out of three series with Oregon State.
  In the second game, Arkansas led 3-2 with two outs in the ninth.
  The OSU batter hit a foul ball. The Arkansas first baseman, second baseball and right fielder all gave chase, but it turned out to be a “it’s mine, you take it” situation. The ball fell harmlessly to the ground. If one of the players had hauled in the pop up, Arkansas would be the national champion.
  The batter who got the second chance took advantage and got a hit that knocked in the tying run, Later an Oregon State batter hit  a two run homer, and the Beavers won 5-3.
  Many said on Twitter they doubted if Arkansas could recover from such a devastating loss. They were right.
  The Razorbacks only got two hits the next night and were shut out. The uncaught foul ball gave the national title to Oregon State.
  Anybody who has ever played baseball has been in the same situation as the Arkansas players. How often do you see pros do the same thing?
  I’ve written about the only time I got my name in “The State” paper, other then a basketball box score.
  Saluda played St. Angela in baseball, and the next day the story in the paper said, “Ralph Shealy made a diving catch and threw out two people out from his leftfield position to lead Saluda to a 5-2 win over St. Angela.”
  It was Mooney Player who classified me as “good field, no hit,” when I was chosen for the little all-star team in 1963, and I was always proud to be known as a defensive specialist.
  When I came time for our rematch with St. Angela in Aiken, I took my position in leftfield, ready to be a hero again.
  When a batter hit a foul ball down the leftfield line, I hustled over, put up my glove and flat-out dropped it. I would never drop a pop-up, but I did that day.
  Later in the game, I got picked off third base by the catcher.
  Against the same team, I went from a hero to a goat.
  It’s been 50 years, but I remember the good and the bad like it was yesterday.
  My situation does no compare with the three Arkansas players, however.
  The 1968 SHS baseball team won five out of 17 games. The Razorback no-catch cost their team the national championship.
  That is a life sentence!

WE’RE NUMBER FOUR!

  On the heels of the Fourth of July, South Carolina is the fourth most patriotic state in the country, according to WalletHub,
  Using the website’s formula for making the rankings, patriotism in South Carolina (1=Most Patriotic; 25=Avg.) ranks: 2nd – Average Number of Military Enlistees per 1,000 Civilian Adults; 7th – Active-Duty Military Personnel per 100,000 Civilian Adults; 28th – % of Adults Who Voted in 2016 Presidential Election; 5th – Veterans per 1,000 Civilian Adults; 1st – Civics Education Requirement; 20th – Volunteer Hours per Resident.
  Our most patriotic states are:  1. Virginia; 2 Alaska; 3 Wyoming; 4 South Carolina; 5 Idaho; 6 Colorado; 7 Hawaii; 8 Washington; 9 North Carolina; 10 Georgia.
  Our least patriotic states are: 41 Delaware; 42 Pennsylvania; 43 Michigan; 44 California; 45 Connecticut; 46 New York; 47 Illinois; 48 Rhode Island; 49 New Jersey; 50 Massachusetts.