Tidbits - October 18 2018

TIDBITS by RALPH SHEALY


ROUTINE, ROUTINE...

  I have been writing my column on Monday night for nearly 40 years.
  Things were rolling right along on Sunday afternoon, when the thought suddenly hit me our paper will get printed on Monday night.
  I had to change my routine, and write my column on Sunday.
  I spent a good portion of last week resizing ads, column heads and fillers for our new format. It took some time, but it will be easier as we go along, and the future ads will be set as they come in.
  All the change takes me back to when I started in this profession at Wing Publications in West Columbia.
  I was associate editor on several magazines, and four state American Legion monthly newspapers.
  The Legion publications had editors who supplied all the news copy. The magazines, all sports related, I had to gather the information myself.
  I would type stories on an IBM Selectric typewriter.
  I “grew up” with the old manual typewriters.
  The IBM was not only electric, it had a tape ribbon and a correction tape. No White Out was ever needed.
  Young people are saying, “What is White Out?,” I know.
  I would type the stories and then send them upstairs to the typesetters, who would type them again! The stories were punched on a computer tape, about a half a inch wide. The tape was wound on a reel, like a movie or tape recorder.
  I know, young people are asking, “What is a movie reel and a tape recorder?”
  The reels were taken and put through a large machine where the holes in the tape were converted to type galleys.
  The galleys were proofread, the corrections were made by typing only the line that had the mistake. The corrections were put put on a reel and run through the machine.
  The layout department would cut out the corrected lines and glue them over the mistakes.
  They also drew borders for ads by hand.
  A copy of the corrected galleys and ads were delivered to me, and I would cut them out and lay out the publication.
  I’d send the “dummy” to the layout department and they would use the actual galleys and follow my design.
  They put it in masks for photographs. In the printing department, negatives would be stripped in.
  The whole process for one magazine would take one or two weeks.
  Today, we can do all that on the computer screen in less than a day for a newspaper.
  When I first came to work at the Sentinel, I set type on a small machine that showed only one line at a time. If you caught a mistake, you could correct it, but once that line was gone, it was gone.
  There was no saving on that machine, so each week I’d have to set everything over. Legal notices, for instance, use the same wording and all you have to change is the new names, etc., on a saved copy.
  Back then it all had to be set over.
  Then we got typesetters with a screen that had the capabilities of saving type on a five-inch floppy disc. Hallelujah!
  We used phototypesetting paper that had to be run through chemicals that developed the type galleys like a photograph.
  In 1991, we bought our first computers and the rest is history.
  I’ve been learning new things all my life, but I wonder when I am going to hit a wall.
  I get gas at the same place almost all the time, because I don’t want to learn how to use another gas tank. When I go on  vacation at the beach, I also use the same station in Cherry Grove.
  Monday is going to take some getting used. I usually work until 11 p.m., putting the paper together. Now, with our 3 p.m. Monday deadline to email the paper to the new printer, I can do that work Monday morning.
  I won’t have to write the County Council story when I get home from the Monday meetings, either, since the paper will get printed that night. I can write the story during the week.
  I think I am going to like this new arrangement ... except I can’t drop papers off at The Circle on the way back from Lexington. I’ll be going in two directions on Tuesday!
  P.S. As I mentioned technology above, some of you may have seen a clip recently on social media. Some youngsters were shown an old rotary telephone, and were asked to dial a number. Most of them could not figure it out. It made me feel smart! I could dial a phone when I was six!

THE “A’s” HAVE IT

  The question many football fans have in our area is, “How is it possible for Alabama and Abbeville to get better every year?”
  You can understand a powerhouse college team getting better, because they can recruit.
  But a small high school? Abbeville has won three straight state championships. Saluda is well of aware of that, because the Panthers and the Tigers have made in the Upperstate Championship game for three straight years. We can say the Tigers might have three state title trophies in a row, if it weren’t for Abbeville.
  The great teams in the upper classifications have a large pool of talent to draw players. Smaller schools, like Abbeville and Saluda, do not. You play the hand that’s dealt.
  Abbeville has been dealt a good hand for a long time, and Abbeville High School has 60 less students than Saluda.
  Alabama is the defending college National Champion. When Tua Tagovailia was started at quarterback in the second half against Georgia, the face of Alabama football changed.
  Instead of being an offense that was outstanding on the ground and mediocre through the air, Alabama became a team that does everything well.
  So far this year, Alabama has won games by scores of 51-14, 57-7, 62-7, 45-23, 56-14, 65-31 and 39-10.
  Texas A&M, who lost to Clemson 28-26  and beat Carolina 26-23, got beat by Alabama 45-23.
  When I watched Bama beat Missouri 39-10, it almost seemed like a close game.
 How about the other “A?”
  Abbeville has won by scores of 57-0, 49-0, 52-17, 43-28, 55-7, 50-0, and 36-7. These game were not against cupcakes. They include teams like Lincoln County, GA. Newberry, Emerald and Batesburg-Leesville.
  Abbeville’s closest game was the 43-28 win over Southside Christian, a team that beat Saluda.
  Abbeville will finally come to Saluda Friday night. The Tigers have ended their season  at historic Hite Field the last three years. It will be good to see Abbeville in white jerseys for a change.
  The Tigers have played an extremely tough schedule this year, and Abbeville will be the best teams they’ve seen. Saluda will not be intimidated. It’s not like the two teams haven’t played each other lately.
  Finally, Jake Bentley played his typical lousy first half Saturday, throwing an interception in the end zone.
  Most fans were not surprised, but in Jake’s defense Deebo Samuel and Bryan Edwards dropped potential touchdown passes. Shi Smith, who people bragged had never dropped a pass, dropped two in the game.
  Jake is never going to get any better, but the  biggest disappointment on the team is the receivers, who some said were the best receiving corps in the nation.
  They have let their team down ... every game, and that is not the quarterback’s fault.