Tidbits - March 19, 2020

TIDBITS by RALPH SHEALY



NEVER BEFORE...

  I, like the rest of you, have never been through anything like this.
  I, like the rest of you, originally thought the coronavirus scare was much ado about nothing.
  I, like the rest of you, thought the national press had perpetuated a panic.
  The reality hit me when I drove over to Newberry last Wednesday to see my mother at Springfield Place.
  When I arrived, three ladies sitting near the entrance I use, told me to go through the front door.
  I did this, but there was no one sitting at the front desk, so I went to my mother’s room on the second floor.
  She looked surprised when I walked in and said, “I thought there were no visitors.”
  I turned and walked to the nurses’ station and was told the decision was made 30 minutes earlier to ban visitors. I walked  back to my mother’s room and told her “good-bye.”
  I let Jamie, Dibbie and Elizabeth know. We had taken turns visiting on different days, now none of us can visit. There are at least five more residents from Saluda at Springfield, whose families are in the same situation.
  This visitor ban is now in existence at all nursing homes, and most hospitals will have limited visitations.
  Gov. McMaster Sunday announced the closing of the schools, from kindergarten to colleges, until the end of the month.
  Gatherings of over 100 people are not recommended. That eliminates, I guess,  the Saluda High state championship banquet on March 28, and the Farm-City banquet on March 26? That’s just speculation on my part.
  Also, eliminated is the Saluda-Gray Collegiate baseball game at Segra Park in Columbia on March 19. I was really looking forward to that.
  I hope the high school sports can resume. The seniors need to play their last year, or at least conclude a part of it.
  Have you thought of this? What if the threat had come in the fall? Would Saluda have won the 2A state championship? Probably not.
  That’s what players in baseball, softball, track, golf, etc. are facing right now. How sad that is.
  The colleges are giving seniors an extra year of eligibility due to season cancellations. High schools can’t do that.
  If you didn’t believe in the “Chicken Curse” before, you’ve got to agree now. The University of South Carolina women’s basketball team was ranked Number 1 in the nation, then March Madness was cancelled.
  Of course, many Carolina fans are saying the Gamecocks should be declared the national champs since they finished number one. Before the playoffs began, the NCAA football champion was declared as the team that finished number one in the polls. That’s how Clemson won in 1981.
  This is not a UCF situation, when the unbeaten team claimed the national football championship because they beat Auburn in a bowl game, and Auburn beat the national champion Alabama.
  UCF was not ranked anywhere near Number One, when they claimed the title. Dawn Staley’s squad IS ranked number one.
  Since the basketball teams did finish their regular season, the Gamecocks can lay claim to the top ranked women’s team in 2020. May as well give them the trophy, NCAA!
  I saw Sam Hendrix at Punk’s Saturday, and he said, “I never thought I’d see the day when there were no sports.”
  Me, either.
  I really don’t care to see the 2015 AAC basketball championship game replayed on TV.
  I got so desperate I watched the Pete Maravich - George Gervin HORSE competition from 1979 on Twitter Saturday. Pistol Pete won, but it was close.
  I wondered how the sports talk radio was going to handle it, since they can’t replay games .... or maybe they will.
  The first week, they did okay, but how long can talking about the coronavirus last?
  No Master’s. No March Madness. No beginning of baseball season. No NBA championship. No tiddly winks!
  We’re all in this together. Hopefully, this will all pass soon, and we can add it into our memory bank.
  In the meantime, take care of yourselves.
  By the way, I applaud Gov. McMaster, Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman, DHEC leader Dr. Linda Bell, and all the others who took part in Sunday’s press conference. They all knew what they were talking about.
  I haven’t been as impressed with the federal leadership. One says one thing, and another says another. They need to get together.
  By the way II. This the first time I’ve had to redo much of the front page because of a single event. A lead story was the County Council Chairman election, that the governor postponed. The the antique extravaganza was also postponed.....

JOHNNIE MAC GOFF

  I didn’t know Johnnie Mac Goff, but I heard about him all my life.
  He was one of Saluda High School’s greatest passing quarterback. Sadly ironic he should die a few months after Saluda High’s greatest quarterback, Noah Bell, led the Tigers to the State Championship.
  Johnnie Mac led the Tigers to the state championship game in 1956, but the Tigers lost to Summerville.
 Of course, I knew his parents, Johnny and Winifred Goff. Johnny held political offices in the town and county, and was known for his great singing voice. Winifred ran a kindergarten for many years in their house on Jennings Street.
  Johnnie Mac got a football scholarship to Clemson, and devoted his life to education. He eventually became the Superintendent of Education for the State of Ohio.
  Someone commented how remarkable it is that little old Saluda County has produced two state superintendents of education, Johnnie Mac and Molly Spearman.
  Johnnie Mac Goff made Saluda County proud.