Tidbits - February 18, 2021

TIDBITS by RALPH SHEALY

THRILLED
  In my nearly 70 years, I never thought the day would come when I’d be thrilled to get a shot, but on Thursday, February 11, when I stood outside the door of the Emmanuel Clinic and called the number on the door and asked if they had any vaccine left, and the voice said, “Yes,” I was thrilled!
  When the age limit was set at 70, I had reconciled myself to do my best to hold on for a couple of months until my birthday. Then the age limit was dropped to 65, and I began my search.
  I went online last Monday and filled out the application to get the shot at Self in Greenwood. They preferred a cell phone number for call back purposes, but I have an app on my phone that sends any calls from number not in my contact list to voice mail. I was not going to turn off that app and get inundated with spam calls for days, so I gave them my home landline number.
  In the meantime, Channel 10 did a story on the Emmanuel Clinic in Saluda, saying they had 400 vaccines, but had only given one shot, because of  the online registration confusion.
  The clinic and DHEC got together, and Emmanuel started giving walk-in shots.
  My sister Dibbie had an  optometrist appointment Wednesday, and walked over to Emmanuel to check it out. She soon texted she got a shot, and urged me to go.
  Well, I, too, had an eye appointment Wednesday, but developed a case of nausea that morning and had to cancel. I would attempt to get the shot on Thursday.
  After getting an answering machine twice, I decided to ride up to Emmanuel, and in 20 minute’s time, I was in and out.
  I got my shot within a minute of walking in. There was no going to a private room. The nurse came to where I was sitting in the waiting room, and popped the needle in me. It didn’t hurt. After the required 15 minute waiting period, I was free to go.
  My brother Jamie decided to go to Emmanuel later, and he got his shot. All four siblings have been inoculated. Elizabeth, who works at Newberry Hospital, has already gotten both her shots. Jamie, Dibbie and I will get our second in March.
  There were four in the waiting room when I got my shot, and we talked about the shots we got in our youth and how we hated to go to the Health Department to get shots.
  The Health Department back then was just across the street from Dr. Wise’s office, the current location of Emmanuel. We were in familiar territory.
  We also talked of getting shots at school.
  I recalled one shot made me so sick that I threw up on the school bus just as it stopped at my house.  Jamie was right behind me, and when I threw up, he followed suit.
  I understand the bus driver pulled into Larry Thompson’s driveway up the road, and he hosed down the bus. Sorry.
  We also talked about the polio vaccine. We took that in two doses, too, and it worked.
  I hope and pray the COVID vaccine works, too.
  I know many do not want to take the shot.   There will never be anything in this day and time that all people agree.
  I just want the day to return when we can visit nursing homes, and sing Christmas cantatas, and pack a football stadium, and go to birthday parties.
  Just things we used to take for granted.
  By the way, after getting my shot at Emmanuel Thursday afternoon, I got a call from Self Regional offering to set up an appointment. Go to Emmanuel, or fill out a form online. You can get your shot.


BASKETBALL
DOLDRUMS
  This COVID year has really taking its toll on men’s college basketball.
  Have you seen this?
  Of the 13 winningest men’s college basketball teams of all time, Kentucky, Kansas, North Carolina, Duke, Temple, Syracuse, UCLA, Notre Dame, St. John’s, Indiana, Arizona, Utah and Cincinnati, none of them are currently ranked in the Top 25.
  That is unreal. Kentucky has a record like 6-13.
  Clemson has a winning record. The Tigers have some good wins, mixed with some lopsided losses.
  The Gamecocks are terrible, except on the occasion when they beat a top 25 team.
  COVID has really hampered Carolina in that the Gamecocks missed five early games, and several players and Coach Frank Martin have had the virus. Early games are when your team has a chance to meld into a unit. This team is not melding, they are melting.
  Like during football season, some fans are calling for the head coach to be fired. Will Muschamp never proved to me he was much of a head coach, but I don’t have those same feelings about Frank Martin.
  I think he is a great coach, who has the uncanny ability to recruit great athletes who absolutely can’t shoot from the field or the free throw line. How he does it I don’t know. I’ve never seen a team have so many brick throwers, every single year.
  Of course, the object of basketball is to put the ball in the basket. That is why it is called basketball. It’s not called  ”look how high I can jump ball.”
  I don’t want Martin to be fired. Let him have at least one more season under normal circumstances.


UNDER THE LAKE
  JoAnn Shealy brings me Junior Padgett’s poem every Friday.
  Like me, she saves everything, and occasionally she brings me pictures she’s taken or articles she’s saved and I’ll put them on Facebook.
  Last week she brought me some photos of tombstones she took when Lake Murray was drastically lowered in 1990. The graveyard was previously underwater near what was then Lake Murray Campground.
  I put the pictures on my Facebook page and also put them on the “Abandoned, Old and interesting places” page.
  Holy cow, did this post take off! On the “Abandoned” site along, it got nearly 1200 likes and over 350 comments.
  I was surprised, because I thought everyone knew there were graveyards, churches, house, bridges, etc. under Lake Murray. They didn’t.
  Many were horrified that graves were not moved. SCE&G offered to pay to move the graves, but many of the families opted to leave their loved ones where they lay.
  The comments were interesting. Many were made by descendants of families who were displaced by the lake.
  Lake Murray is not just a body of water....


WILLIE SCOTT
  I was so saddened at the passing of Carolina football Hall of Famer Willie Scott last week.
  Willie, a  6-5, 250-lb. tight end, was a first round draft choice, as was his Heisman Trophy winning teammate George Rogers is 1981. Willie was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs, and George was drafted by the Saints.
  After a 10-year NFL career, Willie went into to coaching, first in colleges, and then to high schools. He joined the coaching staff at Saluda High when he became a career development facilitator at Saluda Middle School. That’s how I got to know him. He and my sister Dibbie had offices in the same building.
  Although I was older, I was still in awe of this former Gamecock star. Willie did not act like a star. He acted like a nice, humble guy from Newberry. There was not an ounce of arrogance in him.
  Willie thrilled the middle school and high school students, when he brought George Rogers over to speak. Of course, George brought his Heisman. He even left it in care of my niece, Erin, who was the middle school media specialist, for a couple of days.
  Willie Scott cared about students and every person he met.
  He had such a big heart, and it’s sadly ironic that physically he had a bad heart. He was waiting for a heart transplant when he passed away.
  Willie, I sure am glad I got to know you. Rest in peace.