Tidbits - October 4 2018

TIDBITS by RALPH SHEALY

NOW, I KNOW

  Wayne Grice, Danny Bledsoe and I were looking for a place to eat in Aiken Friday, when a Five Guys suddenly appeared.
  Wayne’s truck automatically pulled in, and we each paid a small fortune for our great burger meal.
  Naturally, I took a picture and put it on social media with the question, “Did you know Aiken had a Five Guys?”
  Many people, who go to Aiken regularly, knew, and were aghast that I didn’t know.
  Even though Aiken is 38 miles form Saluda, and less than that from my house if I cut through the country, it’s a town I’ve rarely gone to. In fact, I can remember every time I’ve been to Aiken in my life!
  The first time was to Kennedy Middle School. We passed this school Friday, and I remember I had gone there for a middle school football game or something in my youth.
  The next time was to Aiken High School for my SAT test or college boards, as we called them back then.
  There were two momentous things that happened that day,  and neither of them were the test.
  Believe it or not, I had my first real pizza that day.
  Saluda had no pizza joints back then, so the only pizza I had ever had were the little round frozen pizzas from Piggly Wiggly and the rectangular pizza slices we had for school lunch.
  A bunch of us went to a pizza place in downtown Aiken for lunch. I did not know what a pepperoni was, so my first pizza was plain cheese. It was heavenly, the best thing I had ever eaten.
  On future dates to Greenwood, I became more cosmopolitan by introducing myself to pepperoni and other toppings, and I have been hooked ever since.
  After lunch, Robert Kirkland, who knew something about Aiken, told me to follow behind his car. There was something he wanted to show me and the classmates who were riding with me in Daddy’s car.
  “Sure,” I said.
  Robert was going pretty fast when he topped a hill. I followed closely behind and was horrified when Daddy’s Plymouth went airborne. It was like a scene out of “Bullit.”
  As I crash landed, I could see the backseat passengers in Robert’s ‘57 Chevy looking through the back window laughing!
  I learned never to follow Robert again.
  Robert also took us through Saluda County’s famous Loop de Loops a few months later, where we got stuck, but that’s another story.
  It was the 70’s before I returned to Aiken.
  Daddy had a doctor’s appointment and I drove him over in my Plymouth Arrow.
  Being from Saluda, I was still not used to railroad tracks, so I hit some tracks too fast. That was back in the days when we didn’t wear seatbelts and that little car, with no suspension, threw Daddy’s head into the ceiling ... a couple of times.
  I cannot print here what he said, but was it wasn’t nice. It didn’t help that I laughed. I slowed up when I got to the tracks coming home.
  It was also in the 70’s that I went with my girlfriend at the time for a weekend visit to her sister and husband’s home in Aiken.
  I did not return to Aiken until the regional Gamecock Club meetings were held at USC-Aiken in the Lou Holtz era. I went to two of those.
  A few years later, I attended my niece Erin Shealy Coleman’s graduation from USC-Aiken. I saw downtown Aiken from the first time since 1967, when we went to eat. The restaurant area was very impressive.
  I also learned a little about all the one way streets downtown, but not enough.
  In 2007, three couples attended the Kenny Rogers concert at the new USC-Aiken Convocation Center. Since, I had been to the restaurant row before, I drove us downtown for supper, going down a couple of one-way streets the wrong way! We got lucky.
  I did not return to Aiken until three years ago, when Saluda played Midland Valley, and we ate there on the way to the Mustang Field.
  Friday, Saluda played Silver Bluff, so driving through Aiken was required.
  So, there you have it, I have been to Aiken ten times in my life, so I am disqualified from knowing the city has a Five Guys!

PETTICOAT JUNCTION

  I don’t think anyone will be offended when I say Silver Bluff High School is in the middle of nowhere.
  Even though I hadn’t been there since the 80s, that’s one thing I remember about the school. “Where are we?”
  Silver Bluff is actually located in a community called Petticoat Junction.
  On several occasion Friday during the SaludaNow telecast, Burton Campbell played the theme song from the old “Petticoat Junction” TV show. Of course, I knew all the words.
  When I was a little boy, Tuesday was my day to spend the night with my grandmother, Eugenia Shealy.
  It was also choir practice night, and Mr. Earl Steadman, the choir director, would pick up Mammy and me and take us to practice at Emory.
  When we got back home, we watched “The Red Skelton Show,” “Green Acres,” and “Petticoat Junction.”
  Burton brought back those memories of my staying at my grandmother’s house by playing the theme. Those were good times.

