Tidbits - May 9 2019

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TIDBITS by RALPH SHEALY



SLITHERING

  If you follow me on Facebook, you know my snake story
  This is for those who don’t.
One day last week on my daily walk, I saw a snake swimming in the pond, so I videoed it ... from a distance.
  I posted the video on social media, and soon snake experts let me know the snake was a copperhead, because it was swimming above the waterline.
  The mere mention of the word “copperhead” petrifies me, because it brings back a terrifying event from my youth I have mentioned here before.
  We were vacationing in a cabin at the Myrtle Beach State Park. My cousin Judy Shealy went with us to help look after the children who were Dibbie three, Jamie five and  I was seven.
  Seems everyday on our walk to the beach Judy would lift a child,  whose hand she was  holding, into the air because a snake slithered across the path.
  Later in the week my Aunt Kay Killingsworth and her fiance Keith Parris visited.
  They were going out for supper, but soon rushed back into the house.
  “Something bit me. It might have been a snake,” Kay said.
  “If it was a snake, there would be two bite marks,” my mother said.
  There were two bit marks.
  Daddy and Keith went down to the yard and killed a copperhead moccasin.
  Soon, Keith loaded Kay into his red and white, 1956 Chevy, and rushed to the hospital.
  This was 1958. There were no cellphones and there was no phone in the cabin.
  We didn’t know if Kay’s life was in danger. All we could do was wait and pray.
  It seemed like an eternity, but Kay returned to the cabin with her ankle wrapped. She was going to be okay.
  That night began my fear of snakes ... and copperheads.
  On my walk the next day after seeing the copperhead, I saw another snake in the water.
  Friday, Dibbie posted on Facebook her terrifying experience of finding a huge black snake on her decorative goose on her back porch. She got Shane Bryan to remove it. It was a huge, but non-poisonous snake.
  Friday afternoon on my walk around the pond, I saw another snake. This one was not a copperhead because he wasn’t swimming above the waterline.
  I crossed the dam, and when I got to the area where I had seen the copperhead, my kitten was hiding in the grass and jumped out at me!!!!
  Like I said on Facebook, I did my best Fred Sanford, “I’m coming, Elizabeth!” impression.
  My heart was still racing as I walked a few yards, and my phone rang, and that scared me again! It was a durn spam call, too.
  Since I saw that first snake last week., I have been walking with a golf club or a big stick.
  I started to take my .22 rifle, but it’s too heavy to lug on a two mile walk.
  The kitten? It was waiting for me in the grass the next lap, but I saw him this time.
  The kitten loves to jump out at me from behind trees or from under vehicles.
  He better start paying attention to my stick!

ATMOSPHERE?

  I don’t understand how television and radio waves work. It’s pretty amazing stuff.
  Last Tuesday morning there was not a cloud in the sky, but I lost Channel 10 on my antenna connected television. So, I turned it to Channel 19, and soon it went off the air. Channel 25 was next. Same thing.
  Normally, on my way to Greenwood, the morning radio station I listen to loses its signal about two miles up the Greenwood Highway, so I switch to a Greenwood station.
  Tuesday, the station made it all the way to Good Hope, then the county line, then into Greenwood County, and finally into Greenwood.
  I listened to the station while I was in Greenwood and on the way home.
  Then, about two miles from Saluda, I lost the signal. I was normal in reverse!
  It made no sense.
  This reminded me of my teenage years, when few people had FM radios in their cars.
  The station we listened to in our cars at night back then? WOWO, 1190 AM,  in Fort Wayne, Indiana!
  I wonder if WOWO knew southern kids were listening well over 500 miles away!
  My late cousin Johnny Shealy would listen to WSM in Nashville on my Grandmother’s antique radio she kept in the kitchen, and when it lost the signal, he’d get in his car and drive until he picked up the signal again. He’d then pull over and listen.
  Wednesday morning, I was listening to sports on 107.5 and suddenly it disappeared and the station in Greensboro, NC, came through clear as a bell. It was cloudy that morning.
  You know what’s funny? I Googled WOWO to see if it was still on the air. It is. It even has a FM station. Would you believe 107.5! So, some cloudy day or late at night......

COMMANDER GOOBER

  Every now and then something pops up on social media that is beyond belief.
  The other day MeTV shared a story on Facebook that was shocking.
  It said Ray Bradbury, who created the series “Star Trek,” originally offered the roll of Spock to George Lindsay, or as we know him, Goober Pyle!
  Think about that. The Spock ears on Goober, as he says, “Judy, Judy, Judy, beam me up, Scotty.”
  We forget George Lindsay was an actor before “The Andy Griffith Show.” Often, he played bad guys in Westerns.
  How could a country bumpkin play Spock? Well, before he was an actor, Goober was a high school science teacher.
  He joined the actors who played Andy, Barney and Gomer, as being college graduates. Andy Griffith had a music degree from UNC and he, too, started out as a teacher.
  How different would his life have been had Goober not turned down “Star Trek?” I’m sure he never would have been on “Hee Haw!”
  Hollywood equates a Southern accent with stupidity, but I guess Southerners can be as guilty if we don’t think the actor playing Goober Pyle could actually be smart.
  I’ll never forget the shock I felt the first time I read the 1890 program of the Emory High School commencement.
  There was no Saluda County back then, nor was there a Saluda. The closest dot on the map was Mt. Willing, which was basically a store.
  So, at this school in the middle of nowhere, these “Goober Pyle” students performed a scene from “Hamlet!”
  I kid you not. That’s Shakespeare, folks.

IN THE DARK

  Last week’s episode of “Game of Thrones” was epic.
  At least, that’s what I heard. Oh, I watched for nearly an hour and a half, but I had a hard time seeing anything.
  The entire episode was filmed at night, and it took them 55 nights to complete the episode.
  What a shame to put that much effort and expense. Torches do not put out much light.
  It wasn’t just me. That was the talk across all the entertainment media last week.
  People with a lot more sophisticated TVs than mine were complaning, and rightfully so.
  I hope the series comes to an end in the daylight .... so I can see who gets killed!