Tidbits - January 9, 2020

TIDBITS by RALPH SHEALY



WISH I’D SEEN IT

  Well, the good volunteers at Emory Church has almost finished taking down the Christmas decorations Thursday, when they noticed there was a bird in the church.
  Of course, with church on Sunday and a wedding the following week, the bird had to go.
  Emory is not a big church, but with a balcony, vestibule, two side rooms, and the sanctuary, there are plenty of places for a bird to go.
  While the men chased the bird, the women tried to close doors and  balcony windows to keep the bird contained in a general area.
  If you’ve ever had a bird or a bat in your house or business, you know they don’t cooperate.
  They are kind of like a cow, who will jump over a barbed wire fence, even though there is an open gap ten feet away.
  After about a hour of eluding the crew, the bird settled on the floor in the bridal room.
  Jonah McCary took off his coat and threw it over the bird. He quickly gathered up the coat and went out the door to the churchyard and opened his coat, expecting to see the little bird fly off.
  Nothing happened. No bird.
 Jonah said he was sure he had the bird in his coat.
  Despondent, Jonah put his coat back on. When he put his hand in the coat pocket, he suddenly jumped, because something moved.
  It was the bird. As you all know, a bird in the pocket is worth two in the church.
  Imagine if Jonah had not put his hand in his pocket and had taken the bird home. Rickey, Stephanie, Jacob and Jonah, who had chased the bird at church, would be doing it again at home!
  The adventure brings up several thoughts, including “his eye is on the sparrow and I know he watches me.”
  The other is the “Opie, the Birdman” episode on “The Andy Griffith Show.”
  Remember, Opie accidently killed a mother bird with his slingshot, then spent the rest of the episode raising the baby birds.
  At last, Opie realizes the time as come for the birds to go out on their on.
  Opie and Andy take the birdcage out into the yard and release the birds.
  “The cage sure looks awful empty, don't it, Pa?, Opie said.
  “Yes son, it sure does... but don't the trees seem nice and full?,” said Andy.

RAMBLINGS

  Did you know the above mentioned episode of the “Andy Griffith Show’ was the only one in the nearly 250 installments that did not have a single joke.
  I’ve seen many alleged comedies that I did not laugh once in 30 minutes, but this one contained  no comedy on purpose.
  Despite this, the episode is among the all-time favorites, as voted on by fans.
  I’ve been screen shotting interesting things in the last few weeks. Here are some of them:
 •Nine years ago, Maryland fired Ralph Friedgen, who won his bowl game and finished with a 9-4 record.
  How has that firing worked out for the Terps? You might remember, Fried-gen’s coach in waiting at Maryland was James Franklin, who has gone on to have a stellar head coaching career at Vanderbilt and Penn State.
 •Carolina football had a terrible season, but the Gamecocks did play a tough schedule. Did you know the Gamecocks played nine bowl teams, and those teams went 9-0 in their bowl games!
  •Eight years ago Sunday, Clemson was humiliated by West Virginia 70-33 in a bowl game. That led to the hiring of Brent Venables as defensive coordinator, the smartest move Dabo ever made.
  •According to a story, Clemson’s Memorial Stadium was called Death Valley, before LSU’s stadium.
  It was the P.C. head coach Lonnie McMillan who gave the stadium that name, after the Tigers  and Blue Hose played in the season’s opener in 1945.
  McMillan, who had visited the Mojave Desert in 1932, compared the heat on the desert to playing  Clemson in September, saying Clemson was college football’s Death Valley.
  Twenty years later a Clemson alum named Sam Jones was driving through the same desert, stopped and picked up a rock and gave to Clemson head coach Frank Howard.
  Howard put it in his office, but when he tripped over it one day, he told director of IPTAY  Gene Willimon to throw the rock away, or do something with it.
  We all know what Willimon did with it! The rest is history.
  What I didn’t realize is neither team has ever played at the other Death Valley.
  •Yahoo had an interesting story on the profits made by the four football teams that made college playoffs.
  Clemson made a $7.6 million profit on football in fiscal 2018, according to documents obtained through open-records requests. That’s dwarfed by the University of Oklahoma’s $73.3 million, Ohio State University at $64.6 million and Louisiana State University‘s $55 million.
  Many reasons go into the disparity. Clemson spends a lot on football and it certainly pays off, but the school doesn’t get as big a payout from its conference as the other teams do.
  Ohio State made almost $60 million in ticket sales, over twice as much as Clemson. The Buckeyes stadium holds over 100,000.
  •Most of the above involve sports,   but this one was the most thought provoking:
  An exasperated mother, got on a store elevator, carrying packages and keeping her young children nearby
  “Whoever started this whole Christmas thing should strung up and shot,” the mother said.
  From the back of the elevator, a calm voice said, “Don’t worry, we already crucified him.”
  Not a sound was heard the rest of the elevator ride.

COACH KIMMELL

  I was saddened at the passing of former Saluda High coach Jim Kimmell last week in Myrtle Beach.
  Coach Kimmell was an assistant coach for both the 1962 and 1963 state championship football teams, and he was also an outstanding basketball coach. In 1966, he coached both the Saluda girls and boys basketball teams to conference championships.
  When I was in his study hall class my sophomore year, he announced John de la Howe wanted to schedule a game with Saluda’s junior varsity boys basketball team.
  That was well and good, except Saluda didn’t have a jayvee basketball team.
  “You’ll play, want you Shake?” (All the coaches called me by my Daddy’s nickname.)
  “Sure,” I said.
  Until then, my basketball experience was in PE, recess and in my backyard.
  Coach Kimmell got up enough players, we practiced a few times, and we were given some hand-me-down varsity uniforms.
  Before we left for McCormick, some of the varsity players told us de la Howe is where teenage convicted murderers and armed robbers were sent, and urged us to be very careful.
  Of course, none of that was true, but when you’re 15, you’re tend to be gullible.
  Well, de la Howe beat us like a drum. There were no murderers, but there were players who had practiced together for more than a week. They had an actual offense and defense, and used them both.
  It must have been a good experience, because I still remember that game.
  It all came about because Coach Kimmell wanted to help kids at another school who wanted to play a basketball game, and it ended up helping kids at his own school get real game experience.
  When I read Coach Kimmell’s obituary, I realized that when he was an assistant on those two state championship teams, he was only 28 and 29 years old. He came to Saluda High right out of college in 1957.
  Saluda High has some youthful coaches on this year’s state title team, and I’m sure many of them will go on to have careers like Coach Kimmell.
  When he left Saluda, he had head coaching jobs at Lewisville, Newberry, Ches-ter and Latta, but he and his wife Cornelia were still fondly remembered here.
  Mrs. Kimmell died just a few weeks before her husband. They were married for 64 years.
  Coach Kimmell touched many lives in his 36 years as an educator. Many around here are glad we got to know him.