WHAT CAROLINA NEEDS!

  Where is Kelly Bryant when you need him?
  I’m not talking about at Clemson. I’m talking about at Carolina.
  Clemson may not need him, but he would really help the Gamecocks, right now. He’s a winner, and Carolina needs some winners on the team.
  It was quite a memorable week.
  Dabo Swinney made the announcement that he would start freshman Trevor Lawrence against Syracuse, instead of senior Kelly Bryant.
  Kelly did not take the demotion so well. He announced he would transfer.
  Dabo seemed surprised, but why did he decide to change quarterbacks on the fifth game of the year? Under new NCAA rules, players can participate in four games and still be eligible for a redshirt year. If Dabo had waited until next week, Kelly would have had to finish his career at Clemson.
  I feel sorry for Kelly. He paid his dues and had a 16-2 record as a starter. I don’t know why Dabo felt it necessary to make the move, but it was a slap in the face.
  Clemson and Alabama are the only teams in the country who can bench a quarterback who led them to the play-offs the year before.
  Will this move hurt Clemson recruiting. They’ve already lost three talented quarterbacks and several defensive linemen to transfers. The Tigers may be too talented.
  You knew, didn’t you, when Trevor became the starter and Kelly leaving, Trevor would get injured. 
  Dabo was quoted a few weeks ago Clemson could win the ACC with their third string quarterback. He got a chance to see of his statement was true.
  So far, it is. The third string quarterback led a last second comeback and Clemson snatched victory from the jaws of defeat.
That’s what winners do. Losers play like Carolina did Saturday night.
  What an embarrassing performance!
  There was every reason in the world for the Gamecocks to play well against Kentucky. The Wildcats had beaten them four straight times, and were unbeaten and ranked 17th in the country. This would be a great win for the Carolina program.
 Unfortunately, the team needed for that big win didn’t make the trip. The team from Midlands Tech dressed in the Gamecock uniforms.
  It’s not all Jake Bentley’s fault, but he is getting a reputation throughout the SEC.
  Someone named SEC Mike issued the following tweet Sunday: “South Carolina spin zone: Jake Bentley only has a season and a half left to disappoint Gamecock fans in big games.”
 I like Jake, but he has not improved one iota in his three seasons. Just like the tweet, you know Jake is going to choke in big games.
  Clemson’s third team quarterback didn’t choke against Syracuse. Jake Bentley would have thrown that game away, too, most Gamecock fans would agree.
  I’m ready for Muschamp to give somebody else a chance. What have the Gamecocks got to lose?
  No matter who the quarterback is, the SEC’s “best” receiving corps has got to catch passes.
  The season is not over. Like someone said, the Gamecocks lost to Georgia and Kentucky last year also, and they still won nine games.
All fans hope to see some immediate improvement.
  Carolina teams in the good old days played well against ranked team. In that regards, the 2018 team has been a miserable flop.
  I’ve said many times, I’ve only missed two Saluda High football games since 1977.
  Friday’s game at Silver Bluff was one of the finest Saluda defensive performances against a quality team I have ever seen.
  Sure, there have been dominating defensive performances against cream puffs, but Friday night the Tigers shout out a team that was averaging 37.8 points per game!
  The offense kept the ball away from the Bulldogs. It wasn’t flashy, but it was effective, and more importantly, it was a win.
  The last two seasons, Saluda has played a tough non-region schedule, then coasted through the conference, going unbeaten both years.
  Things have certainly changed this year.
  As we talked football after church Sunday, David Winn mentioned eight of the ten Saluda opponents are either currently ranked, have been ranked, or have received votes to be ranked. Pelion and Mid-Carolina are the only two not to get in mention, but they are also both 3-A teams.
  With Silver Bluff, Abbeville, Batesburg-Leesville, Ninety Six, Fox Creek and Saluda in the same conference, Fox Creek is the only team in the league that doesn’t have a football state championship trophy in its case. They do have a recent baseball title, though.
  Each game will be a dogfight, and wins came at a premium. That’s why Friday’s game was so important.
  Because some 2-A conferences in the upstate don’t have many schools playing football, five teams from Saluda’s region will go to the playoffs.
  Seeding is what is important.
  Friday, the Tigers take on old rival Ninety Six at the Wildcat Stadium.
  The Wildcats are 6-0 and are scoring over 40 points a game. The Tigers will need that Silver Bluff defense, and a high scoring offense.
  I am really looking forward to this game ... and the Cheeseburger Hut. I know it’s there!