Tidbits - April 8, 2021

TIDBITS by RALPH SHEALY


SOME DO, SOME DON’T
  If you’ve ever played  basketball, from Rec leagues on up, you’ve probably  been involved in a game that was decided by a last second shot.
Lewis Longshore of Hollywood hit a basketball from the top of the key as the buzzer sounded to beat Saluda 48-46. I can still see it, as it was only 53 years ago.
  Yes, those hits or misses linger.
  Over the weekend, the Carolina women had two shots in the final seconds to advance to the national championship game, and missed them both.
  The next night, a Gonzaga player hit a near half court bank shot to give the Zags a 93-90 win over UCLA. Many say it was on of the best college basketball games they’d ever seen. I can’t attest to that, because I fell asleep at halftime. When I awakened, I saw 93-90 on the screen. I had to see the winning shot on the replay.
  I was disappointed the Gamecocks didn’t win it all. That makes two years in a row. You’ll recall the Gamecock were No. 1 in the nation, winners of 26 straight, when the pandemic cancelled the tournament in 2020. Last year’s team was better than this year’s.
  Next year’s will be better than this year’s. The Gamecocks had only one senior, and she got injured in the SEC tournament and didn’t play in the “dance.” So, every player in that meeting with Stanford will be back, plus Dawn has the number one recruiting class in the America. Those recruits include the No. 2, 3, 4 and 14 ranked players in the country. The Gamecocks will be back.
  The Gamecock men saw three players enter the transfer portal last week, two more declare for the NBA draft without hiring an agent, and one who will definitely hire an agent.  I don’t think Carolina will miss many players off a six win team, however.
  Frank is apparently coming back. As I’ve said before, he needs to recruit some players who can shoot.
  In one game during the tournament, Gonzaga shot 49 percent from the field. That was the team’s lowest shooting percentage of the season. I don’t think the Carolina men’s team had a game where it shot that high. Usually, the Gamecocks shot in the 30s.


SWEET MEMORIES
  With the death of Eileen Quattlebaum last week, I was flooded with wonderful memories of my youth.
  When I was a teenager, Saluda had a great organization called Teen Town. Every Saturday night, we’d gather at the building at the pool to dance and fellowship. Most of the time, we’d dance to records, but occasionally we would have live bands.
  Teens from neighboring towns were welcomed. Lifelong friendships were forged on a concrete dance floor.
  The adult leaders of Teen Town were Mac and Eileen Quattlebaum. Mac, of course, was the state championship coach of seven Hollywood girls basketball teams and a legendary teacher, and Eileen was his biggest supporter.
  The Quattlebaums led Teen Town with the same discipline of a coach. Misbehavior was not tolerated, but all the kids who came to Teen Town knew they were loved by the leaders, and we loved them.
  If Teen Town had a downside it was that parents of the attendees alternated as being chaperones.
  When Shake and Betty got the nod, I wanted to stay home, because I knew they would get on the dance floor and embarrass me. My parents did all right when they did the Shag, since it was a derivative of their generations’ Jitterbug, but when they tried to do the Twist ... just shoot me! I can see and hear Eileen laughing now.
  My Saluda High Class of 1969 thought so much of Mac and Eileen, we asked them to chaperone our senior trip to the beach. Unbelievably, they accepted. They were accompanied on the trip by their young daughter Kim.
  We had a two story house on the second row at Ocean Drive, the girls on the second floor and the boys on the ground floor. The girls were in charge of cooking.
  After our fourth or fifth straight spaghetti meal, the boys began to complain, so the girls said, “If you can do better, go ahead.”
  We said, “We’ll do it.”
  The problem was none of the boys could cook. Eileen volunteered to help us.
  The boys went all out. We went to a dime store and bought clip on ties. We sat the girls at the table by pulling the chairs out for them, then we served a meal of fried chicken, mashed potatoes, corn and green beans. The girls were amazed.
  We told them Eileen showed us how to cook. It was years later that some of us confessed to the girls that we bought the entire meal at Kentucky Fried Chicken! That may or may not have been Eileen’s idea!
  Mac and Eileen’s chaperoning duties went from fun to sadness, when Coach Bull Lee drove down to the beach to let our classmate Shelby Jean Matthews know her father had died. Teenagers aren’t prepared for things like that, but Mac and Eileen helped us through.
  Mac and Eileen remained our friends for the rest of their lives. Eileen and my mother were members of the same bridge club for decades, so I kept up with them that way, and through my first cousin Russell Shealy who married their daughter Sara Lee.
  In my Facebook tribute to Eileen, I mentioned how if the teenagers got hungry at Teen Town, we’d drive a mile or so down Main Street to Winn’s Restaurant, where Donald and Winnie welcomed young people with open arms.
 How blessed was my generation to have adults like Mac and Eileen and Donald and Winnie, who made growing up here so special.
  Thank you, Eileen, for the mark you left on my life.


CLIFF
  I was saddened at the death of Clifford Owdom last week.
  For over 50 years, he was a business leader in the Town of Saluda on the corner of Main and Travis and at Star Mobile Homes.
  He is what I’d call a “gentle giant,” imposing in height, but a person who enjoyed a good laugh.
  I always enjoyed talking to him.
  Cliff will be greatly missed.