Tidbits - June 25, 2020

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TIDBITS by RALPH SHEALY



ON THE COURSE...
  SHS Coach Stewart Young called me a few weeks ago about the football team golf tournament, and I told him I was sure my team would play.
  I didn’t think another thing about it, then I went on vacation, and when I got back I realized the tournament was a week away and I hadn’t contacted anybody on the team.
  Well, Dean Roesner’s son CJ was getting married that day, my brother Jamie was going to be at the beach, and my nephew Morgan thought he was going to have to work.
  Hallelujah, I was not going to have to play!
  Believe it or not, I was about to call Stewart to cancel our team, when Kyle Martin called and said he was thinking about playing. I told him about my three absconding teammates, and Kyle said he would try to find a couple of more players, since I already had a team reserved.
  Kyle found Zach Matthews and his father Jody. Zach, Jody and I share a couple of little relatives named Hannah and Pierce. Jody’s daughter and Zach’s sister Brittany married my nephew Andrew Bowdler. I’ve known Zach and Jody since Zach was a little boy, but I had never played golf with them. I did know that Zach was a very good golfer, and Kyle ain’t  bad.
  Jody is like me. We rarely play. I usually play two or three rounds on vacation, but that didn’t happen this year. I had not picked up a club since the Gentry Tournament in October. Jody had played more recently. The two of us planned to watch Zach and Kyle play, but we decided to go ahead and participate.
  Every now and then I can hit a good drive, and since I play from the gold tees because I’m old, we actually used my drive on two or three holes. I’m pretty worthless after the drive, but I did make one birdie putt.
  Jody made our first three birdie putts, so the old guys did contribute some.
  We had a streak of six birdie holes in a row, and finished ten under. My teams’ normal goal is not to finish last, so ten under was great. We only missed winning by six strokes.
  On number three, if you paid $5 and got on the green with your drive, you got a golf ball with the state championship ring printed on it. Or, for $20 for the team, you all got a ball if one player got on. Jody paid the $20, and Zach was the only player to get on the green.
  I was not embarrassed as a 69-year-old to ask 18-year-old quarterback Noah Bell to autograph that ball after the tournament. Noah was helping to serve the food.
  It was a fun day!


INNOVATIONS
  In these COVID times, we’ve all had to do new things.
  Sunday, we had our second indoor service at Emory since March 15.
  Of course it was different, with masks and hand sanitizer in the vestibule, and pew entrances blocked by blue tape.
  We also can’t have congregational singing. In normal times, if I know a member has a birthday on Sunday, I lead in the singing of “Happy Birthday.”
  Sunday was Carolyn Merchant’s birthday, so, we did something we have never done before, we talked “Happy Birthday.”
  I directed just like always, and no one missed a beat, and everyone was in tune!
  What next?!


LEARNING
 In these days of COVID-19 and social unrest we all need to learn.
 I have a difficult time breathing while wearing a mask, but I’m bound and determined to learn,  because I know we are going to be using them for awhile. If S.C. cases keep going up, we may get a mask at all times order.
  I’ve been around a long time, and try to stay up on historical facts and current events, but I had never heard of “Juneteenth” or “OANN.”
  The President was correct, I think, when he said he made “Juneteenth” famous. Of course, he did that by scheduling a rally in Tulsa in Juneteenth, which caused an uproar. He eventually changed the rally to the June 20th.
  According to the definition, Juneteenth is a festival held annually on the nineteenth of June by African Americans (especially in the southern states), to commemorate emancipation from slavery in Texas on that day (June 19) in 1865.
  Since all the talk on Juneteenth began, the possibility of it becoming a national holiday is picking up steam. Banks even closed at 1 p.m. Friday.
  OANN is One American News Network, a far right news service. I don’t know how to find it, but the President likes it.
  We all heard of OANN, when Oklahoma State football coach Mike Gundy was photographed wearing an OANN T-shirt on a fishing trip, and his star running back, an African American, said he couldn’t play for someone who wore an OANN shirt.
  Gundy was unaware of some of the ideas expounded by OANN, and when he researched and saw what the network said about the Black Lives Matter movement, he apologized for wearing the shirt.
  We are learning about that people from the past must be removed from history, or at least their names removed form buildings and their statues relocated.
  Clemson, led by some ex-football players, removed the name of John C. Calhoun from the honors college. I hate to break it to you, but Thomas Greene Clemson, for whom Clemson was named, was the son-in-law of Calhoun, and much of the land on which the campus is located was originally owned by Calhoun. So, are we going to changed Clemson’s name? USC-Upstate is already taken.
  Strom Thurmond was a Dixiecrat segregationist in the beginning of his political career, but he wasn’t at the end. Joe Biden, the presumed Democratic nominee for president,  spoke at his funeral. James Graham a Saluda native was Sen. Thurmond’s driver for many years, and considered the Senator his best friend. James is black.
  Some are wanting the senator’s name removed from the building on the USC campus, and from Storm Thurmond High School.
  Politicians, who have been in office for 40 years, are now wanting paintings and statues removed in Washington. What took them so long?
  Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben are being removed off the grocery shelves. I’m shocked they lasted this long. Both characters have been modernized on the label. Aunt Jemima originally looked like Mammy in “Gone with the Wind,” with the bandana around her head.
  We all need to learn why these people and items are offensive to others. As the old song said, “walk a mile in my shoes.” It’s easy to be critical if you’ve never been there,
 I hope something good will come out of all this going one.
  God bless America.