Tidibits - June 14, 2018

TIDBITS by RALPH SHEALY



FORTY YEARS!!!

  This past weekend the 40th Young Farmers Truck & Tractor Pull was held.
  Wow, time flies!
  As a member of the Saluda Civitan Club, I was involved in the first few Pulls, selling concessions.
  Like many people, the Civitans had no idea what a tractor pull was. We heard the tractors and trucks pulled a sled. That didn’t sound too exciting.
  We also had no idea how many would attend that first event at the Saluda County Airport.
  Envisioning attending fundraising events, the Civitans built a mobile concession trailer. We used it primarily at the little league field next to the pool.
  We could cook hotdogs, corndogs, fries and pour drinks. It was air conditioned, so it was not an unpleasant place to work at the ballfield.
  The we took the “show on the road” at that first tractor pull.
  We were smart enough to confine the cooking to the trailer, and we sold drinks under a tent next door.
  We were fortunate that Alfred Adams of the Red & White was a member of the Civitans. If we ran out of anything, we could make a dash to town to restock. But, of course, we wouldn’t run out of anything, would we? Who’s going to show up for a tractor pulling a sled?
  Friday was amateur night, allowing local citizens the opportunity to destroy their expensive tractors and trucks .... and they did.
  We learned how the pull worked, and it was pretty fun to watch.
  Friday, was a pretty good crowd, and we kept up with the demand in the concession stand. This was going to be a breeze!
  Saturday took a page from “The Field of Dreams:” “If you build it, they will come.”
  The crowd started pouring in to see the pros pull, and they kept coming. We heard traffic was backed up for miles on the Johnston Highway.
  Everybody came to the pull with a common trait. They were hungry!
  We were able to keep up while the pull was going on, but when there were breaks between categories, pull fans were lined up outside our windows as far as the eyes could see.
  We couldn’t keep up. A watched corn dog cooker never fries.
  That air conditioner may was well have been a space heater.
  Runners brought us more food for the trailer, and canned drinks for the tent next door.
  And then ... guess what? It rained!
  Our concession stand began to shock everybody that touched it, but the people still didn’t stay away!
  When the pull was finally over that Saturday night, we had a bunch of worn out Civitan members, and the “good news” was we had to go through it again on Sunday afternoon.
  Sunday was a good crowd, but it was nothing like Saturday night. We were able to keep up with orders pretty well.
  We also had a better chance on Sunday to watch the crowd, particularly a beautiful long, legged blonde. She was there for all three days, and every time she moved, she had young men following her like she was the Pied Piper.
  We couldn’t follow her, but we were able to take turns sticking our head out of the window to watch.
  The Young Farmers and the Civitans learned a lot that weekend, mainly that the Truck & Tractor Pull was here to stay.
  The Civitans in the early 80’s asked County Council for use of County Home property on the Batesburg Highway to build the Saluda County Recreation Complex. Council granted that request.
  Not long after that, the Young Farmers also asked Council for use of land near the Rec Complex. Soon, the Pull had a permanent home.
  The move was good for the Civitans,  because we could store food and drinks  in our concession stand next door. We were prepared for the crowds back then, so we thought.
  That move to the new stadium brought even bigger crowds. It was something.
  The Young Farmers, by allowing the Civitans to sell concessions in those early years, helped support the youth sports program in our county.
  Through gate receipts, they have been able to supply scholarships to many students seeking a career in agriculture.
  The Pull has been Saluda County’s biggest spectator event for 40 years now, and we all appreciate what the Young Farmers have done.
  There is no Saluda Civitan Club today, but the former members still reminisce and laugh about those concessions days!

FSU BLUES

  Florida State baseball has some records it would like to forget.
  The Seminoles have the most trips to the College World Series, without winning a title, 22. Clemson is second at 12.
  FSU has also made more Super Regional appearances that any college team, 16. Carolina has made 13, tied for third with LSU.
  Florida State’s  loss this year in the regionals was particularly painful. The Seminoles were up 2-0 with two men on and two outs in the bottom of the ninth. The Mississippi State batter hit a three run homer, and FSU was eliminated and their Super Regional host spot was surrendered.
  There is always sports’ irony,
  I don’t know how many times the Florida State softball team has played in the World Series, but the Seminoles won the national title last week. That is some consolation for the school.

GOOD ONE!

  Like all of you, I’ll be so glad when the primaries are over.
  The incessant commercials have driven me nuts. It wouldn’t be so bad of they weren’t the same ones over and over.
  I have enjoyed the political cartoons. My favorite was by Robert Arial in “The State.”
  The top panel shows a candidate in a race car and the caption: “What candidate for governor promise...”
  The bottom panel is entitled “The Reality.” It shows the candidate sitting in a child safety seat, honking a bicycle horn. Driving the car is the Legislature.
  I talk back to most of these commercials. When they say what they are going to do, I usually respond, “No, you’re not!”