Tidbits - April 16, 2020

TIDBITS by RALPH SHEALY


WEEK WHATEVER

  I am one of those “essential workers,” since I am a member of the media. I even have a letter from the press association, should it ever get to the point police stop people for being on the road or walking on the street. I hope it never gets to that point.
  By necessity, I have to go to the office four days a week. I only stay as long as I have to. Believe me, we have few customers. In fact, the front door opened the other day and I jumped!
  My new adventure of last week was being an Emory representative for delivery of food to students from the Radius Church project.
  I was given a list of stops in the Batesburg Hwy. area by my nephew Trey Shealy. Only one of my stops was actually on the Batesburg Hwy., however.
  I’ve been in Saluda County for 69 years, and I saw places, roads and dogs  I didn’t know existed!
  I had to give Trey a geography lesson after my deliveries were completed, because one of my Batesburg Hwy. area deliveries was near Little River Landing, which is a long way from the Batesburg Hwy. I got to see a lot of the county from my delivery near Amick’s to the Little River landing area. Thank goodness for GPS!
  Thanks to all those at Radius and the community who are in charge of this project, which is in addition to the school lunch deliveries.
  Special recognition should also go to the school district employees who gave up their spring break to continue preparation of lunches and the deliveries to students,
  So much good is coming out of this pandemic. The world may be a better place after it ends.
  Easter traditions were postponed this year.
  One of mine is buying a colorful Easter sport coat. This  began when I came to work for the Keelers at the Standard-Sentinel in 1976. Every Christmas and for my birthday, they would give me sports coat and the pants and tie to match.
  I have continued that tradition, but I buy them for myself. How many sport coats do I have? A bunch, but they are not all the same size. When I came to work here 44-years ago, I wore a size 38 coat. I now wear a 46!
  This year, I didn’t buy an Easter coat, because I knew I wouldn’t be in church on Easter morning.
  We did have a wonderful service at Emory-Nazareth. Our pastor Ken Freeman asked members of both churches to record Easter greetings and send them to him.
  Kevin Painter at Nazareth took those clips, videos of hymn announcements, the scripture reading and a children’s sermon by his children, and put them together to go with the live speaking by Ken and the music played by Carolyn Langford Merchant.  I was a well produced “show.”
  Area pastors participated in a similarly done program on Good Friday. All the talks and music were supplied by the pastors. It was wonderful.
  I was all alone at lunch Easter Sunday when I ate my lasagne and salad I bought at Mig’s Saturday night.
  I envisioned the table of food at our past family gatherings. I thought of my 11 great-nieces and nephews missing out on the annual egg hunt.
  With Jamie assisting in the school food deliveries, Elizabeth working at a Newberry hospital and me being out and about, we did not think a family gathering was a good idea.
  They’ll be more gatherings to come.
  I wrote about my great-niece Hannah’s birthday parade last week. This week another great-niece Willow Bowdler will also not have a party, but her party regulars have been asked to mail her birthday cards. I have a feeling Willow is going to get a lot of money!
  Continue to take care of yourselves and keep praying!

WHY I DON’T

  I put a picture of three of my four cats on Facebook the other day  and called them the Three Musketeers,
  Someone asked their names and I sad, “Cat, Cat and Cat.”
  The four I have are the most affectionate cats I’ve ever had. They’re actually too affectionate, because they almost trip me by walking in front of me.
  I don’t name my cats, because I know not to get too attached.
  I live on the Batesburg Hwy., and with a few exceptions, most of my pets have died in that road.
  I have especially tried to shy my cats away from the road. In the early going when they would try to follow me to the mail box, I would yell at them and run them back to the house.
  I thought it had worked,  because they stopped following me.
  Saturday morning, the Three Musketeers became two. I don’t know why the tabby felt she had to cross that road. You all know that old saying about curiosity and cats.
  I’ll miss “Cat,” but I have a feeling the Two Musketeers have both recently given birth, so the cycle will go on.

I’LL MISS

  I was saddened at the passing of Jimmy Ward last week.
  Jimmy came to Saluda to work at the Milliken Plant and never left. He and his wife, Patricia, a beloved teacher, raised their children Leslie and Jay here. This was home.
  Most remember Jimmy as Saluda County’s Economic Development director. Under his guidance, the Saluda County Chamber of Commerce was reborn.
  County citizens went through Clemson’s Palmetto Leadership, and because so many positive things came out of the program here, “The State” newspaper came to Saluda to do a story. On the front page of the tabloid section was a picture of Jimmy and me (I was the Chamber president).
  That paper is framed at my home and office!
  Before he became development director, Jimmy operated a clothing store, The Wardrobe, in the former location of Simon Wolf’s.
  I watched Johnny Carson’s “Tonight Show” every night, and Jimmy’s store featured the Johnny Carson suit and sport coat line.
  I saved my money and bought a beige, wool Johnny Carson suit from the Wardrobe.
  It may have been my favorite suit ever, but, unfortunately, the lapels were wider than the Little Saluda River and they soon went of out style. 
  Not wanting to give the suit up, I got Grace Ouzts to narrow the lapels! Unfortunately, I son outgrew the suit.
  I have many other good memories of Jimmy, and I know for a fact he loved Saluda County. He could have gone anywhere in his industrial career, but he stayed here.
  I was saddened at the passing of my old college friend, Sumpter Cassels in Charleston.
  To wonder what kind of person Sumpter was you need only know that he videoed himself being loaded into the ambulance the week he died and posted it.
  Sump had emergency heart surgery, and it was successful, but complications developed later and he died.
  We meet in 1969 on the 7th floor of Burney in the Honeycombs at Carolina. This was a “Duke’s mixture” of boys - white, black, Protestant, Catholic, Jew, Southerners, Northerners, small town boys and city slickers. We even had a Vietnam war veteran.
  After awhile, we began to call ourselves the “7th Floor Studs,” which was a joke if I’ve ever heard one.
  During the football season, banners were placed dorms cheering the Gamecock football team on. Sumpter and my freshman roommate Al Steele decided they wanted to put a banner up on our dorm.
  I was pretty good at art, so I ruined someone’s rented sheet, and drew a Gamecock and lettered the banner. That done, how do you hang it?
  You go up on the roof and climb over the side. In their alpaca sweaters, khaki pants and penny loafers, they put their feet in the honeycomb bricks and hung that banner, seven stories up! The “Gamecock” newspaper got word of this and took a picture of the two daredevils and put it in the paper.
  You know how it is. When school ends you go your separated ways, and lose contact. Sumpter did pass through Saluda a few years ago, and stopped by the office.
  Then that miracle called Facebook came along, and many of the former “7th Floor Studs” reconnected.
  We all mourned when Mickey Gresham died last year, and now we mourn Sumpter.
  He may be gone, but the memories will forever linger. “Forever to thee.”